Sometimes, when working with a composer, the game designer will create a music style guide of sorts. It could contain a lot of text descriptions, but it’s often made up of pre-existing musical tracks that, while they likely won’t be used in the game, can quickly give the composer an idea of what the designer is looking for. So what was in my style guide?
Well, first off, since many US composers aren’t especially familiar with visual novels, I decided to focus on visual novel soundtracks. Specifically, I pointed to the Kanon soundtrack for music representing concepts like ordinary days and sorrow. Then, for energy and unease, Higurashi and for grandeur and suspense, its follow-up Umineko.
Finally, I also included Evanescence’s My Heart is Broken which I see as the unofficial theme song of the game. Or maybe the official one, if I can get the funds for it…
So that’s my music style guide. Or an abbreviated version of it, anyway. I did go into a lot more detail in the full thing, but this should give you the basic idea.