The Subdued Genius of Darren Korb: Leading the Way of Supergiant Games' Peculiar Triumph

A brief look back to one of the brightest careers in game development.

The Subdued Genius of Darren Korb: Leading the Way of Supergiant Games' Peculiar Triumph
Supergiant 10-Year Anniversary Poster by Jen Zee, Art Director at Supergiant Games
"And everything is so janky, because the art is scanned out of D&D books, and I modeled the main character, and he's just like swinging a hammer really stupidly. But Darren's music is like, really awesome in the background, because music can just sort of be done like at the very beginning, it turns out. And that was something that kind of ended up following us through all these projects where like, the music is often the first expression of the tone and stuff that we end up using." — Amir Rao, Studio Director at Supergiant Games

The current perception of Supergiant Games may be that they are lightning in a bottle. The quintessential garage success story. A small group of talented individuals who achieved the elusive synergy necessary to make Bastion, the studio's first game, the parabolic hit that put them on the map. But if there is one thing that has earned them their steady stream of cult followers, it is that the artistic and technical craft of all the members of this creative group is of the highest caliber.

If there's anyone who stands out among that all-star artistic group since the first chords of Build That Wall were first heard, it's Supergiant's Audio Director and Main Composer, Darren Korb. Not many would imagine that, prior to Bastion, he had no experience scoring on a project of that scale or scope. And yet today he has been recognized in multiple instances as one of the best in the entire industry.

You have to remember that the state of indie games back then is not what it is today. It was unusual for a game of that scale to be able to create that strong dramatic response in players. Something like that was believed to be exclusive of high scale and even higher budget games, with a big technical spectacle. And ultimately, Korb's work was one of the main ingredients in that understated but impactful emotional landscape.

From then on, Korb's music has provided the soul of Supergiant's games like so few in the industry can afford to boast. Just as we can't imagine the modern Doom inferno without Mick Gordon's music, or the drama of Elden Ring without the pristine work of Yuka Kitamura, Darren Korb's sound has provided each Supergiant game with the exact emotional palette it needed to impact its players.

Even in Pyre, which is their least popular game, Korb's music was considered a highlight. Certainly, what he learned in these previous games was the stepping stone that would lead him and the entire studio to its greatest success to date. The dynamism of his compositions reached its greatest expression in Hades, with the thematic development ranging from traditional Mediterranean-style music to the most expressive metal sound.

If for some reason you haven't had a chance to experience Supergiant's games, the holiday sales are sure to give you a good opportunity. And even at full price they are a great experience worth every penny.

Steam Developer: Supergiant Games
We make games that spark your imagination like the games you played as a kid.

Of course, if your interest is purely musical, all the stand-alone soundtracks and accompanying albums (like the amazing 10th anniversary orchestral arrangements of their best songs) are also available on Bandcamp's digital library. Where you can still to this date download all the music you buy in high quality lossless compression (.FLAC) format.

Supergiant Games
We’re the team behind Bastion, Transistor, Pyre, and now...Hades. Our goal is to make games that spark your imagination like the games you played as a kid.

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