The independent game Osmos won our hearts in 2009, with transcendent, meditative gameplay built on simulated particle physics, starting as a floating wonderland and ending with some deliciously punishing difficulty. But it’s the soundtrack that sealed the deal: ambient-tinged work by artists like Gas 0095, Julien Neto, Loscil, and High Skies helped us imagine an unseen, microscopic (or perhaps macroscopic) world. Their sonic craft is a great example of what digital music can be.

Now, I’m pleased to offer a lot of that music for your listening pleasure, for free. It’s one of the rare game soundtracks you’d want to hear even after having heard it on repeat while solving some of the title’s trickier puzzles. A huge thanks to the artists, whose generosity made this compilation possible – check out their work if you haven’t already.

The release is overdue, but it comes at a good time. By the end of last year, Osmos migrated from its initial, Windows-only release to Mac, too. Owners of multitouch PCs have been treated to a multitouch version on Games for Windows Live. (I’m still working on loaning a multitouch laptop; stay tuned.)

The most recent news, as seen on Synthtopia and the Microscopics blog: an iPhone version of Osmos is coming soon.

If you’ve already gotten the game but got stuck on Epicycles (ahem), we have a solution for that, too – see the recently-released video from the game developers, who must have heard your pain. (Man, in my day…)

We have two formats for listening:
MP3 for download
M4A extended podcast with visuals and chapter markers
(sadly, there seems not to be an open format for doing this, and one of the only creation tools is GarageBand – I’d love to hear alternatives)

Featured music:
Vincent et Tristan – Osmos Theme (two excerpts)
Gas 0095 – Discovery
Loscil – Lucy Dub
Loscil – Roschach
Loscil – Sickbay
High Skies – The Shape of Things to Come
Julien Neto – From Cover to Cover
Julien Neto – Farewell

And yes, that includes the most-definitely-unreleased samples by Vincent et Tristan, which are short but quite beautiful.

If you want still more music, the fantastic High Skies EP Sounds of the Earth is free for Osmos customers.

More from Mat / Microscopics, including an improved, higher-quality papercraft Minimoog:

I’ve just added a prize draw to win the Minimoog and the Gas 0095 collection on my blog for the Gas 0095 15 year anniversary
http://www.microscopics.co.uk/blog/2010/gas-0095-15-year-anniversary-collection-giveaway/
And I have a Gas 0095 Q&A and have set up a page for people to submit any questions (also via Facebook and our contact page).
http://www.microscopics.co.uk/blog/2010/gas-0095-questions-for-answers/

I’ve also added a new short video of a microscopic journey into the Gas 0095 album art
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYM1_9-HzSI&hd=1

Finally, if you haven’t read it yet, don’t miss our interview with the creators of the game; it offers inspiration that is musical as well as gaming- and design-related.

Completing F3C-3 (Epicycles 3) from hemisphere games on Vimeo.

  • http://www.sans-concept.com Eric Carl

    Been playing this a bit lately, and I really enjoy it, for the most part. The soundtrack is definitely great, and really gives the game a sense that it is a relaxing experience. But the idea that a game can be relaxing is really a bit of an oxymoron – if a core attribute of a game is challenge, well, challenge isn't particularly relaxing! You mention "Epicycles" yourself — I haven't gotten to that yet but I imagine it's a frustratingly difficult level.

    I really don't mean to trash the game or anything, I think its a great achievement in both its gameplay and aesthetics. But I've definitely gotten just as frustrated with it at times as I have with any other traditional video game. Strange at times to have such an illusion of calm when you're about to smash the keyboard.

  • josh g.

    The 'Force' game modes aren't as relaxing, due to the trickiness of completing the challenge while everything is in orbit. But the Ambient modes are a more cerebral, less twitchy challenge and manage to stay relaxing without being easy.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Funny, I found I got through most of the levels reasonably comfortably. But isn't challenge part of games? And don't people who play games generally say they do so because it's a way to relax / unwind? That would seem to suggest that people find challenge relaxing, at least under certain circumstances.

    Challenges being relaxing would certainly be a theme of many non-gaming topics on this blog. ;)

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  • http://www.combatdave.com combatdave

    Peter – You should take a look at the music in Eve Online. Some of it is absolutely fantastic, and at the last Eve Online fan gathering, they had it played by a full orchestra. Really cool stuff.

  • James

    Who put this soundtrack together? Why is it one, big file? Makes it hard to skip to a track we want to hear. I know it's free, so why complain, but individual tracks would've been nice.

    And why is there no cover art for the mp3 version? The m4a version has a cover piece that's improperly cropped so the title reads "smos."

    It's good music, and I'm glad it's being released in its entirety, but If you're gonna release a soundtrack for your game, take the time to make it look professional.

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  • Jaime Munarriz

    My kids love Osmos and Eufloria!

    So I got them into ambient music and generative art without them knowing… !

    I am into ambient since my old Eno'2 "Ambient#4 on land", and this track really flow and fluctuate into space. Thank you all.

  • http://ghostmagnum.com Zach G

    I love Osmos, and I'd love to get my hands on that High Skies album. Anyone see where to download it? I've been going in circles on Hemisphere's site for a bit to no avail. They said "see your download page" …what if I bought it on Steam?

    Oh, and regarding what combatdave said, I'm also a fan of the EVE music, though I don't feel the same subtle poetry that I get from the Osmos soundtrack.

  • http://www.soilsound.com soilsound

    Thanks Peter.

    For creating enhanced podcasts, check out http://www.lemonzdream.com/podcastmaker. There were a few others, but their pretty much gone.

    If you're interested in enhanced podcasts with chillout music… http://www.soilsoundchronicles.com

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  • Random Commenter

    <q cite="Peter Kirn">(sadly, there seems not to be an open format for doing this, and one of the only creation tools is GarageBand – I’d love to hear alternatives)</q>

    MP3 with a .cue file for one. And a decent tag editor that can embed the cover art into the file.

    Just sayin'…

  • Matts

    Thanks so much for releasing the soundtrack! It's awesome as well as the album of High Skies!

  • http://www.transelectronic.net RJ Valeo

    I worked with multitalented Julien Neto back in 2005 when I mastered his amazing Type Records release. He is a really wonderful person and musician. He hasn't released a lot of material since then, so it is really great to hear him involved in this project. His music is truly wonderful, inspired, and inspiring. Thanks for making this release happen Peter.

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  • Eric

    I just got this game in the Humble indie bundle and I absolutely love the music. unfortunately the link for the mp3 files is broken and this is the only place on the web to get the soundtrack… :( fail.

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  • http://www.audioengineeringschool.net/ Audiophiles

    Thanks for the free MP3′s! Nice vid as well.

  • robboroom

    I can’t download? I only see a QT player with no option to download…

    • http://twitter.com/gustavo_menezes Gustavo Menezes

      Click the link with the right mouse button and choose “save link as…”

  • http://twitter.com/biasedgeekhub Biased Geeks

    About an open format for this visuals and chapters, Matroska container should be able to do this (chapters at least) just put vorbis audio in it, or you could make a cue file for the mp3 (sans visuals).