Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Where are they now? - Rudy Helm

Screenshot of Quest for Glory III
Rudy Helm composed the soundtrack for Quest for Glory III

As you know, one of my favourite game series of all time is the Quest for Glory series. The mixture of point 'n' click adventure and RPG mechanics was pure genius thanks to its creators Lori and Corey Cole. Another aspect I enjoyed when it came to the Quest for Glory games was the music and that's why for today's Where are they now? post I'd like to focus on the composer of Quest for Glory III, Rudy Helm.



Helm apparently has a music career spanning 20 years prior to getting involved in the interactive music industry. Since it was around the 1990s when he first started to compose music for games, I'm guessing that means he started his career in the early 1970s. In the late 70s he penned two symphonies for the Southern Indiana Orchestra. He also served as music director for a production of Shakespeare's Titus Adronicus for Actors Theatre in Louisville (which is situated in Kentucky). After that he scored music for television PSAs and corporate presentations.

From 1982 - 1990, Helm was the business manager at Yvonne Records (a publisher/manufacturer of albums in the New Age genre). Here he worked with sound sampling digitizers and tone generating synthesisers, as well as acoustic musical instruments.

In 1992, Helm managed to get a job working at Sierra On-Line with his biggest contribution being the soundtrack and sound effects for Quest for Glory III. He also helped with the porting of music and sound effects for games like King's Quest VI (where he developed a GM patch for the Mac), The Dagger of Amon Ra and Hoyle Classic Card Games, to name a few.

Ultimately, Helm's career at Sierra would be short-lived as he left the company in March 1993. He continued to port music and create sound effects for games though working on Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? Deluxe Edition for a couple of months after leaving Sierra. In May 1993, Helm got a job with Accolade where he composed music and created sound effects for several games until 1996.

For the remainder of the 1990s, Helm continued to provide audio for video games as an independent contractor. It wasn't until 1999 that he managed to get a job at a company called Visual Purple, a company that seems to develop simulations and serious games for large organisations such as the United States Department of Defence. According to company blog posts, he worked there for at least a decade, since the last post he made to the blog was in 2010.

Since that time however, I'm not quite sure what Helm has been up to. He does happen to have a YouTube channel where the last couple of videos he posted were in 2013 (the videos show him playing some smooth jazz guitar) - but that's about it. Where are you Mr Helm and what are you up to nowadays? Are you still working at Visual Purple? Do you still make music for computer games?

Let's hope he still does :).

LINKS:
[ MobyGames: Rudy Helm ]
[ Rudy Helm's Official Website ]

2 comments:

  1. Hello Mark! Here is the latest news. The BEEP Movie and BEEP Book. Interviews include artists such as Marty O'Donnell (Halo), George "The Fat Man" Sanger (7th Guest), Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy), Yoko Shimomura (Kingdom Hearts), Rudy Helm (Quest for Glory III) and many, many more. The interviews aim to explore the changing nature of game audio over time. Interviews are with people from all over the world, including Japan, USA, Canada & Europe, and took place from October 2014 to July 2016. They cover a range of expertise and experience levels, and include composers, sound designers, voice actors and directors, record labels, conductor, orchestrators, chip musicians, hardware and software creators. For more see http://helmproductions.com/news.html.
    Also, I just refurbished the music from a 1990's fighting game from Accolade Inc (that was never released) called "Cybernauts", will be released by Piko Interactive by mid 2017.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow thanks for the heads up Rudy! And thanks for popping by :). I'll be looking forward to both the book and the Cybernauts music you're "refurbishing" :)

      Delete