Wandersong – Interview with Greg Lobanov


I love bards, so this title has me all sorts of excited. Wandersong by Greg Lobanov is a sidescrolling musical adventure that follows, you guessed it, a bard! In the game, a musical goddess created the world with music. She has decided to reset the world with a new song. You play as a bard, traveling and uncovering pieces of melody called the Earthsong in hopes of saving the world. Playing a bard in pretty much ever Dungeons and Dragons campaign I’ve ever been in, I see the injustices that are brought upon the noble class of bards. We are the jokes of the party, the buffers, the ones who stand in the back but never actually influence anything. So, when a titles comes long where the bard is the hero, it makes me indescribably giddy. And that is exactly the premise in Wandersong. I had the chance to talk with Greg Lobanvo about his upcoming title. Check out the interview below.

Q: I read about your cross-country bike trip that inspired Wandersong. I was wondering how did a 5,000 mile ride across the US translate into a musical adventure with a bard?
A: It seems a bit odd, doesn’t it? I wanted to make a game inspired by the trip right away–and I started off making prototypes about biking, and and desert adventures, with lots of resource management and things like that… I approached it very literally. But after I took some time to really think and process, I realized that I didn’t really want to make a game about the biking and the survival, I wanted to make a game about the spirit & feelings & closeness to humanity it brought me. Wandersong really came from the heart, and it was made to carry a certain feeling that I haven’t seen in a game before. It has nothing to do with my personal story, really, but at the same time I think it captures it excellently.
Q: How would you describe playing this game?
A: The best way I can describe it is that you’re playing as a walking musical instrument. You have total freedom of expression and can play all kinds of songs anywhere, anytime, however you like. And different things in the world respond to the music you make in unique ways. Sometimes it’s very literal, like a bird singing a sequence of notes, and if you sing the notes back to them they’ll follow you and help you. Other times it’s more abstract, like a vine that carries you and grows in the direction you sing, allowing you to reach new places.
Wandersong GameplayQ: What is your favorite part of Wandersong so far?
A: The music and sounds are the parts I didn’t do myself, so I get to appreciate them as a fan. This game sounds just wonderful… that’s thanks to Em Halberstadt, who put a ton of herself into her work. She’s a super creative, funny and inspiring sound designer. And the soundtrack by Gordon McGladdery is the perfect accompaniment. It’s over 4 hours long and every song has a personality and a place in the story… I’ve already listened to it probably hundreds of times by now. Watching people play the game and laugh and smile and cry is also pretty amazing, but I don’t know if that counts as a part of the game, haha.
Q: What do you hope players will get out of playing Wandersong?
A: My minimum goal is to make someone’s day brighter, give them something to smile about and enjoy. My ambitious goal is to change people’s lives, and make them feel a little more hopeful in these emotionally arduous times. Put another way, I want to have a positive impact on the world, and share positive energy with others. If that comes through then I’ll be really satisfied.
Q: And finally, coming from my personal excitement level, when can we play it?!
A: September 27!!!!!!!

Where Can I Buy Wandersong?

Wandersong is being released on Steam and Humble Bundle for Windows and Mac, and it is also coming out on Nintendo Switch. If you are as excited as I am to play a bard saving the world, add Wandersong to your wishlists and make sure to get it on September 27th.

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