What is the best new video game music to listen to while programming?
February 3, 2016 12:17 PM   Subscribe

I find that video game soundtracks are particularly good background music for programming, but I rarely have time to play new games and discover new music. In the past, I have enjoyed the Superbrothers soundtrack, the soundtrack to Hotline Miami, FTL, certain tracks from Kentucky Route Zero, and the last Deus Ex Machina. Can you recommend post-2014 video game soundtracks that help you to achieve a state of flow?
posted by Svejk to Media & Arts (27 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
They're not post-2014 (one is 2011, one is 2014) but I find the soundtracks to Bastion and Transistor by Supergiant Games to be excellent programming music.
posted by firechicago at 12:29 PM on February 3, 2016

Crypt of the NecroDancer! - The game is about flow, so it hopefully will work for your purposes.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:33 PM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Portal 2 OST is pretty great, though it was released in 2011.
posted by ringu0 at 12:37 PM on February 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

If you like Hotline Miami you might like Lone Survivor
posted by grobstein at 12:40 PM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Not 2015 specific, but I've found there are some decent playlists on Spotify for this, as I love video game music for programming as well. No specific recommendations unfortunately as I'm on my phone.
posted by cgg at 12:47 PM on February 3, 2016

If you like a big orchestral sound, most or all of the World of Warcraft soundtracks are available and I like them a lot. If you like faster-tempo, more metal-y stuff, I am a big fan of the Mad Max: Fury road soundtrack (yeah, not video game, but no lyrics and does the same for me as the video game stuff does.)
posted by restless_nomad at 12:50 PM on February 3, 2016

Not 2014 but try Jet Grind Radio's sound track for something upbeat.
posted by bdc34 at 12:56 PM on February 3, 2016

Super Hexagon and One More Line are both flow-type games with fantastic chiptune soundtracks.
posted by cosmicbandito at 12:59 PM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

I've really enjoyed the Circa Infinity soundtrack while playing the game. Can't really say how it fares outside of the context of the game.
posted by zsazsa at 1:33 PM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

I hate to chime in with another not-recent one, but I'm a huge fan of the Frozen Synapse and Frozen Cortex soundtracks. (okay, Frozen Cortex is recent.)
posted by neckro23 at 2:12 PM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

I will second the first response. Supergiant games really nailed it on the music for both of those games.
posted by deadwater at 3:03 PM on February 3, 2016

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP is an indie game with a beautiful soundtrack composed by Jim Guthrie.
posted by little eiffel at 3:15 PM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Sun And Moon has a unique style of soundtrack which I find perfect for programming.
posted by panic at 3:17 PM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Again, not post-2014, but Knytt and Knytt Stories have good ambient soundtracks.
posted by en forme de poire at 3:18 PM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Try browsing through Songza - they have various flavors of "studying" music, most of it with no lyrics and some kind of beat.

Also, Streets of Rage 2!
posted by boghead at 9:51 PM on February 3, 2016

I love the chrono trigger soundtrack. Also final fantasy 7 and 8 soundtrack are good too along with metal gear solid soundtrack.
posted by CheeseAndRice at 11:01 PM on February 3, 2016

The Witcher 3
posted by davejh at 2:16 AM on February 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

The soundtrack to VVVVVV (from the maker of Super Hexagon) has gotten me into and partially through medical school.
posted by telegraph at 5:02 AM on February 4, 2016

Not really a specific game, but I've really enjoyed RPGamers Radio when I'm working. It has a nice mix of older MIDI-style songs but also a lot of newer stuff. You can't pick what you listen to or skip it since it's basically just an online radio station, but it's really well curated. Good luck!
posted by helloimjennsco at 5:15 AM on February 4, 2016

Journey OST
posted by PenDevil at 6:02 AM on February 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

The only newer release I can think of is Galak-Z . (which I just finished episode 4 of! congrats me!)

I'll suggest some older ones that may have made it past your radar. Two really excellent 2012 soundtracks are Dustforce and Dust: An Elysian Tale. Duet is 2013 but really good too.

Shatter is excellent also.

And seconding Dubmood (sun and the moon soundtrack and his other stuff).

You may get some mileage out of my bandcamp fan page, as most of the stuff there is music that I listen to at work.
posted by ropeladder at 6:13 AM on February 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

You might want to check out Datassette's Music for Programming podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/music-for-programming/id500565620?mt=2. There's a mix of stuff in there that might suit you.
posted by skye.dancer at 7:59 AM on February 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Eidolon soundtrack is great for work. (Also the perfect soundtrack for A Dark Room. But that's another story.) The Viridi soundtrack by the same composer/developer is similarly brilliant. Pixeljam's Last Horizon OST is nice and chill.

I have a bunch of stuff on my Bandcamp Collection page you might enjoy digging through if you like those recommendations.
posted by sincarne at 8:31 AM on February 4, 2016

Just a heads up that the frozen cortex and frozen synapse soundtracks are both available for pay-what-you-want for the next week at humble bundle. (along with the games themselves!) Definitely worth it!
posted by ropeladder at 1:07 PM on February 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

You might enjoy musicforprogramming. Not a soundtrack though.
posted by Leon at 1:15 PM on February 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

These suggestions are fantastic!
I highly recommend nervous_testpilot's Bandcamp page (mentioned above), where the Frozen Synapse soundtracks can be found, along with an album called 'music for coding'. Dubmoon is also a great Bandcamp find. From there I fell down the rabbit hole into Synthwave, which also has a strong Bandcamp presence. Now I'm blasting through my IDE in a neon pink and teal Corvette.
For others looking for ambient programming music, I would recommend the Flower, Ori and the Blind Forest, and Monument Valley soundtracks. For more fantasy/orchestral atmosphere, the Pillars of Eternity , Endless Legend, and Witcher 3 soundtracks are golden.
posted by Svejk at 2:22 AM on February 5, 2016

Oxenfree (Bandcamp / Spotify)
posted by ialas at 4:47 PM on February 8, 2016

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