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Keith G

Member Since 15 May 2011
Offline Last Active Dec 04 2014 06:59 PM

#5179548 How to start?

Posted by on 11 September 2014 - 06:01 AM

Pretty overwhelming isn't it?  


Really, the only thing you will need is:

something like noteworthy composer $15.






Noteworthy makes midi music only.  That sucks, but here you will learn what the different notes mean, what sharp/flat means, the different between slurring notes together and not, and many many more things.  You get to experiment right away even without a keyboard.  I think there's a free version on there too.  You can experiment with the different midi instruments provided to try to get a different sound.  This is how I started.  I did have access to a cheap keyboard ($30) and I practiced finger movements.  


The bigger Digital Audio Workstations(DAW) are very very complicated and overwhelming at first.  I recommend that when you are no longer content with making songs in Noteworthy to give FL studio a shot.  It is primarily structured around making techno songs, but if you keep at it long enough you will learn the arts and be able to make any type of music with it.  It is one of the cheaper options for a DAW being priced at somewhere around $100.  If you make it this far, pick up a midi keyboard that has a midi in/out and grab one of these 




The converter transmits the state of key presses/releases to your computer so you can start getting into the groove a little better while composing music. I remember being blown away when the studio recorded my input for the first time.  


The DAW hurdle is one that will take a long... long time to learn your first time.  There are many aspects to composing music that will upset you and you may end up taking a break.  But it will always be waiting for you to return.  

#5175452 Why Orchestral music is best for video games?

Posted by on 22 August 2014 - 06:33 AM

I used to think the same thing.  A great man once said that there's a lot more to gain from keeping as many doors open as possible.  But once you go through one all the others close.  I feel this is the same with genres.  Here are a few electronic tracks that are beautiful and expressive.  It's all a matter of context and the medium.  There is no best genre for games.


Mirror's Edge:  


Portal 2:  





Do you think that Beethoven or Mozart wouldn't jump at the chance of using digital music to enhance their music or experiment with completely new sounds?  You said that "Computers and electronic sounds CAN NOT FEEL.".  The same is true about a cello or a violin or a piano.  The instrument is useless by itself.  But when a human plays it with a feeling in mind, then it becomes art and expressive.

#5174817 Need some feedback

Posted by on 19 August 2014 - 02:15 PM

Music definitely depends on the type of game and type of scene you're producing for.  There really wasn't much context provided so the tracks were critiqued on how they hold up on their own.  


Reading the description of hundewache it's an adventure game track.  That could mean a lot of different things: myst, flower,  The track felt more like taking a nap at the beach.  The music does very little to convey what could even be happening.  


Try a soundtrack from an old adventure game called Lunacy-Lost Memories. The music for this game is enchanting, yearning, mysterious.  

The music

  • has interesting arrangements and patterns,
  • transitions nicely from part to part and
  • it punctuates loudly at parts. 
  • becomes more quiet drawing the listener in more

It isn't hiding in the background.  It's helping the player think.  

Note the arrangement of the piece.  The subtle (and not so subtle) changes in instrument velocity.  You could easily replace the whistle with violin/cello/etc here. The song is mostly consistent in its rhythm, but at 1:00 there is arpeggio that fills silence.  It then becomes more quiet drawing you in even more.   Comparing it to hundewache, hundewache carries on with the same meandering chord progression until it's done.  It's a pretty song, but it isn't very interesting or telling about the mood for which it was produced.


Another track worth referencing is one from Flower.  Much faster in its pace but it's still calm somehow.  



If you feel like you're stagnating or behind in your talents then just start grabbing references and dissect how they were done.  There is no faster way to learn.  

#5172386 How to create a typical "Dungeon Master" type of game?

Posted by on 08 August 2014 - 06:39 PM

Maybe you should start a prototype of your current idea.  Limit it to a 3x3 set up.  You could quickly get something going just using an array of Level.  

In the level you could have a class called MoveableDirection that keeps track of possible movement directions.  It could also include a method that sets its neighbor to be open after you open a door with a key.    


You seem to have the right idea with how the art would work.  You'll need to create an animator class and draw each view from scratch.  Another way is to build it in 3d and simulate an oldschool feel.  The player would be teleported to the next spot instead of walking.  Have you looked at the free version of Unity yet?


The problem as I see it now, is that you'll probably have to create an editor that helps you set up the rooms since there will be a lot of manual templating.  You might as well build something to help you with that.  It could be a good learning experience by itself.


While creating something like this, I would always be asking myself "How can I make this more modular?"  What design steps can you take that will help remove tight coupling between levels?  You'll probably want to swap rooms at one point, for example (maybe during compile time, or maybe during run time as a puzzle).  

#5171882 Dune II Track Cover

Posted by on 06 August 2014 - 08:30 AM




Very very very good feedback.  Thanks for this.  I may strip away a few layers of the song and reconsider some design decisions.  Sometimes it's rough hearing criticisms but there is no other way to improve.  It's too easy to hide behind "art" without learning anything.  So comments like yours goes a long way and I still have a lot to learn. 

#5164650 Name for a game where you are a dictator

Posted by on 03 July 2014 - 03:16 PM

President for life



I like this one a lot.

#5161107 Pixel pig title screen

Posted by on 17 June 2014 - 11:23 AM

I am dying of laughter.  Thanks, technos.

#5160509 [Composer] Matt O'Haira's first Lp needs Feedback

Posted by on 14 June 2014 - 09:56 AM

Matt I love your stuff.  Cyberpunk Lightning/Buildings on Acid sounds a lot like something Frank Klepacki would put together for a Command and Conquer game. Both are very engaging.   Not This Place reminded me of Silent Hill 2 ost.  In particular, this, but I think yours wins honestly.  The mod wahh could probably be turned down, it's a bit abrasive at the moment.  QCF + P would be cool for a monster truck game, but it doesn't fit my needs personally for a fighting theme.  Great track though.  I didn't really understand the transition at 2:40, it was basically two different tracks.  The second part here though reminded me of Devil May Cry...  Running in Darkness sounds like something you might hear in a fighting game, but could have so SO many uses.  Wanted could fit a theme like Grand Theft Auto and obviously a more western game, really awesome track there Matt.  The Anchor could fit avenues like The Last of Us sound track or other cinematic type games, but the ambiance you found in that song reminds me a bit of some of blended guitar and reverb of the Diablo 2 ost.  Good stuff, make more.

#5159500 "The Saga Begins" a new film style song by me.

Posted by on 10 June 2014 - 07:35 AM

Not bad.  I wouldn't give away the full chord progression right away though.  Did you find that it was hard to change to something different after so long?  I suggest more build up before navigating the progression and exploring variations in sound.  For example, build up the song using only the first chord in the progression for a few measures and see what naturally surfaces.  Music is very much the same as emergent design.  If you box yourself in too quickly, you miss out on a lot of cool stuff.

#5159491 Three new songs

Posted by on 10 June 2014 - 07:10 AM

I wasn't sure if you are looking for critique, but here goes.  


Gathering Resources instantly reminded me of a less campy version of the Sims 3 menu music (or maybe some of the townsfolk themes from Edward Scissorhands).  I enjoyed the addition of tension at about :50, but I feel like there could be another layer of quiet arpeggio to accompany the piece in various spots.  At about 1:45, the quiet nature and minimalist approach works perfectly and I wouldn't change a thing.  Very nice work there.


Stake Your Claim is fun.  I can imagine exploring and setting up my claim.  The piece captures that naivety of starting new.  The maraca was somewhat repetitive.  It could be broken up more with a longer/quiet scraping sound similar to how a snare breaks up a beat.  


A Beautiful Home is a very nice piece.  It carries a lot of atmosphere with it, much better than the previous two in that regard.  This one seems more mystical and arcane.  You can feel the ancient lore in this song.  I do really like this!  It seems to fit the theme of the game the most.  Good work!