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Power of Music, Part 2

4: Adsense

sooo, this week I try to write the entry drunk... yeah, I am really drunk, so don't think to harshly about any spelling errors.

This is the second part of the "Power of Music" series, but I have to disappoint you, this won't be a huge entry writing about the missing music pieces of my current project. So why did I have the need to write this?

Basically, I was listening to pandora.com and literally tripped over a piece of music that couldn't represent my game more perfectly than any piece of music that I know of. Here it is:

I can envision it as only a sort of "travel" soundtrack for my game, and yet it strangely underlines my overall vision of the game. It draws a sort of torn apart picture. I can imagine the artwork I'd like to be associated with the game, I can imagine quite a lot.
To be blatantly honest, that's why I had the need to post yet another entry about the music, without having diferen soundtracks for diffenent situations that I coudln't cover before. Until today, it was I kind of searching for music that made ME feel the right things for the specific game moments. This isn't too bad, but now I feel like I've found the music style I would tell to a professional composer (if i had the money).
It seems to me that this day marks a very important decision. At the first glance, it seems more trivial than anything else, but defining the STYLE of the ingame music can be very difinitive to what kind of person likes the game or not.

I first didn't grasp the groundlaying outcome of this decision, but I think defining a music style for a game is more than just "a music style", it defines your overall feel of the game.
Thinking about Portal 2, if it had an other type of ingame music, it wouldn't be the same at all, it is not only the style of music you settle on, it is the style of emotion you try to set for your game.
I am very sure that this decision is often not taken too serious, not thinking about how much the music influences the overall "feel" of the game (in the end, that's what the people will remember of your game).
So, while just posting one music file for my game project, which won't be available in the actual game (due to copyright issues if I am not mistaken), this single soundtrack may be more important than any posts I've wrote over the last couple of months. If I have some art piece posted to me,. I can actually decide if it fits to my world or not, I started to define the remebrable part of the game, the art and feel of it.

Having an arstyle, story, sound and music that fits your world is one part, but making it distinctive enough that people will remember it is an other aspect. I always compare Borderlands to Darksiders. Both games have a good looking artstyle, butTa I am very sure that Borderlands will be remembered as one best games of all times, while Darksiders will eventually be lost in the flood of games.
Darksiders doesn't have an ugly art style, but it is just so generic, it fits to every halfways epic music, it is so mainstream fantasy style.
Borderlands on the other hand has a very distinctive world, very distinctive artstyle. This is not only a good thing, Imagine the difference of the Borderlands 1 and Borderlands 2 theme songs. From a "money" perspective, making a sequel to the predecessor isn't easy, especially when it stood out with it's exceptional artstyle and overall feel, as a game designer, you may be limited in your enovations.

Still, defining a style is to me like having a face for a game in the flood of games we have today. People may not necessarily like your game because of your artstlye, but they at least will remember it, for the good of bad of it.

Maybe you missed my latest entries in this journal. I wrote this in my last "almost missed entry", some weeks ago I wrote the journal entries days to weeks before they were published, I sometimes scheduled the topic of the entries a month before the entry was supposed to get posted. The last few weeks have bitten me in my ass, by not completing me pre-scheduled entries, they were published in a very unfinished state. I was already very annoyed by that. But when I took the already published entries down, made them fit and finish and reposted them, they weren't listened in the gamedev.net latest journal entries.
So if you haven't already, take a look of my past entries, maybe you have missed one if you are interested.

That was it, I hope it was at least entertaining for you to read my text written by drunk me. Have a nice week end.

Dec 07 2012 07:51 AM
Having distinctive music, in general, that still has elements needed to sound good to a majority of people is difficult. I really like where you're going with this - to do it for a game. It helps that you gave an example. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts!!
Dec 10 2012 07:24 AM
I am amazed how well this entry came out, it's almost a coherent text. It got a bit worse in the end, but hey.

Sometimes I think people are too afraid to choose their music. I am not sure if anybody wouldn't like a game just because it isn't his or her music style. It's worse when you have a piece of music that doesn't fit in the game, than one that the player may not like listening to at home.

I am not a fan of cage elephants, but "There ain't no rest for the wicked" was awesome for Borderlands 1.

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