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Teuvo_Kuningas

Music/Programming

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Teuvo_Kuningas    122
Hi! I'm a newbie in making gamemusic, but I'm quite seasoned in composing. I have recently felt a need to take it to a next level, and I was wondering how the "lively" music is created in such games as for example in syphon filter & Fallout Tactics? I'm of course talking that music programming, that makes it able for music to switch itself mid-game when different situations occur. Is there any programs where you can program these changes - for example, if I make sound files, containing different ambiance and music that can evolve to each other and such. Thanks!

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romer    323
It's been a long time since I've played Fallout and can only remember vague bits of their ambient sound effects (you're kinda talking about when the character is out in the Wilderness, right?). Typically you'd want to build that sort of support into the audio system of your game engine, meaning you're going to have to tinker with the game's source code. For transitions, you can do a lot of cool effects with some relatively simple DSP. I took a course last fall where we used a free program called CSound to do simple sound design, and you can do some pretty cool and convincing morphing between different sounds using techniques like granular synthesis, convolution, and vocoding.

Support for these features could conceivably be built into the game directly, where you then have some tagging system where you associate different audio files with different game states, and on state transitions use a combination of one or more of the above techniques to do the transition, but these techniques can be pretty CPU intensive and might hurt performance too much in your game.

Alternatively as the composer you can create transition pieces in your DAW using these techniques, render them to an audio file, and then just tag those as transitory pieces that get played on game state changes. It's not as dynamic and spontaneous as the first approach, but it's also going to cause your audio subsystem to not fight with other parts of your game for CPU time.

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VectorWarrior    157
What generally happens, is that you create interleaved audio tracks. You'll have a idle, explore and action music track (for example) that will all be playing at the same time, but only one of them will be heard. Apon certain game states (change in AI behaviour, spawning of enemy, etc...) the currently playing track will mute and the required one will play. The composer composes the music with this system specifically in mind, so that at any point you can switch tracks and it'll musically work.

This is a bit of an old fashioned method of working though and we're seeing a more filmic approach to game scores... which i think is a good thing

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swhite    122
This kind of reminds me of Shadow of the Colossus. When you fought the beast, music would play, but when you got to the point that you mount the beast, heroic music would erupt but fit the previous song musically. This made it seem like a live orchestra was playing to your adventures!

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