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elmepo

Little/No In game Music

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I was watching some films recently, and I began to wonder if there could possibly be reasonable ways to remove music from games, similar to the way in whilch some films (Saving Private Ryan for one) have no music, and if they do, it's usually part of the scene, e.g. a band playing in the background of a local pub.

Although I do understand why there is music in games, seeing as to on how playing a game in silence for hours on end, with nothing to do really would be rather boring, I also wondered why nobody had atleast attempted it, because the way I see it, if you could remove, at least for the most part, music from a game and replace it with something else, than it would certainly free up some budget, and could probably bring more respect to games in general. (Because chances are the music would be replaced with something akin to more immersive story, and the like)

I'll soon be making a game in about 12 weeks for my final Software Design Development HSC course, (We get, at least for the most part, although We'll probably do revision for the last two weeks, a year to design and develop a game/program) And I've begun to think of ways I can not only free up time, but also potentially costs, since I know nothing about composition, and most composers won't work for free.

So, Returning to the original point, Are there any ways that you think that music, or at least a fair amount of it, could be removed from a game?

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Quote:
Original post by elmepo
and most composers won't work for free.
Not to derail your intention with this thread, but very few people will 'work for free', composers or otherwise. However, if you are offering a position on your team with creative input, you might well find a composer who is willing to work *with* you - I have seen composers offering in the help wanted section, and the composition students I have approached locally have all been very amenable.

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I am aware that very few people will work for free, I added it because of it's relevance, specifically in Larger Budget games.

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Quote:
Original post by elmepo
I am aware that very few people will work for free, I added it because of it's relevance, specifically in Larger Budget games.


Noone says you must have music in your game (unless that is a requirement of your course). Just don't put any music in your game or find a site that provides some cheapish music. There are some composers around who sell the rights to their music (non-exclusively) very cheaply!

I didn't put any music in my xbox game.

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The use of silence from a lack of music can often heighten the experience and make the overall game better.

Case in point, Silent Hill. Most of the time you are running around with no music, only provided sounds for footsteps and some other SFX. Then once in awhile the level will peel away into this demonic setting and some background music will hit you, only to become much more terrifying than if you had gone from song_1.mp3 to scarysong_1.mp3.

In the case of Saving Private Ryan I would assume the lack of sound is provided to prove a point. In real war you don't go running over a hill and suddenly hear an orchestra, it's just a real loud scream of firing weapons and explosions. It is there to show the gritty, realistic aspect of war we usually glamorize in most movies.

If you are removing music, there should be a reason, not just to remove music for the novelty of it.

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Quote:
Original post by elmepo
I was watching some films recently, and I began to wonder if there could possibly be reasonable ways to remove music from games, similar to the way in whilch some films (Saving Private Ryan for one) have no music, and if they do, it's usually part of the scene, e.g. a band playing in the background of a local pub.


Limbo, a new XBLA game on 360, uses little to no music apparently. I haven't tried it yet, only read reviews.

It looks to be an artistic game, and I think that's really the only way one could get away with no music. It has to be an artistic choice that makes sense to the game/game world.

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I absolutely agree that games can excel without music. When I was really engrossed in playing Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, I eventually found myself disabling the music. Even though I liked the score, I was very annoyed that the transitions between "explore" and "battle" music made it very obvious when you were about to be attacked. It killed some of the suspense.

With the music off, I delighted in being caught unawares by enemies, or not being able to know whether I was being spotted while sneaking (I also disabled the HUD element for that). Unfortunately, I certainly noticed how sparse the ambient sound effects were. Fortunately, Oblivion has a vibrant modding community and I was able to add more sound effects to things.

With a rich enough library of sound effects, you can even recreate suspense or drama that may be "lost" without cheesy scores to heighten the player's emotions. If you don't have enough atmospheric sounds, however, your players will certainly notice the lack of music. As a simple experiment, go throughout your day being consciously aware of all the noises around you. I doubt you'll encounter much silence.

Also, first post.

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I've played games with no music before. They had ambient sound effects, which worked much better in their case, like Doom 64. Those levels near the end of the game almost seemed to be alive.

Left 4 Dead has no music unless you turn on a juke box, or in the final to the second chapter when you play music on a concert stage to alert the overhead rescue helicopters of your presence, and it alerts the horde as well.

I believe a lot of the locations in RE4 don't have a music track playing. But that just might be bad memory? I only remember music in certain parts, possible boss battles, and the saving screen.

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