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How can harmonics (music) be used in games? By this I don''t simply mean playing a music piece in the background and have the game character go around shooting people like regular FPS. Harmonics are built with musical notes and they follow some definite pattern pending on the cords. They can be canceled, disrupted, and amplified by other notes. But most importantly, they can be picked up by human ears instinctively when modified. Now go back to the words I''ve just used: harmonics, built, cancel, disrupt, amplify, and cord pattern = Everything you need for a strategy/puzzle game minus the GUI. Enough with the war games and RTS. Time to make something new. Any thoughts?

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I''m not sure exactly how you want to use harmonics in a game, but for some reason I''m having flashbacks of those horrid sound/note puzzles from Myst.

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quote:
Original post by jaxson
I''m not sure exactly how you want to use harmonics in a game, but for some reason I''m having flashbacks of those horrid sound/note puzzles from Myst.


There were a couple of those in Black & White too!

Mooglez - integrate a sampler of some kind, provide a means for the user to supply his/her own sound files, use the music to build spells...

Check this out: Hummingbird

Eno has been doing some cool stuff with spontaneously generated music lately too. Sorry don''t have that link.

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I thought those puzzles were really innovative.
Everybody says sound is more evocative than vision, but very few designers base their gameplay around it, they just make sure their game has cool music. You should not let this idea die.

Ever played Loom? You know, the scumm game that was advertised in every other lucasarts game but nobody actually bought? That had some kind of music puzzle magicky thing in it, but I can''t remember how it worked.

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Music for immersion!

Consider what sound does for cinema.

Take LOTR for example and the flight across the ford. Remove the sound from it and it''s Bonanza. Put the sound back in and you''re on the edge of your seat!

Ever seen Eraserhead?

In some games sound isn''t really necessary (eg. Quake); In others it''s a must (eg. Warcraft).

Consider the role of sound in the dark or in fog. In the dark it can be used for navigation; In fog it plays tricks.

Sound as decoy, ala duck hunting.

Sound as vibration. Sound as time.

I agree with Insanity, don''t let the idea die.

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Everyone say it''s a good idea but nobody give me any suggestions on how to implement the thing.

I''ll let the cat out of the bag and hopefully I can get more feedbacks. The concept of harmonics started as a puzzle design for a game but then I got into a facination with 8 legged critters. Then the whole argument about RPS and AoK on the board just got me really thinking.

This involve spiders, web, harmonics, fundamental strategy, and maybe a few doses of weed so you don''t get stuck rigid on the previous genre.

You start out with an immobile mother spider in a empty space and the goal is to get rid of the mother spider of the opposing side. Early in the game, you create a web structures around yourself to capture resources. (web surface/constant) = (resource income/time) Now, with enough resource, you can create tiny spiders to roam on the web. Each strain of spiders have a specific musical note built into their genes and are automatically attracted to. The spider strands also have musical property too as the spiders walking on them will create a vibration... Well, your own spider walking on your own web are immune to creating this vibration but someone else''s spider on your web will create a sound. The web strand are divided into 2 categories, radii and cords. Radii are the main strand that extends outward from the center (mother spider) and cords are the strands linked between two different radii. The main radii are not attuned to any notes so any enemy spider walking on them will create a sound and draws attention. On the other hand, the cords have a specific harmonic triad (3 notes) built into them thus they won''t create sound and draw attention if the note of the enemey spider match one of the triads. eg. an enemy spider with a C note walking on your radii will trigger an AI effect that cause all your own C note spiders nearby to attack it. Now, if that same spider able to run fast enough to reach one of your cord with the pre-set triad(CEG), your spiders will cancel the attack and go back to their previous positions.

You people see where I am going with this ? ^_^

Now, when two opposing side''s single note spiders meet(regardless of whatever the note is) will just clash and cancel each other out. So, to win a fight, you have to evolve the spiders by combining two or more of them each with different notes. However, there is a madness to all this, 2 notes spider > 1 note spider. 3 notes spider > 2 notes spider, (no such thing as 4 notes spider cause it''ll just be a garbage sound) 3 notes spider with harmonic effect > random 3 notes spider with no harmonic effect, major triad > minor triad > diminished triad > augmented > major. (Haha, RPS analogy and I hated the thing.) Oh yea, you lose the game with just one enemy spider reaching your mother spider.

Well, I''m leaving out ton of the specifics but anyone else think it''s crazy enough that a RTMS could actually work?

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quote:
Original post by Mooglez
...RTMS...

Real-Time Mother Spider?

I think it''s a very innovative idea. I like the gameplay description, and the fact that it requires intelligence and skill as much as reflexes and a dose of "luck" (are the spiders randomly generated or can you specify?)

Other than support, though, I have no comments.

I wanna work for Microsoft!
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Thanks to Kylotan for the idea!

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quote:
Original post by Mooglez
Everyone say it''s a good idea but nobody give me any suggestions on how to implement the thing.


Sorry dude, you should have been more specific in your first post. It read like you were fishing for ideas, not implementations.

The spider game sounds like a good idea.

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You know, I actually played Loom...I thought it was a really
good game...basically it worked like this:

You are like this weaver guy who can sort of cast spells with
music. You play this music through keys on the keyboard.
(or you could click on the music bar but it was easier)
One piece of music would turn straw to gold (I''m not sure if
I have the details totally correct but bear with me)
One would make someone want to follow you, etc. It''s almost
like Indiana Jones or Monkey Island, except without the humor,
whips, or even many items. (You did collect some items but
mostly things were accomplished with music)

I reccommend anyone who runs across it in the bargain bin
somewhere to go pick it up, it was a beautiful, and imaginative
game.

-Lohrno

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RTMS as in real time music strategy; just a silly term I made up for fun.

quote:
are the spiders randomly generated or can you specify?


Dunno yet, it''s either randomly generated but all the players get the same pattern like tetris/bust-a-move, or specifics generation. I''m thinking the mother spider will have spots on the back that designate the strain of spider produced. So you click on the spot and you get a baby spider attached to the mouse cursor then you placed it on the web, like dungeon keeper. Maybe the player can get some kind of production bonus by clicking on the web cords to play a short piece of music? I don''t know... I''m just throwing random thoughts on here. Another interesting thing I would like to see is a free form web construction with different patterns. Of course the problem with that is the spider would need to be able to rotate 360 degree thus using some kind of 3d related engine which I''m not on par yet with my programming skill. (Are there a good majority of video cards out there that support hardware rotation emulation on 2d to handle say 60 different rotations at once?)

I''m open to any comments or suggestions, in the mean time I have to get back working on puzzles.

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I got your email, thanks for directing me to this thread. I realy love the idea. Don''t drop it, you have somthing _great_ here.

*moderator of Music and Sound steps up with some implementation pointers (and a few design ideas to boot)*


First, implmentation. Just get any sound libary, and just play sounds asyncronusly. I recomend googling DirectX or FMod, but you could find others.

What you want to do is to do is have a wave file tuned for each note. You could get one sample and tune it. AnalogX (sorry, you''ll have to google again, I am too tired to find the link) has a auto-tuner program, it should do what you want (although, I havn''t tested it).



Now, my interpretation of this game is that it is in a black void, with spiders making webs, that is just my interpretation.

Now, as far as music goes, Don''t.

This game relys on sounds, so don''t use music. You do need somthing to add atmosphere to it. I''d suggest using a wind sound in the background, or somthing else which is _very_ tone-less. This is why the blackness comes into it, because if for instance it were set in a tree a usual sound would be birds, which has tune, which would make it dificult, especialy for non-musicly inclined players. Although, if you did put it in a tree, you could have the wind again, as well as the tree cracking.

Speeking of non-musicly inclined players, I suggest adding an "easy" or "beginers" option, that would colour the strings and spiders (like a read back spider, for instance, but with other bright colours as well), depending on their note.


I realy like the idea, and I hope you do well. It is very creative.

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Wow !! this is one of the most interesting and original ideas I''ve ever seen . I think you''ve got the makings of a really , really interesting game here. I do hope you decide to go ahead and make it , it sounds like it could be a lot of fun.

---- People are strange.

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Thanks, I''ll look up google for FMod and AnalogX.

The game does indeed take place in a black void sorta like a dimensional warp spider thing in space.

The main reason I had wanted to include interactive music within the game is to give it more replay ability and something that could affect different strategies; I''m looking at the background music like a terrain setup for a level (imagine a rts is you will) where a certain scales could favor a certain piece of music and hinders on others. And the players can easily write up a level music with cakewalk or something and just plug it into the game; bam, instant replay possiblities. If this is taken out, well, I''ll wait and see if something else pops into my head.

I know very little of harmonic theory; the basic 2nd, 4th, major, minor, dominate 7, and 9 chords that kind of stuffs only. What I''m trying find out is there some kind of patterns during the movements within a music piece the chords follow with regards to building tensions, resolution, that kind of stuffs. Also is there a difference besides the different notes playing on say you write a piece in aoelian scales instead of ionian? Maybe different mood?

If anyone can post or give me some link to related articles you have my thanks. The articles on gamedev.net just dosen''t cover enough depths on this subject. Bummer...

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AnalogX And hey! What do you know he updated his page after about a year or so.

quote:

What I''m trying find out is there some kind of patterns during the movements within a music piece the chords follow with regards to building tensions, resolution, that kind of stuffs.


Um... yeah, that''s what makes a song a song! There are all kinds of chord progressions - 1,4,5 is a typical blues progression.

quote:

Also is there a difference besides the different notes playing on say you write a piece in aoelian scales instead of ionian? Maybe different mood?


Absolutely - ionian is the major scale - bright and cheerful. dorian has a bit of a bluesy flavor - the Doors used this mode a lot - "Light My Fire" for example - phrygdian has a flamenco flavor - "White Rabbit" (Jefferson Airplane) or "Babe I''m Gonna Leave You" (Led Zeppelin). Mixolydian has a bluesy flavor too, the Grateful Dead used this mode a lot although I can''t name any tunes - G over C - much like cross harp harmonica playing. Aoelian is the minor so you''ve already got a good feel for what that sounds like. The other two lydian and ?? aren''t used as frequently.

Well, I''m off to see what''s new at analog x. :-)



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IIRC, the Lochrian (sp?) mode used to be seen as ungodly and abominable. Something to do with it having a diminished fifth / augmented fourth from B to F, I think. Don''t take that as gospel, it''s been several years since I did any sort of music tuition.

Here''s an idea: you could use the different modes like different races in traditional RTSs. Ionian / major is the typical ''good'' race, Aoelian / minor is the average ''bad'' race, and then the other modes have more subtle philosophies and backgrounds.

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First, I need to clarify. Are you interested in harmonics or harmony? Harmony is chords and all that jazz (so to speak). Harmonics is the basic theory that makes chords sound good. I was a music theory/composition major way back... I know my chords as well as harmonic theory.

Dave Mark
Intrinsic Algorithm Development

"Reducing the world to mathematical equations!"

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quote:
Original post by LessBread
Um... yeah, that''s what makes a song a song! There are all kinds of chord progressions - 1,4,5 is a typical blues progression.


1-4-5 is a typical everything progression. It has been in use as the cadence of choice since the invention of modern Western 12-tone music by J.S. Bach in the Baroque era.



Dave Mark
Intrinsic Algorithm Development

"Reducing the world to mathematical equations!"

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Dracoliche: Yea, that''s what I was thinking. Different scales = different civilizations/races in rts.

InnocuousFox: Both harmony and harmonics.

Just to be clear, if the background musics were to be limited to something slow like a new age, slow jazz, or church organ undertone, would this work so it won''t overshadow what''s going on during the gameplay?

My icq, email, and msn are in the profile. If you guys are interested on more details or have suggestions, you know where to find me.

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Harmonics are multiples of the wave form of the "fundamental" note that is being played. For example, if we play a low note on an instrument it would have a wave frequency of "x". If we take that frequency and multiply it by the smallest whole number we can (2), we would have a new frequency that is 2x. The definition of an octave is doubling (or halving) the frequency of a note. Therefore, the first overtone over our note X would be 2X - or the same note an octave up. For purposes of this example, let's use C. The fundamental note played is a low C. Its first overtone is also a C... just an octave higher.

The next smallest whole number we can multiply X by is 3. Therefore, the next overtone is 3x... or 50% higher than the previous overtone, 2x. Well, that corresponds to a musical interval of an octave and a 5th (half an octave). The 2nd overtone (3rd note) would be a G. So now we have C-C-G.

The next overtone is the one that occurs at 4x. Note that 4x is 2*2x... or 2 octaves above the fundamental C. We now have C-C-G-C. The effect is that we have really solidified the fact that we are playing a C!

The next overtone is 5x. The difference between 4x and 5x corresponds to a major 3rd in music... which is E in our example. The overtone series now is C-C-G-C-E.

Adding the next overtone of 6x gives us an additional minor 3rd (slightly smaller than the previous major 3rd. Those of you who know the difference would note that this brings us from the E to a G. The series now stands at C-C-G-C-E-G.

At that point (#7) things are a bit muddled with something between an A and a Bb coming next. However, at 8, we are back to a multiple of 2 - and therefore another octave (or C).

The overtones that follow are so small as to not really change or reinforce the pitch of the fundamental - however, those higher overtones are what lend the individual character to a sound. This is why we can have a piano, horn, woodwind and string, all play the same fundamental - yet have them sound different enough to our ears that we can discern the difference between them. There are all differences in the overtones.

Getting back to the initial overtone series, though. If you lay out the first 8 (ignoring the 7th one) you get C-C-G-C-E-G-X-C. These notes, of course, form the basis for one of the most natural and pleasing harmonies to our ears... the major triad... in this case C-E-G.

If you were to play a low C with a G farther above it at some point, that G would be reinforcing the G that is already there as part of the overtones of the original C. That's why it sounds good together. (And is also the basis for rock guitar power chords) If you were to also play an E with your C and G, the E is reinforcing the overtone of the C as well. That is why a major chord sounds nice to us... the higher harmony notes blend well with the overtones of the fundamental. It is also why it would sound fine to play the triad together in the middle of the piano but sounds muddy when you play them all together down low. You are not only generating strong overtones from the C, you are generating them from the E and G as well... and what you would end up with from low to high is this:
C------C---G--C-E-G---C
--E------E---B--E-G#-B--E
----G------G---D--G--B-D--G

As you can see, we get a lot of conflicting notes right there where we can still hear them. If the G - and especially the E - are played higher up, by the time we get to their more ODD overtones (G#) they are high enough so as not to be competing with the strong overtones from the lower notes.

That is a starter kit for the overtone series.

Dave Mark
Intrinsic Algorithm Development

"Reducing the world to mathematical equations!"

Edited by - InnocuousFox on February 27, 2002 9:51:08 PM

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quote:
Original post by InnocuousFox
1-4-5 is a typical everything progression. It has been in use as the cadence of choice since the invention of modern Western 12-tone music by J.S. Bach in the Baroque era.


Good to know. I threw out the most obvious example from 20th c. music - one that infuses just about everything heard on the radio. The distinction between Bach and the Blues then falls to the stucture (16 bar) and the rhythym (backbeat).

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quote:
Original post by LessBread
Good to know. I threw out the most obvious example from 20th c. music - one that infuses just about everything heard on the radio. The distinction between Bach and the Blues then falls to the stucture (16 bar) and the rhythym (backbeat).


Actually, one of the big deals that sets blues apart is the fact that they throw a minor seventh on all 3 of those chords even when they don''t normally fit in the key. In the key of C -- a Bb on the C chord (I), an Eb on the F chord (IV) and the typical F on the G chord (which is a normal dominant seventh anyway).



Dave Mark
Intrinsic Algorithm Development

"Reducing the world to mathematical equations!"

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InnocuousFox: Thanks. Is there a site out there that have a comprehensive guide on this? I tried looking but all I could find is the basic stuff they teach kindergarden and middle schoolers.

The overall scales is always determined by the first note of the music piece right? or is there some exceptions? (not counting switching scale for a few meters in the mid.)

I would also like some info on the numbers of specific chord types relate to different scales. I read somewhere Ionian C chord have 2 major chords as oppose to the others... could someone explain that?

Also, Wavinator or other moderators out there, please move this post to the sound and music forum after 2 days please (March 3)as I think it''s more appropriate there

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Find a guitar chord program and play a few chords in sequence and see what you like. Don''t feel like you are limited to having some sort of 1-4-5 type thing.

If you ever get the chance to listen to a guitarist named Kurt Rosenwinkel, listen. That is an order . I saw him a couple of months ago, and the stuff he did just showed that there was a whole different world outside the standard chord changes you hear over the radio every day. A song of his, Cubism has a 12 bar head, each bar is played over a different major chord. I read the liner notes before I heard it and thought it was going to sound tacky... it didn''t, it just grooved

Experiment, see how different stuff sounds, and write down what you like - that is the only way you will get to understand it.

Trying is the first step towards failure.

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