Edit: This doesn't apply for those that currently just want to know how their music sounds. That's more than fine to ask! But if you're also wanting to know how applicable your music is for video game projects, then the following items apply:
- Does your audio fit the tech needs of the project? If you're hoping to write for hardware with speakers, does the music sound good on those speakers?
- Does it loop seamlessy? I have yet to see a single one of these kinds of posts feature their music looping. If the client wants it to loop, can you make it do that?
- Does your music fit the genre(s) you're aiming for? Note: sometimes doing something new and unexpected works great so you don't always have to align to expectations and cliches.
- Is your track the right length? This can be really hard to know when writing music without a project but play some video games and take note of how long the tracks are. For example an open world RPG usually has fairly long tracks. If you look at the Oblivion OST, for example, there are four tracks over the four minute mark then most are either about 1 minute to 2 minute marks. If your track is 7 minutes long then it might not be used in many kinds of video games. Likewise if your music track is only 20 seconds long and fairly repetitive content-wise then it might get really annoying in some games.
- Here's a good tip: take your track, place it on loop then do something for 20-30 minutes. If you're still able to listen to the track and not be annoyed or want to change things, you're good! If you're ripping out your hair by the end then that particular track wont work well in a long, looping situation.
- Can your music be made interactive? If a client asked for it, could you create stems which the client would be able to toggle on or off and make the music sound natural and appropriate at all levels? What about transitions from song to song?
- Does your music leave enough room for sound effects? The audio engine and other sound crew will hopefully help with mixing, ducking, etc but you want to be mindful of other audio elements in the game. If you make the music too active it will sound cluttered once the sound design and any dialogue is added in.
- Do the old A/B comparison trick. Let's say you're really wanting to write something that would work in a racing game. Draft something up then compare/contrast your cue against a racing game cue you really like and respect from a well known AAA title.
Simply asking if something is "useful" or "good" is so subjective that you're most likely not going to get the type of feedback that would really be helpful. Instead give us some more info. As you can see by this relatively short list - there's so much more than goes into making useful, appropriate video game music than how it sounds.
Edited by nsmadsen, 06 May 2012 - 07:26 AM.