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Author Topic: General thoughts on sound and score for PARPG.  (Read 9016 times)
Dave Matney
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« on: May 19, 2009, 10:47:57 PM »

I would like to start a constructive conversation on the sound design and soundtrack for PARPG.  As many of you know, implementing sound designers and composers this early in the game isn't common (though it's not unheard of; Akira Yamaoka works on the Silent Hill games from the beginning, for instance), and there's seemingly not a lot for us to do.

But that's not the case... The sounds of the game will define many things, from the mood to the sense of isolation as well as handfuls of things I can't even think of right now.

As of right now, there is no official composer or sound designer for this game, and without anyone putting up sample material we're all in about the same place (though some are more experienced and have nicer portfolios than others).

So, I figured I'd take a lead at organizing thoughts, at least, so we can start moving forward with our section of this project.

But, first, let me pose a few questions to EVERYONE involved:

1)  What is your dream / goal for the mood and theme of PARPG?  (Note that I didn't mention sound.)  Horror, action, drama, a love story, a comedy, ect... A mix is totally acceptable, as well, such as Horror and drama, action and comedy.

2)  How much time do you feel the player should / will spend in the cities? In dungeons? In the wilderness?  A lot, a little?

Now a few questions for people who want to have a say in the sound of PARPG:

MUSIC) What are your thoughts on prominent themes and melodies within PARPG?  Should we stick with soundscapes completely, write complete pieces, or a mix of both?

MUSIC and SOUND) Should area noise, such as wind and industrial sound, be part of the music or something separate?

SOUND) Strict realism, strictly processed, or a mix?

(Please expand on this list of questions, as you feel necessary.)
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Dave Matney
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2009, 11:02:00 PM »

(For sake of keeping the first post pristine, and free of bias, I'm responding separately.)

1) I'm open to just about anything. I'd prefer horror, with a splash of action and drama.  I wouldn't mind some comedy, but it should be subtle, and i think a love story isn't impossible, but it would be hard to pull off in this setting.

2) Even though I wrote this question, I don't know how to answer it... I feel like the player should spend most of his time alone in the wilderness or in dungeons, but "most" could easily be 51%... I guess it's all a matter of where the story leads.

MUSIC) I really like themed pieces, but in an RPG I can see how they can be overdone, or not fit well at all.  I'd suggest a mix of both, with cities having more prominent melodies (to give a sense of being surrounded by life), and the wilderness being soundscapes.  I even feel that some dungeon time would benefit from complete musical silence.

MUSIC and SOUND) I can see benefits from either case. With area sounds being part of the music, it would allow us to write less music and concentrate on atmosphere.  But we'd have to have separate files for day/night and seasonal changes.

SOUND) I feel a mix would be best.
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qubodup
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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2009, 01:41:03 AM »

1. I think this is a general question mattering to visual art and story too. In any way, I want the theme to be kind of serious, but always have a strong ironic side. The music should definitely be dark and tribal but with modern elements. The sentence "we were set back into a dark stone age after the atomic bomb fell" possibly expresses what I want to say better.

2. I want much interaction with intelligent characters. But the player should decide where he spends his time.

Sounds should be not abstract Smiley all I can say
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Sirren
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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2009, 01:56:12 AM »

1) Mostly survival, but I'd like a mixture of everything. That's what I really liked about Fallout. That's also what kept Baldur's gate standing.
2) Since the game is set in Scandinavia I think there sholud be at least 51% of wilderness.
Music and sound: I agree with you.
Sound: what works best.
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meinmartini
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2009, 03:18:08 AM »

1)  Well, survivor games don't necessarily need to be filled with horror. On a personal note, I've always been fond of complex plots which drive characters to every possible brink on an emotional standpoint. For example, there's no clearcut evidence of what is "good" or "evil." Why not have characters who are "good" have to force themselves to do things that they don't want to do? Things that would make their conscience go to the brink. Force them into bitterness and depression because of the things they'd never thought they'd have to do to survive. Which in turn would leave them sour, cold, and unable to trust anyone. That would add more of an emotional-based drama into the mix. Perhaps some elements of horror. But perception of a scenario is always different depending on who depicts it. If this is a world of extreme natural selection, then there shouldn't be any uplifting, or joyous moods. I would almost say that this would be a dark drama. No matter where you turn, somebody or something is out there to kill you.

2)  I'm kind of a fan of "on the run" styles, so I wouldn't imagine that characters would want to spend an awful lot of time in any area. They'd have to move around from one city, to out in the wilderness, to caverns, dungeons, what have you. A sense of urgency, with no time to rest, would always have to be on the move.

MUSIC) A couple of character pieces wouldn't be a bad idea, or in events where a high level of drama is involved. But if we're going for a Fallout-type style, the consensus is to go with tribal percussion, some chant, amongst other different arrangements. If that's the case, perhaps emphasis would be more on strings and percussion that it would be on woodwinds and brass. Of course, this depends if you are actually composing a score, or mixing a track with a sequencer. But the two can certainly co-exist if there's a general agreement on the type of instrumentation that can be used from one piece to another.

MUSIC and SOUND) I'm not really a fan of having environmental sounds being inserted into the music, as it can cause a bit of a distraction. If there are certain atmospheric elements that ought to be brought forth, then perhaps the use of other instruments would be heavily downplayed.

SOUND) It's a strange time in a strange environment. Realism for obvious sounds would be expected, but why not twisted, processed, bizarre sounds as well?
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meinmartini
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« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2009, 04:29:42 PM »

With talk of a live demo being made available by the end of July, what are the chances of having some music readily available by then? Not a large score, mind you, but perhaps a piece or two. Not much has been discussed about the type of soundtrack that we're looking for, so I'm wondering if we're ready to start pushing some ideas forward and start making some decisions.
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Dave Matney
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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2009, 04:47:35 PM »

With talk of a live demo being made available by the end of July, what are the chances of having some music readily available by then? Not a large score, mind you, but perhaps a piece or two. Not much has been discussed about the type of soundtrack that we're looking for, so I'm wondering if we're ready to start pushing some ideas forward and start making some decisions.

I think it's something to aim for, for sure.  Let's see what we can come up with.
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maximinus
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« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2009, 05:23:12 PM »

I'd prefer 'minimalistic music with simple instruments' because the world should be a little minimalistic. Also minimalistic doesn't sound so repetitive when looped.
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meinmartini
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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2009, 06:03:13 PM »

I'd prefer 'minimalistic music with simple instruments' because the world should be a little minimalistic. Also minimalistic doesn't sound so repetitive when looped.
Minimalist as in few musical ideas within a piece, or structurally minimalist with limited instruments - or both?
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maximinus
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« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2009, 06:37:41 PM »

Probably both.
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mvBarracuda
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« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2009, 01:45:44 PM »

I'll add two tracks created by timong into SVN in the course of the week. We can surely find a place for them. One option is to shuffle the tracks so there would be no strict map <> song binding. The other option is to use one specific song for every ingame map. Thoughts?
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Q_x
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« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2009, 09:14:00 PM »

http://forums.parpg.net/index.php?topic=538.0
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meinmartini
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« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2009, 02:45:00 AM »

Q_x, that thread isn't even that related to this one; why are you trying to link them? Yours is about generating a playlist of sorts. This is about the construction of the soundtrack as a whole.
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Q_x
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« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2009, 09:01:50 AM »

It is somehow related to previous Barra's post - and this one was related to our IRC talk just before.
It's offtopic - ok, agree. But its a short one. Not try to link them togther, just as Barra wrote - exchanging thoughts, random telepathy.

Please forgive me if I act like tasmanian devil of cartoon kind
And if my votes in discussion are 100% missed - just let moderator delete it please or point me and I'll do it on my own.
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shevegen
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« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2009, 06:28:52 PM »

I don't think many posts are deleted ;-)

What I think might be realistic is if we aim to have sound for "settings", so that it is different whether the actor is inside a town/mall, or outside where it is cold and stuff
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