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DF Chris Remo

Early Music

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Just be careful then, because 2 situational tracks is easier to make then trying to make a track that can upscale sound appropriate. aka, if your sound starts out with a nice bass how do you make it more dangerous? And the more variables you throw at it the harder it is the modify. aka, if danger layer can be added, and milestones can be added how do you make them function together? is danger just a faster tempo? or does it add drums. If it adds drums how many? I fear you run the risk of either the milestones or danger becoming weaker in order to incorporate them both.

The only thing I can think of is making the base song as minimalistic as possible as to allow each of the milestones and dangers to add to rather than just compliment.

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Just be careful then, because 2 situational tracks is easier to make then trying to make a track that can upscale sound appropriate. aka, if your sound starts out with a nice bass how do you make it more dangerous? And the more variables you throw at it the harder it is the modify. aka, if danger layer can be added, and milestones can be added how do you make them function together? is danger just a faster tempo? or does it add drums. If it adds drums how many? I fear you run the risk of either the milestones or danger becoming weaker in order to incorporate them both.

The only thing I can think of is making the base song as minimalistic as possible as to allow each of the milestones and dangers to add to rather than just compliment.

Right now I'm only planning on one milestone track, for the sake of time and complexity, so hopefully that won't be too much of an issue.

Danger isn't a faster tempo--all the layers have to be at the same tempo so they mesh well. It's basically a klaxon sound that overlays on top of the music in the same key and tempo as the music. Unlike FTL, our "danger" situations are immediate threats you have to deal with, not ongoing exciting things like combat. The hope is that the player deals with them quickly and moves on (or everything just goes to hell).

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makes sense, I wish you luck. I am just glad you are not biting off more than you can chew with your music :)

I haven't see a good sim game on PC in years (rooting for you guys all the way)

just a thought, for the danger layer you could easily go in the opposing direction (and make it more serious at the same time) of fading out sound and leave a bass and single melody line from the original. That way you dont run the risk of the milestone track and danger track of ever conflicting.

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makes sense, I wish you luck. I am just glad you are not biting off more than you can chew with your music :)

I haven't see a good sim game on PC in years (rooting for you guys all the way)

just a thought, for the danger layer you could easily go in the opposing direction (and make it more serious at the same time) of fading out sound and leave a bass and single melody line from the original. That way you dont run the risk of the milestone track and danger track of ever conflicting.

That's an interesting idea! I've already written the various layers for the first track, but that's definitely something to explore for the second track. I might still include elements of the klaxon, because I think it's good to maintain informational consistency for the player (ie, they have learned to recognize a certain sound for danger already).

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(if I may) if you push it one step further you can use the music to inform the player of how long the danger has been occurring.

Lets say you make it to milestone 3 and danger hits the station. Instead of a instant transition every 5-10 seconds a layer of music is removed until you reach danger level music, and once danger is averted it ramps back up at 2-4 seconds for each variation until you reach the last hit milestone track. It becomes harder to know if there is danger the more milestones you pass.

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Chris, what you showed the 2PP guys in the episode with that siren works really well for danger situations, milestone or no. I guess if it started to sound too busy you could fade out the milestone track and bring it back to the primitive base layer + danger layer, but I guess to you and people posting on the forums: the danger layer with the rhythmic siren sounds awesome.

Check out Bit.Trip Runner for a game that progressively adds layers to music. You could even subtly imply progress to milestones without adding a layer. Put a lowpass filter over each successive layer and only add the next layer on top when filter frequency comes all the way up. I'm not sure what would trigger the milestone, but imagining it was "number of happy citizens" for instance, at the beginning, there could be just the drum beat. As the number of happy citizens increases, the LP filter moves to the right on the EQ and the music feels like it begins to build. Once that base layer of music is at 100%, the process repeats for the next layer.

This could also be used so that you wouldn't necessarily need milestone layers, but just a number of layers for each station variable. Only when the station is ridiculously awesome would the music be fully unfiltered and playing. Of course, it seems that you've already done a bunch of work on layers, so maybe just filter until the next layer is reached.

EDIT: Reading my explanation, it sounds a little convoluted. I'll try to throw together a mockup.

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Chris, what you showed the 2PP guys in the episode with that siren works really well for danger situations, milestone or no. I guess if it started to sound too busy you could fade out the milestone track and bring it back to the primitive base layer + danger layer, but I guess to you and people posting on the forums: the danger layer with the rhythmic siren sounds awesome.

Check out Bit.Trip Runner for a game that progressively adds layers to music. You could even subtly imply progress to milestones without adding a layer. Put a lowpass filter over each successive layer and only add the next layer on top when filter frequency comes all the way up. I'm not sure what would trigger the milestone, but imagining it was "number of happy citizens" for instance, at the beginning, there could be just the drum beat. As the number of happy citizens increases, the LP filter moves to the right on the EQ and the music feels like it begins to build. Once that base layer of music is at 100%, the process repeats for the next layer.

This could also be used so that you wouldn't necessarily need milestone layers, but just a number of layers for each station variable. Only when the station is ridiculously awesome would the music be fully unfiltered and playing. Of course, it seems that you've already done a bunch of work on layers, so maybe just filter until the next layer is reached.

This would be awesome to do but not feasible with our current tech. We're using FMOD for our audio playback, and that theoretically supports that kind of realtime audio adjustment--but the implementation layer provided by MOAI (the engine) to hook into FMOD doesn't support FMOD event parameters, which would be required for this feature. I assume that's because MOAI is often used to target mobile devices, where multiple simultaneous audio streams are often not feasible.

Now, in our case, we're targeting PC, but I'm still unfortunately limited to what FMOD hooks I can actually call, at least without digging beyond Lua into C++. If this weren't a two-week prototype, I'm sure I could bug one of our programmers to dig into the C++ code and add support for that FMOD feature (or bite off trying to figure it out myself, I guess), but for now there are higher-priority things to deal with.

If Spacebase ever goes into full production (fingers crossed!) this thread has certainly given me plenty to think about in terms of more ambitious adaptive music systems.

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Need to check out the samples linked above, but Chris I really liked the sound of your music in the Day 3 video.

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Chris, great work. I like that it isn't layer upon layer of sound mush, but feels clean and precise. It must be really cool to be able to have your hands on so many different aspects of the game.

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Listening to AF2012 soundtrack everyday.

The pieces you wrote are perfect for the kind of game Spacebase DF-9 is. Could listen to them on loop for a long time without getting even slightly bored.

Great job, Chris!

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