Music input from development team.

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TimothyP
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Music input from development team.

Post by TimothyP »

Hey, team.

This post is not in regard to development of the music, but as to how the music works in the game. As I've been composing and thinking of making Wesnoth an enjoyable listening experience, I've been trying to imagine what might be the best way to use gameplay music.

Here is the way it currently works, as I understand it (I'll call it Method 1):

Method 1: Have a piece of music loop over and over until the level is completed.

You also have music play in between segments when the story is progressing, when we see the map, etc.

I was wondering if we ought to have a different method for gameplay music. My initial thoughts are something like this:

Method 2: Have all level music stored in one directory. During the level, the game randomly chooses which music to play. Then, when that piece is finished, it randomly selects another.

I'm not sure which method is best. In Method 1, the music might become boring if it takes a long time to play the level. (I'm planning to make the level music pieces about 4 minutes each).

In Method 2, no level is different from another. You hear the same music in random order on each level.

Everyone who has a choice in this matter, please let me know your thoughts.

Also, to those who have the decision making power, please let me know if there are aspects of the game for which you would like specific music composed. This is possible. I would like the game to be as musically rich as we can make it. Keep Aleksi and me updated on what you would like in terms of music.

--Timothy
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turin
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Post by turin »

I think it would be good for each scenario to have, instead of music={ONE_MUSIC_FILE}, music={MUSIC_FILE_1},{MUSIC_FILE_2},.... In other words, have each scenario give a list of music files to play, in random order. That way, each scenario will have a distinct feel to it, but none will be a boring loop of music.
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Post by martenzo »

We'll if you play a level long enough, even with method 2 they can get boring.
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TimothyP
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Post by TimothyP »

You both bring up good points.

Turin: This is how it was done in Morrowind, which was actually more like one big level, but the music was always just switching between the same exploration or battle themes throughout the game. This never got boring.

Martenzo: You're basically saying that anything repeated a bunch of times can get boring. This is sometimes true. But think of how many games loop themes over and over, but don't get boring. In fact, people like the music enough to buy the soundtracks. You didn't propose what you think is a good solution. Let us know if you have any good ideas for how the music SHOULD be done.

The discussion is still open, so please add any useful comments.

--Timothy
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Post by MRhe »

Method 2 sounds much better. More interesting, more entertaining, less repetitive.
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Post by Elvish_Pillager »

TimothyP wrote:Let us know if you have any good ideas for how the music SHOULD be done.
While I, and no doubt many others, have lots of ingenious ideas on how music should be done. the primary concern in current Wesnoth music development is actually getting any music.
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TimothyP
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Post by TimothyP »

Thanks for your replies, MRhe and Pillager.

I'm plugging away at level music right now. As of now, I have completed short musical clips that play when you win or lose a battle.

Aleksi is out of town right now. When he's back, he'll continue work on the game's main theme, I believe.

It may take a while, but it will be worth it when we're done.

--Timothy
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Post by MRhe »

TimothyP wrote:
I'm plugging away at level music right now. As of now, I have completed short musical clips that play when you win or lose a battle.
By "battle" do you mean a scenario or when one of your units kills/is killed? Because it just occured to me that it might be cool to have perhaps a fanfare when you kill an enemy and maybe some sort of dirge-esque sound when you lose a unit...
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Post by Ankka »

MRhe wrote:
TimothyP wrote:
I'm plugging away at level music right now. As of now, I have completed short musical clips that play when you win or lose a battle.
By "battle" do you mean a scenario or when one of your units kills/is killed? Because it just occured to me that it might be cool to have perhaps a fanfare when you kill an enemy and maybe some sort of dirge-esque sound when you lose a unit...
That might get boring after a while, I believe... especially in mp games, where many units die all the time...
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Post by scott »

Yeah, just make the music key take a list rather than a single value. I know I spent a long time picking the best music for each scenario in my campaign.

I don't think there are so many pieces that two or more are close together enough for me to want to put two of them in the same level. There are 3 new-agey pieces currently that would go nicely together, but otherwise I'm not sure. Maybe underground w/ the undead music could also work.

For multiplayer it might be nice to cycle through the music starting at a random position.
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TimothyP
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Post by TimothyP »

The music clips for Victory and Defeat are for the end of the campaign, not unit deaths. As someone pointed out, that would get boring and tedious.

The music is intended to add to the game, not make it cheesy. To many musical cues here and there would become goofy, I think.

--Timothy
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Post by ott »

It would be good to have the final cut for music around the same time as the translation deadline, at the end of August 2005. If it turns out we have lots and lots of great music at that stage, it might make sense to ask Dave nicely if we could support Turin's proposed syntax. Until then, remember we have a feature freeze.
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Post by TimothyP »

Music complete by the end of August? I only wish that were possible. If I were a full-time composer, then you could have a lot of music by then. As it is, you'll probably have one completed piece of level music by then, and I may have started another.

Music composition takes a long time. I don't want to sacrifice quality for the sake of rushing. Maybe Aleksi can pull off some good music for you in that time.

To be safe, don't hope for a completed soundtrack by September. Maybe by version 2.0 we'll have something to show. That will give us plenty of time to work things out exactly as we want them.

--Timothy
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Post by Dave »

We'll probably have to finalize the music, as well as all other game content around the end of August. Recommendations for what music should make the final cut would be much appreciated.

New features for music can be worked on after 1.0 is out, and can be slated to be added for 1.2. (We don't have to wait all the way until 2.0 for new features to show up in a stable version).

TimothyP, thank you for your work and your enthusiasm. I think after 1.0 is released the coders will have more time to discuss how we can enhance the game engine to better meet the needs of musicians.

David
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TimothyP
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Post by TimothyP »

Dave, do you want the Victory and Defeat clips for 1.0? Those are done and can be implemented at any time. The Victory clip is already in the music forum. I haven't uploaded the Defeat clip yet. I can do that much by the end of August. =)

The Victory clip should play whenever the player gets to the screen that says "You are victorious" or whatever (I don't remember the text right now).

The Defeat music should play if the player loses the battle.

Thanks for your comments, Dave. I think it would be better to implement the new level music all at one time, after 1.0. To add them one by one would be weird because they are so much different than the current music. To maintain uniformity, it would be best to wait until Aleksi and I have a nice solid batch of new orchestrated music to plug in.

As time goes by, Dave, just contact me via forum or PM to let me know your desires for the music.

--Timothy
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