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Article - 'Choosing Music' by polski

An item about Game Design posted on Jan 1, 1970

Blurb

Kazeuri talks about how to choose correct music for your game, and how to use music effectively.

Body

Game-music

O.k. I am not a master composer myself, but these are general tips all of you people making a game should follow when making music, or even adding some to your latest RM2K adventure.

First, choose a mood. I am sure a bongo instrumental will not fit well in Dracula's Castle. Choose music that fits the mood. Too many games I have seen recently just seem to pull music out of the air because it sounds good. Not because it fits into the game.

Second, listen to the piece a bit. Play the game with the selected track. Make sure it is what you want. Try to avoid tracks with stops between loops. When you use these, you music becomes repetative. If no one can tell it is looping, it isn't.

When changing tracks, use the Fade out, and Fade In options. Your music will sound more professional, and add a little bit more to the scene. If the selected piece you have chosen needs to be 'changed' in some way, you can always set the tempo to add a very nice effect to the player.

Do stick with one track for characters. Kind of like a 'Theme song'. Try not to play it too often though. Then it will become annoying. Having the same music for every single dungeon is BAD. Please, try to use your noggin and import more files. Maybe the same song can be played at a slower tempo in a dungeon of the same type once in a while, but show some variation.

Along with making sure the music fits the mood, you can also fit it to the actions occuring. On a very high note, flash the screen or something. Maybe every time the bass hits, have a rock that was falling off of a cliff hit the ground. It seems kind of strange, and you could just use SFX, but when things fit to the music like that, it really adds a lot to your game.

There is only one place I know that has a large wealth of music that I usually get my music from. Midi files are hard to come by. Making your own always is an option. Remember the above before composing your next symphony though. If you are 'musicaly challenged' though, there is hope yet! Go to http://www.VGMusic.com , There, you will find a large data-base of music at your finger-tips. If not there, look in the special GAMING WORLD music section for EXCLUSIVE tracks. Make sure when you are done writting your game music you submit it to GAMING WORLD as well. Having more music in our archives really helps people.



---Kazeuri