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SND - IDEAS & RESOURCES - Interactive Music

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#1 ATeX


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Posted 08 February 2004 - 11:30 AM


actually a very simple question: Why don't we make something like the programmers and composers did in Aliens versus Predator 2. The music loops the whole time and some other music gets played over it with the help of programmed triggers (like in Xenocide it will be more like when u see an alien or something, or when u get thru a door -> any scary moment)

Or for example when u get in another area the music suddenly changes. But because of the fact that there is little or no harmony, the player doesn't notice that there are 2 files playing. So it gives the impression that the music totally supports the feelings of the player and enhances the scaryness.

For the ones who haven't played aliens versus predator 2, try it!!!! It Rocks!! :D

#2 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 12:42 PM

I like the idea, just like I liked it in AVP2. But wouldn't it be time consuming to program?
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#3 ATeX


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Posted 08 February 2004 - 01:29 PM

I might take some more time (as well for me as for the programmers). But the advantages of this will be enormous because the feeling will get a lot tenser and songs will also have a much longer usefull lifetime, if u know what I mean. ^_^

#4 Guest_drewid_*

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 02:19 PM

A better system is to have a number of channels playing in the same track.
some can be mono and some stereo, to make more variety
so the channels might be something like.

1 bass (mono)
2 sparse percussion (mono)
3 extra percussion (mono)
4 Dramatic deep strings
5 Dramatic deep strings
6 main theme
7 main theme
8 Lonely high string

And what you do is write a parser to take in game event states and feed the music system with a mix value for each track.

So "no aliens spotted" event might just be "high string" and "sparse percussion"
"spotted alien" might mix in some "dramatic deep strings" and "extra percussion"
"fire fight" might bring in main theme as well. etc.
We had a system like this coded for Alliance and it sounded damn good.
some small problems with processor time but machines were a lot slower then so I would guess its not a problem now.

#5 ATeX


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Posted 10 February 2004 - 04:09 AM

But that would require me to code the stereo effects, timing etc because of the timing. or are there any musicians here who are able to do such a thing?

Altough, it's still also possible to make it so abstract (without rythm and harmonics) that everything is possible. But that would also destroy any musical meaning.

#6 Guest_drewid_*

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 07:27 AM

Why? it's effectively a single piece but with eight tracks, like a pre-mix.
or am I missing something.

The timing is the same on all channels.

As a simple (ie crap) example: A classical piece, but with different sections of the orchestra being mixed in and out by an engineer. The whole piece is a single piece of music. The timing is tha same throughout the orchestra. If all the instruments are playing it sounds fine, if the engineer turns everything off except the strings it still sounds fine, just different.

You would need a tool writing possibly, but it might only be a simple MFC app. I don't know what tools you use. IIRC the way we did it for the tests was using cubase. Musician wrote the piece in cubase, it was mixed into eight channels, each channel was exported as a mono wav file, and the tool loaded a set of eight wavs and played them all simultaneously on a soundblaster.

The tool was a windows MFC box with eight sliders, so we could set up a mix, then write down the mix setting and send them to the coders

#7 ATeX


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Posted 10 February 2004 - 08:11 AM

Ah yes, in that case it will be easy. I just tought that I'd have to make something like a puzzle which could be set up on different ways. Altough, that might be interesting too :D But then the code will drastically improve in difficulty I suppose. But in any case, u guys are interested then?

I'll see what I can do meanwhile. :wink:

#8 Guest_drewid_*

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 03:11 PM

You will need some sort of tool writing I guess. Hey coder guys, does OGRE have any sound extensions yet?

Worth doing for sure, when it works it really works well for adding atmosphere.
Sound is more than 50% or the experience IMHO.

Edited by drewid, 10 February 2004 - 03:12 PM.

#9 ATeX


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Posted 11 February 2004 - 05:06 AM

hehe :) yes it does idd

Actually I began this topic because I was so stunned about the effect of the interactive music in AvP 2. It really adds a lot of atmosphere and it almost never gets boring. It really does improve the game :D

I think I'll have to buy some more RAM so that I can put the whole orchestra into GigaStudio and try to get a track like the one of AvP 2 (more complex) going ^_^ especially one like you hear when u're playing the marine! :D

about those sound extensions in OGRE, let's post a new topic for the coders :wink:

#10 dipstick



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Posted 27 March 2004 - 01:02 PM

Another example is Splinter Cell - just try setting an alarm off on SP2..... WAAHHHHAAA :D (XBOX version though...)
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#11 mikker


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Posted 27 March 2004 - 05:04 PM

we could do something really really easy (well, i think so). Have diffrent music-numbers play over each other, like;


etc, and they play over each other (like, its about the exact same melody, but they don't have the same intensity). At start, only 1 is turned on (played), but the others follow it, and therefore can take over from the exact point (it could fate in, like 50% 1, and 50% 2) so the music doesn't have to reset each time. This would raise the harmony of the diffrent tracks, and it doesn't sound stupid.

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#12 ATeX


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Posted 29 March 2004 - 07:06 AM

hmmm, yes, ic

In that case, if u'd just want to let 3 pieces of music play over each other they can't have too complex harmony. Otherwise it will sound totally out of tune (like a very bad dj) I'll try some stuff during my holidays (in 1 week) :wink:


#13 Deimos



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Posted 29 March 2004 - 09:41 AM

Gents, you should read http://www.gamasutra...itmore_01.shtml this article on producing dynamic game music. You'll need to log in to read it but its a very good resource in general and they don't spam either. Well worth a read.

#14 Guest_drewid_*

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 02:34 PM

i'd second that. Gamasutra is a very very cool resource. worth searching for whatever ails you.