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Tunes, Anybody?

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#1 Metalfrenchtoast



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Posted 02 March 2005 - 12:28 PM

I don't know if this has already been discussed or not, but I think it's really important that there's a larger sound track to the game. Maybe even situationally activated musical scores? You know, enemy contact, that sort of thing. When an interceptor is persuing a UFO, music could reflect how well or how badly the battle is going. Land operations have a lot of possibilities here, I think. there are so many factors here that could change the feel of the music. For instance, sudden moral drop could bring the music to a desperate, more manic tempo. Lots of disonance and chaos. And THIS can also be changed slightly by how severe the problem is, ranging from one guy losing it in the middle of a fire-fight to the whole team losing organisation because of some massive alien weapon or moral-dropping tactive (Geurilla tactics, soldiers being picked off by unseen enemies, mind probes). Also, if your soldiers notice a sudden morale drop of the enemy, bravery could rise drastically and turn the music into a more triumphant sort of score. I don't know, I think if I could get my hands on the right software (And I might be able to), I could definately help in that feild.
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#2 NKF



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Posted 03 March 2005 - 02:39 AM

I think Morrowind had a simple method for expanding the number of tunes it can play.

Simply put, it has several event directories under its music directory. These were pretty basic but good enough. One for normal exploration, one for combat, and another for scripted events (i.e. intro, etc). Not too sure about the special events, but for the exploration and combat, all you needed to do was put mp3s of your own into these folders and the game would automatically load all the files into a playlist of sorts and randomly play the song during these events (I now have the odd combat events with the Trogdor theme...).

The nice part about this is that you can put as many songs into the directory you want and they intergrate themselves with the game almost seamlessly.

Rather a simple but robust solution for expanding the soundtrack, especially for modders, don't you think?

To achieve what you want, you could make an exhaustive list of all the possible events that can happen in the game and then make music for all of them. Geoscape and battlescape would obviously have their own tracks. The could probably even then be subdivided into 'mood's. The game just does a bit of magic, determines the mood of the current game based on all sorts of factors and then plays a random song from the apropriate music directory.

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#3 Exo2000



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Posted 18 March 2005 - 04:32 AM

Sounds almost like Crimsonland.. ok, maybe not, but that plays a random track you put in it's music directory each "round" or "level", more like Morrowind.

I think NKF's pinned it down nice and easy, all you have to do is name the file appropriately (battlescape_losing (many men are dead and you're almost out of ammo), geoscape_dominant (you're schooling all alien vessels in flight and you have at least 1 more base than them), intercept_pursuit (if your interceptors are bearing down on a UFO, all guns blazing), etc.) and you're getting somewhere.

EDIT: What I just said -also- makes it very easy for players to implement their own music. All they have to do is rename the file and stick it in the music directory, replacing one of the existing ones.

Edited by Exo2000, 18 March 2005 - 04:34 AM.

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#4 ATeX


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Posted 18 March 2005 - 02:45 PM

Actually I mentioned that idea about a year ago in this topic. But I agree... it would definitely add more ambience to the game... nevertheless it is a LOT more work and therefor... (at least for me, as I'm a busy guy) quite impossible to make.

great idea idd...


#5 Exo2000



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Posted 18 March 2005 - 03:32 PM

Potentially, the clips needn't be long, all they'd have to do is seamlessly loop around.

Aftermath's music was genius. One backing track with randomly played noises. Random each time, amazingly atmospheric for the cities. Still, nothing like Abomination. That was, perhaps, one of the few games that ever scared me. And I mean -SERIOUSLY- scared me.
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#6 NKF



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Posted 18 March 2005 - 04:09 PM

Actually, let me try to clarify my thought on the subject.

I was thinking more of event folders rather than to have to make the player (the 'player' player - not the music player) rename the music files manually.

I mean to just put music files compatible with the game in the right directory and then when the game loads up, it scans the directories, loads them into a playing list (which are shuffled from time to time - with one for each event). Then whenever an event is called, the game just refers to the apropriate list for a song and is given a song at random.

For example, you could have:

music\special_events (for ambient special effects and for intro/outros, etc)

(OR if you want, just simplify it and toss out the game moods and you'd only get three directories - less work)

Players would just copy whatever music file they want, as long as its compatible, into the apropriate directory (except the speial events directory) to add to the game's list of songs.

I can visualise how this could be achieved with a few classes. If the game is already set up to play music at certain moments, all you'd need is to replace the filenames with a function that refers to the right music list, which will return a random(or the next) name in the list and then play it as it normally would.

But the main problem that I can see is to be able to scan the directories for filenames. I'm not familiar enough with any cross-platform programming languages (or whatever the core programming language Xenocide is using) to know if there's a function that'll let you do that on all operating systems.

Did that make any sense? Oh never mind. I'm just tossing a random idea onto the pile anyway.


Edited by NKF, 18 March 2005 - 04:13 PM.

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#7 Snakeman



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Posted 18 March 2005 - 11:52 PM

I like this concept as well. On a similar issue, I remember a different game, they allowed you to pile on sound files for the taunting command. Age of Empires let you add any .wav files you wanted, but you did have to rename it to the game's native extention it used (forget what it was but it wasn't .wav files) plus a number at the end. You could substitute in the ones you wanted, binding them to the key its self (and if I remember right, if you wanted to play any not binded, you executed it in the window bar much like you would with cheats I think).

On a separate note, if this game were to see life in CD-ROM form, it'd be interesting if the game disk its self could have a dual use if playing just the audio to hear the music. Granted, its not the same as integrating your own substitutonal music on your computer, but this is mainly to address if you'd wanted to hear the game's orginial scores.

I realize though that this game will probably be in downloadable form, so I doubt CDs would be the way to go. Besides, its much easier to update game data via the net then spend the costs to produce and have available CD versions.

Its one of the things I never understood in mainstream gaming these days however. i.e. Why sell game soundtracks, or for that matter film soundtracks separate (granted its more money to publishers, but not very efficient)? Personally if I had to buy a hard copy disk for gaming or for films and I was interested as well in the game/film music, I'd prefer soundtracks already be there on the disk to be listened to if used in a basic audio player.

Carmageddon did this, and I always thought that was cool of them. Even though that game is a coaster in my collection more or less (can't play it unless I downgrade equipment), I can still listen to the music that came on it.

Anyway, didn't mean to stray too far off the subject, but I do like the mod idea of implimenting options within the music directories to add non-native music - or sounds for that matter.