Game Music: Choice, Importance & Creators
Many people think that music is secondary compared to graphics or gameplay. At the same time, developers of large-scale projects often collaborate with renowned composers to create the atmosphere. So, the legendary Hans Zimmer wrote the soundtrack for the second part of Modern Warfare. And the amazing Silent Hill was hardly so mysterious without the game music of Akira Yamaoka.
This way, don’t underestimate the soundtracks` significance! In the article, we will tell you all the important nuances: the total game music importance, the criteria for creating the perfect soundtrack, name some famous composers, and mention other key details, don’t miss it!
Creating Indescribable Atmosphere
We bet you don’t remember a single game without at least a simple background sound. Indeed, videogames are what you might call an audiovisual performance. So, visuals and sound combine to create a cohesive, interactive experience. But when one aspect ceases to contact another, players get a feeling of detachment — for instance, when they see a picture, but there is no sound or it doesn`t fit the scene.
Thus, game music allows developers to achieve several effects:
- the appropriate game music is the best way to set the right mood (blustery for fighting, dull for drama, risky for pokies, and so on);
- a pleasant soundtrack allows the user to play longer without the annoyance of monotonous audio content;
- game music increases immersiveness, forcing the player to plunge headlong into another reality.
Unlike most songs, which can sound singularly pleasing to the ear, video games` soundtracks must serve a variety of specific functions. There is no doubt that composing and arranging game music is a daunting task, but a good soundtrack can always turn ordinary entertainment into total joy.
How Do Developers Choose Tracks?
So that the sound won’t be turned off after the first experience, developers need to carefully consider its choice. The main criteria for selecting the perfect game music:
- The sound logic. The main difference between game music and movie soundtracks is interactivity. An audio content shouldn`t be clearly discordant with what is happening on the screen. Also, it should help to perceive the picture, plot, actions, and events better.
- Compliance with genre, mood, and general concept. For example, medieval motives will perfectly emphasize the epic nature of the Viking battles, and the minimalism of the dark ambient will show the mystery of an abandoned factory in the moonlight.
In addition, developers need to carefully evaluate other sound`s characteristics:
- aesthetics and compliance with the basic musical theory canons;
- absence of unnecessary noise and frequencies hitting the ears;
- musical and sound accompaniment versatility (check if everything sounds equally good on different sound systems).
Thus, choosing game music is hard work for a developer. It is necessary to take into account a huge number of factors so that the soundtrack fits into the gameplay, doesn`t bother the players, and improves the events` perception.
Famous Composers Making Game Music
If the project has a large budget, then the developers try to attract famous composers — this greatly increases the videogame`s ratings. We mentioned Hans Zimmer and Akira Yamaoka earlier, but these are not the only “legends” of creating gorgeous tracks:
- Trent Reznor created Quake soundtracks;
- Tommy Tallarico has written a huge number of masterpieces for 250+ videogames;
- Stuart Chatwood created game music for Prince of Persia;
- Jeremy Soul presented audio designs for a lot of popular developments at once: Neverwinter Nights, Dungeon Siege, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Warhammer 40,000;
- Lorne Balfe wrote soundtracks for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Crysis 2, Assassin’s Creed 3.
In addition, Jesper Kyd, Kai Rosenkranz, Sam Hulick, Jack Wall, and Inon Zur have established themselves as masters of creating the perfect game music masterpieces, too.
Gambling Slots Music
Videogames for PCs and game consoles undoubtedly contain audio content, but recently another similar area has developed very much — we mean the online gambling in virtual casinos. Interestingly, almost all slots are equipped with interesting and engaging game music.
The difficulty of creating soundtracks for slot machines is that the visual picture mostly doesn`t change, but the audio tracks shouldn`t bother the gambler. However, such well-known developers as Netent, Novomatic, Microgaming, Play`n`Go, and other leaders cope with this~ For example, the following pokies are considered the most interesting from the point of view of game music design:
- Guns N’ Roses;
- Lady in Red;
- Disco Spins;
- La Chatte Rouge;
- Samba Brazil;
- Rock ‘n’ Roller.
Having tried any of the offered slot machines, the user will agree that the creation of soundtracks for gambling doesn’t stand still, as well as the development of video game music. Check and see for yourself!