Sound Design #2: Attentive music matters
These days the development of RPGs – if you have a closer look at the technical side – focused on the graphics-part. Sure, music and sound effects are somehow important, too. But the main focus is definitely on the graphics side. That’s sad.
You know, the first real cRPGs had their focus not on the graphics. Graphics weren’t as good as these days of course. That wasn’t possible due to the hardware-limitations. People had to use the music, they had to use sound effects to create atmosphere. Nowadays you use some super hyper graphics, put in some epic music and think “well, that’s atmosphere!”. And in this case you couldn’t be more wrong.
Music is a very subliminal way to manipulate the mood of the player. Especially in videogames it can affect the mood in so many ways. And that’s why we not only have a look at the graphics but also on the music (and on the sound effects, as you already know). We’ve given and we will give a lot of attention to the creation of the music for Chaos Chronicles.
Currently we are working on the different combat themes. You’re eyes aren’t foolin’ you: To achieve a deep atmosphere here we decided to not only have one, but several themes. We had the feeling that the players feeling should differ if he (or she) is fighting against different types of opponents. So we made the decision to go for unique themes for each type of enemy.
An example: Skeletons are different from human knights. They do not only look different, they do not only fight different, no, they also have to sound different. And you need another atmosphere for both of them. Or think about goblins vs. a diabolic demon. Shouldn’t be the same theme, should it?
What does that mean? We’ll explain that. Every type of enemy will have it’s own rhythm, harmony or melody and even it’s own signature instruments as an addition to the original Chaos Chronicles instrument setup (which consists of a string sextet, some large o-Daiko Drums and several more instruments that have a very unique sound that perfectly fits to the dark and gloomy mood of our game).
We guess you want to see (or hear) some example, right? Alright. Let’s have a look at the undead. If you fight against these you will hear (besides the mentioned instruments) a scary sounding Indian dilruba and anklungs which sound a bit like rattling bones.
Now that you’ve read so many words you’ll also get something to listen. Three examples. Each one standing for a different type of enemy. But please keep in mind: We have reduced the quality of these MP3s for several reasons. The first one being the traffic on the blog (as visitor numbers are growing and growing). The second reason is the fact that you’ll be able to enjoy the final quality in the final game (and keep in mind that some music parts might change during the process as everything is still work in progress).
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