Audio Blog 02 – Musical Fun Time Happy Theatre

Ahoy!

Jaime here, and this time around I’m going to be talking about our plans for the music system, as well as some of the things I’m hoping to channel and recommendations from the team regarding what they think the game should sound like musically. This’ll be a fairly short one, so don’t worry!

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve a bit of a soft spot for Akira Yamaoka’s work on the Silent Hill series and was pretty determined to use the first game as a jumping off point for the game’s music. It has a far noisier, more industrial feel compared to the later, slightly more melodious and ambient soundtracks. Compare and contrast, here’s “Until Death” from the first game, which is pretty representative of the rest of the OST:

And here’s “White Noiz” from the second game, which is simillar in feel to its music:

Obviously the 1st track is faster paced and more primal, but both manage to set up the feeling of unease and tension relative to each game.

Given our game’s locale, and the brutish attitude of the monster, you can imagine something similar to “Until Death” as it rampages through corridors at you, with metallic thundering in the background as you try to run and hide.

From the design Grant pitched in with a few suggestions, first of which was S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, which very much fits into type of ambience that we’d be hoping for the game: metallic, unsettling drones. Have a listen:

He also put forward Call of Cthulhu, which you may also recall from our inspiration day post. Given our somewhat nautical setting it seemed a bit appropriate anyway:

Grant also swears by playing them both at the same time. Just wait until the title music’s done though.

Of course, having music is only half the battle. There’s also when it needs to come in. I’ve been trying to work out a little dynamic music system with Gary that’s tied to the monster’s alertness. I’d write some spiel but it’s TIME FOR GRAPHS!

It was 2 seconds in Paint…

Basically, the first musical theme, “Wandering”, will only be heard once. It’s pretty pared back and empty, but should have enough going on to tell the listener that something’s not right. After the first chase sequence the “Wandering” theme is replaced with the “Stalked” theme, as the mood and scenario of the game shifts from “explore the spooky ship” to “get off the ship which being squished”. The “Alerted” section is there in case the player triggers any actions that make the monster aware to their presence without being actually spotted, giving the cue that the monster’s alertness is quite high. The “Cool Downs” work in the same way in each scenario, ramping down from their intense themes to the comparatively calmer “Stalked” theme. Finally, “Spotted” is more like a stinger, think the DUN! from Monster Hunter and you’ll be in the right place.

It doesn’t take any diegetic music that may occur in the game into consideration, as it’s relative to how close to the sound the player is. But that’s for another time.

So until then, feel free to have a wee wander around to this:

Cheers!

 

–  Jaime