Last week I got an opportunity to share the whole process of making music for game in one event called Game Music talk #1. In this article I’ll talk the first process of making music for game that’s Process 1 : Preparation.
Before you compose the music, you must to make a good preparation, because it’ll help you for the long term development. Here’s the preparation process:
- Coordination With The Team
This phase is the most important thing in this process, so you must make it good. For the external composer like me, I usually work remotely with the team and I mostly work with different team in every project . So the first thing that I build is making a good coordination and communication with them.
- Gather Some Data of The Game
The second phase is gather some data of the game, so usually I make a list for the data that I need for composing the music. Here’s my list:
• GDD (Game Design Document)
• Concept Art
• Gameplay Capture
• Dialogue Script
• Sound Asset List
- Ask The Objective of The Game
What the objective of the game? What platform that the game in? This question can help you to make a frame for your music.
For example, if you get the web based game, the concern of your music is output size, you must optimize the music and the output size, bigger size make slower game access.
- Make A Music Design Document
After the information is enough for you, make a music design document. Combine your idea with the materials. And make a good document become a great information to compose the music.
There are 3 things that you can do before composing game music:
Gather Some Data of The Game
Gather some data of the game, such as story of the game, concept art, gameplay, and etc. These things help you to compose the music easily, and also to guide you to get into the game. If you done with this thing, you have to take time for enjoying the data.
Ask The objective of The Game
Ask the game producer about the objective of the game, especially what platform the game will be delivered? This thing will guide you for the music optimalizing. If the objective is the web based game, you have to reduce the output size until get the optimal point. So many way to do it, such as you can reduce the layer of the music or you can downsize the bit rate of the music, and etc. But if the objective is the opposite, there’s no issue with the size. But moral of the story of this phase is Ask the objective the game.
Make a Research
Please take time for the research, after you get the data you have to do research. Looking for the other data which related to the game, such as the style of the music, related game genre and listen to their music. After that please collaborate with the older and see what happen!
Generally sound design for sound techniques divided by 2 technics, there are foley and synthesizing technique. I will share to you my experience of making the sound with sophisticated tools.
If you wanna make a real sound such as a footstep, sound of wind even the building collapse, this technique can make it happen. What you need is just a mic. It is recommended if you use the condensor microphone because it’s more sensitive than the dynamic microphone. But if you use the condenser microphone you need a silent room, and if your room is not a recording studio just make the environment silent, it will work.
If you wanna make a fiction sound, this technique will help you to make it happen. You can make the sound such as a outerspace sound, sci fi sound, and etc. In this technique you must have a synthesizer (Analog/Vsti) for making the sound.
I think emotion is the most important thing in the music. In video game we as a composer has a lot of limitation for deliver the message into the game such as time estimation, size, etc. but you can not ignore to put emotion into the music.
And then how to put the emotion into the music with some limitation on that?
It’s so simple, there are a lot of approach you can use. If you are accustomed made music by generally, you still do it. You can make the whole music and you can cut into piece. But don’t forget to put the dynamics into the music for easier you to cut it and to fit the music in the moment on the game. This approach can mediate you and the limitation, so you can put your emotion on your music by made music by generally, and you can face the limitation of the game.
In developing Music particularly game music has a different approach, we must pay attention to several aspect for developing the music. Usually after read the game design document we as a composer faced the challenge like “how the music can deliver the message into the game?”. So, there are 3 aspect that can help you for developing game music, there are Objective the game, Story Line, Visual Art.
Objective The Game
This aspect is very important to note before we develop the game music, this thing help you for easier you in technical side there are the time estimation for the music and the output size of the music. For the example if the objective the game is web based game we faced of many limitation such as the one and only is output size of the music. So we can consider how long the music is, what the most optimal format for the music, and how big the output size. So it’s really helpful.
Story line is the best online casino general overview of the game, so this aspect is very helpful for transfer the message of the game into the music. For the example to describe the sadness trough the music, Story Line can describe the level of the sadness, so we can easier imagine what the kind of sound it is.
Visual art is the most helpful aspect in this case, but mostly we are required doing the parallel working because the limitation of time development. Basically the function almost same with the story line, the Visual art can help us easier to entire the game, giving the emotion of the game, and build the ambiance of the game. But don’t worry if we don’t get the Visual art before we can jump in to the story line it was quite helpful for developing game music without this aspect.