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Author Topic: My thoughts about music in the skirmish mode  (Read 3023 times)

Ildamos

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My thoughts about music in the skirmish mode
« on: September 06, 2009, 07:09:48 am »
I fired up the skirmish mode and got surprised when the music began. Don't get me wrong it's good but the inclusion of the singer's voice and the cheering of the crowd really shattered the atmosphere.

Also, too upbeat a track is IMO for a turn-based game. The words/phrases for to keep in mind should be: creepy, enigmatic, not sleep-inducing but not too adrenaline pumping either; whats around that corner.

I'm not a music pro and this is just my opinion but too metal/rock a music is out of the turn-based genre's bounds. Music like that is more in the vein of Grand Theft Auto or Serious Sam or FEAR, not X-Com, UFO: AI, IGPX.

The music for the singleplayer campaign is PERFECT.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying the music is bad. I'm saying it removes me from the world of UFO: AI.

Just my two cents.

Offline Destructavator

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Re: My thoughts about music in the skirmish mode
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2009, 07:52:37 am »
It sounds like you heard the Russian "defeat fear" track, which is one of a number of tracks for the battlescape - IIRC the music is, or is at least supposed to be picked at random from a list of tracks.  If you play again you should get a different track.

Edit:  We actually have quite a collection of tracks for the battlescape missions now, but they came from various places over time, here and there, and they aren't exactly consistent - I think it has to do with how many people come and donate music and what the lead devs can choose from, as well as the fact that everyone who comes to donate tracks wants to donate what they would like to hear during missions.

If we got even more tracks offered, perhaps one day we could organize them into categories, and have an option in the main menu for a "soundtrack genre selection."  Personally I think that would be really nice, and its a shame I haven't seen other games offer such a thing for customizing gameplay.  I remember seeing reviews of this game on other sites where some people like the existing tracks, other people complain about it, I remember one person said "the electro-jazz music puts me to sleep..."  (That's what that one person called it.)
« Last Edit: September 06, 2009, 08:01:41 am by Destructavator »

Ildamos

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Re: My thoughts about music in the skirmish mode
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2009, 06:05:25 pm »
I'm not a music pro but the heavy metal/rock thing is definitely not "it" for this game. As for:

"the electro-jazz music puts me to sleep..."  --- hmm. I find the current campaign music perfect but if there are really people like this, the team could go for something creepy/intriguing but has an electro beat that's still not disruptive enough.

I realize it's not easy to get talent for this department but trust me guys, this is something we all should seriously consider --- atmosphere is a major factor of the gameplay experience and inserting a track with vocals and audience sounds is a very bad idea.

Destructavator is right though --- inserting a "track player" should solve subjective issues. I think it'll bloat the installer though. Or will it?



EDIT: I just played the game again and I noticed that the repertoire of eerie music has expanded. Good job! These are excellent! There also was one track where it was noisy but it was the right kind of.

Idea: Can we see a list of music tracks? Where are they kept? We can then make a poll of some sorts.

Just my two cents.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 06:17:42 pm by Ildamos »

Offline Destructavator

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Re: My thoughts about music in the skirmish mode
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2009, 09:28:56 pm »
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"the electro-jazz music puts me to sleep..."  --- hmm. I find the current campaign music perfect but if there are really people like this, the team could go for something creepy/intriguing but has an electro beat that's still not disruptive enough.

I think part of what's going on is a generation thing - meaning some players grew up with the original X-COM/UFO and are adults now, while other players are kids who never played the original game because of their age and when it came out, and for one reason or another find UFO: AI on the net and try it out then review it.

Point being, you have more than one generation and age group playing the game, and different tastes, likes and dislikes for certain types of music.  This brings me to my next point:

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Destructavator is right though --- inserting a "track player" should solve subjective issues. I think it'll bloat the installer though. Or will it?

I didn't quite mean this, but you're close - what I meant was organizing the many soundtracks into groups based on genre, then having a game option for choosing which set to use for the game.  Someone who likes gentle, atmospheric sounds could choose the "atmospheric" setting for the option in the main menu, and they would hear those types of tracks when they play.  Some young kid who head-bangs to pounding progressive metal or something could choose a different setting in the main menu, and they would hear tracks from a different group when they play.

This proposal wouldn't add too much "bloat" to the game, not a lot of extra code-work really, depending on how it would be implemented, and we almost have enough tracks in the collection for grouping them in such a way, which, for your question:

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Idea: Can we see a list of music tracks? Where are they kept? We can then make a poll of some sorts.

Yes, they are all OGG files, under "base" then "music" if you have an SVN copy, otherwise if you grabbed an installer and have PK3s, un-zip the "music" pk3 and you'll have all the current accepted tracks.

You can play OGGs with the open-source VLC media player, which does also come in a portable version if you don't want to install unfamiliar programs.

Ildamos

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Re: My thoughts about music in the skirmish mode
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2009, 01:15:21 pm »
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I think part of what's going on is a generation thing -

I don't agree. Certain types of music do fit certain video game genres. But anyway, ya, there's nothing wrong with your suggestion. This will ensure everyone's happy.

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then having a game option for choosing which set to use for the game.

Brilliant.

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Yes, they are all OGG files, under "base" then "music" if you have an SVN copy, otherwise if you grabbed an installer and have PK3s, un-zip the "music" pk3 and you'll have all the current accepted tracks.

Thanks!

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unfamiliar programs.

I know VLC.   :D I'm a freeware freak. Here's an article of mine about it: Video LAN VLC Media Player Free Download Version 1.0.0

The site also extends to gaming. Here's my review about the freeware MechCommander Gold: Downloadable PC Full Version Freeware Real-Time Strategy (RTS) Game Battletech - MechCommander Gold

When v2.3 comes out, I will feature it on my site.

Offline Precisionist

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Re: My thoughts about music in the skirmish mode
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2010, 09:16:32 pm »
I know this is an old thread, but I posted a thread about this on the Mods board.  I believe the track mentioned here is also in 2.3, the one with the cheering at the end.  Not only is the track annoyingly loud compared to the rest of the music, but at one point the cheering kicked in right after one of my soldiers got vaporized  >:(

Not to sound like a music snob, but IMO there's two styles of music:  Music that forces you to listen to it (hard rock, rap, country, and any music with interesting lyrics) and then there is music that you can "hear" without listening to it (ambient, New Age, techno).  The latter is what I like to work and game to.

Anyways, I'm wondering where the music files are in 2.3 (I looked under "Base" and didnt see a music folder) and if it's possible for a user to customize the tracks, or add new music.

I also like the idea of an in-game track list selector.  Maybe even take that a step further and put in an uploader, so you can add downloaded tracks to the game (like an in-game Ipod) ;)

Offline Hertzila

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Re: My thoughts about music in the skirmish mode
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2010, 11:31:01 pm »
As said, in the 0music.pk3. It's a zip file by a different name so any compressing/archiving program and its predecessor should open it.