Friday, 27 February 2015

Thoughts on Music in Video Games

Old 8-bit music channel tracks are cool from a programming point of view - sounds literally being generated and played as the game is going. This kind of stuff doesn't happen very often nowadays since samples, effects and the lot are very memory resource intensive so the loading times would be unreal (which they are if you've ever opened a file in FLStudio or Renoise or something).

I can understand that but it would be nice for games to implement more flexibility in music, even if its just ingenious looping of a relatively consistent song. A simple example would be the way drum loops are picked during a horde event in the Left 4 Dead series. It allows in a basic sense for each time you hear the music for it to be different, like procedural levels and characters in roguelike games. AKA, how can you add more replayability factor to music in a videogame. After all music and sound are vital parts of a gaming experience - listening is one of our five main senses, and the most potent one alongside vision.

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