Music Design for Game Development Studios (PDF)

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Music can turn a game into an unforgettable experience for game players. The music designer makes that happen by choosing the right music for corresponding game elements and how this music responds in real time. Every location of the game's world, every gameplay element, and every twist of the story may give a cue for music to play.

Music design bridges game design, music composition, and development. All music-related decisions must be aligned with the artistic vision of the project's creative director, communicated to the composer, and assigned to the developers. If not, the studio will waste the composer's talent and miss an opportunity to make the game more compelling through astounding music.

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Contents of the book:

• Important of Music
• Making Music for Video Games
• Design First, Compose Later
• Music Design and Implementation

Music in Video Games
• Movie Soundtracks vs. Video Game Soundtracks
• Adaptive Music
• Procedural Music (= Generative Music)
• Static Music

Music Design
• Sources of Information about the Game
• Ownership of Music
• Music Must Be Legible
• Genres
• Choosing a Genre
• Genres are Languages
• What is “Good Music”?
• Genres in Adaptive Music

High-level Music Design
• Types of Music
• Musical Contexts
• Simultaneous Contexts
• Numeric Parameters
• When to Change the Music?
• Amount of Assets
• Use of Silence
• Frequency of Changes
• Musical Contexts in Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Musical Contexts
• Location-driven Contexts (Exploration Music)
• Biomes
• Indoor / Outdoor
• Day / Night Cycle
• Sunset and Sunrise
• Weather
• Stealth, Trespass, and Crime
• Combats and Conflicts
• Combat in Kingdom Come: Deliverance
• Minigame Contexts
• Dice Minigame in Kingdom Come: Deliverance
• Racing
• Story-driven Contexts
• GUI-driven Contexts
• Music for Dialogs

Low-level Music Design
• Scenes and Transitions
• Selection Conditions

• Linking Segments
• Duration and Silence
• Segment Durations with Live Recordings
• Choice of Nominal Duration
• Resequencing with Partial Segments
• RGB Transitions in Kingdom Come: Deliverance
• Gregorian Chant in Kingdom Come: Deliverance
• Resequencing with Harmonic Progressions

Reorchestration (Layering)
• Three and More Mixes
• Layering with Transients
• Layering with Melodies
• Polyphony
• Versions of Melody
• Playback Modulation
• Reorchestration in The Space Game (2009)

• Audio Implementation
• Music Implementation
• Game-side Music Model
• Dynamic Balancing of Context Exposure

• Sample Rate Mismatch (44,100 vs 48,000)
• Sample Rate Drift
• Channel Order Mismatch
• Using FPS for Music Timing
• “You’re Riding on a Horse, You’re Riding on a Horse, You’re Riding on a Horse”
• Long Cutscene Set-up Time
• Music After Cutscenes
• Stingers Too Similar to In-game Music

Communication with Other Team Members
• When to Get Involved
• People Who Provide Input
• People Who Need Input from You
• People with Similar Interests
• Spotting Sessions
• Discussing Music with Non-Musicians

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Music Design for Game Development Studios (PDF)

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I want this!