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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 4:42 pm 
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Space Floater

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It has already been discussed that there probably will be different "music sets" for different races.

Could we include the possibility to choose a music ser in the sound options menu, without having to mess around with configuration files etc.?

That way the player could select another music theme if he doesn't like the standard sounds for a race. If FO cound automatically scan the sound directory for available music sets, it would also open up the possibility to easily download additional "music packs", so we could get a wide variety of possible music themes without making the official FO version too large.

There should still be a default setting for each playable race, of course.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 3:30 pm 
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Space Kraken
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This is a good idea and very possible. It was my understanding that the game would be fully customizable in many ways. And the races were definitely one of those options. It seems like music should follow suit. However, the musics would have to be categorized in generic terms. i.e.:

Set 1 - Militant, Dark, Strong
Set 2 - Tribal, Wild, Percussive
Set 3 - Heroic, Energetic, Proud
Set 4 - Mystical, Majestic, Glorious
Set 5 - Royal, Imperial, Noble
Set 6 - Ominus, Gloomy, Weird
Set 7 - Harmless, Passive, Peaceful
etc......

The sets could include music for:
*ambient starmap music (# of tracks?)
*battle (more than one track)
*various shorts:
-theme
-diplomacy
-research
-other screens where 10 seconds of music is called for
*beginning/ending
*specials

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 Post subject: Extra Audio
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:33 pm 
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- Absolutely NOT Hexxium!!! In fact, the game will be programmed in such a way that if you even TINKER with the music VOLUME in the game, the program will release malicious code on your computer to uninstall Free-Orion and sign you up for all the mailing lists for shows on the learning channel!!!

:twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

Naw, just kidding! I think the idea bears good merit - in fact, if we could set together a template (as mentioned in Stratcaster's post) it could be a lot easier for future composers to slide and link up files. Or, others may just take their favourite .ogg's and stick them in themselves.

If it were implemented, here's a rough draft on how it could look like...

(General)
1. Title
2. Galaxy creation
2. Gen Galactic 1 - Gen Galactic 5
3. Ditty
- Research Ditty
- Event Ditty
- Victory Ditty
- Loss Ditty
- Senate Ditty
- Spy Report Ditty
- Uprising Ditty
4. Space Monster

(Race Specifit)
1. Gen Rac Galactic 1
2. Race Combat - Offensive
3. Race Combat - Defensive
4. Ditty
- Content Ambassador Ditty
- Neutral Ambassador Ditty
- Hostile Ambassador Ditty


Any thoughts?

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 Post subject: Re: Extra Audio
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 10:22 am 
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Space Kraken

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guiguibaah wrote:

Any thoughts?


Maybe what would be best would be if instead of having FO code specifying that a particular track be played, it instead specifies a "mood" (eg combat, main screen, research screen, hostile ambassador etc as per your recommendation).

Then you have some kind of UI, either config file or GUI based, where you can provide a list of Ogg files on your computer that match each specified mood (the ones that come with FO are pre-configured, obviously). Then when the FO client needs a track in a particular mood, it randomly picks one track from your list of tracks for that mood.

That way I can use my kick-ass Ur-Quan Masters background music remix Oggs in FO as well. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 6:50 pm 
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Space Kraken
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as much as I do think it should be customizable, I also think there should be some staple tracks - a main theme, ending, combat etc... To give the game an identity. Although I'm not sure about this, but I don't think you can fully customize the graphic files. So something along those guide lines. i.e. the FreeOrion logo is probably not customizable likewise is the name "FreeOrion". Otherwise the game becomes a complete shell without any original content.

As far as having personal tracks played - Like Urquan remix. Sure that can be played like any other tune. The main starmap should be like an iTunes playlist that can be loaded up. You can have a playlist that is upbeat when you are winning and another playlist that is depressing when you a losing etc...

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 8:47 am 
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If you mean the player decides what list to use, yeah, but having the game decide whether you're "winning" or not at any given moment is probably a bad idea for a simulation this complex.

Though I suppose you could work out some rules, like "mood only changes between turns not during them", "switch to depressing tracks if something catastrophic happens like losing a high-pop developed star system", come up with some threshold values and take some derivatives of game stats each turn to see whether things are getting better or worse for the player or not really changing, etc...

But I still think that approach is risky. Regardless, we'll have our hands full with racial tracks for stuff if that winds up happening (which I'd prefer), and you can't really do both, at least not to a good level of completeness, because the combinations needed skyrocket.

Then again there's always the cheap device of just playing the same thing in a minor key to get the so-called "depressing" version of any given track, but this has some limitations. :)

And umm, no I'm not dead, though I certainly wish I were currently, heh. Medical stuff. Pain. Pre-existing depression with my life doesn't help either. I will try to be more active on here in the future, but can't really promise anything in the short term. Good that you're still around btw Strat.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 2:37 am 
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Space Kraken

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LithiumMongoose wrote:
If you mean the player decides what list to use, yeah, but having the game decide whether you're "winning" or not at any given moment is probably a bad idea for a simulation this complex.


Well my original idea of "moods" was probably misnamed. I had in mind "moods" like: Starmap (probably something ambient & unintrusive), Diplomacy (possibly with racial "sub-moods"), Science, Production, and Combat. You might also define a mood list for space monsters, etc.

The crux of the idea was that you don't have a "starmap theme" or a "production screen theme" but instead a list of suitable tracks for each game element, from which a track is randomly chosen. I would hope that it would make the music more expandable (no need to change track calls in the sourcecode, easy to add extra music) and less repetitive (more than one piece of music for each game element).

Trying to detect how well you are doing in the game might be possible - SMAC certainly tries to do it - but it probably wouldn't change very fast anyway. Certainly not more frequently than on a turn-to-turn basis.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 3:29 pm 
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There *will* be "more than one piece of music for each game element", I can just about promise you that.

The great question has always been, which elements (if any) get a racial track or short list of tracks, and which (if any) instead get a larger non-racial pool of tracks.

This isn't the first time I've brought this up, and it probably won't be the last. :) I personally am pulling for the former to as great an extent as we can manage, but it's hard to really say anything one way or the other until we know how many races we'll actually be dealing with (and what they are). At a minimum I think the space combat should fall into this category. The latter certainly makes it a lot easier to do dynamic mood-based adjustments though.

And yeah, I think it's also pretty much a given we'll be letting the user change the tracks by moving files around and/or having some sort of in-game playlist interface. I can't really see a project of this type not doing something along those lines.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 3:44 pm 
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StratCaster wrote:
as much as I do think it should be customizable, I also think there should be some staple tracks - a main theme, ending, combat etc... To give the game an identity. Although I'm not sure about this, but I don't think you can fully customize the graphic files. So something along those guide lines. i.e. the FreeOrion logo is probably not customizable likewise is the name "FreeOrion". Otherwise the game becomes a complete shell without any original content.

Unfortunately, comparing graphics and audio is an apples-and-oranges situation imo. Graphics are integrated with the game on a much lower level. You can't simply turn off your speakers to get rid of the graphics, or mute the graphics and tell your computer to play different graphics while you're playing the game. :p

Simply put, the user will be able to bypass the audio pretty easily, whether we make it completely customizable or not. There WILL be staple tracks, obviously -- the game will start with a full set of them. But I don't think allowing some to be changed and not others really gets us anything. I dunno, maybe I'm wrong, feel free to debate this point if you want. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 4:39 pm 
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Space Kraken
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LithiumMongoose wrote:
comparing graphics and audio is an apples-and-oranges situation imo.


Debussy is rolling over in his grave....

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 4:40 pm 
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LithiumMongoose wrote:
Simply put, the user will be able to bypass the audio pretty easily, whether we make it completely customizable or not. There WILL be staple tracks, obviously -- the game will start with a full set of them. But I don't think allowing some to be changed and not others really gets us anything. I dunno, maybe I'm wrong, feel free to debate this point if you want. :)


I disagree.

A lot of thought went into the FreeOrion logo. It somehow identifies the game in some small way. I'm simply suggesting that we leave some sort of sound or musical idea that is a like a FreeOrion logo. It could even be the sound on the main menu etc... although it should be more than just that.

I'm not talking about branding it, just giving it life. That may be too deep a term, but music *is* artwork - even if its just underscore.

Besides, whats the point of us Audio-Forum types? If a player can just remove all the soundfiles and make their own why write any music at all? For a default?

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 5:23 pm 
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StratCaster wrote:
Besides, whats the point of us Audio-Forum types? If a player can just remove all the soundfiles and make their own why write any music at all? For a default?

Yes. A default that most users will hopefully, ideally, and presumably wind up choosing to use, because they like it well enough.

In general I'm an "all-or-nothing" kind of guy. It just goes against my better judgement to do anything like this "partially". I'd be all for not allowing any audio customization whatsoever as well, but I don't think that would mesh very well with this project's philosophy.

Ultimately though this is a pretty minor point (at least for me), so I won't mind if we end up doing it your way. :)


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 Post subject: Audio Events
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 6:12 pm 
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I think that the level of Audio experience will depend on the design of the game it is built on.

Here's a few examples I drew up on...

Doom3 uses barely any music, and the music that it does have is not as recognizeable and/or signature-riffic in a way. Instead, there is a lot of emphasis on the sound and sound environment. I think this was done to add to the realism factor. That being said, there are a few sparse tracks that are played when one expects a "BIG" battle to happen.

Megaman2 had limited sound effects, related to triangle and square wasves and that "Clunk" when one hit and destroyed an enemy. That being said, Megaman 2 has titles that have probably been remixed more often than any other (aside from FF7) - especially the Flashman theme. Of course, Megaman 2 needed music, due to the limitations in the audio hardware. If you get the chance, download a bunch of Megaman 2 remixes from http://www.ocremix.org and play on an emulator - it's a blast :)

So there you have 2 different opposites.

* * *


I think something for the music of FreeOrion would fall in between. For example, the galaxy music would be there as a filler... You could have your staple tunes, fade in and out with galaxy / planet sound effects, etc. Within those tunes, players could add / remove their own .ogg files to add extra variety.

As for Ship Combat, the mood and status changes. You now have the opportunity to code music with dynamic events - such as in Freespace 2 or Lords of Magic, or command&Conquer Generals. It doesn't lend itself well to a 4 minute song by the Barenaked Ladies.

As for Ground Combat, we'll see when it becomes fleshed out.

* * *


I think what's important is to look at different scripting events in the game, and think "Ok, that's where a track could go" and "Ok, this event could spawn track XXX or YYY". This way future modders or composers could write their own Race / Track music and insert it into the game.

A game that did not do this well is Morrowind. While the music is really well written, all they scripted for was "Is the player walking around" and "Is the player fighting something". Had I been a part of the code-process, I would have suggested "Player in inn, Player underground, Player Dungeon, Player Outside, Player City, etc.." and "Small fight, big fight, boss fight, scripted fight, etc.. etc..." The creators of Neverwiner Nights did this - and the musical experience is superior... Despite the fact that both titles have the same composer :)


So in the end, I do think that FO should have its own Audio tracks. However, the player can be given the opportunity to add / remove tracks (such as in Total Annihalation) for certain track events (such as Galaxy music.). Otherwise, they'll just open an MP3 player and have their own music playing in the background.

Anyway, that's my beef.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 1:05 pm 
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LithiumMongoose wrote:
There *will* be "more than one piece of music for each game element", I can just about promise you that.

The great question has always been, which elements (if any) get a racial track or short list of tracks, and which (if any) instead get a larger non-racial pool of tracks.


I wouldn't recommend trying to redo all the music for each race. Not only is that a ton of work, but it would tend to force the player to relearn all the musical cues whenever he plays a new race, or weirder get people to choose/reject a race according to the theme music.

I'd rather suggest each race has something like a "national anthem" in several versions for different situations: The musican has the chance to inject more "personality" into each anthem because it won't be playing all the time. Something really abstract and weird might make a great anthem for a machine race, but would drive most players crazy if they had to hear it most of the time.

The end of a battle is a great time for race specific music. A short victory anthem for whoever wins. A great way for the music to reinforce what just happened. A similar anthem but with a less military style might play when a race is contacted over diplomatic channels.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 1:33 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
Not only is that a ton of work, but it would tend to force the player to relearn all the musical...


Who cares if its a ton of work, we have a ton of time...[before the game is complete]

eleazar wrote:
I'd rather suggest each race has something like a "national anthem" in several versions for different situations: The musican has the chance to inject more "personality" into each anthem because it won't be playing all the time. Something really abstract and weird might make a great anthem for a machine race, but would drive most players crazy if they had to hear it most of the time.


Most likely you'd have your stock FO tracks and mixed in can be a few tracks based on the type of race you are playing. Of course most of the game will be customizable so if you want, you could listen to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers if you convert their tunes to oggs...

Also, I think most of the music is done... Mongoose has a ton of tracks completed as well as Gui and a few others. If actual race and back stories get nailed down, maybe then some 'race' tracks can be realized, but until then we are musicians in waiting...

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