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Nirion»Forums»Update and Music Preview
Bok
Ben
19 posts / 1 project
Update and Music Preview
2 months ago Edited by Ben on Aug. 31, 2020, 12:45 p.m. Reason: Initial post
Hey guys, due to spending all my time learning to compose music lately, I don't really have much of a technical update to give. I won't do a blog post for last month, but hopefully I'll be able to get more programming done on the game this month. I'm currently thinking more about the design of the entire game and trying to think of mechanics beyond the mines area.

I did make a video last week that shows off some of the music I've been able to make for Nirion so far. I've spent about 4-5 weeks total just learning about music theory and creating(and throwing away many) pieces. So check it out and let me know what you think:


Let me know if you have any questions about the project in general. Thanks!
Simon Anciaux
900 posts
Update and Music Preview
1 month, 4 weeks ago Edited by Simon Anciaux on Sept. 1, 2020, 1:03 p.m.
I liked the "cave musics" when it's more about mood than melody. For example the one that starts at 10 seconds, or the one at 54 seconds. I like the bosses music less:
- I know nothing about theory so maybe it's just my taste;
- I don't like the sound of the synthesizer you use for the melodies;
- they sound more joyful then fearful;
- the simple melodies makes it clear that you're not an experience composer.

Apart from that, the player character looks like it's not "part of the world". I think I get that impression because he/she emits light and so is not really affected by environment light like enemies are.

Another detail, is that when there are holes in the ground and we can see the bottom level, the ground really looks flat, like it has no thickness.

And the "Game saved" button/message is not centered on the screen.
Bok
Ben
19 posts / 1 project
Update and Music Preview
1 month, 4 weeks ago
Thanks for all the feedback and pointing that stuff out.

What do you think causes the ground to look flat from higher levels? To be honest I never thought of it as flat, but It is just a 2D plane that's being scaled, so it's going to look weird from some angles.

Simon Anciaux
900 posts
Update and Music Preview
1 month, 4 weeks ago
I mean the edges next to the red lines in the following screenshot. It would need a little transition on the edge sprite to make it looks like the ground has some thickness. An example (maybe not the best) in Zelda: a link to the past, Moldorm boss where you can fall from the boss room.
Bok
Ben
19 posts / 1 project
Update and Music Preview
1 month, 4 weeks ago
Ahh yeah okay, I understand what you mean now.

You also said the melodies were "simple". Could you elaborate on this at all? Do you mean the entire track(s) is simple, or sound empty or something? Also those points you listed in your first post, do they refer to just the boss music or all of the music?
Simon Anciaux
900 posts
Update and Music Preview
1 month, 4 weeks ago
Once again, I know nothing about music theory, so please take what I'm saying with grain of salt.

What I was trying to say with "simple" melodies is that when I'm listening to the music, I can tell that it's not from an experience composer. I don't know why exactly, sorry. I would say the main instrument melody is missing some personality, but that would probably not help you. Maybe the different note patterns (I don't know the right term) are too similar or repeating ?

Those points were mostly about the boss music. But for example in the very first music in the video I don't really like the main melody. It doesn't seem to convey the same emotion than what's happening on the screen (which is ok, but seems off in this case for me).

The melody in the track that starts at 55 seconds, sounds good to me. But after watching the video several times, it also doesn't fit what's happening on the screen (in term of mood/emotion). So I'm probably extrapolating too much without much information.

I hope you'll get more feedback, because I don't want my perception to be the only influence.
Artur
2 posts
Update and Music Preview
1 month, 2 weeks ago
First of all, I'd like to congratulate you on your efforts! The game is looking awesome and doing everything by yourself is certainly no easy feat.

Regarding the music, I must agree with mrmixer. In general, the melodies are too "happy", which I think doesn't fit the mood for each part of the game.

For example, the "Mines - Grotto" theme (1:28) starts really well, giving an eerie vibe but then you go to C major and it loses that mood and becomes too playful for the setting. Maybe you could develop a bit more that initial theme with the marimba and the voice and add more layers, trying to avoid melodies in major keys so that it doesn't sound so "joyful".

I took the chance to put together a short example based on that track to illustrate what I'm saying. If you have any questions, feel free to ask, I'll be glad to help!

Bok
Ben
19 posts / 1 project
Update and Music Preview
1 month, 2 weeks ago
Thank you! I appreciate you taking the time to going out of your way to make an example, it's really useful. I understand what you're both saying with the mood of the tracks, overall they don't fit too well most of the time. I think this just comes down to my inexperience, I'm struggling to write stuff that I'm happy with at all at the moment, let alone something that matches a particular mood. I'll definitely revisit all these tracks and keep your feedback in mind while doing it. Thanks again, it's really helpful!

Besides the mood of the music, do you have any other comments? What do you think of the music by itself? Does it sound too simple/boring?

By the way I appreciate the constructive criticism from both of you. It's pretty hard to judge how I'm doing with this since I don't get a lot of feedback for the music itself.
Artur
2 posts
Update and Music Preview
1 month, 2 weeks ago
No problem! I'm glad it was useful, learning how to compose in such a short time must be daunting.

Regarding what you said, I wouldn't say the music itself sounds too simple since it has several instruments, melodies, etc. What maybe sounds too simplistic are the melodies and chord progressions since they are, imo, a bit too "pop" or "dance" oriented for the style of the game.

One thing that could help you is trying to find tracks that you think would fit your game and identifying the chord progression that is used (most likely by ear, since it's very improbable you'll find the chords for most game music anywhere). Then, you can use that same chord progression and craft a totally new song with different melodies, instruments and sounds. This will also force you to think out of the box and play in keys that you're less comfortable with, thus also developing your melodic and harmonic sense in general.