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Project Eternity Composer: In-house or External

Music for Project Eternity   

638 members have voted

  1. 1. Who should compose the music for Project Eternity?

    • Justin Bell (In-house kickstarter video composer)
    • Mark Morgan
    • Jeremy Soule
    • Other external Composer
    • Whomever Obsidian chooses is fine


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Choice of the music direction really depends on what the game setting will turn out to be. We're kinda in the blue here for the moment. Must note that I really like the music piece that Justin did for the Kickstarter pitch video. That's some great stuff.

 

That said, personally I would be intrigued in a collaboration: most of the music done in-house and an external composer writing several themes. That would be easier budgetwise probably and might add a certain flavor to the score. Also a big name would attract attention/pledges. Downsides are also obvious: collaboration is always tricky and it will be a challenge to get music done by different people to be... consistent = in the same vein.

 

As for who could Obsidian bring in, well, I'd say that Jeremy Soule would be my favourite. I've been a long-term fan of his work and although I must admit that mr. Soule has demonstrated througout the years a somewhat limited range I firmly believe that within his area of expertise there's no one better. He's also a big name, probably the biggest the game industry can offer which has its pros and contras. Big name means it will require a solid chunk of the budget to bring him in but at the same time it will attract quite a number of people. After all, seriously folks, original Icewind Dale, NWN, Dungeon Siege, both Guild Wars, last three Elder Scroll games... IMO, think what you want about Skyrim but hey, it's a masterpiece of Howard Shore's LOTRO proportions.

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When music is all big all the time, you tend to get tired of listening to it after extended periods. That's what we in audio call "listener fatigue", and I'm pretty sensitive to that. The problem with listener fatigue is that when you reach the climax of musical intensity and you keep it there for stustained periods of time, where can you go next if the narrative calls for things to get kicked up another notch?

 

You have to leave yourself a "vertical buffer" to ensure those moments have meaning and impact. So, to answer your question, there should definitely be moments of moody ambience when its appropriate, just as there should be big grandoise moments when it's called for. But ultimately, everything depends on the narrative imo!

 

That settles it, If Justin doesn't get to do the soundtrack now, I'm going to get *angry*.

:)

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When people choose the 'anything obsidian wants' option, does it mean the music is really not important to them?

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When people choose the 'anything obsidian wants' option, does it mean the music is really not important to them?

They just believe people from Obsidian are competent in what they do, imo.

Edited by Niarei

Pillars of Eternity Twin Elms and Celestial Sapling and Torment: Tides of Numenera Crystalline DimensionBefore the fall and Bloom original fan art music.

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I actually think ingame soundtrack and music is huge for a game. Momentous in fact! Have you ever watched one of those old 40's movies without any sound...theres a reason they had someone to play the piano along with the film or have you ever watched a move where the music stops and it just becomes diegetic sound, in the attempt to add suspense or make the veiwer take in whats visually presented but executed in a very poor way...it just kills it.

 

I would actually love it if the music was responsive to whats happening in game, I absolutly loved it in Assassin's Creed when combat started the music would change to something up-tempo and active and when combat subsided it would return to the ambient 'roaming' theme. I also think that the music should reflect specific narrative events and not just be there for ambient use. The way they used the music in diablo 3 during some of the cinimatics still gives me goosebumps when i see them, or even in the trailer for skyrim when he shouts at the dragon, the music excalated and enhanced the power of that scene, which is primarily what it should be used for. Creating an ambient soundtrack that can do the same thing when you are exploring in game would be amazing too, some sort of software that would make the music play faster the lowwer your health became, or the closer you went to a trap to try and disarm it the quiter or more suspensful the ambient sound would become. That would make this game!

 

And I do place my faith in Justin Bell, the way he executed the KS film was awesome for 4 days and I'd love to see what he could do during a whole production period. IMO I don't think we should be asking Justine, "Hey can you make the soundtrack like Arcanum, or BGII", this is a diferent game and though it will follow a similar art style, Obsidian is no doubt going to create a unique atmosphere and style for the world and therefore needs an equally unique soundtrack to acompany it.

 

I have no quarell against arcanum and BGII soundtrack, I love them and think they fit well in their respective worlds but bringing that "style" into a different game would feel cheap and recycled. Try playing BGII with the arcanum soundtrack playing in the background or vice versa, though it is pretty awesome it just doesn't fit with whats being visually represented.

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I don't care who's going to be the composer as long as they catch that atmosphere the older scores created like NWN1 & 2 + MotB. Not all were good, but some were exceptional!

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IMO I don't think we should be asking Justine, "Hey can you make the soundtrack like Arcanum, or BGII", this is a diferent game and though it will follow a similar art style, Obsidian is no doubt going to create a unique atmosphere and style for the world and therefore needs an equally unique soundtrack to acompany it.

This.

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Pillars of Eternity Twin Elms and Celestial Sapling and Torment: Tides of Numenera Crystalline DimensionBefore the fall and Bloom original fan art music.

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If you are going to post samples at least also mention who the artist is. I also don't like Jeremy Soule's work. It's way too generic sounding. I like the the Clint Mansell suggestion (Requiem for a Dream, Moon) and I also liked the link to Lustmord. That isn't the kind of thing I'd normally listen to but it's very impressive for a game soundtrack. I liked the MotB and HoMM samples as well. One of my favorite pieces of game music was Chiasm's

from The Asylum in Troika's VtM. Not sure if that was written specifically for the game or not.

JoshSawyer: Listening to feedback from the fans has helped us realize that people can be pretty polarized on what they want, even among a group of people ostensibly united by a love of the same games. For us, that means prioritizing options is important. If people don’t like a certain aspect of how skill checks are presented or how combat works, we should give them the ability to turn that off, resources permitting.

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I really liked the music in the kickstarter clip. For me it encapsulated that old-school RPG sense of - I don't know 'epic-ness' - that I used to feel when I played a way too many years ago. Anyway, I was transported back to my student days when I would sit and play Ultima or Might and Magic or Baldur's Gate instead of writing my essays. So for giving me back my youth for just a couple of minutes Justin has my vote.


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I like that Justin is getting some love in this poll. I've worked with him for a while now, and not only is he very talented, but he is also very easy to work with. The audio on this project is in very good hands.

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Kai Rosenkranz of

fame.

 

That piece is exceptional. Really beautiful and inspiring. Thanks for sharing it Karranthain!

 

I would love to see a full orchestra doing the music.

(though I'd expect the budget to be serious enough that they'd have to think about it twice, but I'm not an expert).

 

Orchestras are amazing things aren't they? There really is no substitute to having real musicians play good music together as a group. That example from Gothic 3 is a testament to that I think. So yes, without question, it would be incredible to have access to one.

 

The thing is they are very, very expensive... Prohibitively so in many cases, which is why many composers use multi-sample libraries for their projects instead. It's cheaper to spend a couple grand on a good orchestral library that you can use over and over than it is to hire an orchestra for a single session. So while I said there's no substitute for a real orchestra, you can still get very convincing results with samples. Here are a couple examples of that (be sure to watch them at their highest quality level if you so that you get better audio):

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PB3njyDW8SY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoZdaHs887g

 

Not that these pieces of music are appropriate for PE. I just think that those examples do a good job of illustrating the point that a high quality emotive score can be achieved both with, and without, real musicians.

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I like that Justin is getting some love in this poll. I've worked with him for a while now, and not only is he very talented, but he is also very easy to work with. The audio on this project is in very good hands.

 

What's up Bobby! Right back at you bud. ( I'll have your 50 bucks waiting for you first thing tomorrow, I swear)

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Ya go digital, too expensive to get a full orchestra.

 

And they should definitely go in-house, it's cheaper, and Justin's stuff on the KS page sounded good.

 

Don't listen to those saying to ape game A or game B either, go with your own thing ;)

 

I think Battlestar Galactica is a good example of something that goes outside normal genre conventions for its music. Bear McCreary went with themes that sound almost tribal sometimes and he pulled it off really well. That and a lot of Philip Glass type influence. Anyways, it was pretty unusual music for a "space opera". That's what I'd hope for for PE (something unique that fits, but is not necessarily typical fantasy music)

 

One thing I hope we don't get is O Fortuna #2456 ;)

Edited by NoxNoctum
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When music is all big all the time, you tend to get tired of listening to it after extended periods. That's what we in audio call "listener fatigue", and I'm pretty sensitive to that. The problem with listener fatigue is that when you reach the climax of musical intensity and you keep it there for stustained periods of time, where can you go next if the narrative calls for things to get kicked up another notch?

 

You have to leave yourself a "vertical buffer" to ensure those moments have meaning and impact. So, to answer your question, there should definitely be moments of moody ambience when its appropriate, just as there should be big grandoise moments when it's called for. But ultimately, everything depends on the narrative...

 

This really tells me Justin knows what he's doing. Faaar too many games fall into that trap :)

Edited by NoxNoctum

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I think Battlestar Galactica is a good example of something that goes outside normal genre conventions for its music. Bear McCreary went with themes that sound almost tribal sometimes and he pulled it off really well. That and a lot of Philip Glass type influence. Anyways, it was pretty unusual music for a "space opera". That's what I'd hope for for PE (something unique that fits, but is not necessarily typical fantasy music) ;)

 

I don't think I've ever heard anything from Bear McCreary that I don't like. Also, agreed on all counts!

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When music is all big all the time, you tend to get tired of listening to it after extended periods. That's what we in audio call "listener fatigue", and I'm pretty sensitive to that. The problem with listener fatigue is that when you reach the climax of musical intensity and you keep it there for stustained periods of time, where can you go next if the narrative calls for things to get kicked up another notch?

 

You have to leave yourself a "vertical buffer" to ensure those moments have meaning and impact. So, to answer your question, there should definitely be moments of moody ambience when its appropriate, just as there should be big grandoise moments when it's called for. But ultimately, everything depends on the narrative...

 

This really tells me Justin knows what he's doing. Faaar too many games fall into that trap :)

 

DA:O comes to mind. All the combat music sounds really similar (i.e., big, epic, bombastic). I love Inon Zur and he would be on my shortlist for Project Eternity, but Justin Bell's definitely showing some good sense there.


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@ Obsidian - Just confirm that Justin Bell is the composer for this game so I can finally sleep in peace tonight. :D

 

 

Plus one more song from Paul Anthony Romero, maybe the best town theme.

 

http://youtu.be/EsYjN4wFw4o

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Pillars of Eternity Twin Elms and Celestial Sapling and Torment: Tides of Numenera Crystalline DimensionBefore the fall and Bloom original fan art music.

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@ Justin Bell

 

OK, maybe its too expensive to hire in a full orchestra, but perhaps its within budget to just hire a few real musicians (mostly playing solos) to mix in with the digital orchestra?

 

It would surely help making the music feel more "alive", no?

Edited by Indiphilo
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@ Justin Bell

 

OK, maybe its too expensive to hire in a full orchestra, but perhaps its within budget to just hire a few real musicians (mostly playing solos) to mix in with the digital orchestra?

 

It would surely help making the music feel more "alive", no?

 

This. I would love nothing more than to have a full orchestra, but it's probably wishful thinking considering budget constraints. It would be REALLY nice, though, to have a few real instrument solos every now and then, money be willing. If it is STILL expensive, well, I guess it's one more sad sacrifice we must make for the sake of making the game great...digital samples certainly have improved recently, and they're not shabby at all.

 

I really like what Justin has said about game music so far, especially the one about music being bombastic all the time. Too many games do it and it's very tiring, and after a while all the music just blurs together, no matter how good the composition is. This is one of the things I feel Japanese game composers still get better than most western ones, IMO.

Edited by Monkcrab

Sword Sharpener of the Obsidian Order

(will also handle pitchforks and other sharp things)

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I personally think think that it should be something between nostalgic and state of the art game music.

 

For me personally the bossmusic in skyward sword is something that is quite effective without beeing overly epic, like the battle music in BG where every fight was like a endfight on a audio visual layer.

 

I think we need battle music where the music seems to be much faster then the fight itself, which can happen quite easy as we constantly stop the game for further tactical decisions.

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That piece is exceptional. Really beautiful and inspiring. Thanks for sharing it Karranthain!

 

Glad you liked it! Since we're discussing orchestral music, I thought I'd link this marvelous classical piece (which you probably know, but it's always worth listening to :) :

 

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