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Would you like to see orchestral score as a stretch goal?

eternity music orchestral

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Poll: Would you like to see orchestral score as a stretch goal? (190 member(s) have cast votes)

Would you like to see orchestral score as a stretch goal?

  1. No, I think that it doesn't deserve divertion of part of the money from other aspects of the game (92 votes [48.42%])

    Percentage of vote: 48.42%

  2. Yes, I think that orchestral score would enhance the experience in a substantial way, and spending part of the money this way is grounded (75 votes [39.47%])

    Percentage of vote: 39.47%

  3. I don't care (23 votes [12.11%])

    Percentage of vote: 12.11%

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#41
Justin Bell

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Just curious when you say prohibitively expensive. As in... up to say a quarter of the budget!!?? What sort of figure would we be talking??


No no, not that much at all. A budget for a hollywood caliber orchestra can cost as much as 80-100k+ for a full orchestra (80+ musicians), conductor, engineer, orchestrator, copyists etc for about 60-ish minutes of music. Which is lots of money, especially for a game like Project Eternity.

But there are ways to bring that price down significantly. The size of the ensemble, their international location, and other factors play into that. In otherwords, there are options, and the example I gave of the "prohibitively expensive" orchestra is definitely on the higher side of those options.

I do appreciate you coming in here to answer particular concerns with your knowledge; rare accessibility on the creation side of things, much thanks. I think small live ensembles would be a great compromise--string quartets, whatever, soloist parts--music is significant in setting/amplifying mood and immersion [...]


My pleasure. This is what's great about Project Eternity. We're free to talk to you all.

I think if the community is vocal enough about it, and it matters to enough people, this could be feasible. I can't promise anything but it's worth a shot. That said, even if we don't get an orchestra or a budget to record musicians, we're still going to do everything we can to make the best score possible for the game.

EDIT: One other thing I feel is important to note... In terms of the budget for the game, if there was ever a feature that seemed too expensive or that perhaps threatened to minimize the core experience in some detrimental way, I don't think we would pursue it. So if it's determined that hiring live musicians just isn't feasible for this project, there will more than likely be a very good reason for it.

Edited by Justin Bell, 05 October 2012 - 09:49 PM.

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#42
Haerski

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I agree with The Witcher point. Less can sometimes be more and in TW the beautifully melancholic score with folk music elements fits much better into fantasy world than epic but usually generic orchestral arrangements. The Witcher has one of those few soundtracks I still listen constantly.

#43
True_Spike

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I think people really do not understand how big of a difference that would make. There are, certainly, some budget solutions and a stretch goal of this sort would attract a lot of people (besides, it would be an original one, something other than more classes, more races, more of the same). I don't want to speak for Justin, but I'm sure he'd absolutely love to work on this and a professional's opinion speaks volumes about the benefit of working with an orchestra. Am I right?

#44
Starwars

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I think people really do not understand how big of a difference that would make. There are, certainly, some budget solutions and a stretch goal of this sort would attract a lot of people (besides, it would be an original one, something other than more classes, more races, more of the same). I don't want to speak for Justin, but I'm sure he'd absolutely love to work on this and a professional's opinion speaks volumes about the benefit of working with an orchestra. Am I right?


This is something that I think is a narrow-minded view to take. You can compose good music without an orchestra. You do not need an orchestra for a fantasy soundtrack. Having an orchestra does not mean that the soundtrack will be better.
If one really wants to embrace the classic, epic, fantasy style, then yes... An orchestra would obviously be a good choice.
But again, just having an orchestra does not equal having a better score. It does not make things more "professional" than any other approach. Something like the Diablo 1 dungen tracks, or the various soundtracks to the Silent Hill's would've not benefitted from an orchestra. There are so many ways to approach music in games and more often than not, it's disappointing to me to see that musicians don't (or are maybe not allowed) to really get experimental with what they do. And so often you get orchestral music that, which while it may be great on its own, is simply put on "top" of a game instead of the music feeling more organic to the world and bringing out the intricacies of it.

The world of PE seems to be a vastly multi-cultural one, so let's bring in lots of influences from different cultures. Like someone mentioned, a great strength of something like the Witcher 1 soundtrack was that it really gave texture to the world, it spoke of the culture one could see in the game. It reinforced the sense of being in a *place*. An orchestra is not *needed* for this approach for example, in fact , in many cases, it would probably be superflous.

I think it'd be awesome to get some live musicians/instruments for the soundtrack, and I think mixing that with cleverly used music composed on a computer can produce fantastic and interesting results. And of course, would likely keep the costs down.

That's not to say that one can't get experimental while working with an orchestra of course. But it has a tendency (for whatever reason) to instantly put the soundtrack down the same ol' boring epic fantasy music stereotypes that we've heard oh-so-many times.
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#45
Jarmo

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Just curious when you say prohibitively expensive. As in... up to say a quarter of the budget!!?? What sort of figure would we be talking??


No no, not that much at all. A budget for a hollywood caliber orchestra can cost as much as 80-100k+ for a full orchestra (80+ musicians), conductor, engineer, orchestrator, copyists etc for about 60-ish minutes of music. Which is lots of money, especially for a game like Project Eternity.
.... But there are ways to bring that price down significantly. The size of the ensemble, their international location, and other factors play into that.


It's really, really difficult to have an informed opinion on this. Not knowing the actual music or how much better it'd be with a few real musicians added in, or with the full orchestra. It's possible to do pretty neat things with a violin + cello, and adding 30 trumpets on top wouldn't necessarily improve. All depends on stuff and then more stuff and I don't really know either of the stuffs.

What I can say though, is if there was a situation where I'd have to choose between good music and amazingly good music, but having the amazing stuff required cutting a location from the game, a village or a dungeon. I'd cut the location and it wouldn't even be a tough choice.

It's that important.

I think people really do not understand how big of a difference that would make.


Yep, that's the thing really.

But it goes the other way too, a bunch of rock bands have made recordings with a full orchestra,
and it's never been as good as it was with just the band. Just adding stuff doesn't help.

Then again, if it's the kind of music that benefits from a bunch of live musicians, and there's
a way to add them without it being prohibitively expensive, hell yeah go for it.

Edited by Jarmo, 06 October 2012 - 01:47 AM.

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#46
Jarmo

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As a related note, I'd love to see (or even hear) a choir on some specific epic instances.
It can really add to the mood, but I guess when we're speaking of prohibitively expensive, this is what we're speaking of.
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#47
Indiphilo

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In terms of cost, the range can vary quite a bit. I did say in that one post that Orchestras can be prohibitively expensive, and they can. That said, there are some Orchestras in Europe and Russia (like gakmen suggested) that are less expensive and will still sound great.

I wonder though, what about just having some live musicians mixed with the sampled score? Small ensembles would definitely cost less and would still have a positive effect on the overall sound. That can add a lot to enhance expression and realism, in fact I did that on one of the campaign trailer tracks with some of the Horn parts... For those concerned about budget, what do you think of that as a solution?


I think that is a great solution! I'm also in favor of extending the poll for a mixed live/sampled score.

Personally, I can't really get into classical scores played entirely by sampled instruments, as they often lack the depth and soul to bring out what the music is trying to express. But with that said, PE:s score doesn't have to be classical only! I'd love some more experimental and modern/ambient touches as well, which can be done really well with a sampled score.

#48
Karranthain

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Personally, I would be fine with just recording musicians' performance - e.g. a classical guitarist's or cellist's solos weaved into Justin's work.
I'd imagine that'd be much cheaper.

#49
volcatius

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Yes, i would definately like to have an orchestral score.
Better than another class.
Maybe we can get one at a stretch goal of 2.7 or $2.8 million?

#50
TrashMan

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Hire Yokko Kanno to do the music...

#51
diablo169

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I'm more in favour of looking into how much a small group of musicians would cost versus a full orchestra. Maybe some of the tracks can be solo's? I dunno this is really all down to speculation. Were the old infinity engine games even done with real instruments?

#52
Krios

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I like the idea but do we have enough time left to accumulate more funds? 10 days left to go ...

#53
diablo169

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I like the idea but do we have enough time left to accumulate more funds? 10 days left to go ...


Kickstarter campaigns make most of their money at the begining and then at the end.

#54
jerf

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@jerf, how do you feel about expanding the reach of this pole to include a fourth option? Something along the lines of: Small ensembles and soloist recordings of live musicians please. Best of all worlds in terms of cost and quality.

Is that even possible? It's entirely up to you though, and if you feel it would dilute the spirit of your poll I certainly understand and respect that! :)


@Justin

Thank you very much for commenting on this topic! Unfortunately, it seems that I can't edit the poll anymore, we'll have to ask moderators. That was really an oversight on my side that I didn't specifically include the option you are talking about from the start. In fact, as is now clear to me, the poll is quite badly formulated. I was thinking about "having live recordings of musicians" when I wrote "orchestral", which is, of course, a mistake.

So in my opinion the best solution would be to delete this poll and start a new one with clearer descriptions and more choices. Can anybody ask mods to do it?

In my opinion, the option "ensembles and soloist recordings of live musicians" would really be the best, especially if you could find some musicians playing some rare medieval instruments.

By the way, what is your opinion of the music from the first The Witcher game, which was suggested above?

Edited by jerf, 06 October 2012 - 12:52 PM.


#55
WDeranged

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When Skyrim was released I listened to Matt (Chat) Barton talking about the game, he was slating it from all angles but he mentioned one thing that stuck with me, why the hell are we still using completely orchestral music in fantasy games? Think about how Bladerunner was made all the more fantastical because of the work Vangelis did with his synths, I'm not arguing for all out electronica in Project Eternity but I'd agree with other posters about mixing in other styles, a small village might have a folksy vibe while a somewhat technologically advanced location could bring in some of the eerie weirdness of synths.
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#56
jerf

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I've created a new poll, here:
http://forums.obsidi...-music-poll-20/
Hopefully, it's better.

#57
Justin Bell

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An orchestra is not *needed* for this approach for example, in fact , in many cases, it would probably be superflous.

I'm not arguing for all out electronica in Project Eternity but I'd agree with other posters about mixing in other styles, a small village might have a folksy vibe while a somewhat technologically advanced location could bring in some of the eerie weirdness of synths.


This is a good opportunity to clarify instrumentation. We will not limit the instrumentation pallet to just orchestra for Project Eternity. My policy on this is that we'll use whatever most effectively supports the narrative. I consider CRPGs like PE longform art, and you need to keep the sonic presence of the score refreshing in order to have that succeed over the course of time. Instruments are like colors on an artist's pallet. If we were to paint the music of the entire game "red", there's a risk things will get boring. To keep things new and refreshing, its in our interest to evolve that pallet in interesting and relevant ways.

So if its a renaissance era Sackbut, then its a Sackbut. If its Vangelis Juno patches, its Vangelis Juno patches. String quartet, tabla, classical guitar, 12 string guitar, didgeridoo, orchestra, choir, synths, banging on a metal bridge with drum sticks.... Whatever it takes to make the music awesome, we'll put it in.

In the end the score will be cohesive, and nothing is off the table at this point. :)


EDIT:

By the way, what is your opinion of the music from the first The Witcher game, which was suggested above?


Interesting thing about the Witcher 1 soundtrack... Its all computer based, not live :)

Anyhow, more to your question. It's great music! I have to admit I haven't played the game, though I do own it. I think I'd be in a better position to answer that question after playing it, since context plays a huge roll in how game music is perceived.

I've created a new poll, here:
http://forums.obsidi...-music-poll-20/


jerf, thanks for creating the new poll! The first one is great, I hope I didn't give the wrong impression there. But this new one is awesome too if people are interested in getting more granular about this topic.

Edited by Justin Bell, 06 October 2012 - 08:52 PM.

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#58
Zeckul

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I wonder though, what about just having some live musicians mixed with the sampled score? Small ensembles would definitely cost less and would still have a positive effect on the overall sound. That can add a lot to enhance expression and realism, in fact I did that on one of the campaign trailer tracks with some of the Horn parts... For those concerned about budget, what do you think of that as a solution?

Even just one live part can make a huge difference, i.e. Diablo 2's Tristram... you don't even notice that everything but the guitar isn't live.

On a totally unrelated note, I really need to learn to play guitar just so I can play Rogue and Tristram.

Edited by Zeckul, 06 October 2012 - 10:37 PM.


#59
Karranthain

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I wonder though, what about just having some live musicians mixed with the sampled score? Small ensembles would definitely cost less and would still have a positive effect on the overall sound. That can add a lot to enhance expression and realism, in fact I did that on one of the campaign trailer tracks with some of the Horn parts... For those concerned about budget, what do you think of that as a solution?

Even just one live part can make a huge difference, i.e. Diablo 2's Tristram... you don't even notice that everything but the guitar isn't live.

On a totally unrelated note, I really need to learn to play guitar just so I can play Rogue and Tristram.


I'd love this solution. Orchestral music is great, but sometimes it's better to go for a more intimate sound.

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

As Zeckul has said, the 12 string guitar is weaved in really elegantly.

So from me, a definite yes for the live musicians (small ensembles, solo parts etc.).

Edited by Karranthain, 07 October 2012 - 01:44 AM.


#60
Huskypaw

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Hell yes! We need a good orchestra!





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