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Theme music you can hum

music Justin Bell

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29 replies to this topic

#1
GhoulishVisage

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With Project Eternity hopefully becoming Obsidian's very own franchise I have been pondering about theme music.

Should PE have it's own distinctive theme music that is used throughout the franchise?
Memorable theme tunes can embed themselves into the psyches of fans and can become just as recognizable as any visual icons.

The Elder Scrolls has a consistent theme throughout all of it's games, but with each release it is altered to fit with the area that the game takes place in whilst still retaining it's base structure.

Some recognizable themes that are probably just as famous as the movies they appear in include the theme to Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Indianna Jones and Harry Potter.
Those are pretty extreme examples, but it shows how theme music can become iconic.

Should Project Eternity have one main theme, or should it change from game to game depending on the mood and themes therein?
What makes a memorable theme tune for you?
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#2
LadyCrimson

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Should PE have it's own distinctive theme music that is used throughout the franchise?

Yes.

The Elder Scrolls has a consistent theme throughout all of it's games, but with each release it is altered to fit with the area that the game takes place in whilst still retaining it's base structure.

This would be fine with me, too. Basically, a "main theme" that is recognizable as "Project Eternity series!" when I hear it. It's fine to alter it a bit for an expansion/sequel, but I'd want it to still be recognizable.

There's plenty of other music opportunities in any game for brand new music per game. I just want there to be a specific thematic connection to a series, even if it's only the music that's played during the Main Menu or opening scene or whatever.

...I don't really care if I can specifically or easily hum it, however. ;)

#3
AGX-17

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...I don't really care if I can specifically or easily hum it, however. ;)


It's not much of a theme if it's not memorable. It doesn't have to be old school 8-16 bit console era catchy, but it ought to be memorable. For all the bland ambient background music and forgettable combat music you hear in Oblivion and Skyrim (and Fallout 3 and New Vegas, for that,) there's still a strong title theme that lets you know what game you're playing, and if it's a familiar theme it's that much more effective as it stirs up old memories of prior games in the series.
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#4
LadyCrimson

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I'm fond of many memorable pieces of music that are quite difficult to hum or whistle. I don't think I define memorable or catchy as being able to purse my lips and hum it. Such may be the case, but it's not a requirement. :)
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#5
Monte Carlo

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It should be rousing and butch, with lots of drums. Like Liberace meets Conan. Also, don't forget the choral warbling (La Fortuna style).



Any Dragon Age style Celtic folk tyme twanging and I will retreat to my study with a bottle of brandy and my .38
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#6
Jarmo

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Not at all a tall order luckily enough.
As long as it's as good as the best piece by John Williams or that good bit from Carmina Burana. And easy to hum. :)
No pressure, just don't botch up like the best composers in the best RPG's usually do.

Edited by Jarmo, 16 December 2012 - 04:42 AM.


#7
GhoulishVisage

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It should be rousing and butch, with lots of drums. Like Liberace meets Conan. Also, don't forget the choral warbling (La Fortuna style).
Any Dragon Age style Celtic folk tyme twanging and I will retreat to my study with a bottle of brandy and my .38


A theme doesn't necessarily have to be some epic sounding orchestra to be memorable.
Just look at the faintly creepy Harry Potter tune that utilities it's plinkyplonk sound to great effect.

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

I personally wouldn't mind a subdued and creepy theme.

But what makes an enduring theme, I'm wondering?
Is it the media it's attached to that makes the song so memorable, or does the song itself go a long way to making itself seem defined?

Edited by GhoulishVisage, 16 December 2012 - 05:31 AM.

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#8
Sacred_Path

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If you're into HP style music, Hero-U should be the game for you.


Since sea voyages will feature prominently in P:E, each and every piece of music should be a shanty.

You can start throwing rotten fruit now

#9
rjshae

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Just no earwurms please! :wacko:

#10
GhoulishVisage

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If you're into HP style music, Hero-U should be the game for you.


I wasn't saying that PE's theme should be exactly like that, I was just using it as an example of how theme music doesn't have to be a sweeping orchestra to be memorable and effective.
I quite liked the one-two-three strum in the Dirge of Eir Glanfath and the strong part that followed with the violins (?), but Road to Eternity has the most memorable feeling (in my opinion) of the music so far with its distinctive intro.

Since sea voyages will feature prominently in P:E, each and every piece of music should be a shanty.


Really? I thought that was just Zeits mulling over ideas for the expansion on his formspring.
Or is there some info I'm missing?

Edited by GhoulishVisage, 16 December 2012 - 11:32 AM.


#11
Sacred_Path

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If you're into HP style music, Hero-U should be the game for you.


I wasn't saying that PE's theme should be exactly like that, I was just using it as an example of how theme music doesn't have to be a sweeping orchestra to be memorable and effective.


Now you're making me feel bad about really liking Hero-U's music. Intentional?

Really? I thought that was just Zeits mulling over ideas for the expansion on his formspring.
Or is there some info I'm missing?


We have not yet decided all of the places you can travel in this game, but the Dyrwood is the "new world" for the settlers and there is a lot of ship travel in the area.



#12
SophosTheWise

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I'd love to see some non-uber-epic-orchestral sounds. The Risen series did a pretty good job at ambient background music in my opinion but that's just an example.
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#13
GhoulishVisage

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Now you're making me feel bad about really liking Hero-U's music. Intentional?


Not at all. I misunderstood your comment as "if you want magical-school music go and play a magical-school game".
Sorry about that. Need to brush up on my reading comprehension.

We have not yet decided all of the places you can travel in this game, but the Dyrwood is the "new world" for the settlers and there is a lot of ship travel in the area.


That's rather vague if you ask me.
Seems rather more like a tidbit of information about the world than confirmation of nautical adventuring.

#14
Sacred_Path

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That's rather vague if you ask me.
Seems rather more like a tidbit of information about the world than confirmation of nautical adventuring.

So you're not sold on my idea of all tunes being shanties? That makes me a sad panda. q_q

How awesome would it be if you stepped onto the shores of Dyrwood and there would be 'Oh Britannia' playing? :dancing:

Edited by Sacred_Path, 16 December 2012 - 01:20 PM.


#15
LadyCrimson

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We have not yet decided all of the places you can travel in this game, but the Dyrwood is the "new world" for the settlers and there is a lot of ship travel in the area.

Seems vague to me too. Could be all we'll see is a lot of docks on the coastal cities that we can wander through. Or just one or two "You must gather your party before venturing forth .. to Mysterious Island of Spooky Side-Quest #51."

And while I'm not sure I'd want the entire soundtrack to be of that theme, I'm sure we could have a shanty or two for the times we're drunkenly prancing on the tables of the coastal taverns. :biggrin:
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#16
Thingdo

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I agree a memorable theme track is a big thing for me in games. Something where you hear the first few notes and instantly know what you are listening to.


As many have pointed out, the elderscrolls series is a good example of it. Other ones I can think of are the Tristram theme for Diablo, the theme music for Halo, certain tracks from World of Warcraft, Hell March from Red Alert, and a lot of the music from Bastion. It's a pretty wide variety of musical styles, but the one thing they all have in common is that I instantly recognize any of them and associate them with the game they are from.

Playing a song like that at the right moment in a game can have a huge effect for me as well. The song I linked from Bastion is a good example, the level where it begins to play was one of the most memorable parts of the entire game to me.
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#17
Rostere

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Music in games used to be much better. I like the memorable themes of older games and I absolutely despise all the "ambient blah blah" of most newer games. I want a main theme as epic and in-your face as in BG2.
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#18
Gorth

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We have not yet decided all of the places you can travel in this game, but the Dyrwood is the "new world" for the settlers and there is a lot of ship travel in the area.


That's rather vague if you ask me.


Hey, they could add some old sailor songs and sea-shanties there (although to be honest, it's way too modern a phenomena to be appropriate for the setting) :)

I've said it before and will repeat it again, way beyond anyone caring to listen, that Kotor2 had the best game music of any Obsidain/Black Isle game (putting on asbestos suit, preparing for ire coming from Mark Morgan worshippers).

Wouldn't mind something in a similar "style", as it would fit just about any setting.

#19
AGX-17

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I'd love to see some non-uber-epic-orchestral sounds.


Yeah, the whole 100-piece philharmonic orchestra thing is overdone in fantasy games (although I doubt P:E's budget could pay for that, anyway.) These didn't even exist in the high-middle ages/early renaissance (the age P:E's world is set to be analogous to,) they were a product of the late 18th/early 19th century. The music should honestly be more.... folksy. Not folk like American folk-revival 1960s or American Folk music in general, maybe more like the old Irish music that American folk and bluegrass music evolved from. Although that sort of music might be too melodious for some of the people here who prefer the standard BGM of recent fantasy games.

Edited by AGX-17, 17 December 2012 - 07:36 AM.


#20
Monte Carlo

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NO FOLK. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, NO.

I charge into the enemy to butch choral chanting and drums, not some hippie on a lute dammit.





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