Ceres Games

Realms Beyond => News & Announcements => Topic started by: HobGoblin42 on January 03, 2018, Wednesday, 03:34 pm

Title: Sound Design #2: Attentive music matters
Post by: HobGoblin42 on January 03, 2018, Wednesday, 03:34 pm
On the technical side, modern computer game development, especially in the field of roleplaying games, it appears, is very heavily focused on the visual presentation. Eye candy sells, there can be no doubt. Many will argue that music and the sound design are somehow important, too, but for the most part, it is the graphics that draw players in.

Back in the early days of computer games, computer RPGs never really considered graphics as their key focus. A large part of the reason was that hardware limitations kept things in check and so, game designers turned to music and sound effects to create the proper atmosphere. Nowadays, we have come to think that a bunch of hyperrealistic graphics with some epic music underneath make for great atmosphere, but you really couldn't be more wrong.

Music offers very subliminal ways to manipulate the player's mood. Especially in computer games it can affect the mood in so many different ways. And that’s the reason why we care not only about adequate graphics but also about precisely-tailored music (and sound effects, as you already know). To achieve this goal, we pay a lot of attention to the creation of the music for Realms Beyond.

We are currently working on the different combat themes. To achieve a dense atmosphere, we decided that we needed not only one but several separate themes. The driving force behind this decision was that e felt it was important to underscore different types of combat situations with different types of music. A small skirmish has a very different feel than an epic battle and the music needs to reflect that appropriately.

But it goes beyond that. Skeletons, for example, are very different from human knights. Not only do they look different or fight differently, no, they also have to have a different sound design. It is our job to create different types of atmospheres for different kinds of encounters because after meeting the skeletons, an encounter with goblins or a diabolic demon should also have a different sonic quality.

DilrubaBy the time it is all said and done, every type of enemy will have it’s own rhythm, harmony or motif and, perhaps, even it’s own signature instrumentation. This will be in addition to the original Realms Beyond instrument setup, consisting of a string sextet, some large o-Daiko Drums and several other instruments that have very unique sound qualities to fit in with the dark and gloomy mood of our game.

But I get it, talk is cheap. You want to hear something. Alright. Let’s take a look at the Undead. If you get tangled up in combat with these guys, aside from the standard string sextet, you will also hear a scary-sounding Indian dilruba, along with the sounds of anklungs, which always remind me of rattling bones.

To illustrate this, here are three sound samples for you to listen to. Each one represents a different type of enemy. But please keep in mind, we have slightly reduced the quality of these MP3s to conserve bandwidth here on the web. In the final game, you will be able to enjoy music and sound effects in much higher quality, of course. I should also point out that music is still a work in progress and that what you hear is not a final piece of the game.





Music by Bastian Kieslinger.

Goto Blog Post (https://www.realms-beyond.com/sound-design-2/)
Title: Sound Design #2: Attentive music matters
Post by: Xerxes on January 04, 2018, Thursday, 03:39 am
Google tells me that Bastian Kieslinger is (or was?) an inhouse composer at THQ Nordic as recently as mid-December 2017. Did he leave them or do you have an... arrangement with THQ?  ;)
Title: Sound Design #2: Attentive music matters
Post by: HobGoblin42 on January 04, 2018, Thursday, 12:00 pm
Google tells me that Bastian Kieslinger is (or was?) an inhouse composer at THQ Nordic as recently as mid-December 2017. Did he leave them or do you have an... arrangement with THQ?  ;)

Bastian contributed music and sound FX to various projects, including Chaos Chronicles/Realms BeyondSpellForce 3 and others.
As you might know, the game studio Grimlore Games (SpellForce 3 developer) was founded with former members (http://grimloregames.com/company/) of Coreplay (Chaos Chronicles developer).
Title: Sound Design #2: Attentive music matters
Post by: Xerxes on January 04, 2018, Thursday, 03:27 pm
Google tells me that Bastian Kieslinger is (or was?) an inhouse composer at THQ Nordic as recently as mid-December 2017. Did he leave them or do you have an... arrangement with THQ?  ;)

Bastian contributed music and sound FX to various projects, including Chaos Chronicles/Realms BeyondSpellForce 3 and others.

Hehe, I realized that you were using stuff from older projects when I saw that the timestamps on your "Realms Beyond concept art" ranged from late 2009 to early 2012  :P

But if Bastian's music is "still a work in progress", that means that he's working with Ceres Games right now, yeah?
Title: Sound Design #2: Attentive music matters
Post by: Winterfart on August 23, 2018, Thursday, 09:43 pm
The undead combat music is excellent, almost as good as the undead theme from Battle Brothers.
Title: Sound Design #2: Attentive music matters
Post by: Omenaton on September 19, 2018, Wednesday, 12:51 pm
I like the thoughts behind the different combat music and the sound examples are great, especially the crusader theme.
Yes, especially because of the "camera angle", the perspective, the right atmospheric sound and music can not only form the mood, but add a lot more details to the picture of the world, that - at the end - is getting built up by the imagination of the player, in his mind.
Things, that the player can not see right now with his own eyes, but can "see" with his inner eyes, like howling wolves from the distance, a nearby coast or a waterfall, bells of a nearby village or woodcutters work sounds from the distance.

In taverns, a good tavern theme music and sound can build up a dense atmosphere, beside the graphics.
I remember, how in EverQuest I. in a tavern somewhere in a Luclin Zone was so great, that I sometimes stayed there a few seconds longer, just to enjoy it.
Or, in World of Warcraft, in the Northrend zone "Crystal Forest", the music is so well fitting and mysterious. Here is an example (beginning at 3:20) :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufyQo5-UcvE

Many of the WoW zones got great music themes, it is a good inspiration source.
They got even day AND night music.
Like for WoW Stormpeaks : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkbDIlvkr-A

I just got a small idea what else could be done with sounds :
When the party is camping, sometimes before an attack through monsters occurs (assumed attacking the camp of the resting player group will be allowed by the rules), there could be a few seconds before some vague, alarming sounds, like rustling plant leafs, breaking wood (under the feet of an approching enemy) or birds, that got alermed and are now makeing nervous voice or just fly away noises.
The player, if he is coutious, can get alarmed shortly before an attack on the camp and in this short time (this is the main reason for the idea), the excitement, tension gets room to grow. When the attack starts, the player is already highly fierce and can maybe enjoy the battle more.