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Reader Comments (3)

Posted: Apr 21st 2009 1:38PM Brendan Drain said

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I lot of game designers don't realise the importance of music to their game. The dynamic combat music in Everquest 2 is what turns grinding into adventure. While EVE Online's music is starting to show its age (and with most players opting to turn it off), it's good to see that Black Prophecy are taking what I consider to be the optimum approach to it.

Player-made EVE videos have shown that epic orchestral symphony with choir vocals is perfect for a space environment. Take a look at the EVE videos "Lacrimosa Tortuga" and "Clarion Call, Triage Special" and you'll see what I mean:

http://www.massively.com/2009/02/02/eve-evolved-the-top-ten-eve-videos-of-all-time-part-2/

Posted: Apr 21st 2009 7:09PM mysecretid said

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Must agree concerning the power of good game music. Say what you will about Age of Conan, for example, but it has one of the most consistently beautiful game soundtracks I've ever heard.

Most MMORPGs, even if they have good music, repeat the same musical segments too often. If players are going to be hearing your music for hours on end, it helps to make it truly worth hearing!

Posted: Apr 24th 2009 6:41AM (Unverified) said

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Brendan Drain:

Music taste is a subjective thing at best but the EVE Online soundtrack is in my opinion one of the best out there portraying the games harshness and desolation perfectly. I for one would probably have turned the music off if we'd gotten the cookie cutter "big a** orchestra" doing their thing for the umpteenth time. We've had that and I'm sorry but it's dull nine times out of ten (and I say this as an instrumentalist who loves and has played classical music for a long long time - in fact looking back at the classic works there is far more diversity than what is produced for games and movies today). I'm not sure what it is but I think it's how EVE's music is detached from a human player/orchestra that makes it so compelling and fitting to the atmosphere of a dystopian, harsh and ultra-capitalistic world.

Also the composer for EVE Online seems to be in on some reviewing and renewing of the soundscape of EVE.

One game that I think has succeeded besides EVE is LOTRO, with its successful mix of orchestral and folk inspired music. Walking through the hobbit villages, hearing the music, was one of many great moments in that game that was fueled by the soundscape.

The good orchestral soundtracks are few and far between today and those that exist are not rememberable. Conan seems to be an exception, though.

When I hear "we have 13 compsers, 123 orchestras, 43 quires doing their thing" it doesn't set my hopes any higher than when I hear Jon Hallur of EVE doing his thing solo. It's in quality, not in quantity.

Quality can be so many things. In music it is often in knowing when, or having the guts, to *remove* something, rather than adding another layer of strings. It's in the contrast.

The first time I entered a tavern in Baldur's Gate (1) was a moment capturing that contrast, going from the great outdoors into the warmth pulling up my legs in front of the fire. The music changed from a large scale orchestra to a few middle age instruments playing a simple tune as if there's a group of entertainers in there.

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