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Discuss: Halloween Music, Visualization and Interview with MrArtstrong

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Red Warlock
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Discuss: Halloween Music, Visualization and Interview with MrArtstrong

Read the original update here: https://cityoftitans.com/content/halloween-music-visualization-and-interview

Feel free to comment on the update below.

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Redlynne
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Okay, as an honest reviewer .

Okay, as an honest reviewer ... I'm going to have to say something potentially unpopular about this music track.

This track completely, totally and utterly FAILS to be creepy or moody or Halloween thematic for me for an incredibly obvious reason.

The incessant buzzing drone track in the piece absolutely KILLS IT flatter than Bleh.

Do me a favor.
Release another version of this piece of music that deletes the incessant buzzing drone track and I think you'll find it works a LOT better than this version does with the incessant buzzing drone in it.

The incessant buzzing drone is simply "trying too hard" and is constantly and consistently upstaging any and all other musical elements to the point where (as a listener) I just want it to STOP so I can hear the actual "good stuff" going on (musically) that ISN'T that damn incessant buzzing drone noise.
And if that can't be done, then I just don't want to listen to this music track ever again.
Turn it off.
Sleep the computer.
Go read a manga book for an hour.

Seriously, it's that off-putting for me.

It doesn't uplift or support or accentuate anything ... all it does is ruin something that would be better off without it.
"Too many cooks..." and all that ...


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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

Okay, as an honest reviewer ... I'm going to have to say something potentially unpopular about this music track.

This track completely, totally and utterly FAILS to be creepy or moody or Halloween thematic for me for an incredibly obvious reason.

The incessant buzzing drone track in the piece absolutely KILLS IT flatter than Bleh.

Do me a favor.
Release another version of this piece of music that deletes the incessant buzzing drone track and I think you'll find it works a LOT better than this version does with the incessant buzzing drone in it.

The incessant buzzing drone is simply "trying too hard" and is constantly and consistently upstaging any and all other musical elements to the point where (as a listener) I just want it to STOP so I can hear the actual "good stuff" going on (musically) that ISN'T that damn incessant buzzing drone noise.
And if that can't be done, then I just don't want to listen to this music track ever again.
Turn it off.
Sleep the computer.
Go read a manga book for an hour.

Seriously, it's that off-putting for me.

It doesn't uplift or support or accentuate anything ... all it does is ruin something that would be better off without it.
"Too many cooks..." and all that ...

Disagree.

Compulsively clicking the refresh button until the next update.

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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

The incessant buzzing drone track in the piece absolutely KILLS IT flatter than Bleh.

I agree that it does flatten the entire track, now that you mention it. On the other hand it also lends it a disturbing edge appropriate to a Halloween Environment. A persistence of stress, I suppose is a better encapsulation of the effect it presents. If this is what the composer was trying for, then success. However, as Redlynne has exemplified, a persistence of stress may be an objectionable listening experience for some players.

I personally try to "get into" the state the composer induces. And in that regard, I find it evocative. Obviously some others might want to get out of it instead.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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Good stuff, thanks for the

Good stuff, thanks for the update!

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Now, regarding the update...

Now, regarding the update...

I really like that arm cannon. It seems weirdly odd and I can imagine big splooshes, freeze rays, or lightning arcs coming from it.

I also like that helmet in progress. I hope that forehead plinth is located where we can expect a forehead emanation point. That looks like it would make a great emanation point for mental spells and the like.
Edit: Actually I think you've got it located more like a cyclops between the eyes than where the forehead would be located. That actually kinda makes it even cooler. Either way, I hope it coincides with an emanation point!


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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To my ears, the buzzing is

To my ears, the buzzing is more of an ambient rain effect, which is really, really suitable for making things seem creepy. Mainly because where there is rain, there is often fog or otherwise reduced visibility, and that makes things much scarier than they would normally be.

Back when I was in college, the campus backed onto the largest cemetary in town, and it wasn't uncommon for people to cut through it on the way back.It wasn't illegal to be there at night at the time, but I have to say, there's nothing creepier than a cemetary at night in the middle of a radio dead spot. These tracks certainly reminded me of those days.

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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

Now, regarding the update...

I really like that arm cannon. It seems weirdly odd and I can imagine big splooshes, freeze rays, or lightning arcs coming from it.

I also like that helmet in progress. I hope that forehead plinth is located where we can expect a forehead emanation point. That looks like it would make a great emanation point for mental spells and the like.
Edit: Actually I think you've got it located more like a cyclops between the eyes than where the forehead would be located. That actually kinda makes it even cooler. Either way, I hope it coincides with an emanation point!

Oh yeah, the arm cannon. As a consummate blue dude who likes to blast stuff, this is right up my alley.

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Here's a fun question ...

Here's a fun question ... which end is the "shoot-y" end?
The narrow end, or the wider end?

Is it an option to have the arm cannon bolted on either way (narrow end at the elbow or wider end at the elbow)?
That way you get TWO cannon options from a single art asset (if it's made right).

Also, the glowie bits.
The glowie bits are cool (and presumably something you can choose the colors for) ... but wouldn't it be Rule Of Cool +1 if the glowie bits had a pulsating animation to them, including a "light crawl" along the shaft?

Just tossing ideas onto the bonfire of the vanities.


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Terwyn wrote:
Terwyn wrote:

To my ears, the buzzing is more of an ambient rain effect

Uh ... I don't quite know how to tell you this ... but rain sounds NOTHING LIKE THAT ...


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Redlynne
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Huckleberry][quote=Redlynne
Huckleberry wrote:

However, as Redlynne has exemplified, a persistence of stress may be an objectionable listening experience for some players.

This is why I want to hear the track with the incessant buzzing noise deleted ... so as to be able to cross-compare and come to a conclusive judgement about the question of ... Better? (Y/N)


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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

Here's a fun question ... which end is the "shoot-y" end?
The narrow end, or the wider end?

Is it an option to have the arm cannon bolted on either way (narrow end at the elbow or wider end at the elbow)?
That way you get TWO cannon options from a single art asset (if it's made right).

Also, the glowie bits.
The glowie bits are cool (and presumably something you can choose the colors for) ... but wouldn't it be Rule Of Cool +1 if the glowie bits had a pulsating animation to them, including a "light crawl" along the shaft?

Just tossing ideas onto the bonfire of the vanities.


Only comes from one end, and this is meant to be more of steampunk style arm cannon. The glowie bits are masks for glow so the effects could be added.

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Generally, no, it doesn't. It

Generally, no, it doesn't. It's just that's the best way I have of describing how it hit my brain.

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Neat update.

Neat update.

That mood music made me wish we could experience in the game. (Are we there yet? >.> <.< )

That cyclopean helmet is the bomb. I can't wait to see the finished product. That thing has major Guyver vibes.

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ArtStrong wrote:
ArtStrong wrote:

Only comes from one end, and this is meant to be more of steampunk style arm cannon. The glowie bits are masks for glow so the effects could be added.

I figured it would probably be the case that the wider end was the "amputee socket" attachment point and the narrow end would be the emanation point.
Doing things in the reverse direction (narrow at elbow, wide at gun) would yield more of a "blunderbuss bell muzzle" type of feel to the weapon.

The ionized lightning shot above is Rule Of Cool +11 ...
Magnificently done!


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Terwyn wrote:
Terwyn wrote:

Generally, no, it doesn't. It's just that's the best way I have of describing how it hit my brain.

Ah, so that's the interpretation you were reaching for (out of a multitude of them).

In which case, I have to say that the incessant buzzing sound fails on that count as well due to sound volume balance.
Because the incessant buzzing sound is so LOUD (relatively speaking) it is constantly trying to upstage and drown out any other sounds/music that is supposed to be happening during the music track.
It's the equivalent of trying to have an intimate private/quiet conversation during a monsoon rainstorm. The "rain" is so loud that it sets a minimum floor of volume for any speech or dialogue lines to be heard over the "noise" of the rain falling.
Same deal here with this Halloween track.
The incessant buzzing sound is so consistently LOUD that it upstages and drowns out any of the other musical elements ... to the point where the incessant buzzing sound takes center stage and everything else going on around it is just incidental.
Musically speaking, this creates a weird "backwards focus" in which you need to train your ear to ignore the incessant buzzing noise in order to hear anything else beyond it.

The equivalent way to describe this kind of thing in a journalism sense would be the well worn phrase of "burying the lede" (if you follow my meaning).

As is, the incessant buzzing sound is the primary focus of the track ... with all other elements "intruding into" and needing to be "louder than" that sound in order to be heard.
My musical appreciation sense is telling me that the incessant buzzing sound ought to be a background element, not an upstage everything foreground element that gets in the way of anything (and everything!) else going on musically in that track.
It's the theatrical stage equivalent of pointing the spotlight at the wrong thing to highlight and elevate that wrong thing above everything else.

I don't get the feeling of "oh well that's clever" in response.
Instead, I get the feeling of "you are Doing It Wrong™" ... quite possibly even on purpose ... and might not care enough to do anything about it or even want to try and fix the mistake (because the first step to fixing a mistake is admitting that a mistake has been made).

Like I said, my opinion on this might not be all that popular ... but I at least want to provide clarity on my perspective concerning the issue I've identified.


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Redlynne, if I understand you

Redlynne, if I understand you correctly, perhaps you might want to mention bagpipes as a counterpoint. One of the characteristics of bagpipes is their incessant whine, yet it serves to add atmosphere as a background element.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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Darth Fez wrote:
Darth Fez wrote:

Neat update.

That mood music made me wish we could experience in the game. (Are we there yet? >.> <.< )

That cyclopean helmet is the bomb. I can't wait to see the finished product. That thing has major Guyver vibes.

you get a cookie :) nice catch.

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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

Redlynne, if I understand you correctly, perhaps you might want to mention bagpipes as a counterpoint. One of the characteristics of bagpipes is their incessant whine, yet it serves to add atmosphere as a background element.

Oh aye, I be well aware o' the bagpipes and how they drone.
This music track doesn't do that ... or at least it doesn't manage the balance quite right to equate to the feeling of bagpipes (played well, we'll ignore bagpipes played badly for the purposes of this conversation).

One key point for how bagpipes sound is that the continuous droning noise they make isn't the primary musical sound from them.
The done supports the music played on the chanter, not the other way around.
The sound of the chanter cuts cleanly through the drone sound, such that the chanter is the primary "instrument" sound with the drone(s) in support to harmonize with.

Because the sounds used in this music track don't "fit together that way" like bagpipes do I've resisted making that comparison.
Kind of like how I wouldn't characterize the incessant buzzing sound as being like rain ... because it's nothing like rain (aside from maybe being too loud in the recording).


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I'm going to second Redlynne

I'm going to second Redlynne's request to hear it without the buzz track, and move that we also listen to it with varying volumes of buzz track in between those extremes.

Once we've done that, perhaps we can find a happy medium.

No, I meant for the volume of the buzz track. You're thinking of the contact for that mission...

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I'm going to say that the

I'm going to say that the Halloween track of Tal's is one of my favorites he's created. I absolutely love it and find it very effective for setting a mood that I find haunting, disturbing and enticing.

I'm only saying this here to point out that music is very subject to taste. What one person absolutely loves can be totally grating on the nerves of another person. There isn't a 'right way' in art. This is why I'm thrilled that Tal has put together so many compositions that will be used at different spots in the game. Most people here have found some tracks of his that they love, and some tracks that aren't their cup of tea. Like the world we live in - people aren't going to love every corner of it and every song played in it. But the diversity of the world is going to offer something for everyone, and even the things that you don't like so much at least will provide character and uniqueness throughout the game.

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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

Redlynne, if I understand you correctly, perhaps you might want to mention bagpipes as a counterpoint. One of the characteristics of bagpipes is their incessant whine.

Bagpipes have a number of 'drone-pipes', which is why they need the Bag, to keep up the air pressure. The 'chanter' pipe can be used with just lung pressure and often is, for 'mere' practice. The Bag is how bagpipes can seem to go on forever, with just one player. The Player's breath goes to keep the bag inflated, the player's elbow clamps down on the bag to keep outgoing pressure going to the Drones (which operate on reeds) and a little to the Chanter pipe which operates like a flute. So drones keep up the background notes and don't change, while the chanter dances through the melody.
I know all this because one of my middle-school friends was a piper.

Be Well!
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Whether people like the song

Whether people like the song or not, at least it’s something new.

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Zerohour wrote:
Zerohour wrote:

Whether people like the song or not, at least it’s something new.

And if you really don't like a particular song/track like that you can always turn the music off.

I get that not everyone is going to like every bit of music this game offers, but I'd much rather turn something like that off than to ask the Devs to keep tinkering with things which might require more development time. Sooner or later the Devs of MWM are going to need to actually LAUNCH this game regardless if everyone thinks it's 100% finished or not.

No game is ever "100% finished" - even the best of them only get "done enough" to be released.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:

Sooner or later the Devs of MWM are going to need to actually LAUNCH this game regardless if everyone thinks it's 100% finished or not.

Somehow ... I get the sense that Launch Day will not be happening during 2021.
Call it a hunch.

In fact, the earliest time I might expect Launch Day to happen would be during 2022 ... if not 2023 ...
So it's not as if the Launch Day Crunch is somehow imminent.


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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:
Lothic wrote:

Sooner or later the Devs of MWM are going to need to actually LAUNCH this game regardless if everyone thinks it's 100% finished or not.

Somehow ... I get the sense that Launch Day will not be happening during 2021.
Call it a hunch.

In fact, the earliest time I might expect Launch Day to happen would be during 2022 ... if not 2023 ...
So it's not as if the Launch Day Crunch is somehow imminent.

Yeah I wasn't really assuming we were like 10 minutes from launch either. But I'd also like this game to launch within a few years instead of sometime after 2030...

While the music for this game is important it's probably one of the easiest components they could "update" after launch if certain tracks aren't absolutely perfect right now. If a given music track takes a week to make but six months to perfect I'd rather they only spend the week on it now and get it "perfect" after launch.

There are aspects of this game which need to be far more "perfect" on Launch Day than the music. For example a player could easily play this game without the music turned on at all but there's no way to play this game without seeing the costume items and character models.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:

While the music for this game is important it's probably one of the easiest components they could "update" after launch if certain tracks aren't absolutely perfect right now. If a given music track takes a week to make but six months to perfect I'd rather they only spend the week on it now and get it "perfect" after launch.

There are aspects of this game which need to be far more "perfect" on Launch Day than the music. For example a player could easily play this game without the music turned on at all but there's no way to play this game without seeing the costume items and character models.

True, but the music people aren't multi-tasking into costumes and combat (I presume), so "idling" those development resources (music production) until later isn't necessarily a wise strategy either.
Different tracks for different stacks (and all that jazz).


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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:
Lothic wrote:

While the music for this game is important it's probably one of the easiest components they could "update" after launch if certain tracks aren't absolutely perfect right now. If a given music track takes a week to make but six months to perfect I'd rather they only spend the week on it now and get it "perfect" after launch.

There are aspects of this game which need to be far more "perfect" on Launch Day than the music. For example a player could easily play this game without the music turned on at all but there's no way to play this game without seeing the costume items and character models.

True, but the music people aren't multi-tasking into costumes and combat (I presume), so "idling" those development resources (music production) until later isn't necessarily a wise strategy either.
Different tracks for different stacks (and all that jazz).

It's not likely the people working on the music for this game will also be working on the art/graphics of the game so I'm sure these things can be (and are being) worked on simultaneously.

I'm just stressing the point that holding back on launching the game for the sole reason to "make sure the music is 100% perfect" should never become a thing for CoT... ever. There are at least a dozen other features/systems this game needs to get right LONG BEFORE worrying about whether the music is fully tweaked or not.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012