Announcements

See our latest update! Interview with Tannim222

Get the latest Patch now! The MacOS Client Launcher is Now available in the store! If you've already donated $50 or more, you'll find the Mac Launcher on your rewards page. https://store.missingworldsmedia.com/

Join the conversation on Discord: https://discord.gg/w6Tpkp2

Discuss: Sounds of Titan City 2

41 posts / 0 new
Last post
Red Warlock
Red Warlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 41 min ago
Developerkickstarter
Joined: 10/03/2013 - 22:09
Discuss: Sounds of Titan City 2

Read the original update here: https://cityoftitans.com/content/sounds-titan-city-2

Feel free to comment on the update below.

Environmental Artist, PR Editor

Dark Cleric
Dark Cleric's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 45 min ago
Joined: 05/14/2018 - 12:26
None of the music links work,

None of the music links work, at least not for me. Says they couldn't be found, maybe they were removed.

Compulsively clicking the refresh button until the next update.

Red Warlock
Red Warlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 41 min ago
Developerkickstarter
Joined: 10/03/2013 - 22:09
Thanks for the heads up -

Thanks for the heads up - Will go fix now...

Environmental Artist, PR Editor

Red Warlock
Red Warlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 41 min ago
Developerkickstarter
Joined: 10/03/2013 - 22:09
I adjusted the links and all

I adjusted the links and all seems to be working on the sound links now... let me know if anyone has further troubles with the links...

Environmental Artist, PR Editor

Redlynne
Redlynne's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 48 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/28/2013 - 21:15
Anarchy RedTheme 1 =

Anarchy Red
Theme 1 = 3m47s
Theme 2 = 3m15s
Theme 3 = 3m27s
Theme 4 = 3m32s
Total = 14m1s

Rooks
Theme 1 = 4m29s
Theme 2 = 4m16s
Theme 3 = 4m40s
Total = 13m25s

Tyrosine
Theme 1 = 4m23s
Theme 2 = 4m8s
Theme 3 = 4m40s
Total = 13m11s

Weird Sisters
Theme 1 = 5m49s
Theme 2 = 5m37s
Theme 3 = 6m20s
Total = 17m46s

Combat
Daytime suite = 9m17s
Nighttime suite = 6m33s
Total = 15m50s

Soundcloud only links total: 74m13s

=====

I'm kind of wondering why this omnibus release of sound was dumped on us all at once.
If this has been my responsibility (as the PR person) to publish this, I would have done it as a weekly series over 5 weeks (Anarchy Red week 1, Rooks week 2, Tyrosine week 3, Weird Sisters week 4, Combat week 5) so as to divide up the content into chunks of time that would easier to digest and provide commentary/critique for. Just looking at the total time commitment to listen to all that audio (basically 1h15m) before even contemplating composing anything to write in the forums ... starts becoming a "I guess I'll pass on that" feeling.

I mean, if you actually want feedback responses to the music, people need to spend the time actively listening to it (as opposed to letting it just be background noise, easily filtered out) and then affirmatively composing a response to the impression the themes make. That doesn't happen in zero time. I did it last time for the neighborhood themes and it basically took me ALL DAY to listen and write responses to all of that. This time I'm looking at the prospect and thinking ... I've got better things to do ... TODAY.

So ... releases of info like this need to be in easily digestible chunks that can be managed by people who don't have multiple hours burning a hole in their day(s).
This feels like having a 5 course meal set before you ... that you can only eat in ONE bite (for all 5 courses) ... and there won't be anything else to eat for another couple of months.
I mean, seriously ... the "demand" commitment on time for what you've released here isn't exactly ... convenient to deal with, in this lump sum omnibus format.

15 minutes of new music to listen to and critique per week over 5 weeks ... okay, that's not going to bust a lot of daily schedules.
76 minutes of new music to listen to and critique ... all in 1 day ... that's kind of a bit ... much ... don't you think?

Your thoughts on release strategy/rationales, Red_Warlock?

=====

I did at least check out the Canal Test video and see that you're apparently already taking my recommendation of exploring the world from the PC experience perspective seriously, as I recommended in the other thread. The canal sound test shows multiple issues still in need of resolution ... with the first one being that the "stepping noise" doesn't include any kind of water sloshing sounds when the PC is tromping through the water. As far as world details goes, it's good to see the amount of detail put on elements like the sluice gates and so on.

Two (and a half) things I would point out about the Canal Test video format.

1. It would have been nice to start with a map and pointer showing where the terrain to explore is located relative to the rest of the map, so as to know that the feature being presented is "Over Here" if people want to go find it later after game release. Better to start with a map view for a few seconds than end with a map view to get that necessary info. Could of started with a 4 second map view to show the location before switching to the run up the canal. Since you start with the PC just standing there for 10 seconds before moving, you could have easily saved another 5 seconds there (4 seconds with map, close map, 1 second standing for the camera before starting to move).

2. The video should have been shorter. I found my interest in what I was seeing (and hearing) starting to wane around the 1:20 mark, or about 1 minute after the actual gameplay started. When you turned around to go back through what had just been previewed, that's when my interest dropped off (due to "been there, seen that"). So in editing terms, I would have ended the video after going through the sluice gates before turning around to jump back.

2.5 The UE4 thing lasts 5 seconds, but I really wish it were less "attention grabbing" on the sound. Imagine listening to that UE4 opening clip 20+ times in half an hour. It's going to get old when binge watching a queue of multiple videos.
I like the MWM animated logo with the lens flare pulse on it. However, I would of had the ambient sound of the setting clip fade in over the course of the time the MWM logo is up and then launch straight into the gameplay.
At the end of the video (which in my cut would have ended just as the PC turns around to jump back) the sound of the clip playback continues uninterrupted, but the video does a quick fade to black so as to allow the City of Titans video clip to be played at the end of the video, instead of right after the MWM logo at the front. That way it feels like the action of the clip is "continuing" out of sight behind the City of Titans animated logo on screen. You then just let the playback audio fade out with the City of Titans logo on screen so the video ends on silence with City of Titans on screen. That way, if you have multiple clip videos like this queued up to autoplay, you don't get any weird sound cutoffs when skipping to the next video in the queue.

Hope that makes sense as far as presentation is concerned on how to make better/tighter videos like this one more easily in the future. Because KNOWING ...


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.
Red Warlock
Red Warlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 41 min ago
Developerkickstarter
Joined: 10/03/2013 - 22:09
Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

I'm kind of wondering why this omnibus release of sound was dumped on us all at once.
If this has been my responsibility (as the PR person) to publish this, I would have done it as a weekly series over 5 weeks (Anarchy Red week 1, Rooks week 2, Tyrosine week 3, Weird Sisters week 4, Combat week 5) so as to divide up the content into chunks of time that would easier to digest and provide commentary/critique for... Your thoughts on release strategy/rationales, Red_Warlock?

It's good to hear the feedback. For myself, I'd rather have an update that has enough material for me to check out over two weeks until the next update, because it's a lot of content to enjoy. To me, that feels like a great update. Also, I can see kind of the bigger picture with a bunch of music like this. If I don't like a certain faction's style, I can move on to the next one and maybe I'll like it. I can compare and contrast styles when you have a big collection of the music. Also, maybe some people will only give these tracks a listen once because they have limited patience for actually stopping and listening to songs, so hopefully with lots of options to choose from, they will find one or two of the styles they will like.

But it's a valid point... I could have broken it up into sections... I just think since people are wanting to see work that is accomplished and we have all this work completed, this is some great material to get into people's hands...

Environmental Artist, PR Editor

Redlynne
Redlynne's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 48 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/28/2013 - 21:15
Red Warlock wrote:
Red Warlock wrote:

But it's a valid point... I could have broken it up into sections... I just think since people are wanting to see work that is accomplished and we have all this work completed, this is some great material to get into people's hands...

Living on Feast Or Famine isn't always an optimal strategy, especially if you can level things out into more of a steady state over time, where you can build in an expectation of "come back for more later!"
Dumping it all on us at once does mean there's more available NOW, but also strongly implies it's going to be quite a while before another release.

"Choose you must how to serve them best..." and all that jazz.


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.
Huckleberry
Huckleberry's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 13 min ago
Joined: 01/03/2016 - 08:39
I've spent the necessary time

I've listened to them all. There are three salient comments that came to the fore of my brain as I listened to them. I list them here in the order I jotted them down:

  1. I would expect a group whose central theme is Chaos (Anarchy Red) to have a more chaotic and even atonal character and it seemed theirs were among the most rythmic. But then I thought, do we really want a chotic and atonal theme? Wouldn't that be too difficult to listen to and provide an unenjoyable experience? Instead of Anarchy Red, the Rooks seemed to exhibit more chaos and atonality, especially Rooks theme 02. And listening to Rooks Theme 02 I realized I was correct. That level of dissonance is not enjoyable at all. At the 2:10 mark, it temporarily switches to scratch tracks and at 2:29 it switches again to funk bass, both of which would be EXCELLENT for the sounds of street hoodlums and would be far more enjoyable to listen to than the rest of this track, which I suppose was an attempt at dubstep without the wicked bass drops.
  2. After listening to each faction selection, I was unable to find a common characteristic among the three selections for each. In fact, besides Wierd Sister's Theme and Anarchy Red DFW which seemed to be the only truly unique and actually catchy tunes and Rooks Theme 02 which I've already discussed, they all sounded so much alike they could be applied to each other; which is not necessarily a good thing. Maybe listening to them one after another caused me to suffer from auditory fatigue (the same way olifactory fatigue dulls the sense of smell after too much exposure). If so, I might have to do another listen or two; but for now it didn't seem to me that the composer tried for any common characteristic for any single groups' music. Tyrosine was different enough from the others, but even so the three Tyrosine tracks didn't seem to share any common DNA (see what I did there: CoT lore pun). I would recommend the composer find a muscial style, selections of instruments or some other defining characteristic(s) for each faction and then see what he can make from those. Anarchy Red, for example might be better served by looking at the roots of British Punk Rock and even 60's American protest music. Rooks might want to take inspiration from rap which has been the voice of the inner city for generations now and is culturally ubiquitous as well. Meanwhile Tyrosine could exhibit a meld of clockwork and high-synth to show its more technological underpinnngs and the Wierd Sisters are just asking for 80's and 90's inspired beats. Then there are other soundstyles like harpsichord which might be perfect for something like The Regency; and so on. And why are there three different songs for each faction anyway?
  3. Daytime Combat Suite tempo change at 1:48 was utterly jarring. I don't think such a tempo shift belongs in background combat music unless it is meant to signal a shift in the tempo of the battle. When I heard it I actually sat up and wondered what in my environment had changed in that moment. A player who's 'in the zone' in a battle should be given audible cues to help them understand the flow of battle, not subjected to false cues like this.

I really liked Anarchy Red DFM and Wierd Sisters Theme. And while they both sounded like they had the same sound style, their tunes were catchy and pleasant to listen to. (Please forgive me, Mrs. Palmer, for ending my sentance in a preposition) Nighttime Combat Suite was also a good piece. The prominant percussion accented by the high strings is always a good choice for combat music.

I write all of this with the absolute full understanding that I have absolutely NO musical talent whatsoever. So I remain in awe at Tal's prolific output and the amount of work that must obviously have gone into this. Please do not take my criticisms as anything other than a listener's attempt to discuss his opinions of what works and doesn't work for him.


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.
Redlynne
Redlynne's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 48 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/28/2013 - 21:15
Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

Maybe listening to them one after another caused me to suffer from auditory fatigue

And THAT right there is what I was worried about happening when a massive dump of music happens all at once like this. The odds of auditory fatigue expand almost exponentially the longer you keep actively listening (I know it happened to me with the zone ambient music tracks last time).

How to prevent auditory fatigue? Release smaller chunks of music over a longer time frame (as I recommended above).


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.
Lothic
Lothic's picture
Online
Last seen: 9 min 17 sec ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/02/2013 - 00:27
Huckleberry wrote:Anarchy Red
Huckleberry wrote:

Anarchy Red, for example might be better served by looking at the roots of British Punk Rock and even 60's American protest music. Rooks might want to take inspiration from rap which has been the voice of the inner city for generations now and is culturally ubiquitous as well. Meanwhile Tyrosine could exhibit a meld of clockwork and high-synth to show its more technological underpinnngs and the Wierd Sisters are just asking for 80's and 90's inspired beats.

Like you have absolutely no skill in making music of any kind (or even barely listening to it) so of course I'm perfectly suited to offer critical comments about these new CoT tracks in an authoritative manner that'll make me sound cool. ;)

In general I like what I heard here but I'd have to agree with Huckleberry's sentiment in that (at least to me) these tracks sounded somewhat too similar to each other and not "distinctive" enough to be clearly identifiable as a "signature sound" for any of the given groups. I would think that you'd want the music to be undeniably linked to the group they are meant to be a soundtrack for.

For what it's worth I'll try to list some musical styles/themes/groups that I think each of these groups' music ought to be more directly related to. Huckleberry actually nailed a few of them already:

Anarchy Red - British Punk Rock, The Ramones, 90s Grunge, Bands like Tool, Metallica or Nine Inch Nails
Rooks - Rap, Hip-Hop, Soundtracks from movies like The Warriors, Escape from New York or Akira
Tyrosine - Electronica, Soundtracks from movies like Blade Runner or the original Terminator movie
Wierd Sisters - 80s Alternative, Goth/Emo, Maybe even stuff from like Kate Bush, Eyna or Bjork (considering they're a female-oriented group)

Obviously when I say something like "it should sound like Blade Runner" I don't mean that the music should be directly ripped off from the movie but that it should be "inspired" by these examples.

P.S. I'm clearly old enough that any music made since around 2000 is arguably not really "music" to me so none of my examples come from anything "recent". Accept that as you will.

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

Red Warlock
Red Warlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 41 min ago
Developerkickstarter
Joined: 10/03/2013 - 22:09
Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

Living on Feast Or Famine isn't always an optimal strategy, especially if you can level things out into more of a steady state over time, where you can build in an expectation of "come back for more later!" Dumping it all on us at once does mean there's more available NOW, but also strongly implies it's going to be quite a while before another release.

Good points. Pacing is good and I’ll try to keep that in mind as we write updates. But I will also say, I don’t think we will be holding much back very soon. This is the seventh update we’ve done since trying to keep to an update every two weeks and I think if you look back, we’ve been pretty good at avoiding total silence in this period. But if we are doing too much, we can break it up some more too. It’s good to go steady.

And in that spirit, I hope people will enjoy our planned release of flight in the coming update as not ‘JUST flight’, but the latest release of travel powers we plan to slowly roll out. When we roll things out in little bits, we are sometimes criticized because we are only doing a piece of something, and not the whole game. I hope people see with this sound update and with flight coming, that progress is happening for the game.

There is a lot more to come related to sound, travel powers, city environments - and I hope you enjoy the music for this update, maybe choosing to pause if anyone has listening fatigue!

Environmental Artist, PR Editor

Hope
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 09/15/2013 - 10:10
I think that looked great.

I think that looked great. Enjoyed seeing the costumes, learned more about the baddies, a variety of music, ambient noises at the end.

Keep em coming.

Hi. I'm Hope.

Fireheart
Fireheart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 17 hours ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/05/2013 - 13:45
Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

"Choose you must how to serve them best..." and all that jazz.

Fava beans and a nice Chianti?

Red Warlock
Red Warlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 41 min ago
Developerkickstarter
Joined: 10/03/2013 - 22:09
Story on CoT update.... https

Environmental Artist, PR Editor

Redlynne
Redlynne's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 48 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/28/2013 - 21:15
I'm going to try and review

I'm going to try and review these in a way that doesn't induce Audio Fatigue.

Quote:

Anarchy Red
Theme 1 = 3m47s
Theme 2 = 3m15s
Theme 3 = 3m27s
Theme 4 = 3m32s
Total = 14m1s

=====

Theme 1 ... works ... kinda sorta, but I honestly think it is partially hampered by the choice of instruments being used.
Specifically, I think the same beats and melodies would work just fine or better if played by different instruments, which then changes the overall sound of the track.
What kind of instrument changes? Well I'm glad you asked.

The present Theme 1 linked to above sounds a bit too much like a stage performance, like something a band would play on stage in front of a live audience. It therefore lacks a signature quality to it that points at Anarchy Red as being the "sound" of Anarchy Red, instead it's just background music (which ultimately it needs to be of course, but follow me here).

What I was expecting to hear for this track was something more like a collection of "found instruments" playing the music (kind of like using "found wood" to make furniture out of).

So imagine what the beat track of the first 10 seconds would sound like if it wasn't something being produced by a synthesizer ... but was instead the sound of someone using hammer on a dumpster. The dumpster is the "found instrument" you use for your percussion beats.
The next 10 seconds features a beat of synthesized tones overlaid on the first track ... but what if instead this was the sound of empty 5 gallon plastic water bottles being smacked on the ground to make them repeatedly ring like a bell?
The next 20 seconds adds a mid range drum into the mix ... so what if this was the sound of someone smacking a knee to waist high garbage can with drumsticks to produce this sound?
The next 20 seconds add yet more techno synth beats into the mix ... so what if these were instead the sound of someone flute blowing across the mouth of an empty jug instead?
The next 5 seconds reverts back to some of the original beat line as a stand alone.
The next 5 seconds adds a fast staccato beat ... that could have just as easily been done using the sound of someone playing (big) spoons for the necessary staccato "clickety-clack" sound.
The next 10 seconds adds some really nice metal stringed electric guitar sound, which can stay in as is.
And then we finally get to the treble melody of the theme, but it's done in a techno-synth kind of way. Personally, I would have chosen the sound of a mouth blown kazoo for this melody instead.

So if you keep the beats and melody line, but change out the instruments used to create those sounds, you can easily wind up with a piece of music that sounds far more "opportunistic scrounge-y" in its character and that conveys a sense of being more like an impromptu drum jam theme than being something that was composed to be performed on stage in front of a live audience for cheers and applause. That kind of "found instruments" sound combination then immediately gets identified with Anarchy Red as one of Anarchy Red's signature sounds.

Am I making sense for people here?
The beats and melodic lines for this theme are fine ... but if you change out the instruments used to make the sounds, I think you'll wind up with a far superior signature sound for Anarchy Red that then becomes OBVIOUSLY Anarchy Red the moment you hear it.

=====

Theme 2 ... works ... for the most part, as a drums/synth/electric guitar mix.
The one thing that really sticks out (like sore thumb) for me with this theme is that it relentlessly sticks to a major key throughout, which makes the whole track sound very upbeat and "go getter" where everything is great. This makes me wonder what would happen if the melody for this track were to modulate between minor and major keys over the course of the track (perhaps a minor/major/minor/major sequence) so that the emotional punch of the track is down, then up, then down, then up at the end due to the minor/major key shifts. I have the suspicion that giving this track "ups and downs" like that would make it more interesting in ways that speak to the kind of musical character you would want to give to Anarchy Red (you win some, you lose some).

=====

Theme 3 ... is another drums/synth/electric guitar mix that feels like it works a bit better than theme 2, although I get the feeling there is still room for some tweaks to improve it.
This is another track where the whole track is played in a major key, but this doesn't stick out quite as much as track 2. However, the track is pretty relentless in its structure in that is plays every section twice before moving on to the next change up. This makes me think that there is an opportunity to play with a major/minor key modulation in this track, but refrain from doing it "too often" so when it does happen it isn't always expected.

Everything is arranged in what amount to 6 second loops that get repeated once to make a couplet of repeated sound before moving on to the next variation. So each couplet lasts about 12 seconds, giving you around 5 couplets per minute, for a total of 17 couplets over the course of the 3m27s runtime.

So what if instead of doing:
major/major . major/major . major/major . major/major . major/major . major/major . major/major . major/major . major/major . major/major . major/major . major/major . major/major . major/major . major/major . major/major . major/major = 17

Instead what happened was more like:
major/major . major/major . major/major . major/major . major/minor/major . major/major . major/major . major/minor/major . major/major . major/minor/major . major/major . major/major . major/minor/major . major/major . major/major . major/major . major/major = 17

The pattern would then be ... 4, 1+1, 2, 1+1, 1, 1+1, 2, 1+1, 4 ... so you would only be adding in 4 musical phrases of 6 seconds each in a minor key, increasing the runtime of the track by about ~24 seconds. But because the minor key musical phrases don't show up on a symmetrically repeating pattern (although it is a 4:2:1:2:4 cadence) when they happen they aren't necessarily going to be expected, in addition to breaking up the bathroom tile repeating cadence of repeating musical phrases in couplets every single time without variation. That kind of "breaking the pattern" in that way then once again adds a feeling of "This Is Anarchy Red" where the musical theory "rules" occasionally get broken by them (the major/minor modulations).

=====

Theme 4 works the best out of the four Anarchy Red themes, mainly because it sounds like a party band.
However, what this track is sorely missing is an electric bass guitar. If there was a lead guitar and a bass guitar in this, the two can play together and do solos (lead solo, bass solo) of the melody during the track to help change things up a little. So that would be my recommendation for making changes to the track itself.

The other thing that I would recommend is starting the track with a drummer's clapping of sticks to give the 1-2-3-4 beat cadence before launching into the instruments playing, just to give you that live stage performance feeling to it all.

=====

I'll see if I have time to review more tracks (Rooks next) at a later time. Just listening to and composing this post while listening to these 4 tracks has consumed HOURS (plural) up to this point.
Time to do something else for a while ...


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.
Foradain
Foradain's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 5 hours ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/25/2013 - 21:06
I went to the Canal for my

I went to the Canal for my first chunk, after sampling the rest.

Like Redlynne, I noticed the lack of character-movement-generated sounds, i.e. footsteps. And I liked the birdsong and the noise of the outflow.
But what bothered me the most wasn't audio at all. It's that I can't figure out what the purpose of this canal is, in-story. It's too shallow for anything that could carry cargo, and there seems to be nothing resembling locks to lift or lower a vessel. Is it flood control? If that's the case it's only the name "canal" that's throwing me off, and it explains why it looked like there was a slope to the water where the video started. Although that water looked stationary, nary a ripple to be seen...

Foradain, Mage of Phoenix Rising.
Foradain's Character Conclave
Millennium City Refugee.
Avatar courtesy of Satellite9

Lothic
Lothic's picture
Online
Last seen: 9 min 17 sec ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/02/2013 - 00:27
Foradain wrote:
Foradain wrote:

I went to the Canal for my first chunk, after sampling the rest.

Like Redlynne, I noticed the lack of character-movement-generated sounds, i.e. footsteps. And I liked the birdsong and the noise of the outflow.
But what bothered me the most wasn't audio at all. It's that I can't figure out what the purpose of this canal is, in-story. It's too shallow for anything that could carry cargo, and there seems to be nothing resembling locks to lift or lower a vessel. Is it flood control? If that's the case it's only the name "canal" that's throwing me off, and it explains why it looked like there was a slope to the water where the video started. Although that water looked stationary, nary a ripple to be seen...

It could be part of a massive storm drain system or even a tidal control system. But if that's the case calling it a "canal" would be a bit strange. As I understand the word a "canal" is a man-made thing connecting two bodies of water intended for boats/barges.

Ultimately I don't really mind if various bits of the city don't quite "fit" or don't make sense from a strictly "real world engineering" POV. But I will admit the lack of "splashy footstep" sounds did seem a bit off-putting. Obviously that might just be a detail that hasn't been added to this latest build.

Also I know this probably isn't the place to bring it up but I still don't like how "weightless" the cape physics seem to be. The capes in CoT (so far) seem to flip around way too chaotically like they don't "weigh" anything or their "animation inertia" is too low. Hopefully this will be adjusted otherwise I doubt I'll ever use them.

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

Red Warlock
Red Warlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 41 min ago
Developerkickstarter
Joined: 10/03/2013 - 22:09
Like Lothic said, It is a

Like Lothic said, It is a drainage canal. And it’s not uncommon to call a smaller canal like this a ‘canal’. If you do a google search on drainage canals you will see lots of similar shallow canals.

Also, movement audio (footsteps etc.) have not been added yet. But we decided to show this video just to give a glimpse of work being done, even though more improvements are coming...

Environmental Artist, PR Editor

Huckleberry
Huckleberry's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 13 min ago
Joined: 01/03/2016 - 08:39
Canals used to be quite

Canals used to be quite prevalent in the American Northeast. Now, remnants of them are all over, but without much of their originally recognizable hardware. So if there are no locks in this canal, I think it would be cool if the city designers put in indications of where the locks once were. Just do a quick google search of Erie Canal locks or C&O canal locks.

Here's just one example of one of Erie Canal's defunct locks:

And this video of another. Notice the cutouts in the sides for where the lock gates once were (or still are):

One other important characteristic of a canal is that the walls are vertical. You want your barges to impact the sides ABOVE the water, not below. And the canal lock hardware would be much simpler mechanically with a vertical hinge than an angled hinge.

So if the Lore of Titan City is that this is a canal, I would expect to see where locks once were and I would expect to see vertical sides. A old mule path converted into a modern biking or hiking trail would be extra credit.


Having said all that. I just took a look at the map of Old Bradford (where this video was taken) and I noticed that this is definitely no canal. This is just a drainage, and a short one at that, from Byrne Park to the sea. It is quite the odd beast.


... or maybe it was an artifact of an industrialized city taking advantage of an existing but inadequate marshy waterway from where Byrne Park is now to the sea. It would make sense to me that at some point, an industrialist took advantage of the existing waterway and dredged a channel there for loading and unloading. Eventually, it was built up an reinforced, earning the name "Canal" despite how short it is. The corresponding effect on Byrne park is its conversion from a swampy marsh into a natural park with a pond in the middle. I like this much better and we get to keep it a canal as well.

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.
Red Warlock
Red Warlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 41 min ago
Developerkickstarter
Joined: 10/03/2013 - 22:09
Thanks for that Huckleberry -

Thanks for that Huckleberry - that canal is also still a work in progress and those defunct locks are a great idea to give it some more character...

Environmental Artist, PR Editor

Huckleberry
Huckleberry's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 13 min ago
Joined: 01/03/2016 - 08:39
Red Warlock wrote:
Red Warlock wrote:

Thanks for that Huckleberry - that canal is also still a work in progress and those defunct locks are a great idea to give it some more character...

Sorry Red Warlock, I was editing my post when you responded. Please look at what I wrote below the dividing line.


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.
Redlynne
Redlynne's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 48 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/28/2013 - 21:15
Foradain wrote:
Foradain wrote:

Like Redlynne, I noticed the lack of character-movement-generated sounds, i.e. footsteps.

Although that water looked stationary, nary a ripple to be seen...

Remember how we used to joke about all the water in City of Heroes (including the ocean!) being only 3 feet deep?

And then Paragon Studios created the "hot tubs" in the new Faultline where you could actually GO UNDERWATER (as in all the way under the water) and people were just AMAZED ...?


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.
Darth Fez
Darth Fez's picture
Offline
Last seen: 15 hours 35 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 09/20/2013 - 07:53
The water in the canal sound

The water in the canal sound test very much sounds like it's running somewhere indoors, or through a (small-ish) pipe, rather than outdoors.

The lack of sound from the character running I figured was due to it being an ambient sound test, rather than a character sound test.

- - - - -
Hail Beard!

Support trap clowns for CoT!

Huckleberry
Huckleberry's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 13 min ago
Joined: 01/03/2016 - 08:39
Darth Fez wrote:
Darth Fez wrote:

The water in the canal sound test very much sounds like it's running somewhere indoors, or through a (small-ish) pipe, rather than outdoors.

I didn't notice it until you mentioned it. When I first listened to it, I thought, "falling water: check. ambient nature sounds: check." and that was about all the effort I put into it. But now you mention it, all the sounds have a very laboratory character to them. Close your eyes when you listen to it and try to picture the environment around you and you and then compare that to what you see when you open your eyes and you'll see what I mean. Can't put my finger on why that is, as I'm not a sound engineer. Maybe its intentional to represent the enclosing character of the high walls of the canal, that argument goes away once the character gets into a more open area.

But the biggest thing I heard on my second playthrough was the binary nature of the sound. Either we heard it at full volume or we didn't hear it. I think there was a little fade in and fade out, but I don't think the fade in and fade out had anything to do with attennuation due to distance as it had to do with playback of the full sound itself. I would expect to hear a waterfall from a lot farther away. Maybe UNREAL Engine has plug-ins for sound? The farther away from something we are, the less high frequency sounds we hear because only the lower frequency sounds make it that far. Surely some sound engineer out there has figured out a way to strip high frequency sounds off the register combined with decreasing volume to simulate distance from the source of the sound and work that into the UNREAL Engine. I would love to hear the low tell-tale rumble off in the distance that lets me know there's a waterfall I can't see. And as I get closer the sound becomes more of the white noise we typically associate with falling water until, when I'm standing in it, that white noise is so loud I can't hear anything else.

Without such a engine mechanic, I suppose the MWM sound team can do that themselves by just overlaying two or three different sound profiles on the same source location, but with different ranges so we hear the low frequencies from farther away and the high frequencies up close. But that's three times the work and more.

(edited to attempt to make more sense)


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.
Darth Fez
Darth Fez's picture
Offline
Last seen: 15 hours 35 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 09/20/2013 - 07:53
The way it sounds to me is

The way it sounds to me is that there is far too much echo, and it's very crisp, which is what I meant by it having an 'indoor' sound. It has the quality water running in a fairly enclosed space (a laboratory, if you will) with hard, flat surfaces rather than outdoors. Often it also has to do with the perceived volume of water - there's a definite dissonance when you see a waterfall but the sound reminds me more of someone pouring out a glass of water. It's all the difference between hearing water run into a bathtub and falling into a pool (or lake, etc., etc.).

- - - - -
Hail Beard!

Support trap clowns for CoT!

Fireheart
Fireheart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 17 hours ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/05/2013 - 13:45
Mmm, 'hard, flat surfaces'

Mmm, 'hard, flat surfaces' like a concrete canal?

Redlynne
Redlynne's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 48 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/28/2013 - 21:15
Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

Mmm, 'hard, flat surfaces' like a concrete canal?

More like bounded in all 6 directions (up/down, left/right, forward/backward) due to being in an enclosed room, as opposed to being "outside" where 5 or less directions are bounded. Removing even one of the directions for sound to bounce back to you changes what things sound like in ways that we intuitively recognize (assuming our ears work properly and aren't damaged/deficient in some way). This is why open spaces have different acoustic properties to them than enclosed spaces.


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.
Fireheart
Fireheart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 17 hours ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/05/2013 - 13:45
Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

Mmm, 'hard, flat surfaces' like a concrete canal?

More like bounded in all 6 directions (up/down, left/right, forward/backward) due to being in an enclosed room, as opposed to being "outside" where 5 or less directions are bounded. Removing even one of the directions for sound to bounce back to you changes what things sound like in ways that we intuitively recognize (assuming our ears work properly and aren't damaged/deficient in some way). This is why open spaces have different acoustic properties to them than enclosed spaces.

Agreed, a canal would only bound your spaces three ways and the amazing sound processor in your brain can Sense that.

Redlynne
Redlynne's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 48 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/28/2013 - 21:15
I'm going to try and review

I'm going to try and review these in a way that doesn't induce Audio Fatigue.

Redlynne wrote:

Rooks
Theme 1 = 4m29s
Theme 2 = 4m16s
Theme 3 = 4m40s
Total = 13m25s

Theme 1

I have to say, I found this track pretty disappointing ... because it just wanders around aimlessly without adding up to being anything or even having a coherent identifying "feel" to it. It's more of just a mishmash of instruments and beats thrown together in a sort of grunge jazz that lacks a sense of purpose or identity to it. I don't listen to it and think "That's Rooks man!" ... instead I sit there listening to it and is just feels kind of pointless. So if that was the idea, yay? But if it wasn't, if this was supposed to be some kind of "signature sound" for the Rooks, it completely failed. This doesn't sound like anything but generic overwhelms street beat to me.

Not a fan of this track for this purpose for this group.

=====

Theme 2

How did this manage to sound even worse than Theme 1? It's like someone trying to use a desert mixer to play the synthesizer.
I want the 4 minutes of my life lost to listening to this noise back.

Definitely NOT a fan of this track.

=====

Theme 3

Finally, a Rooks theme I don't have to despise or hate listening to.
This theme succeeds where the others failed for me, because it's actually got a sort of a catchy through line in it that carries the theme along while still feeling a bit "street" at the same time. The melody is catchy enough to at least feel like it might be "signature" to the Rooks, so this one passes.


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.
Redlynne
Redlynne's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 48 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/28/2013 - 21:15
I'm going to try and review

I'm going to try and review these in a way that doesn't induce Audio Fatigue.

Redlynne wrote:

Tyrosine
Theme 1 = 4m23s
Theme 2 = 4m8s
Theme 3 = 4m40s
Total = 13m11s

Theme 1

The vibe I get from this track is something that would feel right at home in some of the more rundown areas of King's Row, parts of Brickstown and pretty much anywhere Crey dominated in Crey's Folly.
The one thing I object to in this track is the "ripping synthesizer" tones that start at 9 seconds into the track. Remove that element and I think you've got a pretty decent thematic track, but the ripping synth sounds detract from rather than add to the rest of the track and I found myself trying to listen "around" the bombardment of noise from this one element.

=====

Theme 2

This theme sounded to me very much like something I would expect to hear around Portal Corp in Peregrine Island or even out in the Shadow Shard in Fire Base Zulu.
The one complaint I have with this theme is that it feels like it drags on for too many repeats, so I'm thinking a truncated or otherwise tightened up to be shorter version of this theme would work quite nicely ... it just has too long of a runtime.

=====

Theme 3

With a title like "Escape from the Stock Market" I was honestly expecting a theme that would start off in one direction (in the Exchange) and then transition to something completely different (outside the Exchange) so as to give a sense of having "escaped" from the mosh pit of the Exchange. But no, this theme doesn't do anything even approximately close to that. Instead, it sounds more like something that Freakshow would be dancing to while their Boss is hawking stolen stereo speaker towers on street corners. At no time during the entire track is there a sense of "Stock Market" at all, let alone any sort of "Escape" from one as the theme plays. Instead, it's just trying to sound edgy and "street" the whole way through, which doesn't sound like it would fit a "Corporate Overlords" type of vibe too terribly well. It doesn't even work as "muzak that makes you evil" or anything along those lines.

This theme is basically a Fail for me as being something properly thematic to Tyrosine Corp.


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.
Redlynne
Redlynne's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 48 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/28/2013 - 21:15
I'm going to try and review

I'm going to try and review these in a way that doesn't induce Audio Fatigue.

Redlynne wrote:

Weird Sisters
Theme 1 = 5m49s
Theme 2 = 5m37s
Theme 3 = 6m20s
Total = 17m46s

Theme 1

I still really like this theme for the Weird Sisters, even after repeating hearing. It has a bit of an "edge" to it that tells you "We aren't in Kansas anymore" thanks to its driving beat and sound overlays, so it gives you a reason to want to look over your shoulder (just in case). There's sense of PRIDE in the theme, a pride in being different, of not marching in lockstep to the same drummer, Keep Titan City Weird and all that jazz.

I would however really like to hear a rearrangement of this theme that keeps the tempo, melody, harmony, etc. but which simply swaps out all the instruments. Right now, the theme is very techno in its aspect, giving it a very Modern Technomage feel to it. I'm curious to know what this theme would sound like if it was performed with all acoustic instruments ... wooden xylophone for the underlying beat that repeats through the theme, use a flute, saxophone and metal stringed acoustic guitar for the descant overlay themes, a drum set and cymbals for some of the accent moments, and the composer could even throw in some chimes for the sustained on pitch notes with longer decay times ... so as to give the theme a more organic music feel to it than something that came straight out of a synthesizer mix. The SPIRIT of the theme is already there, but what happens to it when the instruments change? I kind of want to see if that's an experiment that could be successful.

So yes, an acoustic remix of this theme would be a welcome development, partly because I have a sense that while this kind of synthesized sound may be perfect for some areas of Weird Sisters territory, there are other areas where it would probably make a poor mix (concrete jungle vs nature jungle, for example). Having those two variations on the same theme ought to be useful, I'm thinking, especially since the composition work is mostly done ... it's just a matter of swapping out the instruments that make the sound.

=====

Theme 2

The first impression I got from this theme was ... Magic Biker Girl Gang on e-bikes ... and the mental images were COOL.
And when I say e-bikes ... I mean THIS kind of e-bike ...

"It means it's ... torque-y. Ah, I'll get the hang of it."

I mean, imagine being on the street and seeing a squad of these Weird Sisters riding around on e-bikes (not brooms, souped up hotrodded e-bikes) ,,, patrolling their streets.
Yeah ... imagine something like that.

=====

Theme 3

The immediate impression I get upon hearing this theme is ... Weird Sisters vs Big City ... giving me a sense of high rise housing blocks and dense urban living, as opposed to the kind of urban sprawl you would get in suburbia. So I get a sort of "dense urban city living" vibe with this theme, yet it still feels like the Weird Sisters are leaving their impression on the landscape. Really nicely done this one, since it contrasts so well with the other two themes for the Weird Sisters.

=====

So surprisingly enough, I am the most satisfied with all three themes for the Weird Sisters ... and if anything I want to hear more for them, rather than less.


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.
Huckleberry
Huckleberry's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 13 min ago
Joined: 01/03/2016 - 08:39
Red, your efforts are

Red, your efforts are appreciated. I don't think you are the only person who has opinions, but you are one of the few who are willing to spend the 74 minutes to listen and however many more to put your thoughts down on page. I would hope others take the time to listen to just a single theme or two to provide their own input, but I don't think that will happen. Regardless, I also hope the creators take the time to read your input and consider it for value it has.


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.
Redlynne
Redlynne's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 48 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/28/2013 - 21:15
Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

Red, your efforts are appreciated.

And here I was wondering if I was just posting into the void ... since it's been some 19 days since my first review post with seemingly no response (where I can see it). There may have been conversations over on the MWM Discord, but I'm not over there so I wouldn't have seen any activity there.

Sometimes it feels like my lot in life is to toil in futility ... :(

Huckleberry wrote:

I don't think you are the only person who has opinions, but you are one of the few who are willing to spend the 74 minutes to listen and however many more to put your thoughts down on page.

I went for an Art degree in college for a while, thinking I might become an artist.
When I abandoned that degree path the only thing I had learned from all of my classes was that I was a really good critic.
In art classes without a Teaching Assistant (TA), I almost always inevitably wound up being a de-facto TA simply because I could critique other student's work in drawing and design classes and talk about what I saw in what they were doing in ways that "spoke" to them and was easily accessible (rather than getting all artsy-fartsy and fru fru word salad-y about it).

So I've been on both ends of the artist/critic divide ... and know full well the value of a good critique for drawing out the best results from a talented artist (or few) in a group.
I mean, one of the guys in one of my art classes was none other than Robert Rodriguez (I suggested some minor alterations to the fleeing cockroach animation at the start of his film Bedhead during a drawing class with him that he incorporated) ... so ... you know ...

One of the more amusing/amazing experiences I had in one of my art classes was when the professor put us into groups of 3 and had us each draw on a big piece of paper (2ft x 3ft) and then after 1 minute switch round robin style to the one of the other drawings in our group and keep going and just rotating through to build up all three images. We did this for like 15 minutes and ended up with different drawings that all had input from each of the students in that group. The professor was absolutely baffled by what came out of the group that I had been in ... because each of the drawings were so radically different (none of them looked like the other two). The thing that puzzled the professor, and everyone else in the class who knew my drawing style (heavy anime/manga influenced) was that no one could point to even a single line in ANY of the 3 drawings that I had made ... and yet everyone in class was utterly convinced that I had participated in all three drawings. Couldn't point to a single line I had drawn on any of them, but they all knew I'd influenced the results in all three of them ... and no one, not even the professor, could explain why or how that happened. I even agreed with the assessment, since even I couldn't point to any of the lines I had made in the drawings (they'd been overlaid by the additions of the others), and yet it was somehow unmistakable that my influence could be clearly seen in each of the three drawings, even to my eyes.

So yeah, I've had some turns at the "making and breaking" of art work in class settings and have seen the kind of realization that can dawn on people when you give them just the right kind of feedback in a critique that helps them get that much better. I may not be that great of an (f)artist myself, but I'd like to think I can do a decent job of providing a critique that can "speak" to (real) artists in ways that help them hone their craft.

Or if you want the TL;DR version ... it's all about facilitating the alignment of perspectives.

Huckleberry wrote:

I would hope others take the time to listen to just a single theme or two to provide their own input, but I don't think that will happen.

I too would welcome giving up my "monopoly" on detailed reviews.

Huckleberry wrote:

Regardless, I also hope the creators take the time to read your input and consider it for value it has.

I hope so too ...


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.
Fireheart
Fireheart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 17 hours ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/05/2013 - 13:45
I have often been amazed by

I have often been amazed by Redlynne's contributions and competence and Confidence in jumping into almost any design situation and making some sense of it. Useful feedback.

I'm also proud to know that Red is Passionate about these things, yet reasonable and willing to discuss them with his peers.

In addition, since my own 'art' is words, I regularly enjoy Wiffle-batting about the verbs with Redlynne and Lothic. They are unusually talented at making their arguments clear.

Be Well!
Fireheart

Redlynne
Redlynne's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 48 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/28/2013 - 21:15
Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

I have often been amazed by Redlynne's contributions and competence and Confidence in jumping into almost any design situation and making some sense of it. Useful feedback.
I'm also proud to know that Red is Passionate about these things, yet reasonable and willing to discuss them with his peers.

We make every pretense of competency around here ... ^_~


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.
Redlynne
Redlynne's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 48 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/28/2013 - 21:15
I'm going to try and review

I'm going to try and review these in a way that doesn't induce Audio Fatigue.

Redlynne wrote:

Combat
Daytime suite = 9m17s
Nighttime suite = 6m33s
Total = 15m50s

Daytime

As a combat theme, this works pretty well. It's got a driving beat to it to get the blood pumping for exciting action to be happening, so it "primes" you for the excitement of combat, which is all well and good.
However, listening to this, I kept finding myself musing on the choices made in the composition and wondering if there were some alternative choices skipped over that could have resulted in an even better theme.

For starters, the theme winds up being somewhat formulaic in its presentation.
4 musical phrases punctuated by the chime of the bell ringing.
Aside from a passage in the middle of the theme where the bell gets rung more frequently, then stops ringing, before resuming the original pattern ... the ringing the bell happens regular as clockwork during this theme.

Now, don't get me wrong, I think the ringing of the bell is an excellent element and musical accent to use in this theme! However, the regularity (and therefore predictability) of its use winds up being detrimental in the long run of the theme. That's because I can anticipate the ringing of the bell and aside from that brief passage in the middle I'll never be wrong in my anticipation of the ringing of that bell. So although the bell ringing is an excellent choice of instrument, the way it gets used in the theme ends up being "too predictable" for a hard charging, presumably chaotic "combat" styled theme. The feeling that the regular and routine ringing of the bell produces feels as predictable and regular as bathroom tile ... it's just a repeating pattern that is completely uniform without variation and is thus less inspiring than it could have been.

So when it comes to combat theme music, having something that is "too predictable" and which follows musical theory rules "too obviously" like that starts to feel more like a scripted sparring match of katas than the presumably chaotic swirl of an unpredictable combat scenario in which combatants are trying to harm each other. In other words, if it's too "regular" in its composition, then it doesn't quite live up to feeling like a not entirely predictable "combat" situation where the outcome can be in doubt. If the music leaves you no doubts as to where the music is going, then the outcome of the combat ought to be just as predictable. And in gaming terms, predictable combat might as well be synonymous with BORING ... because you know the outcome before the finish. If there's no tension in the possibilities of the outcome, then there's no stakes ... no stakes, no thrill, no reward.

So ... with all of that said ... what could be done to make this Daytime theme LESS regular and predictable in its composition so it feels more like the background music theme for a more "chaotic" fight sequence in which the outcome can always be in doubt (even if you're sure of victory more than 99% of the time).

Simple.
Adjust the ringing of the bell.

What kind of compositional adjusting would achieve the ends of making the ringing of the bell less easy to predict (and therefore feel more chaotic)?
Simple.
Instead of having the ringing of the bell on a ... 4 bars, ring, 4 bars, ring, 4 bars, ring, 4 bars, ring ... cycle (and now that I've written that, even the not so musically inclined can no doubt see the regularity of the pattern I'm talking about after hearing the theme), instead you do something like this:

4 bars, ring, 3 bars, ring, 4 bars, ring, 3 bars, ring
Switching from a 4/4/4/4 regular pattern to a 4/3/4/3 pattern would then put the ringing of the bell ever so slightly "off balance" in a way that feels more chaotic than metronome repeating regular (and therefore, predictable).

But then you make the ringing of the bell even LESS predictable by switching up "how" the bell gets rung.
Right now in the theme, when the bell gets rung it is a single bell producing a single tone all the way through the theme. There is no variance in the pitch. It's the same bell every single time.

However, if you switch from a 4/4/4/4 regular pattern to a 4/3/4/3 pattern for ringing the bell, two additional opportunities present themselves for the ringing of that bell ... changing the pitch of the bell (higher or lower) ... and having one bell rung or two bells rung at the same time to produce a chord tone.

So if you're using a 4/3/4/3 pattern for ringing the bell, the main melodic line may not "want" to use the exact same bell pitch every single time, because when the bell rings won't always be in the same "place" in the melodic line so different bell pitches may work better to harmonize with the melodic line elsewhere in the theme when the bell rings. That change in pitch then help prevent the ringing of the bell when it happens from being too regular/predictable/uniform and supporting the feeling that the combat situation is more chaotic and less predictable, thereby making the outcome less certain and more immediately consequential.

Additionally, if the bell pitch changes when it is rung, you have more than 1 bell at your disposal ... meaning you can ring 2 of them together to create a chord which then harmonizes at yet another "angle" with the main melodic theme and beat to create yet another orbit of unpredictable for the combat background music.

So, compare and contrast these two variations on this daytime theme:

    1. 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell
    2. 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell
    3. 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell
    4. 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell
    5. 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell
    6. 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell
    7. 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell
    8. 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell
    9. 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell
    10. 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell

    11. 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell
    12. 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell
    13. 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell
    14. 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell
    15. 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell
    16. 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell
    17. 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell
    18. 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell
    19. 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell
    20. 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell

    21. 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell
      = 336 bars (84 phrases of 4 bars), 84 single bell rings
    1. 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 2 bells . 3 bars . 1 bell
    2. 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 2 bells . 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 1 bell
    3. 4 bars . 2 bells . 3 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 2 bells
    4. 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 2 bells . 3 bars . 1 bell
    5. 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 2 bells . 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 1 bell
    6. 4 bars . 2 bells . 3 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 2 bells
    7. 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 2 bells . 3 bars . 1 bell
    8. 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 2 bells . 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 1 bell
    9. 4 bars . 2 bells . 3 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 2 bells
    10. 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 2 bells . 3 bars . 1 bell
    11. 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 2 bells . 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 1 bell
    12. 4 bars . 2 bells . 3 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 2 bells

    13. 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 2 bells . 3 bars . 1 bell
    14. 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 2 bells . 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 1 bell
    15. 4 bars . 2 bells . 3 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 2 bells
    16. 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 2 bells . 3 bars . 1 bell
    17. 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 2 bells . 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 1 bell
    18. 4 bars . 2 bells . 3 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 2 bells
    19. 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 2 bells . 3 bars . 1 bell
    20. 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 2 bells . 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 1 bell
    21. 4 bars . 2 bells . 3 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 2 bells
    22. 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 2 bells . 3 bars . 1 bell
    23. 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 2 bells . 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 1 bell
    24. 4 bars . 2 bells . 3 bars . 1 bell . 4 bars . 1 bell . 3 bars . 2 bells
      = 336 bars (48 phrases of 4 bars, 48 phrases of 3 bars), 32 single bell rings, 16 double bell chords

So as you can see, a bell ring pattern that is as regular and predictable as a metronome tick can be transformed into something that not only stops happening at a regular and predictable tempo (every 4 bars worth of sheet music) so as to transform it into a syncopation element that keeps the listener off balance, reinforcing the notion that the combat happening during this theme is NOT "all too easy" and/or predictable. The bell rings shift from a repeating 4/4/4/4 pattern to a 4/3/4/3 pattern that doesn't feel too obviously repetitious. But then you also introduce the element of an additional pattern into the bell rings of 1/1/2 where you have a single bell, a single bell and then a 2 bell chord getting rung ... and the whole theme starts to ... SWIRL in a kind of a vortex pattern (with the PC at the "center of the action" on screen, of course), which does ultimately repeat eventually, but by the time you come full circle with it (after 336 bars of music) it doesn't exactly FEEL LIKE you're repeating your way through where you've already been (musically speaking).

The syncopation of the bell rings, the freedom to change the pitch of the bell being rung to "fit" where the main music is at that point so as to harmonize with it, along with the additional variation of ringing 2 bells together to get a chime chord for yet another harmonization cue ... all of it together ... creates a much more "trying to stay balanced" feel that would perhaps work better for a combat theme like this one, I'm thinking. I would honestly like to hear a re-arrangement of this theme in which only the bell gets changed the way I'm outlining here, while the rest of the theme remains largely unchanged.

So that's my 2 IGC for this theme.

=====

Nighttime

As a musical composition, I think this piece is an excellent bit of music.
However as a "combat" theme, I don't think it works at all ... and let me explain why.

While I was listening to this theme, try as I might I just couldn't bring to mind any images of people fighting at night. As music for a slugfest, day or night, this music just doesn't "speak" to that sort of thematic for me.

As background music for a PURSUIT though ... this totally works for that!

So when I say "pursuit" I'm talking about this theme working great for a chase scene ... either on foot running down streets, cutting through back alleys, parkour over fences, rooftop running, racing through traffic on city streets ... where the tension in what is happening is the pursuit. Will they or won't they catch up?

This theme also works wonderfully for any kind of timed mission objective, where you need to accomplish something in a limited amount of time ... whether that be get to the Mission Door in 6.5 minutes (6:33 track length) or racing to get from the Mission Entrance inside the instance to The Bomb inside the building to defuse it before it detonates. For me, this theme feels like it is the background music for a pursuit, chase or otherwise time limited "race" to an objective. It doesn't feel like something that belongs as a "combat theme" after darkness falls over the City of Titans.

So a really nice piece of music, but I honestly think it would be a mistake to shoehorn this into being used as a nighttime combat theme.
I'd even go so far as to say this theme would perhaps work better as a piece of background music to play when Superspeeding or FAST Flying around Titan City than it does as a theme for combat.
In fact, if this music theme winds up getting repurposed as a "fast mover" theme music, you could even do something clever with how it plays in game, where it starts upon switching into "fast" moving and actually moving ... so simply toggling on Superspeed doesn't start it, moving while Superspeed is toggled on starts the theme. With Flight, simply flying doesn't start the theme, instead the theme starts when you initiate FAST Flight. Once the theme is started by these powers, it just plays ... but the sound of the theme suppresses and fades out (rather than stopping) when not moving while in Superspeed, or toggling out of FAST Flight into regular flight (or hovering). Point being, the theme doesn't restart when movement slows, it keeps "playing" but the volume drops to zero while movement is slowed ... but then if Superspeed movement resumes, or Fast Flight gets toggled back on, the theme volume dials back up and continues playing but it doesn't pick up from where it left off (because it was playing with the volume down while movement was slowed). Actually toggling off Superspeed or Flight completely then aborts the music track so that it will restart from the beginning the next time Superspeed or FAST Flight gets toggled on.

Like I said, this works better as a pursuit theme music.
Shouldn't be that difficult for one of our industrious devs to jury rig a way to play this music under the conditions I've outlined here and do some dramatic speed testing with it on the test island either running around with Superspeed or doing FAST Flying with this theme music playing because of the fast movement in use. Extra bonus points for trying to stage a "chase scene" through city streets at high speeds on the test island.

Remember my dear friends, Invention is:

  • 93% Perspiration
  • 6% Electricity
  • 4% Evaporation
  • and 2% Butterscotch Ripple


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.
Fireheart
Fireheart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 17 hours ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/05/2013 - 13:45
Redlynne]
Redlynne]
[quote=Redlynne
wrote:

Combat
Daytime suite = 9m17s
Nighttime suite = 6m33s
Total = 15m50s

Quote:

Remember my dear friends, Invention is:

  • 93% Perspiration
  • 6% Electricity
  • 4% Evaporation
  • and 2% Butterscotch Ripple

Just replying ironically, without meaning to comment.
Daytime needs more Cowbell? Or at least Different cowbell.
And Nightime needs more alcohol?

Maybe so!
Fireheart

Redlynne
Redlynne's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 48 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/28/2013 - 21:15
"Candy is dandy, but liquor

"Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker!"


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.
Lothic
Lothic's picture
Online
Last seen: 9 min 17 sec ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/02/2013 - 00:27
Redlynne wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

In addition, since my own 'art' is words, I regularly enjoy Wiffle-batting about the verbs with Redlynne and Lothic. They are unusually talented at making their arguments clear.

Redlynne wrote:

We make every pretense of competency around here ... ^_~

Well I'll certainly defer to Redlynne's in-depth interest and insight related to the music for CoT. It's frankly a bit amazing to have someone be as thorough in providing feedback for a part of a game like this, especially this early in the "testing" process.

It's not that don't think the music isn't going to be an important aspect to this or any game. But as I mentioned some time ago game music is simply not my "thing" much less area of expertise. I'm usually good with "Is there game music?" "Yes?" "Great!" and that's completely OK because I think it's important for different people here to have different interests as far as providing feedback goes. Not everyone's going to have the time to deep-dive every area of the game - it's going to take feedback from a bunch of people to provide MWM what they need overall.

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

Red Warlock
Red Warlock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 41 min ago
Developerkickstarter
Joined: 10/03/2013 - 22:09
I'll add that it's helpful to

I'll add that it's helpful to have all of this analysis of the music here because as I'm doing sound placement in the game environment, there are choices to make about when and how music is triggered. Having some context for what people think about the different songs, what players feel works better or not for different songs - all of this can help me to think about how a song can be placed in an environment to make it work better. Also, when we get deeper into mission development, this feedback will also be a good resource for us in thinking how to incorporate music. Thanks Red for taking the time to analyze all of the music and share your thoughts.

Environmental Artist, PR Editor

Redlynne
Redlynne's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 48 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/28/2013 - 21:15
Red Warlock wrote:
Red Warlock wrote:

Thanks Red for taking the time to analyze all of the music and share your thoughts.

Hopefully, now, you can see why I was recommending that doing a massive data dump of everything all at once might be a less than optimal release strategy. I was spending 1-2 hours for each post listening to and writing up my impressions for each music theme. Thinking that people have 4-8 hours burning a hole in their daily lives desperately waiting to be filled by binge listening to all of these themes AND providing feedback for each and every single one of them (aside from just "liked it/hated it") is something of a Mug's Game as far as I'm concerned. So yeah, it literally took me WEEKS to find the time to both listen to and review everything that was released almost a month ago.

Red Warlock wrote:

I'll add that it's helpful to have all of this analysis of the music here because as I'm doing sound placement in the game environment, there are choices to make about when and how music is triggered.
Having some context for what people think about the different songs, what players feel works better or not for different songs - all of this can help me to think about how a song can be placed in an environment to make it work better.

And this is the truly critical thing.

Background music needs to FIT the environment and the context. If there's a "disagreement" between what the music is doing and the environment/visuals/scenario/context is trying to set up, you've got a problem.
This is why even when a music theme is labeled "Theme A" ... if I listen to it and can't imagine that theme working all that well in that context, the first thing I start wondering about is ... well what context would it work (better) in then?
Just because a particular arrangement of a theme doesn't work well "here" doesn't mean it can't work well "over there" in a different context.

Or to put it another way ...

BABY vs BATHWATER
Round 1
FIGHT!

Sometimes you can salvage a theme from its original intent and make better use of it elsewhere (like the Nighttime Combat Theme sounding much better to me as a high speed Pursuit Theme instead).
Sometimes you can't salvage a theme (or at least, I can't) because rather than "accept" the theme in an alternative setting, the natural reaction is to reject it outright and decide "I never want to have to listen to THAT ever again."

And I wanted to provide feedback for this in a way that is more easily accessible ... which is why I talk about vibes and emotional responses to the music, and the kinds of mental imagery the themes conjure up for me ... because hopefully that sort of feedback is more accessible than talking musical notation and grace notes and mathematical theory (blah blah blah, useless navel gazing that no one cares about).

Of course, if I'm going to go off on a tangent of saying "but if you'd done THIS instead..." then I'm going to need to explain more clearly (and at length) the kinds of changes I'm talking about, and how to effectuate them and what I would expect to be the results, so a sense of "oh, THAT'S where you're going with this..." can be discerned and realized. So I apologize for the necessity to pontificate on musical theory and alternative arrangements of instruments and scoring so as to provide the kind of feedback that's more useful than "I think you should change it" with nothing else said about it (because that's just useless!).

Lastly, when providing an in depth critique of samples like this, it is important to achieve two overarching goals while also satisfying a number of subsidiary priorities underneath those two overarching goals.
Those two goals are:

  • Identifying what is done "right" and what "works"
  • Identifying what feels "wrong" and what "doesn't work"

Everything beyond that is clarification and additional context to help align perspectives so as to achieve congruence in perception.

Because when you don't know what you're doing wrong ... let alone what you're doing right(!) ... you're kind of flying blind with respect to your audience/collaborators when it comes to Multi User Shared Hallucinations (MUSH) ... which very nearly all MMORPGs really ought to wind up being, in one way or another.

Once you get past the blanket statements of "this works/this doesn't work" you're then free to expound upon WHY things work or don't work for you, which then offers insights into how to improve, evolve and if necessary completely swap out and change what you're producing.
Not every experiment works ... and all that.

Like I said, I did college Art classes thinking I could be an artist ... until reaching the inevitable conclusion that I was merely a good critic.
One of those "shoot for the stars" moments in life that winds up landing on a flickering LED light (which, of course, needs replacing).

But enough about me ... ^_~


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.