Thanks, Per. I think Shaovin is the best track that I've done. I put a lot of time into the "atmosphere" of the song. I've never really considered it 100% complete, so if you would really like to make it a permanent part of the game, then I always could modify it (if desired).
The original idea behind the song spawned from Papa Lazarou's (NEWST) old descriptions of some of the in-story factions of Total War Zone. The Shaovin were supposed to be from a desert land, so I tried to work on an Egyptian "feel." Anyway, the song was supposed to be dynamic
, which is an idea that I came up with, that I haven't really seen used in any games.
I don't by any means plan on patenting the idea
, and I'd LOVE (underemphasis) to see it implemented in Warzone. It shouldn't be too difficult to implement if the music
is specially developed for the concept. This means that any of the music
afficionados around here could easily contribute.
Essentially, the idea stems around the song dynamically changing as the user follows the main menus of the game. At the top menu, the music
would be low, introductory, and slow. With each mouse click, the song ramps up. This continues until the game is loading, at which time the song will be playing at its fullest/heaviest/loudest/fastest. You get the idea. If the user backs out one menu, then the song slows, etc.
So, I'll apply this to my Shaovin track, since it was essentially written for the idea. I will also explain what the musicians would expect as far as development, if they wished to write a track to implement this idea. Grab out a copy of Shaovin and try to follow along. I'll give track times so it might help if you can pull it up with software that lets you seek to specific times by the click of a mouse (Soundforge, Adobe Audition/Cool Edit Pro).
Keep in mind that the exact sections described are offered by concept only-- obviously Shaovin would need to be written differently to accomodate looping. When in each menu section, the song would continue to loop until a new menu is reached, and the loop has completed playing.
Title Screen: 0:0.00 - 0:18.30
Warzone doesn't have a title screen per-se (title in the sense of copyright/legal info, for Warzone these are FMV which weren't released with the source). This would play over any title splash or whatever. 18 seconds for the loop is a little long, but I assume you get the general feel of this section of the song.
Main Menu: 0:18.30 - 0:36.83
The song picks up a little by introducing a melody or some sort of general sound or feel by which the whole track will be characterized. Nothing special or exciting.. It's only the main menu!
Multiplayer/Single-Player Skirmish/Options/Etc: 0:36.83 - 1:13.75
In most cases, the player has selected the type of game he/she wishes to play (or else they're going to reset the key mappings because a new, righteous patch has been released
). The song increases in complexity.
Game Parameters/Multiplayer Lobby/Etc: 1:13.75 - 1:48.00
The song adds a beat, becomes a little heavier. This is all in anticipation... We're about to start the most excellent game ever created.
Start Game/Loading Screen: 1:48.00 - 2:45.00
The song is at its heaviest. The beat/guitars/drums/synth/whatever is at its loudest and best.
Now, it is important to keep in mind how long it takes an average user who knows what he/she wants to go/do to navigate through the menus. Not very long. Time yourself. If I were to guess, I bet it would take me ABSOLUTE MAX 20-30 sec. to go from main menu to game-loading for a skirmish game. My example above has taken us through nearly 3 minutes of track. This wouldn't work in a real implementation, so it's time for the track writers to sacrifice a little. The idea will work very well, but the only caveat is that the different menu song sections could be MAX 5-10 seconds in length (each). They must be designed to loop, and each different section must be able to smoothly transition between themselves.
So, for instance, say the player starts by hearing the splash/title music
. By the time the user reaches the main menu, they have about 5 sec left on the title/splash section before the main menu section will begin playing. Say they either have ADHD or have an urgent need to use the restroom, so they fly through 3 menus and arrive at the multiplayer lobby in 2.18 seconds. They've skipped a bunch of song sections, so once the title/splash section completes its loop, the loop section corresponding with the MP lobby must begin playing. Understand? This is why the song sections must be able to cleanly transition from one to any other.
Anyway, let me know what you all think of this idea. It would be awesome to see it working in-game.
The best thing to do when your philosophies don't stand up to debate is to lock the thread and claim victory.