Oddball

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i was wondering what people thought of the idea of a game using natural sounds for areas, instead of music


like a swamp would have hundereds of tree frogs in the background and the occasinal bullfrog and some birds
 

Olivier

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IMHO that would be nice, gives it a realistic feel. I'm starting to get a little tired of generic RPG music anyway.
 

sartha

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Natural sounds are essentially natural music imo, the big issue is that you don't want the game to be too silent but you also don't want the background noises to be annoying or too repetitive... my suggestion is to either get a 2 or 3 minute sound file of natural activity that doesn't really repeat itself within that single file, or get a bunch of small sound files and have them run randomly instead... not sure how laggy that second option would become though.
 

Oddball

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Im now inspired to make music with nature sounds


also, i think the second option could be done with a single parrelel process event that does a random varible that waits for a different amount of time then does another random variable that plays a random animal sound. not sure how clunky the event would be
 
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This is a really good idea, but I think that it's a bit too much for most players. Why don't you try adding a single instrument or a simple tune, something to soften the atmosphere and make it more accessible? 
 

Phonantiphon

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I used to play all games like this, it actually gives a completely different feel to a game if you turn off the music and just listen to the other sounds.


I'd give the option...
 

Clovejar

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Is this not considered a normal thing to do? =S I really like it. I feel like games can often be "oversaturated" with music and a little bit of silence with natural sounds (like a clock ticking, water running) can give a sense of breathing space. Not too much silence though... That's harder on the ears than too much music.
 

Makio-Kuta

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I think that would be really nice, though I do agree that you'd have to avoid it coming across repetitive.


Also, there might be some scenes you want to use music. Music can build emotion in ways that frogs croaking just might not be able to. ;D 
 

Azurecyan

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You could add music where it's needed(battles, intense scenes, scenes in general) and have ambience everywhere else. The first Xenosaga did not have any music play whatsoever when you're out in the field, except the Song of Nephilim dungeon and the last dungeon. Music was only played during cutscenes and battles most of the time.
 

Ms Littlefish

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I've always liked to say when creating sound design for a game; that the way you use silence is just as important as the way you use music. So, a game that primarily focuses on natural sounds could be extremely powerful as well. It's still possible to create motif, association, and theme with soundscape. Though, I do like the suggestion of still using a few musical cues. They don't even have to be full songs. They could be minimalist motifs to connect with aspects of the story.
 
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Dr. Cakey

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I love portions of games that have no music. But you do have to be careful; silence (or near-silence) is a powerful tool. I've been playing Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth recently (for some reason) and it has no music when you're outside of digital space, only ambient noise. And it's C R E E P Y  A S  H E L L. I have no idea what they were thinking when they did that.
 

Authumbla

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Silence can be super effective in small doses, or even large ones! The movie "No Country For Old Men" both have no ambient music whatsoever and is arguably better for it - however, using music and silence to punctuate various points in the game is probably going to be better than using no soundtrack at all. However, if you're going for a horror atmosphere, the less actual music you use, the better. Look at Yume Nikki for a good example of how to do an ambient soundtrack properly - even though most of the tracks are about fifteen seconds long, they don't get annoyingly repetitive because they're really unobtrusive, if S U P E R C R E E P Y.
 

Phonantiphon

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A couple of good examples of sound designs in film:


The Exorcist


2001 - A Space Odyssey


Also "Alien" is very good for this as well.
 

Oddball

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i think totall silence could work if your trying to potray a sense of lonliness and anxiety that a charecter may be feeling. also could work with background noise like the wind bgs. I honestly think ive stumbled upon something cool to research in sound application in games and movies
 

Phonantiphon

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i think totall silence could work if your trying to potray a sense of lonliness and anxiety that a charecter may be feeling. also could work with background noise like the wind bgs. I honestly think ive stumbled upon something cool to research in sound application in games and movies

I actually use this for dungeons, a low-pitched droning noise, or just a drone track as a base - I can then add\mix appropriate sound effects onto\over it.
 

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