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View Full Version : Suggestion and Demonstration for musical possibilities.


SilverBrin
03-04-2011, 02:45 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVH8BxwVImk

Hey guys. I've been following the forums here excitedly as a Left 4 Dead fan and community member. I think there are so many exciting opportunities to improve upon the Left 4 Dead experience in Cold Stream. I'm familiar with most of the higher rated mods and maps, and have high expectations with Valve's direct involvement.

I am also a composer. I've independently studied the Left 4 Dead musical focus of functionality over subtext, and atmosphere over narrative enhancement and have some great ideas to improve the experience while keeping in tradition of the game's propensity to express harmony through leitmotif and sparse diverse orchestration. I'm aware that one of the parameters is no new "audio". Music can give a wonderful breath of fresh air to a project that is as ambitious as this. There are horde triggers, tank theme mixing, multiple pounce scenarios, and general gameplay cross fades that need tweaked or recomposed. I have solutions for these issues and have even begun working on a few. I play with too many people that turn music off for various reasons, even risking their performance.

New thematic material in the menu and credits will help sell the new project as not just another add on. I attempted to demonstrate in my youtube link above how a less obtuse menu theme can generate a stronger bond between the player and his or her experience while still being dissonant enough to match the mood. The repeat-listen- friendly end credits theme I composed is a simple solution to making the credits feel less like they are crawling along while you patiently wait. It focuses on propelling the player back to the menu screen to start another campaign while presenting the menu thematic material in the broader thoroughly explored end of a movie score context. These new options are so simple to implement and work with the engine. If Cold Stream's environments aren't referencing the New Orleans atmosphere as completely as Left 4 Dead's campaign's do, the entire musical palette will be incompatible with the visuals.

I'd love to share my expertise in making specific musical suggestions, tweaks, as well as composing or collaborating on new musical material. Please check the link above and open your mind to the possibilities of an exciting new Left 4 Dead musical experience.

Thanks guys,
SilverBrin
Brian Johnson

ShovelyJoe
03-04-2011, 05:13 PM
I seen your name, then I thought, AC/DC, then I thought, AWESOME!
Fair dues for offering though. :)

AjBastian27
03-04-2011, 05:19 PM
I like it :). Especially the main menu music. Its very creepy :). If people keep this bumped I bet VALVe will atleast acknowledge u. Amazing in my opinion nice work :)

Gurluas
03-04-2011, 06:11 PM
The main menu music is epic. You should try to go for an icy feeling as this campaign will most likely be a cold one.

SilverBrin
03-04-2011, 08:13 PM
Thanks guys! Appreciate the feedback. If it feels like L4D then we are on the right track.

SB

Thingy Person
03-05-2011, 01:36 AM
The credits music might be too postmodern for the general public ;)

AjBastian27
03-05-2011, 07:08 AM
Thanks guys! Appreciate the feedback. If it feels like L4D then we are on the right track.

SB

It very much feels like l4d, but slightly different, it has a unique twist to it which I really like

Pylons
03-05-2011, 07:53 AM
You make a good point how l4d2's music won't fit cold stream's atmosphere. I seriously hope they add new music but I highly doubt they will if they aren't adding voice acting.

Thingy Person
03-05-2011, 01:22 PM
You make a good point how l4d2's music won't fit cold stream's atmosphere. I seriously hope they add new music but I highly doubt they will if they aren't adding voice acting.

Valve have a sound engineering team on-board. Voice actors need to be fetched. I don't see the relevance.

Psychological
03-05-2011, 01:37 PM
The credits music might be too postmodern for the general public ;)

Post: After
Modern: The present day.

WHY CAN'T YOU JUST SAY "FUTURE"

HUH? WHY NOT?

On topic:

Yes, more of that. I like the music and your style. Continue to make more of this and Valve will surely take notice, if not use your stuff.

Thingy Person
03-05-2011, 01:40 PM
Post: After
Modern: The present day.

WHY CAN'T YOU JUST SAY "FUTURE"

HUH? WHY NOT?

Because postmodernism is an actual art movement?

Heck, some say we're already at post-post-modernism.

Psychological
03-05-2011, 01:49 PM
Because postmodernism is an actual art movement?

Heck, some say we're already at post-post-modernism.

But why invent another word when we already HAVE one? I understand it's an actual art form but seriously.

It was a joke ALSO by the way. I hope you giggle properly before replying like THAT! Mr. Meany face.

SilverBrin
03-05-2011, 01:49 PM
If there is no new story to connect with, and no new audio, then this is an eyes only project? Does that even make sense?

Obviously hiring the actors for studio time is pointless if the focus is not on a brand new narrative. There aren't issues with the current recorded lines and how they interact with certain events that are universal to the l4d experience. There will still most likely be friendly fire in this gameplay. And therefore Coach yelling "Watch it!" is still universally compatible. Essentially, any map with those characters will function correctly with the default gameplay dialogue. If nothing is broken with current recordings, and there isn't a narrative to record new expository dialogue for, why put up the money for it? That's practical. It makes sense to be upfront in the parameters of the dlc and gives us an idea of what the focus of this project will be.

But I don't see how you can assume that it is impractical to have ANY new audio. If that is the case, all the speculation regarding new weapons, melees, infected, is pointless. Even a new animation requires resynchronized audio.
But to further assume that the idiosyncratic New Orleans influenced soundtrack will represent and accompany a brand new map/campaign is starting to border on impractical. Especially when there are already existing issues with its tone and implementation.
Music and sounds are so easy to incorporate. I have a half dozen community maps in my addons folder with original or source music included and working, as well as new sounds. And most of those authors are hobbyists. It is fun to play through a campaign that has the correct musical accompaniment and subtext communicated. A customized experience is so much more than moving trees around.

As a gamer I would be confused if I heard Zoey's voice coming out of the Coach's mouth. It wouldn't break the game in any technical sense, nor would my experience be totally ruined. It would just demolish any coherency, professionalism, and immersiveness. And that's undoubtedly a negative impact on the game.

Taking tailored and arguably inseparable music, (as tailored and inseparable as Zoey's voice is to Zoey, and Coach's voice is to Coach) and pawning it off on a brand new campaign is an oversight. And so if the no new audio is a strict parameter, then this project is flawed in inception. If I hear a lazy summertime bluesy trumpet riff echoing around a snowy blustering valley - it will be equally demolishing to my experience as a perceptive and thinking gamer. Zoey's voice is not only incompatible to a male body, but she belongs to and represents another game and experience entirely.

New animations, objects, melees, weapon firing, infected, environments, collisions - any new physical and aesthetic content will be completely unrepresented to your ears. And with no story to be connected with intellectually or emotionally, this is in fact by definition an EYES ONLY PROJECT! That's really disappointing not as a musician and composer, but as a gamer! That's why I can only assume that the no new audio parameter is not strict.

In late February when I heard that Valve was officially involved with the project I was really excited to see what ideas and suggestions were being kicked around. I was shocked when no one discussed music. If people aren't considering music only because the original soundtrack failed to captivate them, that is a text book opportunity to improve the game! If certain aspects of content creation are too much of a problem, but the community is invited to be involved, let us step up and solve the problems. Instead of merely suggesting music I'm literally offering to do it! But who does it isn't as important as beginning a discussion about it. I'd hate the strict interpretation of no new audio to mean that we can't expect, debate, or even discuss fundamental game mechanics.

Psychological
03-05-2011, 01:53 PM
Snippity snip snipperson.

The problem is, the ENTIRE valve team is working on Portal 2 at the moment (last time I heard anyways)
So it's less, "It costs money and we don't want to!" it's more of a "We're busy, take your free DLC and leave"

Also, while I agree with most of your post, It was sort of a wall of text, Hard to read an' all dat.

Thingy Person
03-05-2011, 01:55 PM
But why invent another word when we already HAVE one?

Well...My guess is that the meaning of the word "modern" will change over time to refer to only that period of modernism, and another word will take over the current meaning. Like "rad" or something.

Welcome to steam - the most rad and sophisticated software distribution service on the market.

SilverBrin
03-05-2011, 02:32 PM
I would argue that the original score is more challenging in a post modern sense, and mine is more rad in a rad sense. I feel that L4D is a post modern game!

Thingy Person
03-05-2011, 02:35 PM
I would argue that the original score is more challenging in a post modern sense, and mine is more rad in a rad sense. I feel that L4D is a post modern game!

Ehh, I think a postmodern L4D would try to strain the bonds you have with your friends rather than strengthen/thrive off them.

Servbot
03-05-2011, 04:13 PM
I liked the Main Menu music. I'd love to hear the L4D theme with that instrumentation.

The Credits theme was also cool and felt very fitting to a B-class horror movie.

You got something good here, keep working on it.

SilverBrin
03-06-2011, 09:01 AM
Thanks servbot. If I had a design doc or even some conceptual stuff, I'd love to work on more music tailored to the project. Until then, I'm writing in the dark.

DaveVsTheWorld
03-22-2011, 01:37 PM
Yeah hopefully we get a new song in Cold Stream. Last time I checked it wasn't very cold in New Orleans, so most likely the campaign won't take place there. With that said, songs with fiddles, banjos, and Midnight Riders will be out of place. I would think at least an end credits song would be appropriate enough to switch up.

I don't know if SilverBrin's song would be suitable specifically for Cold Stream (i guess nobody would know just yet), but man this song rocks when you see the words "Dark Carnival" behind it.

BaconServ
03-22-2011, 01:48 PM
I highly enjoyed the music as well. I wish you luck in getting new audio into the DLC!

Method320
03-22-2011, 05:03 PM
Credits music is a little too...."happy" for a zombie game....

SilverBrin
03-22-2011, 05:42 PM
Yeah thanks! Have no idea what Coldstream's aesthetic is. Just had fun with the track. I don't know if it is as "happy" as it is "fun". This is what I hear as a fat guy running up a roller coaster track in a purple jersey with pit stains swinging a cricket bat at sprinting zombies.