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News introducing a new member of the team and discussion of the music and soundscape for Tension accompanied by two new music pieces.(Audio)

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Hey everyone,

This is Spencer: newest member of the Tension development team, if you can call it that lol. As Alex mentioned in the last update, I'll be handling the sound-scape and plot line for Tension and, more than likely, a good deal of the writing, setting/character conceptualization, art, and anything else that doesn't involve coding or 3D modeling. We'll cross those bridges when we get to them; for now I'm going to discuss my ideas for the musical elements and ambiance of Tension and briefly delve into the how the sound-scape is going to mesh with the setting and mood of the game.

To start, I'll give you a little insight on my musical background. Hip hop is my genre of choice; I'm an emcee myself, but more recently I've been getting into melodic composition and music theory to coincide with the rapping I do (maybe someday I'll be rapping over my own beats, who knows). Anyways, I'm heavily inspired by hip hop and that is undoubtedly evident in the sound and construction of the music that I create.

If you've been keeping up to date with the demonstration videos Alex has posted then you've already heard some of the music I've made. However, I produced all those pieces prior to officially being a part of dev team and they were not originally composed for Tension; now that I'm designing music specifically for the purpose of developing the atmosphere in the game, you will notice a significant change in mood and structure in order to align with Tension's particular setting and back-story. Music will not be an after-thought in Tension, as it so often is in much of the homogeneous mass of mediocre games and mods on the market. My intent is to harness my influences, predominantly hip hop, electronica, and chamber orchestra music, to produce a unique, fitting and hopefully recognizable sound for Tension.

Below are a couple samples of pieces I've put together in the past few weeks. By all means, listen to them and give me your feedback; all music I'm making is still very much in a rough stage and I'm happy to hear any criticisms or praise you have to offer.



Now, I can't reveal much about the actual setting or plot quite yet, but I can divulge that Tension will take place in a bleak and desolate future. The environments will be despairing and eerie; war-torn and decrepit slums with crumbling infrastructure will be contrasted starkly with more meticulously maintained havens of civilization scattered around a harsh world. The music will reflect this: for example, solemn, melancholy melodies will create a sense of isolation and uneasiness while heavy drums will drive the player to keep moving and exploring. However, much of the music I will be creating will be more ambient and you may barely notice it's there at all; my intent is not to have the player truly listen so much as it is to blend sound with the overall experience to instill the proper emotions and mood in the player while they progress.

More to come in all regards, but I've said enough for now. Don't forget to give me your impressions and thoughts on the music I posted. Enjoy.

-Spencer

Comments
TryForceX
TryForceX

quite awesome tunes, goodjob on them

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Gosthy
Gosthy

I loved Echoes.

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Emil_4444
Emil_4444

Really nice music! My favorite is Echoes V1

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CherryJimbo
CherryJimbo

I personally loved Emergence. The minimalistic feel at the beginning really was amazing in my opinion. I was wondering what it would sound like, if you placed a very high sustained synth sound, playing the tonic, and maybe the dominant, when that familiar piano riff returns, just to add a slight bit of variation?

I liked Echoes, but I felt it was a bit too up-beat to express the melancholy feel you are trying to; that's just my opinion though.

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SolidFake
SolidFake

well, at first I thought, oh no, why hiphop? (I don't like hiphop that much tbh)
But those tracks sound already really really nice, can imagine hearing them while playing, emergence was my favourite.

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thatmangleybloke
thatmangleybloke

The songs are both nice but Echoes particularly feels a little repetitive, it would be really nice if it built up to something, a chorus of sorts later in the track to give a sense of progression with definite 'strong' point.

I really enjoyed Emergence, it stands on its own as being fairly complete but could use a little suspense to break up the track before the melody reiterates later on, also it would be nice to hear the intro re-introduced later in the song as it's both excellent yet very short-lived and forgettable.

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Rook98
Rook98

Great stuff :D
Keep up the good work!

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Croco15
Croco15

Nice music!

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unicornznrainbowz Author
unicornznrainbowz

Thanks for all the feedback everyone. Keep it coming.

To address a few things:

-I'm aware of how repetitive Echoes is, it's not very close to being finished but I wanted to share what I had anyways, so I effectively just doubled it's length by looping the drum section lol. A more varied and polished version of that song is pretty high on my to-do list. So expect that to find it's way into an upcoming gameplay video or something.

-These were both just samples, so their structure is not fully realized yet. I intend for the ending to Emergence to have a similar feel to its intro. I'm also planning on adding a few other elements to both pieces, but I'm no quite sure exactly how I want to go about that yet and I wanted to get this update out sooner than later.

-Thanks for all the positive responses, I'm really thankful I haven't gotten a "this music sucks!1!!" with absolutely no constructive criticism or justification yet, as that would obviously not be helpful or worthwhile in anyway. Keep it up, I'm all ears.

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tymaxbeta
tymaxbeta

"hip hop, electronica, and chamber orchestra" Yes! Mixing genres ftw! very nice tracks man, keep up the amazing work, the only thing I can say is try to make Emergence break to action faster, I love progressive music, but not for in game, unless that's a menu song, in which case its perfect ;D

EDIT: after second thought on the full game play aspects, I think that these tracks will be fine as is, but play something more adrenaline pumping for those corners you turn on in the city hat reveal a seriously hard puzzle, I know there will be a few of those...

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unicornznrainbowz Author
unicornznrainbowz

Haha, not to worry, there will be plenty of adrenaline pumping music; i know how important musical diversity is, these are just the couple pieces I happened to include in this post. I will be showcasing a wide variety of the music for Tension over the course of development. But thank you, I will be trying to accommodate elements from every genre I deem fitting and fresh enough into my music; keep your ears open.

Also, I made a brief explanation of why Emergence has a progressive introduction in the comment section for the audio clip itself if you're interested.

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Mookae
Mookae

Impressive. Emergence seemed to really fit the world you're trying to create, but in both peices, particularly Echoes, the music sounded too...clean. Some metal guitar or something like that would help to sell the whole "everything's falling apart before your eyes" idea. And Emergence sounds like a great song for when you see the outside for the first time. Then again, it is called "Emergence" XD.

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unicornznrainbowz Author
unicornznrainbowz

word, i'll keep that in mind. but like i've said before, these are just specific samples of the (eventually) diverse range of musical styles and moods that will be in Tension.

and that was the idea lol. i'm not very creative when it comes to titles as you can see.

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Savant7
Savant7

Nice, weirdly I like emergence better as most people seemed to prefer echoes. One thing I would say is that the snare sample on echoes doesn't sound great.

1. You could just find a better snare drum sound
2. If you do, or you don't I know there are some drum sampling programs that have a "humanise" option which varies the sound and timing to make it sound more natural.

Great work though I'm just nitpicking to be honest, keep it up!

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