Let's talk music!

Something often overlooked in games is the music. Recently, its importance has steadily grown on me. Skyrim, for example, probably wouldn’t even be half the game it is without the epic sound track. The composer of Skyrim’s sweeping scores, Jeremy Soule, recently had this to say about Nintendo’s failing systems:

"It’s amazing how something so basic and germane to a game company’s success can be so overlooked. The article didn’t touch on one of the most central problems; music. For years, Nintendo had handicapped their music by not having the capacity for streaming audio. Real orchestras and top notch production were considered unnecessary, and composers were forced to utilize on-board and low quality synthesizer chips. As a result, the quality of Nintendo’s music has suffered for years. And, they’re solidly in last place. Let’s face it, when people who don’t know games think of video game music, they reference and make fun of Nintendo. “beep, boop ba boop”

Music has a greater impact than most game execs are willing to acknowledge. Companies that don’t see the value of music always lose.

And Nintendo, don’t say I didn’t warn you. I spoke to one of your chief architects in my office at Squaresoft in the years of the N64. You didn’t listen to me then, and now look… Your music has been the worst.

I have also heard that it has been a struggle for Koji Kondo to secure the commitments for professional players, let alone orchestras. Nintendo has a “company” orchestra where members of the development team who also happen to be amateur musicians. A noble effort. But why does one of the most commercially successful composers in the business have to struggle for resources? It’s just crazy.

You may have other problems, but get your music right or go home Nintendo."

Needless to say, music is quintessential, and I believe in a game like this, proper music can heighten the immersion factor by tons! Though the art may be simple, the developers have embarked on an epic undertaking, daring to produce a game of near limitless possibilities.

It deserves proper music.

It doesn’t cost a lot either. As we all remember, Jeremy Soule originally wanted $10,000 to produce his own symphony. He got $100,000.

@Tom I vote that one of the next kickstarter stretch goals be for an expanded and improved sound track. It might just take the game from great to perfection.

What do ya’ll think? Is music as important as I’m making it out to be, or not? What sort of music do you aspire to have in the game? Sweeping orchestral scores, or perhaps something more playful? Maybe some bizzare combination of both? Let’s here some discussion on music!

While we’re at it… is music going to be modable too?

Spore (from EA) had a procedurally generated and modable music system.

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Ah like this! Music and Soundtrack

I hope Raj gets picked up on his offer and we can have different styles of music in game. I’ve listened to this song on repeat a bit too much lately!

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@Rudy it is definitely a start! Whoever they get, I hope they don’t skimp out on it.

We don’t want reviewers saying, “should have paid more attention to sound…”


I am always pleased to see music as a stretch goal for games. Even if it isn’t reached, it is still an important aspect that can be updated further along.

I would love to see music as a stretch goal. A great sound track can really make or break a game for me.

An Idea I like:
Music that evolves as our city evolves. Adding more layers depending on the population and state of your town.

@StephenFreer put it best in his post.

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@Ben And/or music that changes based on the biome you (ie, your camera) is in (don’t forget that the world is made up of a collection of biomes that you can explore, if not expand into). Or whether you’re fighting, or an aggressive player or passive player, etc. I like the idea of dynamic music.


I really like the teaser trailer music. I don’t know, it sounds so nice :slight_smile: (just saying)


So do I! I really think it fits Stonehearth’s aesthetic. Pixels = Chiptune-y music, Voxels = Retro orchestral.

I know this is an old post, but I had to address this (maybe it will be enlightening). Jeremy only asked for $10,000 to help aid him in hiring solo players to bring into his studio while he wrote with his computer. He also said a lot of his own money would be going into this personal goal of his as well. He saw that his kickstarter was taking off and proposed the goal of $100,000, which is the price it would take to hire the LIVE orchestra, engineer, and sound stage alone! This meaning that he wouldn’t take any profit from it, even if he wanted to. You should expect to pay upwards of $10,000 an hour and up for live recordings with 60-90 players on the sound stage. Standard fees are to pay the composers fee, the players, the orchestrators, the conductor, the engineer, and the recording space. It’s VERY expensive, and the more money a composer has, the more he can provide in the end result. Whether it be buying some plugins to help the final mix, an engineer for mastering, or bringing in some live players to sweeten the digital mockup. The Stonehearth devs raised a very modest $50,000 grand as a stretch goal for an upgraded musical score and that is a great starting point for a video game buyout orchestral score.

There are also some other cheaper alternatives to this, which is a hybrid of the two using remote recording sessions. I’ve had string only sessions in London before and when I added the recorded tracks to my mix it took the track to a whole new level and at a reasonable price! I hope every cent of that stretch goal is put towards the music and someone who knows how to budget it. Otherwise you’ll have a composer throwing their hands up in the air not knowing where to focus the funds, while also trying to maintain a deadline for finishing music, and that within itself is a disaster waiting to happen. :astonished:

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I remember only 2 songs of stonehearth, the 1st is the first look vid & another is gameplay vid in youtube, I really liked the tunes of both song.

If I not wrong, Raj is the composer. Searched more of his composed song @ youtube and I believe it is THE soundtrack for stonehearth.

hi @Netkr0 … i cant quite tell if you are stating a fact or voicing your opinion… :blush:

either way, yes… @Raj is immensly talented, and having one or more of his tracks featured in SH would be (in my opinion) a no brainer… but we have no official word from radiant just yet on who among the many talented folks we have on the forums, might be featured…

the good news is, with the likes of @Raj, @CaseyEdwards, @Omnus, @Voobr and @CGBeauty (my apologies if i’ve overlooked anyone!), radiant either has a very difficult, or a very easy job ahead of them… :wink:


Lol does not matter, Just add all of their creation into Stonehearth.

I’m so pleased we met the stretch goal for music, like the OP says it does make all the difference, though i will not agree with the Nintendo being in last place quote. Maybe in terms of ability to stream a certain level of audio early on, but never in quality. Also nowawdays nintendo has some of THE best music in video games, just google gusty gardens (SMG) , the wind waker soundtrack and the skyward sword theme. All fantasic. Another kickstarter managed to get Grant Kirkhope as a stretch goal, though i won’t name the kickstarter since i’m not sure about advertising other kickstarters, which was a great achivement especially when you consider the type of game it is.

But back to thread, I seriously can’t wait to see how the music develops. I was watching one of the starbound composers create the theme for a race (novakid) and it really adds way more than you’d think and i’m sure there are people who take it for granted how much difference it really makes. :smile:

Unfortunately, this is not only true for gamers but game developers as well. Video game music is miles ahead of where it used to be though.