Making Game Music
Have you ever wondered how you could create meaningful music to your own game project or just wanted to make game music in general? Why not read the tips in this post, it may help you along the way!
What will you use to create your tracks?
First of all, you can’t really do much without the right programs and software. If you already have a program of choice, great! If not, I can suggest a great one that’s free and easy to explore for any beginner.
It may be the one you already have, LMMS, which stands for Linux Multi Media Studio. It’s simplistic design allows the user to quickly create music without MIDI (Music Digital Media Interface) and instead, your mouse and keyboard. It does however have it’s limitations as developers work on it for free. MIDI management is one, though unless you have a Piano Keyboard, you won’t have to worry much about this.
What is the game theme or genre of music are you trying to create?
If your stuck at the composing step, don’t worry. Not all melodies come naturally. Most are inspired by other music you have heard in the past. Try not to think about them though. Remember, staying original as possible is the goal here.
Your game theme or genre will likely determine your track if you haven’t started mashing down melodies into the note editor. It’s OK to do this, but industry standards actually require you to do a lot more work.
The theme or genre of music you are trying to create, is it in outer space? In the desert? Or is it in Japan? If any of these apply, or your setting is known. Do some research on which instruments are native to that area. That will allow you to get a foundation for the tracks melody. Usually if it is based on a setting, it ties in with the local culture. If not, try researching for instruments that are commonly used in the game industry. Though depending on where you look, this may vary indefinitely.
If none of these apply, then go ahead and pick which instruments you’d think would sound best together.
What emotions are you trying to invoke?
Emotion also plays an important role. Think of the original Mario Bros. tune for the NES. A simple tune that sounds fun and enjoyable yes? The creator Koji Kondo, one of Nintendo’s and gaming’s most famous composers created it in a DOS like language. No joke. Every note was typed into those old console machines. This is a good example on how your music can invoke emotion. Try to keep that in mind when creating a melody.
Composing your music track.
Your track doesn’t have to be phenomenal. It really can be anything you want it to be. A boss theme to a game level. Generally it should have a structure similar to how a story is told. A beginning melody, additive melodies, and ending that progresses into the beginning melody. This in the end forms the track which can be infinitely looped if you design it to be. Most modern games usually loop at some point though.
The end goal to composing your song is usually making it able to always be enjoyable. A good way of ensuring this is to listen to your song on loop. If it gets too repetitive or boring, you can add more additive melodies in between to mix it up a bit more.
In the end, it’s your imagination and inspiration powering your creativity in your music. Good luck!