What makes for epic video game music will largely be dependent on the genre of the game itself. It will also hinge on the age group the game is designed for. But because the word “epic” is being targeted here, then it’s safe to assume that the category of games we might be talking about are adult games. Games like first person shooter games, RPG and similar games to these styles. They are generally more cinematic in theme and will utilise music similar to what you would hear in films that have action, drama and danger as the core elements.
The Difference Between Games and Movies
There is one major difference between the music found in video games as compared to movies. Each scene in a movie has a definitive amount of time allotted to it and the music composer knows exactly what those time constraints are when composing the music.
With games the time it takes for a scene to unfold is rather an unknown, as it depends on the player and how long it takes them to achieve the objective of the scene. This being the case, loops are generally used for action sequences within the gaming world, where the same piece of music loops over and over until the game reaches the point where it’s triggered into the next scene or sequence.
These loops are possibly the single most important piece to the music puzzle, as they form the theme track to each scene as it takes place and it must really drive the action as well as suit the overall theme, mood and tone.
Other Music That Makes a Game More Epic
Before an action sequence takes place, the player is usually pre-warned by the music that leads up to the scene. In the case of more dramatic types of games, there will be a gradual build up in the intensity of the music, leaving the player in little doubt that danger is imminent. When this music plays and builds and builds, players start getting nervous. They know they are about to be called into a life and death situation with an uncertain outcome.
It is this music that really makes the game overall. It’s what engages the emotions and sets the tone for what is about to happen. The player’s reaction to this music and the feeling it gives them can make or break the following sequence. If they get too stressed they could just screw it up and die, but at the same time they need to know something is about to happen, something sinister is about to unfold.
Music Is What Makes Gaming Fun
Along with the plot, the gameplay and the SFX, music really brings the entire game together. Think about playing a game for a moment that had no music track. How dull, lifeless and boring would it be?
Music creates the game’s mood and evokes emotion; whether those emotions are uplifting and pleasurable, or downright terrifying. Without the music the emotion of the game, its story and the action is lost.
Heavy drum beats and raucous guitar can make for very dramatic gaming music for war or fight scenes, along with eerie synths and SFX. As a music composer, the canvas is broad when it comes to the gaming world and the creation of music to suit every aspect of a game can also be as much fun as playing the game itself.
If you are involved in video game creation and are looking for some existing music to license for your game or trailer, then check out a site called Songtradr. They have some awesome music and really talented artists sync licensing music there. You are bound to find something suitable for various parts of your new game on the Songtradr platform and the prices are fair, so take a few minutes to check it out.