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The music

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DErankkatastrophe
35 days ago
(edited 35 days ago)

I have heard some complaints about the in-game-music and the percieved low quality of the sound-fx.
The latter aside, i would like to hear what you people actually expect the music of zk to be.
What would you like to hear? I am able to compose and produce tracks, but i don´t have acces to let´s say a halfway decent-sounding orchestral-libary... Anyway, before i think about writing own music (and ofc asking if thats okay :D) i would like to get an impression of what is actually demanded.
+2 / -0


PLrankAdminSprung
35 days ago
I think more music is very welcome as long as it's consistent with existing tracks.
+0 / -0



EErankAdminAnarchid
35 days ago
(edited 34 days ago)

I think the current music is largely a coincidence. It was not written or designd for ZK and its only design specification is that it's all by the same author and not horrible. If a set of works of higher quality and better license can be obtained, then i, for one, will welcome the new musical overlords.

As an example, i would prefer something more rock/industrial or electronic to the current purely classical/orchestral soundtrack - that to me sounds fitting for a fantasy setting but not very much so for a sci-fi one.

quote:
Anyway, before i think about writing own music (and ofc asking if thats okay :D) i would like to get an impression of what is actually demanded.

If you actually can write music, just do it, imo. See what you can do! There's not much that is demanded, but there's also nothing (or practically nothing) that's being offered yet. Certainly, no music that i have ever encountered was written for ZK specifically.
+0 / -1



USrankCrazyEddie
34 days ago
I think the current music is perfect[*]. It's reminiscent of the OTA soundtrack, and that's a good thing. Denny Schneidemesser's work is impeccable; his themes are interesting and moving, his development is engaging, his execution is flawless. We're fortunate to have found such an excellent collection of CC-licensed pieces.

Switching to a different style would need an equally-large and equally-high-quality collection of pieces in the new style. The pieces would need to fit perfectly with each other, so they would likely need to come from a single composer (and remember we'll also need some pieces for the lobby). If we found such a collection, or if someone produced such a collection just for us, I wouldn't be opposed to switching styles. But I don't think it's necessary at all.

(Footnote: almost perfect. I don't like Far Beyond the Stars - it's too tranquil; it should not have been added.)
+4 / -0

GBrankLynx
34 days ago
(edited 32 days ago)

I completely agree with USrankCrazyEddie and completely disagree with EErankAdminAnarchid. The orchestral soundtrack in OTA is something I distinctly and fondly remember. I enjoyed the transition from calmer pieces during base development to the battle music. There was a calming elegance about it, and the present Zero-k soundtrack seems fitting. A transition to rock or pop would, for me, cheapen the experience. Why drink a Bacardi Breezer when you could enjoy a glass of wine? In any case this man, USrankCrazyEddie, seems to have a good handle on this subject and I think we should listen to what he has to say.
+0 / -0


PLrankAdminSprung
34 days ago
(edited 34 days ago)

I consider the current soundtrack mediocre.
Classical/orchestral is good for the slow, macro-oriented gameplay of TA and Supcom.
ZK's fast micro gameplay is closer to Red Alert; I think rock/industrial/electronic would fit us better.

However a genre change is highly unlikely because you'd have to recreate (and outperform!) the entire soundtrack to keep it consistent.
+1 / -0

DErankkatastrophe
34 days ago
(edited 34 days ago)

My very personal issues with zk´s soundtrack is that it is too massive. I have it muted anyway as i learned to enjoy "misic-silence" in my life. Also i have to agree with Anarchid that when i close my eyes to the soundtrack, i think of some fantasy or settlers-like stuff, less a giant robot battle in space.


The soundtrack of OTA is far better produced than ZK´s on a sidenote. It is actually performed by real and capable musicians opposed to the sample-library the zk-sountrack uses. Get such quality of your heads. This is absolutely unreacheable with our open-source-approach.
+0 / -0



AUrankAdminGoogleFrog
34 days ago
(edited 34 days ago)

I think the music is just a disagreement that depends on how much you like either orchestral or electronic music. EErankAdminAnarchid is heavily in the electronic music camp so sees the current music as little more than a placeholder. I'm with USrankCrazyEddie. I think CZrankAdminLicho tends towards the electronic side because he set this (in the post by EErankAdminAnarchid). I have some nostalgia for the Red Alert 2 soundtrack but I think neither of the examples posted by Anarchid are appropriate as RTS tracks. They have too much of a lead in and fade out and their pace varies too wildly.

The sound effects are another matter we've never had a sound person as far as I'm aware.
+1 / -0


DErankChesti
34 days ago
DErankkatastrophe when you really start to try first music samples I am your first ear of testing. :-)
really like that idea. I do not totally dislike the music but ofc it can have it's improvements :)
+0 / -0

DErankCaptainKlutz
34 days ago
I think the quality of the SFX is good for Zero-K, and the design is very good as well. Coming from DotA2 I appreciate how much you can know about a battlefield based on just the sounds it makes. Being able to narrow down approaching enemy units to around 5 possibilities or fewer is very valuable for team vs team play. I would tentatively suggest even more unique sounds, perhaps for small lasers and large explosions in particular, but this is not urgent and more quality of life.

I like the orchestral music in game but the Hollywood scifi feel wears off after a lot of games in a row, I'll admit. Perhaps something more electronic should be introduced, or maybe a medley of different styles. I think a shift towards a more Space Opera style of music would be better; unfortunately, I don't know many examples off by heart apart from a nice Stellaris addon I found https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=684454645 (I particularly like the Endless Space soundtracks and Alien Hand- The Kill)
+0 / -0

DErankkatastrophe
33 days ago
CHrankAdminDeinFreund: you disliked the sount effects, can you give an example of better ones you like?
+0 / -0



USrankCrazyEddie
33 days ago
Titan Slayer / Neon Ranger / Vlad Zhuravlev has a lot of material. A quick skim suggests that someone could assemble a pretty solid soundtrack for ZK using various pieces from his library. It looks like Mr. Zhuravlev does commercial work; I don't know if he'd be interested in granting a CC-NC-ND license for some of his pieces but if someone wanted to give it a shot it couldn't hurt to ask.

Otherwise, there may well be some similar tracks available under a CC license elsewhere. There's been a lot more free music produced since Denny Schneidemesser's tracks were added to ZK years ago. But someone who is interested would have to do the legwork to find it, confirm the licensing, and assemble a very good collection of tracks for the devs and community to review and opine on.

The current ZK music is very good, but is in a very common style. This kind of epic orchestral style was used in Total Annihilation, Supreme Commander, Planetary Annihilation, and Ashes of the Singularity, so saying it's not appropriate for a game about giant sci-fi robots is pretty odd. On the other hand, something different might make us stand out a bit. But merely being different isn't good enough; it needs to be different and very, very good.

The music we include with the game is really just for first impressions. People who stick with the game will probably end up muting the soundtrack and playing their own favorite music anyway. But first impressions are important.

If we did switch the default music to a different style, I for one would appreciate an option setting to easily switch back to the old tracks.
+2 / -0

LVrankSenaven
32 days ago
I like current ZK music. Somethimes i feel need for more epic cover.
And i like that players can add they own music to ZK and they don't need switch off volume. Even if its bit messy to do.
Zk could offer different lists of music. One like current one and another like rock or something else. So users could switch this lists and hear music they like.
+0 / -0



CHrankAdminDeinFreund
32 days ago
(edited 32 days ago)

DErankkatastrophe I think the current effects could be cleaned up, although depending on the engine's support for viewpoint dependent sound modulation and dynamic range compression. I don't have any actual suggestions for now. The goal would be to turn team battles from white noise into interesting soundscapes which needs a lot of fine-tuning. Anarchid did a great step with the new scythe sound.

As for soundtrack, I love the tracks from Evan King's Enchiridion album (attribution license). They have a modern orchestral feel. I don't think it's a perfect match, yet I'd much prefer it over our current soundtrack.
+0 / -0

DErankkatastrophe
32 days ago
Well, stack enough sounds and you will always get to white noise.. i don´t think it is physically possible to make the soundscape of a 10v10 completely transparent...
+0 / -0

TWranktreegb
32 days ago
Classical/orchestral is my favorite, fantasy is great too.
I don't think there is any problem in current soundtrack it sounds nice but improvement is fine too.

Use design of a product as example, some product with material contains metal and wood together, the compound feeling is so unique, even better than pure metal or pure wood, it feels like bringing future element inside classic or bringing classic element inside future. But it need to do carefully or it will become noise easily.

As same concept, bringing classical/orchestral/soft music in lobby or in game will soften the hardness of the whole design, since the theme of game is sharp and iron/sci-fi like (RTS pace, model design, interface of lobby and website), bringing some soft element in some place is needed for balance in my opinion or the whole feeling will become too monotonous.

And I think design balance is probably more important than the quality, that means consistent.
+1 / -0

DErankkatastrophe
32 days ago
Interesting point.


+0 / -0



CHrankAdminDeinFreund
32 days ago
(edited 32 days ago)

quote:
DErankkatastrophe
i don´t think it is physically possible to make the soundscape of a 10v10 completely transparent...


It's impossible if you just stack sounds all over another.

Sounds further away from the camera need to be modulated to give the feeling of distance (and use a smaller frequency spectrum). Multi-Band Compression is needed to only make the most important sounds audible. For example you could hear 2 glaives fighting each other on an empty battlefield, but in a full on battle their volume would be reduced in favor of a goliath or nuke. The sound effects themselves should be restricted to a well defined frequency band each. This allows multiple sounds to play in parallel without conflicting.

This requires a lot of work and only starts paying back towards the end.
+1 / -0



EErankAdminAnarchid
32 days ago
(edited 31 days ago)

quote:
I think the music is just a disagreement that depends on how much you like either orchestral or electronic music.

My dislike of the current soundtrack is not limited to the fact that Denny is not Frank Klepacki. The other two things are the overall feel and pacing being too slow and mellow; and none of it being made specifically for ZK.

I'm fine with classical genre as such. But the classical style as we have in zk is just too slow for the game. I remember playing Saktoth's Starlight mission on an asteroid, and the music was trying to make me fall asleep while it should have been trying to make me feel that i'm on borrowed time before the AI starts its attacks. It should have evoked danger, urgency, perhaps vastness and mystery; it evoked fairies dancing around mushrooms on a magical forest clearing.

Perhaps this is the track that USrankCrazyEddie talks about as being a mistake. It could fit perfectly with the setting and pacing of Wesnoth - which is turn-based - but not in an RTS where you should expect to be attacked 40 seconds after starting a game. And even there, i suspect some Wesnoth tracks are more energetic than that.

Is Celestial Aeon Project classical? Is this? If so, i like their "classical style" much more than i like Denny. But much as CAP is nicely cut into short and intense pieces, i still think assembling a soundtrack from ready-available pieces is not that much better than placeholder, regardless of genre.

(That Enchiridion stuff is quite awesome too)
+2 / -0

GBrank[Fx]Drone
31 days ago
I doubt there is any change you could make that would ever make me want to enable sounds.
+0 / -0
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