One of the reasons that many of us find games so enjoyable is because of the music. As a game music composer (Ninichi) it is my privilege and honour to work on the music for various games. I believe that the music supports the overall gaming experience and that it's important to get this right.
Music is vital in helping to enhance a players experience of a game. It immerses them in it. When choosing what music to put to your game, it is important to have in mind the various ways that music impacts on the gaming experience.
Also see 5 Reasons to Invest in Great Game Music.
1. Setting the Scene
Music can help the player to understand where they are and what might be going on around them. Most games are set in a certain ‘world’ and the music that you choose can help to introduce that ‘world’ to us.
Players often benefit from having clues about where they are within this virtual environment i.e. where they are within the world and what level they are on. So, selecting and creating different themes and tunes for different settings can really help to enhance your game.
2. Introducing & Distinguishing Between Characters
If your game has a number of characters in it, choose the music carefully to suit each character. Many games have specific theme tunes for their key characters and this helps players to distinguish between them and to build an emotional connection with them.
For example – heroes and villains are usually made to sound very different – so when you listen to the music for a game, you should be able to identify which one you’re dealing with!
3. Signaling Danger or a Change of State
Music can help to indicate to players that something has changed. Perhaps you have entered into enemy territory, or maybe you’ve run out of resources. Whatever it is – if something has changed, the music can help to signal to the player to take note of this.
Like films, many games have a story and will want to take you on a journey. Great game music will support this and bring your story arcs to life.
If you want your game to fully immerse a player and to connect with them emotionally, music is the key to doing this. If your music is thrilling and exciting, it will make people feel excited to play your game. That is why so many of the big games have epic theme tunes which are memorable, grand and quite exhilarating to listen to.
I hope that this articles gives you a better feeling of how you can use music in your games. For more help with your game music, feel free to drop me a line. See ninichimusic.com and explore my game music now to hopefully find some inspiration and ideas for your game music soundtrack!
This article was originally published and brought to you on Ninichi's blog, which is part of Ninichi's game music website and offers insight & advice around game music, indie games, films & gaming channels, as well as the opportunity to work with Ninichi (composer for games, film & media).