Jump to content
Belzark

How / When do you change the music in scenes?

Recommended Posts

Hey guys, I've been troubled by this a while now, and I've had enough of it.

 

I feel like some cutscenes feel a little monotone and boring when the same music plays all the time. However, I have a hard time in fixing this. The change seems unnatural, or out of place. How do you change music in / between cutscenes? Do you fade out the old music and fade the new music in during a black screen? Do you directly fade out the old music and fade in the new track while the scene is playing or do you keep a brief moment of silence in between?

 

Thanks in advance for sharing your opinions, I hope this will help me make better games!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is a though question, largely it depends on the scene. First I tried to make the scene and add music later, but it never gave a good result. Nowadays I try to "co-evolve" the scene, choreograph the music with the rest of the scene and dialogs. I test play my scenes while reading the dialogues out loud ("prolly looking like a total derp while doing so xD"), I may alter the dialogue or the music breaks to generate a more natural flow.

 

All that being said, the short version would be "It's an art" - CookieNinja  ;) 

 

Just a note, mentioned silent moments. Sometimes you can use that to build suspense, if you are switching in between completely different scenes. You could go for a fast fade out, and follow up with a slow fade in starting during black screen. It will mark the switch for the player as well as easing them in to the new "mood".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm the opposite. I write a scene then decide on the music. There's actually a really good selection of music tracks out there if you search. I just explore and find what fits my scene. Usually, I change music during the scene. Fading in and out helps make the tracks flow into each other. Once in a while I get lucky and the track already fades in =D There is a script out there for audio fade ins because for some reason you can fade out with RPG Maker, but not in :/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Getting all technical with this. Any track change is going to be abrupt unless they share either the scale or a tonal centre. I'm not the appropriate person to give a lecture on music theory so I'll leave you to do your own research.

 

Now, how to implement the above probably only comes down to two choices. Whether the player has control over the cutscene (dialog via button input or a  cutscene that allows players to move freely) or not (cutscene is like a movie):

-If the player has control then you no longer have control over what note the track changes on therefore you cannot determine a tonal centre. You could still change track comfortably though, however both tracks will probably need to be in the same scale.

-If the cutscene runs like a movie then you know exactly when the track will change therefore a tonal centre is possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^ or just use fades  :P Sometimes an abrupt change in music is good. If a scene drastically changes tones the change in music should reflect it. 

Pretty much all my scenes that change music tracks have dialogue where the current track ends depends on the player. Personally it doesn't make much a difference where it changes for my scenes. Most tracks I've found have a single theme and tone throughout so the exact place it changes isn't a huge deal. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×