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Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Developer Blog 9 - Ethnic Instruments

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<p><em>Hello all! This time around we're bringing you an externally written blog, by the team working on the music for Bannerlord. There are samples from the soundtrack and some detail about what went into creating the authentic feel for the game's OST!</em></p>
<p><strong>Finn Seliger, <a href="http://www.periscopestudio.de" target="_blank">Periscope Studio</a></strong> - With the soundtrack of Mount & Blade 2 one of our main goals was to create a characteristic music piece for each faction – a kind of hymn – that should reflect the faction in terms of culture and attitude.</p></br> Read more at: http://www.taleworlds.com/en/Games/Bannerlord/Blog/11
 

Quiet_Monk

Sergeant at Arms
Rice lover said:
lolbash said:
AmateurHetman said:
White Lion said:
Smorkin said:
I have great hopes for bannerlord.

But music-wise, please please don't follow the trend of most games these days and have music playing continuously. Think atmosphere: Birds chirruping, branches creaking, flags flapping, soldier's trudging through the mud, horses whinneying, swords clashing, warcries bellowing (and not that godawful racket from the soldiers shouting in warband mount and blade that would force me to turn off the sound), or wounded screaming, and all followed by the calm after the storm as the battlefield settles into silence.

So of course the devs are adding music, and the clips sounded epic, but don't waste all that hard work!! Use it as a tool to ADD to the atmosphere - not overwhelm it. Play a song, then have a break of 3-4 minutes of no music, then play a different song. Or put songs on triggers on certain events, i.e. first encounter with faction/ entering city for first time/ entering inn/ meeting a king. Make us look forward to the rare event where that epic tune is suddenly and unexpectedly played.

I beg you, don't just make a playlist and put it on repeat with the best song playing over and over. Don't make one or two songs and play them in every battle. Such an approach (adopted by too many, quite frankly lazy, game devs) is intrinsically flawed. Common sense says you don't stick 10 tracks on repeat. You get sick of it after an hour.  Even with a playlist of 'only' 50 songs (for example on an ipod, as rarely do games have that many, GTA excluded) you get sick of even that many pretty quickly, a week or two tops. You will get exhausted of even chart number 1's after hearing it 30 times in a day or two... Music then gets muted.

It can be done well. Many examples come to mind, but first to mind is skyrim's dovahkin music - despite the huge amount of work and full orchestra involvement - this was really only ever played on menu screen (and possibly rare boss battles at the end adding to the sense of epicness of the fight when you heard it). It won awards for a reason.

And don't just ignore/chuck out those tester single instrument pieces. Why not use them for a random musician in a village square, or an inn, a bard practising or messing around. Loads of atmosphere for little effort. It's instant injection of character and soul to a village.

Apologies if I laboured the point, but I would really love Bannerlords to be great!

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Count Delinard

Lord of Uxkhal
Global Moderator
WBNWVC
Quote Pyramids are considered Spam. If you want to express your support for an idea please quote the original proposer, or find a way to add your voice without building ugly pyramids.
 

BlamBlam

Regular
So not to build the pyramid- totally agree with Smorkin.

Very good idea might be to give an excuse for music to appear in the scenes. Like in mentioned GTA series- the simple but obvious solution-  there was a car radio that gave You possibility to change the tune or switch the music off.

In early medieval teverns or marketplaces a natural choice would be to use street performer/bard/skald/or whoever who provides a soundtrack in a natural way. Perhaps (following GTA's example) You could even interact with such by giving him a coin to change a tune- or bully him to shut up :wink: If a fight outbreaks in a tavern he can sudenndly stop his performance (with a sound of broken string:wink: or- in case of some culture more used to tavern brawls- play something more lively.

Same while camping- imagine a Khuzait camp with one of the more talented  nomads throat singing (Tuva  style ; ) to entartain both his clansmen and the player with nice subtle unaffected ambience.

Great examples suggested by Mochuo Han few posts back.

Keeping that in mind- IMHO the early scetches presented in Dev Blog 9 - fitted the Bannerlord idea way better than the epic final results wchich- altrough technically of course very good- have IMO only residual color of ethnic music- but in the end are just regular compositions regionally stylized. The Aserai for example- as the scetches are giving nice unobtrusive feeling of what might be recognized as early medieval middle eastern town ambience- the final result gives (IMO) rather a cliche feel of somewhat trivial "tales of a thousand and one night movie trailer".

Of course what is presented in the Dev blog is just a sample- cannot judge the whole game soundrack upon this- but to summarize- the final results felt for me to epic, and to modern.

I think much more ambitious (and for that reason fitting to whole bannerlord idea) would be to try to stick to pre dur-mol system and avoid "movie trailer-like" epicness. Like one of the inmates sugessted- please do not "Nolan It up"  :wink:



 
Yes, I have to agree that the sketches are way more fitting and, to be sincere, managed to pump my blood better than the orchestra. There is something about them that make each faction stand out. Second to architecture, the music is what dives you into the peculiarities of these cultures. As far as the final results stand, only the Khuzait piece has something very distinct.

I'm also worried by the state of the soundtrack in general. As I have mention in many of my previous posts on music, some pieces have been taken from the Guild II series, while some others seem to lack in quality (in my opinion). I hope that what we have heard in the gameplay videos is only placeholder music.
 

Crowcorrector

Sergeant at Arms
BlamBlam said:
In early medieval teverns or marketplaces a natural choice would be to use street performer/bard/skald/or whoever who provides a soundtrack in a natural way. Perhaps (following GTA's example) You could even interact with such by giving him a coin to change a tune- or bully him to shut up :wink: If a fight outbreaks in a tavern he can sudenndly stop his performance (with a sound of broken string:wink: or- in case of some culture more used to tavern brawls- play something more lively.

I love this idea!  I can totally imagine starting fights in Battanian taverns with the bard playing more epic music and the whole tavern joining in the brawl... and the opposite in the cultured Empire taverns,  with the bards cord anapping and music stopping, and everyone in the tavern not involved in the fight running away like little *****es, warband-tavern fight syle
 

Mohreb

Recruit
Sorry for the necro, but how do you do listen to those clips in the article, they seem to be grayed out for me (using chrome)?
 
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