Summoner of Sounds is designed to be a series of interactive community events where video game music will be celebrated by the means of craftsmanship and community interaction.
Community members with experience in music production will be dared to participate in challenges testing their ability to perform well as a versatile video game composer, while the game developers with other areas of expertise are encouraged to to analyze the challenges, and provide the composers with commentary, feedback and constructive criticism.
Table of contents:
- 1. Event Outline
- 2. Event Schedule
- 3. Licensing Rights & Submission Guidelines
- 4. RMN as a Platform. What do I have to gain?
- 5. Post-Processing Submitted Material
- 6. Role of the Composer - Becoming the Summoner of Sounds
- 7. Role of Other Developers and the Audience - You are not NPCs!
- 8. Picking Favorites!?
- 9. RMN Music Pack 2 and Guardians of the Groove
Summoner of Sounds consists of a periodically recurring series of challenges presented to the composers to participate in and for the developers and audience to engage in throughout the year.
Participants aren't obligated to participate in every challenge, but the more challenges you participate in, the greater the reward.
Presented challenges will test the composers' abilities to perform well as versatile video game music producers in a changing environment. Each challenge will introduce a different set of rules and restrictions, and a new concept where the composers will have to find a way to express themselves in.
The challenges may restrict and determine the video game genre that will need to be composed for, the game world setting to be composed for, a specific game instance to be composed for, or a specific manner to be composed in.
While the challenges will present a number of restricted aspects, each challenge will offer choice of freedom and room to stretch around in some of them.
Summoner of Sounds will be running for several months in total and challenges will be issued roughly once every month, or on a similar pacing.
Each challenge of the series will run approximately over the course of one month and the deadline of each challenge will be stated as the challenge and its ruleset are announced.
- Chapter I: Light of Heart: Deadline on 1st of June 2015
- Chapter II: Assault Action: Deadline on 1st of July 2015
- Chapter III: The Dark Ages: Deadline on 1st of August 2015
- Chapter IV: World of Traditions: Deadline on 15th of September 2015
- Chapter V: Modern Moods: Deadline on 15th of November 2015
- Chapter VI: A Game Within A Game: Deadline on 15th of December 2015
- Chapter VII: An Open World: Deadline on 15th of February 2016
- Chapter VIII: Seizing the Feeling: Deadline on 1st of April 2016
- Chapter IX: The Ninth Symphony: Deadline on 15th of May 2016
- Chapter X: Rock Off Against the Void: Deadline on 1st of July 2016 (Current challenge!)
Any work submitted to this event will be disseminated under a creative commons license as publicly usable in any way the end-user wishes as long as they attribute the work to the artist in their credits and that they also do the same themselves with any derivative work based on the artist's.
End-users of this material, and any derivative material, will not, however, be able to legally make any money from anything containing these tracks without the artists' express permission.
All works submitted to the event have to be 100% original work of the participants and must contain no copyrighted material, either compositionally or in terms of sampled sounds. Submitted works must contain no arrangements of any material of a different author, and they can not lift motifs from anywhere else, except possibly from the participant's own works.
Submissions should contain as little audio quality loss as possible, WAV file format being heavily preferred.
The RPG Maker Network offers an extensive network of gamers and game developers, both hobbyists and professionals.
This event series is designed to help the composers of the game development community come together, challenge their know-how and showcase their creative efforts, and the rest of the community to come in contact with the composers.
This event series won't have a panel of judges, and there won't be hand-picked winners. Participants are encouraged to challenge themselves and work together towards solving the presented challenges.
During the course of the event series, the composers will be creating video game music in various forms and manners, and build themselves a diverse portfolio while doing so.
The rest of the community is encouraged to provide feedback and impressions on this material and to be in touch with the composers, possibly giving them ideas, or request something specific from within the given ruleset.
RMN will bring the participants visibility, and the yields of each challenge will be shared on RMN's social media during the course of the events.
Each composer has a completely optional step to sign up for post-processing their submitted material.
In the post-process, the composer will be in touch with the event organizer who will help them personally by offering them feedback on composition and mixing details and assist them by creating alternate, OGG file format versions of their tracks with a coded-in looping point, which will enable seamless looping of their songs in the RPG Maker VX and RPG Maker VX Ace engines.
Enabling looping for the songs requires them to be composed in looped structure, with recurring sections.
Summoner of Sounds as an event series will present a series of challenges that will test your abilities as a composer to express yourself in a wide variety of restricted environments. This will help in readying you to have the tools and confidence to perform well as a composer in a wide range of video game projects.
Each challenge will introduce a different scenario where you may need to compose music for different game genre, imply a different game setting through instrumentation, cultural, and musical genre references, or approach the the task by expressing yourself with a very specific perspective in mind.
Some of these scenarios may, and most likely will, require you to research and learn new ways of designing video game music, but they will also encourage you to test yourself, and express yourself in ways that you haven't before, and you will experience the joy of discovering new sides of your creative self.
Summoner of Sounds is an event series that will be running for several consecutive months. It may sound intimidating at first, but you can decide which challenges you want to participate in. However, the more challenges you undertake, the greater the rewards.
If you want to achieve the very best yields, then the series will also test your ability to perform under pressure as you'll need to be undertaking all the challenges.
It will test your ability to practice your trade under discipline, not only when you are motivated, and it will test your adaptability at the times when you'll have to find your creative freedom and inspiration while you still have to make your visions meet with a set of pre-existing rules.
Remember, you are not alone! This is a collaboration event. You may work alone if you wish, but you are allowed, and encouraged to collaborate with other members. Do you have the same Digital Audio Workstation as the other participant? You can work together! And if you feel like discussing how to approach any of the issued challenges with the other participants, then nothing stops you.
Building an extensive network of colleagues and other practitioners of your trade will also work greatly in your favor!
Will you be able to take on the challenge? Can you become the Summoner of Sounds, or even something more?
Introduce yourself at the Composer Introductions!
Video game composers wouldn't be composing music for video games if there were no video games, and video games with no music, or audio, would offer us only an experience with half of the things to sense, than what they do with audio, so let's agree that sound design is an integral part of game design.
Video game audio does not only offer us audio clues on game mechanics, but music activates large parts of our brain on fast rate and communicates us a great variety of information, which married with the visual material will bring the gaming experience to a whole new potency.
That being said, video game directors should not underestimate the importance of solid audio design, and advanced communication with the audio designers plays a major factor at what the end product will communicate to the consumer.
Music helps to communicate ideas which aren't visually present, it may also underline and empower the visual ideas present, or it may change the way we perceive the visual clues completely when the marriage of the visuals and the sound refers to a completely new impression than what either part of the combination would carry across alone.
Video game directors need to be able to communicate their vision to the sound designers and together with them, find a way to communicate this idea to the consumers.
While the Summoner of Sounds challenges will introduce composers to predetermined rulesets, the rest of the community may still engage in the process by discussing each challenge and the methods fit to completing the challenge.
Everyone can take the role of a critic. You don't need to be educated in music theory or terminology to be able to tell whether you find a musical piece fitting for a specific game genre, instance or setting. Communication matters, even if you don’t have the most optimal tools for it.
Express yourself with your own words and impressions. A composer will be glad to hear any of it. Tell the composer what their music communicates to you: feelings, impressions, visual images or atmosphere, for example. Does their track fit the description of the given ruleset?
Everyone may also post ideas of any themes they would like to hear. If the ruleset permits, a composer may very well decide to compose your idea.
While there isn't a panel of judges, or winners for the event, everyone is still encouraged to show appreciation for entries submitted to the event.
Simple feedback and commentary alone is welcome enough, but if you really like some track, give it a star to mark it as your favorite! You can give stars for multiple tracks if you wish. Stars play a part in event visibility and achievement mechanics.
To reward composers with stars post a reply to the event explaining which track, or tracks you want to give favorites for. Attaching a star image to the post helps the process.
Image code for the star:
As of today, one of the biggest, if not the single biggest achievement of the composer community of rpgmaker.net still is the release of our RMN Music Pack!
It's a great quality pack of music that we can be proud of, and an achievement that we were able to put together with collaborative effort and all thanks to the network and community that RMN is.
Reception of the RMN Music Pack was overwhelmingly positive and it has been a good while since its release, so it is time we set our sights on the future, and to the release of its successor, the RMN Music Pack 2!
The journey for RMN Music Pack 2 begins with Summoner of Sounds.
Summoner of Sounds is designed to work as a count down and prepare us to bring RMN Music Pack 2 to a whole new level.
While Summoner of Sounds works also as the countdown for the RMN Music Pack 2, Summoner of Sounds will still be the greatest undertaking of the RMN composer community as of today and it will challenge everyone's creative abilities.
Summoner of Sounds will be creating composers a portfolio, but it will also be creating the community a whole lot of great video game music!
If you like what the composers of the community do and you want to show your support to them, you can be directly in contact with them, but if you want to show your support to the community as a whole and help us arrange events such as the RMN Music Pack, Summoner of Sounds and the RMN Music Pack 2, you can now become Guardian of The Groove and donate to the cause!
Every penny counts and the money will be used first and foremost to have artwork to go with the music and then to offer rewards for participating members. Any extra funds to the cause will be spent on future RMN Music events.
To get the Guardian of the Groove achievement you have to PM Happy after the transaction goes through, so that he knows to apply the benefits to your RMN account.
Thank you everyone! Let's do our best!
Illustrations: カラカモ @ twitter / 烏鴨 @ pixiv
Event concept design, visual design, direction and supervision: Happy @ RMN / Matias Heimlander @ tumblr
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