THE RPG MUSIC CHALLENGE - PHASE 2 RESULTS

Posts

Milos
Lone Wolf, or something cool.
263
Fellow game-makers, I must askedeth thee, can these sounds be used in games(be sure to credit, of course)
Here's my essay:

NOSTALGIC THEMES

1 - It would be a great Ending Theme, and possibly Town - great melodic theme with a nice buildup and tempo changes. Nostalgic, but could have been more "flashbacky"

2 - Very good Town music, again nostalgic with emotive chords and melody. Like the use of chimey instrumentation to give it a dreamy feeling. Could have a bit more variation to make it more so.

4 - This one is a sombre piece with a lot of 16-bit nostalgia. Good attempt. It's difficult to bring out an "orchestral" feeling in this style. You could have pulled it off with a bit more dynamics changes and a bit more ebb and flow I think.

5 - Desolate and subtle use of harmony here reflects a sad memory. I actually quite liked this one. The biggest downfall of it is that it didn't strike me as orchestral. Still, great effort!

8 - Immediately made me think of a nostalgic theme. Having said that I think it has to potential to be bigger and badder - nice buildups to emphasise the orchestral feeling.

9 - I like the subtle instrumentation here to give a bittersweet, sombre feeling to the theme. I felt this subtleness, as well in the texture was very effective!

10 - This one, hands down, was the best in terms of instrumentation and arrangement. A solid knowledge in orchestral arrangement echoes strongly from this piece. Just. Wow. The only gripe is it is perhaps a bit too grandiose for a nostalgic flashback scene. My personal favourite in terms of sheer impressiveness though!

11 - This one screams to me either a badass heroic or fighting memory and it is clear what the composer tried to accomplish here. Unfortunately I feel that in this sense it isn't really "nostalgic", but good work with the orchestral feeling!

16 - Sombre and reminiscent of bittersweet memories. Some good instrument choices could be built upon to push this into the Flashback category. Abrupt finish though.

BOTH

6 - An excellent introduction - really set the scene of the flashback! There is just a feeling that the texture of the instrumentation is a little inconsistent at times, so it is nostalgic at points. Good work though!

13 - This sent chills down my spine in the intro. Everything about it was perfect. This and a lot of pieces decided to do a slow piano arpeggio that is very reminiscent of a nostalgic town scene. It works, but IMHO a bit of deviation from this tried and tested formula would break the "town" feeling and bring something more unusual and interesting. Still, poignant melody and chords make this one shine!

15 - A great theme. Heavily nostalgic and passes through many stages through the memory. I like some unique instrumentation such as the e-guitar that gives that sense of warmth and fondness. The dynamicness of this theme really shone out for me. Excellent work!

18 - I immediately fell in love with the ambience and windy bleakness of an unforgiving event in the past. This screams regretful nostalgia and the blurry and shifting ambience definitely screams hazy flashback. Great sounds, mixed incredibly well, with a some truly touching solos. Damn. This is chillingly good...

21 - There's something about starting with a solid piano solo at the beginning of a piece that I love. Add some lovely harmony and chord progressions and you've got a great theme! I think for me this one had the best piano arrangement. Amazing!

OTHER MENTIONS

14 - A lot of people have given this one stick. I'm not sure what this is supposed to represent? I certainly don't think it was mistaken for a Lava Temple theme. If I really focus, I can kind of tell what the intentions were. But, unfortunately, themes need to fit, and this one didn't :S keep trying though!

20 - This one... blew my.. mind. Seriously, my jaw was on the floor the whole time. Having said that, it was surprisingly catchy XD Not nostalgic, not flashbacky, but hey, catchy as hell!

22 - Set out for adventure! Grab your weapons and armour! ...is what I thought for this one. Some solid, effective use of orchestration that would certainly pass for a game theme. Although, again, nostalgic it is not unfortunately.

24 - There is a classical piece that this is heavily reminiscent of. It also reminded me of Balamb in FFVIII. Not a bad thing though! Great effort and interesting use of different guitar textures. However, I can't say that it fits the orchestral component though...!


...and there we go! This round has been amazing seriously - like MrChearlie said, there really aren't any entries that I disliked and everything was of high quality!

Granted, my final vote is Entry #18. It just mesmerised me.

Close contenders: 10, 13, 15, 21.

For everyone else: looking forward to some epic battle themes!!!
When reading my comments about songs, keep in mind that I don't have a specific ear for music. I strictly listen and trust my gut to tell me what I'm getting from it.

Entry 1 - It feels like a nostalgia scene taking place in a spaceship or space station of some kind.
Entry 2 - This is town BGM, 100%. The "remember when..." just ain't happening ;-; Still a great piece though, and one I would definitely consider using in one of my towns. I'm also getting a bit of static in certain parts. Maybe it's just my PoS computer though.
Entry 3 - Something about this track seems like it doesn't know where it's going with each note.
Entry 4 - This one has a lot of potential. It sounds good, but just feels like some more instruments could be added for refining.
Entry 5 - Might fit a sob story, but I don't know about genuine nostalgia.
Entry 6 - An excellent flashback tune, no doubt. But something is missing.
Entry 7 - I like this one. It invokes a kind of past triumph. When a battle was won, an award, or something like that.
Entry 8 - I'm very partial to this one. It's just very melodic and backgroundy, which is perfect for nostalgia scenes.
Entry 9 - I had to listen to this one several times to understand exactly what it is that deters me from outright liking it. I think it's just that it's fairly plain. I don't know. I feel like it's good, just not outstanding. It's still one of the better ones though.
Entry 10 - The passive nostalgia feeling I might use this for in a video game isn't happening. It's something that would have to applied to a specific scene in motion, like a movie or just forced dialogue-moving. Also, call it a hunch, but I think it doesn't afraid of anything.
Entry 11 - Rather than nostalgia, this feels like a flashback of something that happened in the past. Something not too awesome, either.
Entry 12 - If the scene involves kids playing or otherwise some kind of prank, I can see how it fits the theme. It's just too darn jolly for it's own good.
Entry 13 - Wonderful track for a peaceful town. Well composed and beautiful to the ears, but there's too much happening for it to provide the passive ambience necessary for a good nostalgia scene.
Entry 14 - Suffers from the same problem as Entry 13. Too much happening for it to be a casual "remember when..." scene. Yet another excellent piece, though.
Entry 15 - I didn't care for the intro, but got into it in the second half. I'm sure if I were a musician, my critique would be very favorable, but I'm just a stupid audience idiot who only gets what he gets :D
Entry 16 - This is it. This track has the sound I'm looking for. It fleshes out that feeling of something that isn't there anymore. You can't go home again. It only exists in your memory. As far as I'm concerned, nothing else comes close.
Entry 17 - Too pearcing on my ears :x It doesn't fly as a nostalgia track, but could be used for a ruins or something similiarly gone.
Entry 18 - I like the wind. It's definitely appropriate if your flashback happens to be on top of a mountain. Limited in it's use though, and generally not very in tune with the theme.
Entry 19 - Smooth and nice. The only fault I can see is that it has no exceptional values :x Very well made, but doesn't take first place.
Entry 20 - o.o;;
Entry 21 - Something good just happened. The girl was saved, or the family was reunited, or I found my toy. But it's a here and now feeling.
Entry 22 - How are you gentlemen? Time for battle. Let's go. Yeah, the nostalgia factor is far, far away.
Entry 23 - I barely noticed it was playing while multitasking o.o; Too passive for it's own good.
Entry 24 - One man orchestra? Either way, it doesn't fit the orchestral requirement D:

Obligatory "You all did a great job!".
But really, this was a tough theme to work with and nobody underperformed (although it does seem like someone decided to make his own theme :p ).

My Vote : Entry 16
kentona
only 90s kids will like this admin
20477
5 hours left to go!

EDIT:
32 votes cast so far!
Happy
Devil's in the details
5337
Alright, gonna drop some commentary on each piece. Also on my own, to not give out which one is mine, though it hardly matters anymore.


1: This is a pretty solid piece! I like the melody, how it's varied by the different instruments and sections and the harmony feels very solid too. Definitely would work in a nostalgic scene, though I don't think the song is very memorable.

2: Here we have somewhat more memorable melody, though the soundscape doesn't sound as balanced. The left side sounds pretty empty especially. Doesn't sound as longingly nostalgic as I would personally prefer, though. Sounds more like a general happy theme.

3: Sounds somewhat nostalgic, but not that beautiful/sad/romantic way. Reminds me of middleages / castle. Can get quite loud/jarring on several parts.

4: The intro sound pretty boring to me, sorry! however the section that starts right after sounds rather nice. Really like the combination of instruments here. Though the cello/viola? part makes it sound less nostalgic for me again. Pretty nice still, though. The melody sounds very familiar to me for some reason. Like from some movie. First to come to my mind are some of Tim Burton's animation movies.

5: Sounds somewhat sad, though I can't get a definitive theme out of this. It gets pretty repetitive. Still, would work well a flashback scene!

6: This sounds very much bittersweet/nostalgic. Easy to relate to some sweet old memories of game characters. The piano motifs really hit the spot, though with that reverb effect they don't really scream "orchestral" style. Still a very sweet piece though.

7: This doesn't really take me anywhere. It sounds like ambient scenery music still, though. It gets somewhat better with the tremolos coming in and from thereon. It just misses that something for me, still.

8: The piano patterns starting this theme sound very familiar first, though they change the course from that very soon. The strings are used very well, like the horns too, actually. Sounds very sweet. I like how the piano breaks it up at 01:26. I like this piece a lot, though the overall sound quality leaves a lot to be desired for (though the same problem exists in some other tracks too) Composition-wise this is still a very strong entry though. I like the melody too!

9: Sounds very ambient again. Nothing particular really catching my attention, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, though. This could work very well in a flashback scene to enhance the mood. Though as a stand alone piece it doesn't really have that much merits!

10: The dreamy piano in the beginning is very lovely. The flute afterwards sounds somewhat distracting (as in not as moody as could be), though it does make the release at 0:50 more effective. This style is very different from what I'm used to, but interesting same time. The harp at 2:00 sound spectacular. Reminds me a lot of Golden Sun soundtrack. Over all the theme is very well orchestrated, especially liking the use of strings. Would work very well with flashback scene too, though the melody doesn't hit nostalgic as much as could.

11: Sounds nostalgic in a sense! Somewhat actiony / dramatic, also. Could work in a flashback, depending on the context. Not much else to say about this though. For some reason it brings images of Metal Gear Solid to my mind.

12: Well. Sounds like a chocobo ranch!

13: Am I listening to soundtrack of some sad anime series? Sweet sounds though. Very nostalgic, moody and memorable, I love the soundscape. Especially that harmonica-sounding thing. Section starting at 01:23 reminds me of Final Fantasy X and Luca. Solid piece! Definitely one of my favourites.

14: Very nostalgic. Takes me back to phase 1 of this event. Some interesting sounds here though, like those woodblock sounding things.

15: With better quality sounds this theme could actually be a lot better. I spot some nice harmonics, but they get kinda blended too much together. Sounds nostalgic though!

16: I don't really have much to say about this one. I guess it sounds nostalgic / village like. Just not very memorable to me. I like the reed instrument, though.

17: Haha, sweet start. This is very interesting sounding and very nostalgic actually too. Not in the same way as the others. This brings images of old folk tales and fairy tales to my head. It has very mysterious and intriguing sound to it. Did you use Dorian mode for this? I actually like this very much, though it's not really as orchestrated as I'd hope for entries of this phase to be.

18: Sound icy. And not very orchestral, unless they were playing on a top of mountain. Doesn't really fit much the phase ruleset. The soundscape is nice though, not much of my thing still.

19: First thought: Lord of The Rings (don't know why.) Sounds more like a sad theme than sweet nostalgy, though. Again, ambient sounds. Not much of a melody to remember, but still would probably work well to enhance mood of some sad game scene.

20: Lord. I love the phone dialing parts.

21: Nostalgic, sure! Home village of our brave hero. Not sure about the percussion here, but other than that pretty nice. Somewhat orchestral, also, though I don't find much special to comment on. The piano coming in at 2:00 or so sounds nice.

22: Well, this sounds more melodic at least, though not very much nostalgic like the other entries. Makes me think of some castle type location. Could probably work in a flashback scene, but doesn't really scream bittersweet. The strings sound a bit heavy on the ear at some parts.

23: Not really that orchestral. Sounds like ambient icy location. The amount of reverb in the background effects makes it just hard for me to connect this into a game scene rather than a specific location.

24: Loud. Makes me think of a cottage and maybe Sauna?... The tune is nice, though the quality brings it down a lot.


So which one does my vote go to? Entry #10 definitely had the best orchestration I think, but if I based my vote to the nostalgia value, I'd have to vote for entry #13, as it generally hits the sweet spot hardest for me.

It's a really tough choice. But considering the achievement rewarded for this phase is called "most orchestral" then I have to give my vote to entry #10
Entry 13 for me. Right sound, right feeling, nothing to fix that I can tell.
Yellow Magic
I'll never regain the bones I lost from my loneliness and sorrow
2993
Entry 10 gets my vote too. Just hit all the right notes..literally.

I also liked numbers 6, 16, 20, 21 and 24 (despite the sound quality - or maybe including the sound quality as I'm very into lo-fi these days) but don't think they fit the theme as well as 10 did.
I'm trying to think of a classy way to persuade people to vote for my entry but I can't think of one.

This was a really good phase though. I think everyone really upped their game and for the most part got the theme down. And thanks to everyone who listened for your comments and criticisms.
kentona
only 90s kids will like this admin
20477
Voting is now closed! Results soon!
kentona
only 90s kids will like this admin
20477
OKAY! SO! Here are the results (as I've compiled them).

However, if your entry does not line up with what I have posted here, or if the total I posted was wrong/too low, let me know! (I means I made a mistake :o ) Remember, though, that I did get some votes via PM.

Entry #1:Puppet_Master - Don't You Remember0 votes
Entry #2:Theodoric - Bring Back Memories1 votes
Entry #3:synbi - Nostalgic Theme0 votes
Entry #4:MrChearlie - Last Hour Memory0 votes
Entry #5:Xcalnarok - Nostalgic Flashback Scene0 votes
Entry #6:geodude - Memories4 votes
Entry #7:jasprelao - Melody of Memories0 votes
Entry #8:tgnemecek - Nostalgia2 votes
Entry #9:_TilT_ - Nostalgia0 votes
Entry #10:harmonic - Contest Phase 29 votes**WINNER**
Entry #11:Paulman - Nostalgia0 votes
Entry #12:kentona - Mine Baby0 votes
Entry #13:VGMusic_4_LIFE - Memoir of a Fleeting Heart5 votes
Entry #14:LaMasquerade - March of Memories1 votes
Entry #15:Tarranon - Nost5 votes
Entry #16:RolandMelvinZ - Memorable Time3 votes
Entry #17:Muninn - Final Memory0 votes
Entry #18:Swint - Memories of Better Times1 votes
Entry #19:NewBlack - Nostalgia in Realtime1 votes
Entry #20:theneonheart - Reminisces Near Misses0 votes
Entry #21:Wolfe - Memories in Sepia3 votes
Entry #22:Happy - Nostalgia 00 votes
Entry #23:Ruunyth123 - Memories on a Windy Hill0 votes
Entry #24:Link_2112 - Entry0 votes


RUNNING TOTAL:
_TilT_ :
1
CastorOnline:
0
Dudesoft :
0
emmych :
5
Gamesfreak13563 :
0
geodude :
4
Happy :
0
harmonic :
18
jasprelao :
0
Jude :
0
kentona :
1
LaMasquerade :
1
Lana42 :
2
Link_2112:
0
moneymenace :
1
MrChearlie :
1
Muninn :
0
NewBlack :
5
Paulman :
0
Puppet_Master :
0
rickyleung90 :
1
RolandMelvinZ :
4
Ruunyth123 :
3
sameric :
1
Scourge :
0
SDHawk :
0
Swint :
1
synbi :
0
Tarranon :
5
tgnemecek:
3
theneonheart :
1
Theodoric :
4
VGMusic_4_LIFE :
8
Wolfe :
4
Xcalnarok :
0
chana
(Socrates would certainly not contadict me!)
1584
Congrats every one.
Nice work again, harmonic. I was right on my hunch. *fist pound*

So 2nd Place goes to a tie between VGMusic_4_LIFE and Tarranon
3rd Place is geodude. He's been holding back on us all this time.

I still liked #16 though ;(
Harmonic, I don't know what soundfonts you use, but may I borrow them?
harmonic
It's like toothpicks against a tank
4120
Thanks :) This is a really tough competition. A bunch of phase 2's entries could have easily been tracks in AAA titles.

author=Puppet_Master
Harmonic, I don't know what soundfonts you use, but may I borrow them?


I use EastWest Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra Gold, as well as EW Symphonic Choirs. Gonna use Ministry of Rock as well for phase 3. Sadly, in order to use these VSTs, you not only have to buy the VST software, but a physical I-lok Key, a portable USB "key" that the VST software checks your registration code every time it's even used, much less mixed down.

They're pretty anal.

Here's where all those VSTs are distributed for the most part: http://www.soundsonline.com/

So yeah, mine was 24. I'm just glad to have gotten some mentions :) That was the first time I ever really sat down and developed a song. I wasn't entirely happy with it and every time I play it, it changes. Someone mentioned it was very improv-y, and that is so very true.

The sound quality was shit, I know. xD I recorded it on my phone with something that is used for talking. A little plastic piece with a tiny hole in it. I played it using my classical guitar, so no amp or anything. That was pretty much the best I could do.

I attempted to add different layers to at least give some sense of orchestra but you do not want to hear what it sounded like to compound multiple tracks of such low quality. I did use Audacity to reduce the noise, but it still came out bad. I have no experience with composing software so that was out.

It was a total "well fuck it! I'll submit it anyways" entry. And yeah, it was inspired by a great classical piece. I've learned various classical pieces over the years and used a similar chord progression with the first few bars. I suck at VG music but this was a good exercise for me overall.

grats harmonic!
kentona
only 90s kids will like this admin
20477
The comments on my song were more positive this time than last time (and they weren't very positive this time either). But what can I say! Someone's gots ta represent Mario Paint Composer!

Also, the thing about the elephants...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7JvL2ap3Cg
Congratulations harmonic! A well-crafted piece of music with deep emotion, and effectively fit the theme! And great work, everyone! Its been enjoyable to be a part of this contest, as there is SO much talent presented here! Many of these pieces are astounding and could easily fit into a professional game. Also, thank you for those of you that voted for my piece! (#13) I appreciate all of your comments, as it helps me to better understand how to implement my music in the gaming scene (as well as the nature of each phase)! Wishing you the best, and looking forward to Phase 3!

-VGMusic_4_LIFE
I voted for 6, but I don't have any problem with entry 10, harmonic just deserves it, congratulations ;). And thank you all to... like my song, it was a last hour project (as the name says) because I got piss off with the guitar pro sound and give up u.u, and when finally I start again, but when I got something cool and want it more cooler the program didn't let me to use more than 9 instrument so I was very frustrated and send the song just like it was, I really was expecting to be one of the worst, it was not one of the best but it got pretty good reviewe n.n so thanks for that.
thx for everyone for giving me a lot of great comment that pushed me to improve my skill, and sorry for the abrupt end XD

also thx for everyone that's gimme some vote =w=)b this is a fun challenge :) I loved it. why don't we make phase 4, 5, 6 till forever :P *just kidding*

I'm looking forward for the next phase :)