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Author Topic: [NEWS] Music Sampler, Part II  (Read 92799 times)
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« on: June 17, 2011, 06:38:48 PM »

Hello again, everyone! First of all, let me thank you all for all the feedback we've been getting - both good and bad! We're doing our very best to please both ourselves and all you players out there.

Without further ado, here's a brand new sampler of the game's soundtrack:

Spelunky XBLA - Music Sampler II

It was fun reading up on everyone's guesses as to where the various musical pieces fitted in, last time. This time, however, I'll be kind enough to reveal (most of) these tracks' purposes:

00:00 - [SECRET]
00:37 - Adventure Start
01:07 - Ice Caves
01:26 - Menu
01:45 - Temple area
02:10 - Darkness
02:38 - [SECRET]
03:10 - Lush
03:36 - [SECRET]
04:18 - Shop
04:52 - Title Track (Stripped Version)

This sampler showcases the various soundscapes and styles that I've embraced on this score. Between this sampler and the previous one I've shown of a big part of the score, but there are even more in there. Every area has various tracks, and special sub-stages have unique tracks as well. Please share your thoughts on the pieces previewed, so we can make it as good as possible! Note that these tracks are in different stages of production, and the final result will alter some.

I'd like to use this occasion to also address the dismay some of you have had towards the music - specifically, that of the most recent trailer. The track in the trailer is not in-game music, it's actually what plays during the credits roll. We thought it would be a neat and cartoony contrast to the havoc being wreaked in the footage, but ultimately, it seems it was an odd choice of music on our behalf. Regarding the actual track, I'm personally very satisfied with it. It's a fun one, which culminated from a fun recording session, and I think it suits its purpose well. I've noticed especially that the saxophone isn't to everyone's liking. I think my friend Jens did an excellent job playing it, but I realize that not everyone is as fond of "cheesy music" as I am. There's only a handful of tracks in the score that have sax, and depending on your feedback we might strip some of it out. We do hear you, so let us know how you feel about it!

Finally, I'd like to rant a little about my thoughts and inspirations behind this music. I mentioned this in my previous post, but when I first started out I decided to go with a mix of FM synthesis, sample-based tracker music and live band. In my head I imagine a triangle, where each angle represents one of the above. The tracks in this score vary in sound, but all can be placed somewhere in said diagram. Some tracks are all FM, some are all band, etc., but most are a combination of the three. My reasoning for going with those three styles lies in the fact that Spelunky feels, to me, like an early 90s computer game, with an up-to-date presentation. The FM part is inspired by old arcade games and old computer sound chips such as the AdLib. The tracker music is also synonymous with 90's computer games, especially the Amiga and the demo scene. I added in a live band to make it work with the hand drawn, HD graphics. Somewhere in the process I decided to also include a few tracks that were pulse-wave based (hear 00:00 and 02:38). It's a sound that comes real easy to me, and I added some of it to please those who felt I relied too much on FM.

I'll have to stop myself there, but if you have questions or comments we'd love to hear them.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2011, 06:48:38 PM by Phlogiston » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2011, 07:58:03 PM »

Oh man. GREAT old-school feel to these!

Can't wait.

EDIT: Here's hoping the full score will be available for listening after launch...
« Last Edit: June 18, 2011, 06:44:20 AM by Alehkhs » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2011, 10:32:05 PM »

Well, it sounds like you are looking for constructive criticism. 

The music of the original Spelunky really enhanced the overall experience of the game and it was one of the reasons i was always willing to keep playing.  I believe the reason music was so compelling (especially the first song) was that really captured the atmosphere of the game.  Intensity, haste, exploration and wonder came through in the music very clearly.

It seems like a number of the tracks in the sampler have a lot of atmosphere (like the ice cave, etc) and that will help the exploration aspect a lot. 

However, one thing that worries me a bit personally is the number songs that could be called "cheesy". The game can be pretty intense, and judging from the trailer it seems the game is even faster-paced than the original.   

Some of the tunes feel more "Mr. Driller" in their lightheartedness, which is fine...  But it could create an atmosphere that doesn't mesh well with what I feel makes the gameplay so compelling.   Sometimes I want the intensity of the old megaman tracks (although Adventure Start was probably the closest)

Just my personal opinion.  Keep up the good work and I'm really looking forward to seeing more.
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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2011, 11:53:23 PM »

I liked most of what I heard, I do wish some were a little more similar to the PC version, but I'd get over that soon enough. I think one of the [SECRET] ones I wasn't too fond of, but I don't remember which :C
Either way, much better than I expected, so I'm happy Cheesy
EDIT: I really like the Shop music Grin
« Last Edit: June 17, 2011, 11:55:43 PM by SparkleDevon » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2011, 03:38:18 AM »

I think the music is awesome and I hope you don't submit to peer pressure and change it, unless you're making changes that you feel are a genuine improvement.

There have been a lot of comments along the lines of "bring back the chiptunes" on the trailer. Given that the intro to the track in question was filled with arpeggios and phat FM synthesis bass, I don't think they can have been listening too closely!

Also, keep in mind that if you keep the sax you'll be adding to a proud legacy of brass + chipmusic that includes lots of Kplecraft's work and Goto80's track 'Volksing'. This seems to be getting even more popular lately, with very positive reactions to recent releases such as Kplecraft's L 012 album (mixes NES with trumpet and sax, among other instruments), minusbaby's Blip Festival 2011 NY performance (listen to the cheering when that tuba solo starts!) and 'Voodoo, Roots 'n Grog' by Diggi Dis (incorporates trombone and chipmusic, regarded by many as the best track on the Heroes vs. Villains album)

Anyway, thanks for (hopefully) reading. I love your work, especially Heat. Speaking of which, if you could get Shnabubula to contribute anything to this soundtrack that would just be the bee's knees for me. Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2011, 07:16:33 AM »

By frantically typing notes while listening, I got these notes on a single play:
[SECRET] - it didn't feel as though it had a strong enough melody.
Adventure start - good epic feel, maybe a slightly stronger feel on the brass-y bit,
    perhaps some more accompaniment.
    Also, made me think I was playing SCB for a moment. Tongue
    You did good on that game.
Ice caves - Sounds a little too relaxed, but also a good amount of creepy
Menu - generic enough. Tongue
Temple - Love it. Reminds me of the pyramid theme from Gish.
Darkness - love it.
[SECRET] - dead creepy…
Lush - not sure about this one, sounds a bit confused.
[SECRET] - Let me guess, something to do with Giant Aliens? Cheesy
    All it needs is a Theremin.
Shop - Perfect shopping music, but perhaps a little too up-beat.
Title Track - Again, not sure about this one. The sax feels out of place, as if it's   
    trying to be a glockenspiel… o.O
    I think the sax might be better suited to something like replacing some of the   
    brass in the other tracks, or especially the shop. Everyone likes smooth jazz while


Can you read the wry? Can you FEEL the wry?!
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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2011, 09:24:13 PM »

By frantically typing notes while listening, I got these notes on a single play:

Sounds like a plan!

[SECRET] - Fast boss fight music.  Cave Story, et cetera.  No complaints, though it's clearly just background.
Adventure Start - Lemmings meets elevator music.  Can do.  I'd still like less on the horns, but I'm sure people would disagree.
Ice Caves - Hey, "too relaxed"?  No no, this is exactly what I'd expect from ice caves music.  Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest, et cetera.  It's nice!
Menu - Huh.  Um, what's on this menu?  Severed and shrunken heads?  (That's not a complaint.)
Temple area - Oh yeah, I could adventure to this.  Egyptian synthesizers, ho!
Darkness - Filled with the various echoing and splashing sounds that I expect to hear from an empty darkness.  Odium.  I'd personally change that bass "bloot bloot, bloot" sound.  It feels a little like it's trying to be funky, when I think it could feel more desolate.
[SECRET] - I don't seem to have comment.  I think the waveforms are trying to eat me.
Lush - Now, now, you know I don't like that sax.  After that sax, I liked it.  Oddly, I got more of a feeling of a haunted house than a forested area, though.  (Edit: Ugh, of course!  "The dead are restless"!)
[SECRET] - Zombies Ate My Neighbors.  Mars needs cheerleaders!  (I love it.)
Shop - Recettear.  Except that yours successfully sounds less like Sesame Street!
Title Track (Stripped Version) - Hey, this thuds on my eardrums less.  I like it more.  (Except . . . for . . . that . . . sax.  Have you considered pan pipes?)

. . . So yeah, that was great fun.  Thank you so much for sharing.  Let's do it again sometime.

« Last Edit: June 18, 2011, 09:26:50 PM by Delmion » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2011, 09:58:53 AM »

Hmm...I don't like the music. But the Temple theme is amazing!! Also, the saxophone player is really good, but, I think the game don't need a saxo. It will be better with remixed tracks of the original ones Wink
« Last Edit: June 25, 2011, 08:24:05 PM by GundamuExia » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2011, 06:57:10 PM »

Most people who dislike the music seem to be in a CHANGE IS BAD mindset. I think all of the music is fantastic, to be honest. I started liking it a lot more when I kind of passively listened to it and imagined myself playing the game rather than actively dissecting it, but that could be my anticipation for the game speaking.  Wink

I'm impressed by the sheer AMOUNT of music in the game, from the looks of it. I like the idea of seamlessly switching tracks when say, walking into a shop. Unless, of course, you planned on having shops between levels, which would be okay too, though I'd have to get used to it.

There was only one real problem that I noted, and that is that the triplets feel MILDLY out of place in the Adventure Start track. It's not even the presence of the triplets themselves, but I think it just feels suddenly empty for a second. And that could be intentional, since it adds dynamic to the music, but I think I'd prefer the triplets to be more in texture with the rest of the tune. Small sustained non-pitched percussion hits on them (like a splash cymbal, maybe) might do the trick? If it were up to me, I'd have the accents that happen on 2 and 4 in the rhythm section CONTINUE through those triplet lines; I think that would give the continuity that my ears want.

I'm sure others noticed too, but I'm 90% sure the first [SECRET] track is the final boss track. It even has almost exactly the same percussion part. Also, unless it slipped by me, I don't think the City of Gold track is here.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2011, 11:20:11 AM by Live by foma » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2011, 11:36:11 PM »

So far I like the music, and I have to say that I LOVE what I hear in Ice Caves, Temple Area, Adventure Start, Shop, and all the versions of Title Track, as they really fit in with their "theme" and sound nice. That title track gets me pumped to go exploring into a wonderous world unknown to me, and is probably my current favorite piece I heard from this soundtrack. I hope you guys can find what you want with the music. I support you all the way!
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« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2011, 08:43:26 AM »

I'm in love with the stripped title track. It's got that soft, yet epic feeling I like to hear. Will it be used in the game anywhere?

As far as the rest goes, I don't have a strong opinion for either side of the argument. I think it's fine for what it is and that the game will be great even if you don't like it.
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« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2011, 07:02:44 PM »

Gonna have to repeat what others have said here, and say that I like the Ice Caves and Shop music.
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« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2011, 06:23:14 AM »

I'm going to say that the original music is still better. Maybe if you made techno remixes of all of those, they'd be possible to listen to.
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2011, 10:22:58 PM »

you should add boss levels every couple levels you could encounter a boss and the first secret track should play and than for the final boss music you should remix the first secret track
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« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2011, 08:03:16 AM »


I think the music has come a long way. I remember hearing the initial samples back when those were posted and not getting any Spelunky vibes from them. This new stuff is great, and I think the fact that you included the titles for some really helped with the visualization.

My two cents:

1. The triplets on "Adventure Start" are very clunky as is. I'm under the impression that this track isn't completely streamlined yet, but I thought I'd add to what Live by foma had mentioned earlier. I agree with his notion that it's too much of a's very jarring as is.

2. I hope hope HOPE (and I think 100% of others would agree with me) that you get to do a remix of the original First world theme. This song is so iconicly Spelunky to me that for it to be left out would be a shame, almost as if I had played Super Mario All-Stars only to find that World 1-1 of SMB was a different song.

After dying countless times those first few playthroughs, one of the most enjoyable aspects of what could've been a frustrating experience was the First world theme. There's something about it that throws you into the mix right away and gets you pumped for another round. It might have something to do with how the song seems to start in the middle of itself, as if you're plopped down into it mid-song.

Keep up the good work! I'm really excited about the Secret tracks and pretty much everything about this game. Can't wait to have 4-player all nighters...I'm gonna be such a bastard. Cool

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