Topic: Guidelines and requirements for music submissions

West on October 21, 2010, 10:08:37 PM


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Below are some requirements and rough guidelines for people who want to contribute music for Summoning Wars. If anything is unclear, just post your questions in this thread.


We're looking for orchestral music in a dark, cinematic style. If that seems too vague, think Hans Zimmer rather than John Williams. As Summoning Wars is first and foremost an action game, dramatic pieces with lots of percussion are preferable. Synths are allowed if used tastefully, e.g. background textures and other 'otherworldly' sounds. Loops are fine for percussion, but we do not allow music made from loops only.

As of this writing we mainly need gameplay music, i.e. semi-generic pieces that can be used in a variety of situations. Story music for cutscenes and key plot events will likely be needed later on but right now it's not a priority. For an even clearer idea of what we want, just listen to the music in the game.

The gameplay music is divided into two types: thematic and atmosphere. Thematic music is typical melodic compositions with clearly defined structures. Atmosphere music on the other hand is very sparse and free-form, basically a mood-setting backdrop of sounds. For contrast and variation, the two types are mixed at regular intervals.

Obviously we want the game soundtrack to be as professional-sounding as possible. Which means that if you want to contribute music you will need good instrument samples and the required skills (compositional and technical) to make the most of them. This means no General MIDI, no tracker music and no decades-old synth modules. If you're uncertain whether your music is of acceptable quality, post a demo or two on the forum.

Our goal is to have a unique soundtrack for the game. This means that we will only accept music that has been written specifically for Summoning Wars. If you have an existing piece that you think would fit in, we will only accept it on two conditions: 1) it hasn't been published elsewhere and/or used in other projects, and 2) you're willing to rework it slightly to fit into the thematic consistency of the soundtrack. See below.

We're aiming for a stylistically and thematically consistent soundtrack. Therefore all submitted compositions must feature some musical element from the existing tracks to have a chance of getting into the game. It could be anything -- a melody, a chord progression, a distinctive rhythmic pattern -- and it doesn't have to be obvious. But it needs to be there to give the soundtrack a sense of unity. The only exception from this requirement is the atmosphere music, which technically doesn't need to have any distinctively melodic content at all.

For gameplay music, aim for something between 2 and 5 minutes long. Shorter tracks allows for more flexibility when using the music in-game, so rather than writing one 10 minute epic, split it up into two separate pieces so it can be interspersed with atmosphere music.

For posting tracks on the forum, use mp3 or ogg. If your composition is accepted, we will ask you for an uncompressed (wav, aiff, etc) or losslessly compressed (flac, ape, etc) file in 24 bit/44kHz quality.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2010, 08:14:10 PM by West »
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