Music in Video Games

I was lying in my bed watching videos on YouTube. When I come across a recommended video, a song made by C418. If you’re not aware who this is, he created the songs forthe game, Minecraft. When I was younger, I was a huge fan of Minecraft, and it’s had a huge impact on me as a person and my aspirations. It pushed me to my love for video games and technology, giving me inspiration to push for more.

I click on the video and start to give it a listen. When I start to realize how many memories I’ve made from this game.
This time I played with my brothers, laughing at him cause his diamonds were in the border.
How I met my current friends, playing TDM on Mineplex.
Exploring the Xbox tutorial world with my sister.
Getting into Huahwi Top 5 plays using TNT cannons in Skywars.
Alone in my world figuring out why I can’t craft a bow when I had the recipe backwards.
Ethoslab, Paulsoaresjr, and many other YouTubers I looked up to.
It’s been a long road since I’ve played Minecraft, and it’s brought a lot of good memories. Keep in mind, this all came back through a single song. It was nothing eye-popping or epic, just a peaceful tune.

As I’ve been working on a Discord Bot RPG, something I’ve noticed a lot is how much of the experience is left out with a lack of music. Visuals are possible through embed images and animations, but sounds are only possible through manual work, which can really kill the immersion. You have to make them click on an audio file or join a voice channel, but that’s for a good reason. Nobody in Discord would like it if you unwillingly were forced to listen to random audio files. Just like how people in websites don’t like random ads that are way too loud for the average viewer.

Realm of Discourse Bot in Alpha

Games can even be a crucial selling point to their audience as well. I remember while on vacation I overhear my brother playing Octopath Traveller on his Switch, and that battle theme instantly got me hooked. I asked, “What game is that?” To which he replies, telling me about Octopath and how he thought I’d like it, since I was fan of JRPGs. When he completed the game, he let me borrow his Switch. Though I had to complete the game quickly to give it back to him before he left for college. To this day, I still listen to the Octopath Traveller OST cause it’s just so amazingly done.

I think another great example of a game that had an amazing OST is Undertale. Each boss having their own unique theme. Each song matching the characters perfectly, making up for the lack of verbal dialogue within the game. Even if they didn’t quite talk, they still spoke to you through text on a screen and music through your headphones. I think songs like Spider Dance, Megalovania, and Hopes and Dreams have been some of the most prominent ones. (If you have not played the game, I recommend doing so. Don’t search up these songs as they reveal spoilers to the game.) The game might not be as popular as it once was, but the songs still live on within the fan base .

One last important thing I want to discuss about music is how well it ages as time passes on. Old art styles start to seem ugly or older game mechanics are too simple to enjoy for some people.

But even a game as old as Super Mario Bros still has music that lives on within the gaming community. It’s simple yet attractive theme never ages even as we progress with technology. People will gain more creative freedom with their music, having access to entire orchestras or MIDI files, but no matter how far we push the limits of music, some soundtracks stay with us forever.

We might progress into realistic 3D modelling and games with over 1,000,000 skill sets and abilities which might outshine what we have currently. However, when it’s done right, music can last for generations. So next time you work on a game, or maybe anything that uses music, keep in mind of the impact it lays on your audience. It might stick with them for the rest of their life.

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