Half-Life: Do you remember the music of the HL series before Alyx? You probably do, but in a strange way. It’s clear that the game contains music, but you may not be able to remember the track for a particular melody. When purchasing HL Game key Playing the entire game again now will not change your impression. The relatively lack of music in the Half-Life series is an integral part of game design, not the result of budget cuts. At the same time, there is a feeling that the soundtrack decisions for these games are just … correct. They did not need any improvement and age very well. why?
FPS game music.Typical approach
The first-person shooter boom that emerged as a result of the releases of Doom and Quake created all genres of so-called “boomer shooters.” The label looks a little down, but it has a grain of truth. Usually, at almost every level of FPS games, some kind of music accompanies the player. The tension of such tracks is always balanced. It is intended to provide a sound background, not a foreground material, but it is always present.
Take DOOM as an example. It’s a game packed with lots of actions, all of which are designed with the intent of enlivening those actions. The same is true for soundtracks that exist from start to finish. Basically, there are few moments in this game without music.Sound designs like this have existed since the release of Wolfenstein 3D and DOOM (both of these games). GamiboCheck them out! ), And continued for many years due to the popularity of DOOM clones. However, this changed at the premiere of Quake 1.
Progressive approach. Revolution in the late 1990s
The Quake 1 soundtrack is still quite rich, but its in-game implementation is different from DOOM. Yes, you guessed it: it doesn’t always exist. As a result, wandering through dimly lit corridors and hunting for Shub-Niggura became far more frightening than killing monster waves with DOOM to accompaniment to rock music. This design decision sharpens the player’s senses and makes them more susceptible to jump scare, surprise monster attacks, and overall mood. Despite the reduced amount of stimulation, the overall player experience will be deeper and more meaningful.
Pushes austere sound design to the limit.For half-life 1
Imagine you are playing Half-Life for the first time.you are Game key And you are experiencing the whole game with a stopwatch. The average time for this game is usually around 12 hours. But when you open the game soundtrack, you’ll easily notice that the HL1 soundtrack lasts about 35 minutes. No, there are no looped tracks. It turns out that less than 5% of games are accompanied by music. why?
First of all, it is very consistent with the ascetic Gordon Freeman view. The hero himself does not speak at all and there is no sound during the game. This design decision is said to have been made to make it easier for players to identify the main hero, that is, to fill him with the personality of each individual gamer.
The same is true for music, which is a traditional element of narration in the media and art (television, some plays, movies, etc.). In either case, the in-game music is an interpretation of the settings provided by the game itself and, in a sense, limits the player’s input. On the other hand, of course, players can’t create their own soundtrack for the game. Therefore, the OST was minimized and placed only at the most important moments of Half-Life 1.
Kelly Bailey — The genius behind it all
The programmer himself, Kelly Bailey, was responsible for all the audio design for Half-Life 1, HL2, and episodes (all). Gamibo). He composed all the music in the HL series except Half-Life: Alyx and worked on the sound effects for these games. Only this guy created many of the eerie atmospheres loved and loved by players. Recently, Valve uploaded all his soundtracks to the Spotify platform.
OST to Half-Life and its sequels are mostly synthesizers and other electronic musical instruments. There is no online information about recording sessions for composed songs. Therefore, Bailey’s creative process remains quite a mystery.
Rotate 180 degrees. Half-Life: The Future of Alyx and Franchise Sound Design
Kelly Bailey left the valve in 2011. He was replaced by another composer, Michael Molasky. Michael Molasky wrote simple yet original music for the portal series. He also composed the Half-Life: Alyx soundtrack. This changes the HL audio design decision in a completely different direction. It has become a more important element of the story itself — the game simply has more audio material. Moreover, music is a bit more “mainstream”, but it doesn’t mean bad words. It contains clear and audible tension and resolution and fits perfectly into the city of Dystopia 17.
Some players disagree with his choice. The truth is that the franchise has changed so much that the music has to adapt. As long as it doesn’t harm the game, the changes are fine. And it may be true that music with less “absence” can work well for immersive experiences like VR.