In the past, there wasn’t any real game music. It consisted of bleeps and simple sounds that didn’t add anything exceptional to the game, but it was, sort of, a big part of the game. Even if you didn’t pay attention to the music, you would end up knowing the sounds. It’s a fascinating thing considering that almost no one paid attention to the music! There’s also an interesting phenomenon with music in games that even game programmers in the past knew, so they conducted a study. They provided gamers with a game without music and they would monitor their heart rate. Even when some big battle was coming up, people weren’t very moved. However, once the programmers handed them the same game but with the addition of music, things changed. For example, as a battle was approaching, the music was getting louder and more aggressive which, in turn, caused the people playing the game to panic and hastily expect what comes next.
You now probably have an understanding of where the music design went. Even if you were to find games that you don’t expect to have an interesting soundtrack, they do! For example, if you were to find some Online bingo games to play, you’d find that they too have a soundtrack or at least some interesting sounds. The main difference between online bingo games and real life bingo games is that, in general, there isn’t any music played in real life bingo. However, players can bring their own music that they will listen to. Online bingo games generally have sounds to make the game more fun and to entice visitors to keep playing.
Game music today
Music in games has changed drastically over the years. You could say that the music evolved alongside the games. Programmers went from using specific sounds that didn’t really matter in regard to game importance to using full-fledged soundtracks that are created by highly skilled musicians. Game music nowadays has a soul; something that it didn’t have before. Sound design is now a point that game critics carefully look into. The soundtrack and general sound design can even help a game not be the worst game ever made. A great (but unfortunate) example of such thing happening is with No Man’s Sky. The developers promised many features that didn’t make it to the final, release version of the game and most people were extremely disappointed and angry at the studio. If you went to a forum where people discussed the game, you’d see endless posts about how a feature is missing, how bad the graphics look like compared to the trailer, etc.
However, one single positive thing that everyone agreed on was the sound design. I’ve played the game myself and the game has an incredible soundtrack. The soundtrack was composed by the band 65 Days of Static and it’s simply wonderful. Even if you’re angry at the developers and you don’t feel like playing the game at all, there’s a sort of serenity while playing, all thanks to the soundtrack.
The sound design is a double-edged sword so cases, where a great game was ruined by the soundtrack, aren’t rare.
In the end, it’s safe to say that music in games has evolved to great levels. It’s finally considered a crucial part of game design and there are many games out there that have incredible music in them.