Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Never: Audio requirements

This document is also available view/download as a Google Doc here.
The intention was to learn a bit more about writing game development documents, it was originally sent directly to Marshall Brill who composed the background music.
Custom pinball by Jono Sandilands

Sound is a huge part of pinball and what is so alluring and mesmerising about it. My aim with the whole machine is to have references to classic pinball machines while showing my own style and creativity. My theme is a bit unconventional to commercial pinball machines (which are usually movie, tv, music or other licensed theme). See the Game Mode Outline for more on this.

Find more images of the playfield art here to get a feel.

I’m looking for four original music loops for different aspects of the game. There is also a list of sound effects which I am planning to source from a free music library (due to time and money constraints), these are listed and should give a feel for the rest of the game.

Some of these more harsh mechanical sounds will already be part of the machine, but the bells are not so I’m open to using iterations of classic sounds people are familiar with digitally.

Vintage Pinball Machine (130 tracks about 1s each - Audio)
Someone has sampled all the little clicks and bell sounds and uploaded in separate tracks on SoundCloud. These sounds are from a 1970s style pinball machine, the era my machine is based on.

Sounds from more modern pinball machines in the 90s

The beautiful whimsical sound effects and music, plays into what I’m getting at a little bit.

Also things like Wintergarden’s marble machine and music

Sounds Needed
  1. Clock Tick (Never A Better Time Mode start/collect) old fashioned clock tick
  2. Clock Alarm (Never A Better Time Jackpot) Fast ‘excited’ alarm - old fashioned
  3. Screw (Never A Quick Fix Mode start/collect) hand ratchet style
  4. Drill (Never A Quick Fix) Fast ‘excited’ drill
  5. Weather thunder (Never A Dull Day Mode start/collect) Storm a brewin’
  6. Weather sunshine (Never A Dull Day Jackpot) Cartoon style rays xylophone?
  7. Elephant (Never Forget Mode start/collect) Elephant trumpet once
  8. Elephant (Never Forget Jackpot) Elephant trumpet lots
  9. Gun (Never Say Never Mode start/collect) loading x (quantity bullets in a pistol?)
  10. Gun (Never Say Never Jackpot) gunshots x (quantity bullets in a pistol?)
  11. Kiss (Never Been Kissed) smooch
  12. Woosh (Neverland collect)
  13. Spinner (Never Look Back) spinner sound?
  14. Burning (Never Put Your Hand in the Toaster target down) burn toast/ campfire?
  15. Toaster Down/load (Never Put Your Hand in the Toaster all targets down)
  16. Toaster Pop (Never Put Your Hand in the Toaster jackpot target)
  17. Positive target hit
  18. Negative target hit
  19. Bonus counter

Music Needed
  1. Start (Ball Launch) loop upbeat subtle … anticipation… patiently waiting to start (length 1m-2m)
  2. Mode Start loop kinda frantic, panic, uneasy. Could lose anytime. (length 1m-2m)
  3. Mode Completion / Jackpot shorter fanfare (for want of a better word) crescendo (length 20s-30s)
  4. End (Ball Drain) loop sad? :( your ball and/or game ended (length 30s-1m)
I’d like the four pieces of music to have a similar feel, but also lift and enhance the different game modes to help immerse the player into the game more. I’m happy to use your style as I think your tracks fit really well with what I’m thinking, would be great to take into consideration some of the inspiration above, particularly vintage pinball somehow.

How gameplay works with music
On starting a game it will play the intro track until a mode is started by hitting a target. Generally during a game it will mostly play #2 and switch between that and #1 depending if a mode is activated. The other two pieces would be heard less often unless the player is very bad or very good.
At this point if a target is hit to start a mode it will interrupt the current track. However if a current track is already playing and another mode is started  it won’t be re-triggered. I think there will be the possibility to programme more seamless syncing of the music (ie to let the track finish before starting new track).

One approach could be to see the 4 pieces together as one complete track (which could be released? And used in promo videos), conceptually the track on it’s own takes you on the journey of playing pinball. Technically each section still needs to be seperate and loopable for the sake of the game controller.

To be compatible with the MyPinballs controller I am using, the sounds need to be in a particular format and encoding.

WAV encoding for the sound files should be: 
Sample Rate: 22kHz
Encoding: PCM
Bits Per Sample: 8
Channels: 1 (Mono)

Please ask if you would like the sample game sounds supplied.

There is literally none, this is my own fault and just the way the project has ended up unfortunately.

Ideal first draft of music: 19/20 May
Setup show: from 23 May
My final show opening night: 3 June

There is the argument for using the show as a test of sounds - and revisiting afterwards. 

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