Story + Game… + Music

Exceptional filmmakers of this era such as Wes Anderson, Sophia Coppola or Spike Jonze -just to name a few- have a very interesting thing in common: They use extraordinary musical scores in their films to spice up their stories. The ambientation and personality of their works owes significant credit to the list of songs they end up arranging in their original soundtracks.

And thinking about Drama Games, I’ve been wondering how music could be incorporated to the core of story playing.

 

Essentially, stories are about people. And when you play a role, when you act as someone else, you might want to have a deep understanding about how that character feels. A couple of years ago, I had an innocent approach to this issue: What if you could hear the thoughts of the character? Just like James Joyce‘s novel Ulysses, where through its narrative style it expresses a stream-of-consciousness from its main character.

Of course, constantly hearing voices as you play could be disturbing for the player after a while. Not to mention the design limitations of using large amounts of recorded voices or the technical imperfections of using voice synthesis. The solution, as you might have guessed, its simple and elegant: Music!

Music is not only capable of giving an atmosphere to a particular scene, but it can express precise feelings and moods. Electronic music in particular has a very interesting format for it to be applied to games: unlike traditional songs, its recordings are usually 1 hour sets that take the listener to a particular mindset. And of course, the digital nature also makes this kind of music very permeable to be remixed and modified in real time.

I wonder what kind of Drama Game is Sebastien Tellier inspiring me right now…

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4 Responses

  1. (Almost) offtopic: I have heard the song “La Ritournelle” from Sebastien Tellier and I love it! Quite similar style to “Air” french band. Very nice and warm song. I’d like to buy the CD “Politics” (if it sells in Argentina) to give it as a gift for my girlfriend. Thanks for the recomendation! 🙂

  2. Politics is a very bizarre record.. it uses a lot of gummy-cliche sounds of the 80’s and has a strange sense of humour. Tellier is certainly a genius, and his first record (“L’incroyable verite”) was made at the studios of Air and he toured with them on France.

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