Allied Armada, A Dynamic Soundtrack for a Real-Time Strategy Computer Game
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Allied Armada is a Real-Time Strategy game, with a Sci-Fi setting in outer space. The soundtrack was composed with a dynamic system that allows it to respond to what is happening within the game; broadly, it can switch back and forth between slower ambient tracks that depict the setting, and action tracks that depict battles when they occur. Each of these tracks also has ways of responding to smaller variations in the level of action at a given moment. This system was implemented using a combination of FMOD and Lua scripting. There are six tracks that comprise the soundtrack: First, Nebula: the majestic track that plays when the player first starts the game, and while they are still using menus to set up a match. The other five tracks play during the action of the game, and have the aforementioned ambient and battle tracks, which are written as a pair. The ambient tracks make up the bulk up the music; they feature many slowly evolving harmonic textures, that range in mood from serene to ominous. Ancient Klex Macguffin features a choir throughout the piece, and uses long phrases that slowly build in harmonic complexity before tapering back off to a simple interval. Omnigenetic Codex uses wind instruments like a keyboard, with the entrance of each accented by a percussion instrument. Sudden bursts of piano cut through the stillness of the texture. Progenitor of the Musari uses mirrored harmony and chords of seven or more notes to create a tense, shimmering texture. It builds to a climax of huge, slowly evolving chords. The Exiled features four-part, tonal string writing with heavy chromaticism, and has a dark mood that breaks in favor of optimism at the end of the piece. Finally, Polar Orbit uses keyboard samples to play repeated pentatonic chords that span the entire range of various keyboard instruments. Additional harmonic elements use pentatonic scales one to three keys apart from the others, creating polychordal dissonance. Despite using samples of acoustic instruments, the track is very much computer music that would not lend itself to live performance.
Table of Contents
Overview -- Track descriptions -- Reflection -- Appendix. Full Score Excerpts
M.M. (Master of Music)