Audio – Music and SFX
Music – General Notes
How many music tracks are needed?
The amount of music available in a Dized content depends on how long it takes players to use it. A good rule of thumb is that songs playing in the background shouldn’t be repeated more than 2-3 times during the content, or it has a risk of becoming repetitive and potentially even annoying. This naturally depends on the style of the soundtrack. Songs that are calm, ambient and have less regognizeable melodies can be used for extended periods.
For example: if a Dized content is estimated to last about 60 minutes, about 30 minutes of music (or more) would be ideal. This would mean about 10 songs with the average track length of 3 minutes.
How to change music?
Music is set by setting the $music variable to an audio file. Once set, the audio is played repeatedly, until the value is changed. You can stop playing music by setting $music to empty.
How do I create Audio Loops (Playlists)
There is currently no tool in Dized to create playlists or music loops consisting of several tracks. This needs to be done in an outside editor (f.ex. Audacity) so that the tracks in the loop is just one audio file. Please keep the filesize under 10MB!
Setting the volume level
Audio is uploaded into Dized at its normal level. In Dized, all tracks are played at 20% volume by default. This volume can be changed by the users in the Dized app.
It’s recommended that any music used in Dized is leveled (or normalized) so that volume levels between the tracks used in the content are similar.
What kind of music should be used?
The main goal of the music is to enhance players’ experiences. Music is a great way to make the gaming experience more immersive, and music can even boost the users’ ability to learn during a Tutorial.
For Tutorials, each phase should use different kinds of music and/or ambient tracks:
- Start Screen
- This welcomes players to the tutorial. The track doesn’t need to be long, but it should be carefully chosen, as this makes the first impression of the content.
- A thematic and inspiring track that gets players into the theme and story of the game. This is where players can get emotionally invested into the upcoming game.
- The music during setup should be really in the background and not bothering players at all. It could even be just ambient noises relating to the game.
- This is the first moment when players are receiving instructions from the tutorial and they need to implement them. Any music that distracts players from that can hurt the experience.
- Guided Play
- This is the period in the tutorial that walks players through their first turns and actions step by step. It’s even more important than in the setup, that the music doesn’t distract the players.
- In the setup the instructions are quite straightforward and easy to implement, but now players have to process the information, and need to be able to focus.
- Independent Play
- This is the place for all the great thematic tracks that weren’t suitable for earlier phases. Players are now mainly focused on play, rather than learning, so there more freedom with the music.
- For longer games it’s even recommended to have several loops. There might even be “ages” in the game that can be used as the moments where the music changes (f.ex. Blood Rage or Cerebria). Or, players might have the option to change the tracks in the tutorial itself.
- End Phase
- If there is an end phase to the game, for example the tutorial walking players through the end scoring, a calmer music is good to this.
- The End
- This part wraps things up. It can include the winner announcement, mention about game expansions, Dized Rules and in the end thank players for playing. This should finalize the tutorial experience, so based on the theme of the game it could be thematic and inspiring.
Example of a Tutorial Track Design
In this example, a tutorial uses 8 tracks (Tracks A-H) as follows:
- Start Screen: Track A
- Intro: Track B
- Setup: Loop (Tracks A, C)
- Guided play: Loop (Tracks C, D, E)
- Independent play: Loop (Tracks B, F, G, H)
- End Phase: Track A
- The End: Song B
- Track A: A calm, thematic track
- Track B: An upbeat, inspiring track.
- Track C: A calm, thematic track
- Track D: A calm, thematic track
- Track E: A calm, thematic track
- Track F: Thematic, inspiring track.
- Track G: Calm, soothing track.
- Track H: Ambient track, just atmospheric sounds, no music.
Find Music on Alibi Music Library!
Dized pays a licence to Alibi Music, and all audio content available on Alibi can be used freely within Dized contents. Just create yourself an Alibi account and you can then search and download the music and sound effects (SFX).
Which version of the song to use? Many tracks on Alibi have several different versions available, and many of them extra bits of audio at the end of the track. The easiest thing is to download theRadio Edit version, which does not have these extra bits, so you most likely don’t need to edit the Audio at all.
What file format is recommended? Dized accepts several different audio file formats, but MP3 is the recommendation.
You can find Alibi Music Library at https://alibimusic.com.
SFX (Sound Effects)
Dized does not yet support usage of sound effects, but this feature is being developed and will become available in the coming months.