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diii.net专栏文章——DiConstruction#3

(2009-04-25 12:31:51)
标签:

暗黑3

diconstruction

游戏音乐

游戏

分类: Blz-Diablo
作者:Chris Marks
翻译:Lucarl @ d3.cn

转载请保留此行~


本期关键字:游戏音乐

摘要:本期Chris从游戏音乐应该扮演的角色出发,对D系列的音乐进行讨论。他认为,好的游戏音乐应该做为末后英雄存在,不喧宾夺主,只为渲染气氛,在无形中给人留下深刻印象,有音乐时你未意识到她的存在,一旦没有你会觉得少点精髓。那样,就是成功的游戏音乐了~毕竟人们game的第一目的是玩儿游戏~欢迎讨论~
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第三期DiConstruction,Chris Marks将纵谈游戏音乐,重点分析D和D2。哪些是最棒的(Tristram Theme,无疑),哪些随时间消逝,没有游戏音乐你的游戏体验将变得如何,等等。

提升气氛Up the Atmosphere

“如果音乐是浓缩的生活,弹吧,弹吧”要说游戏没有音乐,那我不知道音乐该去哪里了。假设你跑到街上拉着路人甲的耳朵小声说:“我赞成给游戏加入音乐”,好吧,这么过分的话,很可能你的下场就是跪地求饶,所以劝你不要这么做,除非你是那种我实在懒得的人。

很早以前我就觉得,游戏或者电影中的音乐,首要任务是不被注意(译注:做幕后英雄,一旦没有就让人觉得缺点什么那种的-_-)。她应该成功的渲染气氛,奠定基调,然后在场景结束后功成身退不在人脑海中留下印象,因为,原因很简单,听音乐不是你玩儿游戏(看电影)的目的。这跟鞋有点儿像,如果你的鞋很nice,能提升你的形象,但是人们不会记住它,除非你穿的是带小老鼠的廉价拖鞋。音乐是最容易被忽略的,所以我一上来就先谈她。

当然,也有不靠音乐的电影和游戏。老无所依除了   之外再无其他,Fail Safe甚至更少。在原版魔兽争霸之前,没有哪个游戏有背景音乐的,至少我没想出来有,但是魔兽这一步走的对,像上文说的那样,游戏之后我就将她忘记了~现在,很难找到没有背景音乐的游戏了,而且这些音乐通常都是很有侵略性那种。我相信你会关掉音响,但是凭什么要你忍受迁就呢,不是吗?

有些游戏就喜欢做音轨,实际上他们已经做一张音轨cd随游戏销售了。说到这儿我马上就想到Shivers 2,以及其他一些游戏,你们该做些不被嘲笑的游戏音乐了。那么Diablo系列究竟是怎么做的呢?

赋格曲First Fugue
(赋格曲(Fugue)是各声部对一个主题有规律反复进行模仿,并遵守特定调性规则的乐曲)

D1是我听过的所有最优秀游戏音乐的翘楚。正是听了吉他弹奏的The Tristram theme我才去学吉他的。有趣的是,如今我玩儿吉他12年了,却从未真正学过如何弹奏这首曲子。我只能怨Diablo这么好玩儿,嘿,绕了一圈又回到正题啦~

说正经的,这首曲子是你能从电脑游戏中听到的最平静人心情的曲子。YouTube上被人上传了好多次,许多人的mp3播放列表中肯定还存着这曲子。但我还是得说,尽管有人会不同意,Tristram不是游戏中唯一的音乐。

尽管可听的音乐不多。主选单音乐很短而且有点黏,但这可以理解,毕竟大家一般不会在那里停留超过一分钟,而且玩儿游戏时注意力也不在耳朵。在做本期专栏准备工作时,我坐下来静静听完了所有游戏中的音乐,实际上我很吃惊,主选单还配有音乐,因为我以前根本没有注意过。到此,我觉得应该可以交差了,但是对那些专门找音乐来听的人,肯定很失望。我是先听的D2音乐,然后我就希望D1也有主选单音乐,而且应该和D2一样是管弦乐的。这是个壮举,真的。

在D1中一共有4大部分,每一部分都有自己的主题音乐。平均每个主题音乐6~7分钟长,她们的目的就是提供一个“幽冷萧瑟”的气氛,然后像好游戏音乐那样融入背景中去。也有例外,King Leoric拥有自己的音乐,但是Lazarus主教却什么也没有,这让他更像个鬼。考虑到他是多么混蛋,这么做也无可厚非。

Diablo音乐最惹人注意的地方,就是每次你上下层,出入回城时她会停下来,然后再从头开始播放。这么做有两个可能性,一是为装载画面音乐让地方(这可真傻,要是故意搞笑那就更不可原谅了),另外一种可能就是让音乐继续前一层播放的话那么就开始的有点突兀了。所以说,这个问题有点烦人,可能暴雪给出装载画面已经是最好的解决办法了。

最煞风景的,就是根据你的地狱火安装模式,很可能根本没有后面几层新地牢的音乐,你只能听到打斗的音效声。而且这几层也不那么好玩儿,大家都不喜欢到那里去,这算是个耻辱吧。没有音乐,游戏多少变得有点真实,除了出现玩家在怪物堆里面经常找不到自己角色之外。这事儿有利有弊,我得继续关注,迟些咱们再讨论。总的来说,音乐很棒,但是还不足以打榜。

交响乐Second Symphony

我相信有人不满意D1中的音乐量。D2中音乐绝对不少于5小时,而且全部是精品。很可能暴雪逼着Bruce Lee不做完不准吃饭直到为fans们做出音乐的饕餮盛宴。Soylent Green可是人民创作的!

...对不起,小小跑题了一下。咱们回来,还是先说主选单部分。我相信你们这些凶猛的玩家肯定没有对那里的音乐有同情心,你建立那个名叫“一根两团”(此名太yd了,请大家自行理解原文-_-)的角色时完全不需要仔细听那一分半的背景音乐,但她确实在那儿~我打开主选单,闭上眼睛,开始了我的D系列音乐之旅,仔细回想我是在那一act听到的哪段音乐?整整花了四十分钟我才听完一轮,我听到了许多美妙的音乐。我推荐大家也这么训练一下自己,不过你得有耐心。不开玩笑的,真的是非常棒的音乐。

现在让我们来看一下游戏中的音乐。每一act的每一部分都会有一个小主题,总共加起来40多个,但是你玩儿的时候稍稍有一点分神,肯定不会发现她们,你忙得是摇头晃脑躲避攻击,否则一不小心就被本该是被你杀死的怪物杀死你,你不杀他们就想让他们意识到自己不重要(译注:让怪物堆生活失去希望?-_-)在D1中音乐戛然而止的地方,在D2中变成了渐变,上一首逐渐消失,下一首慢慢接上,所以给你的感觉就是一首巨长无比的曲子。

唯一直接的音乐切断时在场景转换,不过假如让她继续的话,也有点烦人。说真的,看着劳模的石头被消灭却听着鲁高因扫弦?这可跟好可不沾边。

D2音乐很棒,但终究不是Tristram小镇主题曲。两个加在一起,就是一完美音轨cd了,要是能给我,那真是荣幸之至。再强调一次,除非你非常非常认真听,不然这音乐就会渲染一下气氛然后消失掉,好了,任务完成~

试金石The Real Tests

真正的测试,就是改变音乐的作用方式。

测试一:只关掉音乐,你还能享受游戏吗?D1中做到这点很简单,你可以关掉声效,而非关掉音量。开始你会感觉没有声音游戏很怪,但是,想想太空里就是这样的你就没问题了。测试的结果是,你什么也听不到,所以你得更加专注于游戏,因为你听不到陷阱和物品等,你的眼睛比平时更加卖力工作。所以,总的来说,调不调音乐对游戏体验几乎没有影响。

测试二:无声的游戏你受得了吗?D1和地狱火中,你可以试一试,很简单,因为你自己控制声音和音乐。我先前因为误安装的原因,我的地狱火一直没有声音,知道我为了写这篇文章修复了该问题。后来我再到蜂房(译注:应该是炸弹炸开的后面?)去,我突然发现音乐没有了,尽管平时没有注意到,但是音乐早已经成了背景的一部分。

关掉音乐,你被迫将游戏的音效听的更清楚。这意味着你得忍受难听的施法音效,再没有其他音乐中和他。没有了音乐,大家就想念她的好,想要她回来了,没人能责备她的离开。在D2中这跟明显,因为在你野外战斗的时间更长,和D1比起来也更艰难。

加入你玩儿游戏听的是全不相干的音乐呢?我个人觉得很分神,除非音乐的风格相近。假设我在玩儿游戏,我玩儿是因为我喜欢,但是同时又听着Chad Kroeger不知道在唱些什么。选择什么音乐史有原因的,不能随便想换就换。

我想,D系列游戏音乐的重要性和先前老游戏不需要音乐的原因很简单:D系列靠音乐打动你,同时音乐又融在背景中,所以不会侵略性去支配你。不停地听些“叮咚”和扫射声很无聊的。这就是为什么D1中打Lazerus没有音乐的原因:不给音乐,让你更加集中注意力专注于游戏,强迫你听游戏音效,包括你自己的脚步声。一旦你完成该层,音乐就回来了,世界恢复正常了~如果你决定再玩玩儿D系列的话,我建议你关注一下音乐。来,让我们一起听听冰冻苔原的音乐吧~
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In this third installment of DiConstruction, Chris Marks discusses game music in general, and specifically analyzes the music of Diablo and Diablo II. Which compositions held up the best (Tristram theme, of course), which were forgettable, how is the game experience altered when you play without music, and more. Here’s a quote; click through to read the full column.

I have long held the opinion that the role of music in games and movies is to not be noticed.  It should succeed at helping to set the tone and mood of the scene, but be utterly forgettable as soon as the scene is over because it’s not what you’re supposed to be focusing on in the first place.  Kind of like shoes; they enhance your appearance if they’re nice, but it’s not what people will remember about you unless they’re pennyloafers with mice in them.  As such, it’s often the most overlooked part of a game or movie, which is why I’m tackling it almost immediately in this column.

Of course, there are also games and movies that don’t need music to be interesting.  No Country For Old Men didn’t have any music at all except a mariachi band, and Fail Safe had even less than that.  I can’t think of many games at all that came out before the original Warcraft that had environmental music, but that could just mean it was done right and I forgot it like I was supposed to.  Now it’s hard to find a game that doesn’t have some, and often rather invasively.  I suppose you could just turn off your speakers, but that would make you a wimp, wouldn’t it?

Up In The Atmosphere
“If music be the fruit of life, play on, play on.”  If that’s not an endorsement for music being in video games I don’t know what is.  I suppose you could walk up to someone, grab them by the ears and say “I endorse music being in video games,” but that’s probably more than a little excessive and likely to get you kneed in the groin so I don’t recommend doing it unless you’re somebody I don’t particularly care for.

I have long held the opinion that the role of music in games and movies is to not be noticed.  It should succeed at helping to set the tone and mood of the scene, but be utterly forgettable as soon as the scene is over because it’s not what you’re supposed to be focusing on in the first place.  Kind of like shoes; they enhance your appearance if they’re nice, but it’s not what people will remember about you unless they’re pennyloafers with mice in them.  As such, it’s often the most overlooked part of a game or movie, which is why I’m tackling it almost immediately in this column.

Of course, there are also games and movies that don’t need music to be interesting.  No Country For Old Men didn’t have any music at all except a mariachi band, and Fail Safe had even less than that.  I can’t think of many games at all that came out before the original Warcraft that had environmental music, but that could just mean it was done right and I forgot it like I was supposed to.  Now it’s hard to find a game that doesn’t have some, and often rather invasively.  I suppose you could just turn off your speakers, but that would make you a wimp, wouldn’t it?

Some games are so in to having a soundtrack that they actually include a soundtrack CD in their game box.  Shivers 2 readily comes to mind, as well as some other games that were worse and needed a good soundtrack to not be laughed at.  So how do the Diablo games hold up when it comes to speaker food?

First Fugue
The original Diablo is home to one of the best pieces of computer game music I’ve ever heard.  The Tristram theme is a lovely piece on guitar and strings that strongly contributed to my desire to learn how to play the guitar.  Ironically, I’ve been playing for 12 years now and never learned how to play that song.  I blame Diablo for being so fun to play, and lo we’ve come full circle.

Really though, it’s one of the most calming pieces of music you’re likely to hear in a computer game.  It’s been uploaded to YouTube several times, and it’s probably on several people’s mp3 playlists.  However, though there are some who may disagree, it’s not the only music in the game.

There is rather little music to listen to though.  The menu screen music is kind of short and almost tacky-sounding, but that’s understandable because most people aren’t there for more than a minute or so at a time and their ears are not where their attention is while playing.  In preparation for this column I sat and listened to all the music in the game, and I was actually surprised there was music on this screen because I’d simply never noticed it before.  Mission accomplished I guess, but as someone who was looking for music to listen to it was actually a little disappointing.  I listened to the Diablo 2 music first, and that got my hopes up that if there were menu screen music in Diablo, it would be long and orchestral like its successor.  I was really expecting there to not be any at all though, so it let me down on all fronts at once, like wanting to not be kneed in the groin and getting kicked there instead.  A rare feat, to be sure.

In the main Diablo game there are 4 sections of the game, and each section has its own theme.  The themes are about 6 or 7 minutes long on average, and they tend to set the theme of “massively spooky” very solidly and then meld in to the background as good game music should.  The exceptions are that King Leoric has his own music, and Archbishop Lazarus doesn’t have any music at all, which makes him a little more spooky.  And rightfully so, really, considering what a jerk he is.

What’s really noticeable about the music in Diablo is that it stops every time you go up or down a set of stairs or through a portal, and then restarts from the beginning on the next level.  The alternatives are to have music for the load screens, which would be silly unless it were intentionally comedic (and thus silly), or to continue the music from the last level you were on, which would lead to abruptness when going to a different section of the game.  So it’s a little annoying, but probably the best they could do given the existence of the load screens.

What really kicks the environment in to gear is that depending on the size of your Hellfire install, the new levels don’t have any music at all, so all you hear is the sound of the fighting.  It’s a shame the levels aren’t more interesting, or people would spend more time in them.  Without music it’s more realistic in a way, except with monsters rather than people who happen to be monsters.  This is both a good thing and a bad thing, and I’ll touch on it in more detail a little bit later.  Overall, the music was good, but there wasn’t enough of it to make for a hit record.

Second Symphony
I get the feeling someone got flogged for not putting enough music in the first Diablo.  There must be fifty hours of music in Diablo 2, and all of it is rather good.  They probably went through composers like Bruce Lee’s fist through a wall, making them work long hours until they passed out from exhaustion and then turning the expired composers in to food for those who came after them.  Soylent Green is made from people!

...Sorry, I got a little off track there.  Let’s start at the beginning, with the menu screen.  I’m sure most of you savages haven’t ever paid attention to the music there, or listened to it for more than about a minute and a half while creating your character and naming her “BoobsOnAStick” (sorry folks, that one’s mine already), but there’s actually quite a lot of it there.  I began my musical endeavours by opening up the menu screen and closing my eyes, just listening to the music and identifying which Act I thought I remembered hearing it in.  It took about 40 minutes for it to repeat back to the beginning, and in the interim I got to hear some very nice music.  I recommend it as an exercise if you have the patience.  There’s no joke here, it’s just really good music.

Now let’s look at the in-game music.  Each part of each Act has its own little theme, meaning there are about 40 of them, but you wouldn’t know it to listen to it unless you were paying very close attention, cocking your head comically to the side and all, which would probably lead you to certain dismemberment by all the monsters you were sent to kill because you were ignoring them and making them feel self conscious and unimportant.  Where the first Diablo cuts off the music between levels so you can start anew, Diablo 2 gradually fades out the old music and fades in the new music, so it sounds like it’s all the same very long song.

The only straight musical cuts are during cutscenes, where it would be rather annoying to have it keep going anyway.  Seriously, watching Mephisto get his soulstone removed while listening to the twangy strings of Lut Gholein?  That would be the opposite of good.

The music from Diablo 2 is good, but it’s no Tristram Town Theme.  Put the two together and you’d have a soundtrack whose babies I would be proud to carry.  Again though, unless you’re paying close attention to it, the music in Diablo 2 sets the mood and is then forgotten, so mission acomplished.

The Real Tests
Of course, the real test of how good the music is comes from changing how it functions.  First test: can you enjoy the game without any other sounds, just the music?  This is easier to do in the first Diablo, where you can turn down the sound effects without turning down the music.  At first it’s kind of weird playing the game without being able to hear things, but just imagine it takes place in space and you’ll be okay.  Not space like Star Trek mind you, space like Firefly, where you can’t hear anything because there’s nothing for the sound to travel through.  It turns out that if you turn off everything except the music you can’t hear things like traps and projectiles, so you actually have to be even more attentive to the gameplay, almost shutting out the music entirely as you move focus from your ears to your eyes.  So overall, no real difference in experience at all once you’ve made that adjustment.

Second, can you enjoy the game with no music?  In Diablo and Hellfire you can experiment with this very easily because you can control sound and music independently.  Until a couple days after this article was published I’d always played Hellfire with no music due to a faulty install, and I remember the first time I ventured in to the Hive I was surprised there wasn’t any music, because even though the music always melded in to the background it was still part of the environment.

What turning off the music does is force you to hear all the sounds of the game more clearly.  That means the annoying spell sounds completely occupy your ears, rather than being diluted by other sounds of music.  The games miss the music when it’s not there, and write it notes telling it to come back because it’s forgiven for leaving.  This is a bigger deal in Diablo 2 because the times when you’re out fighting things are longer at a stretch, so you don’t get as much of a reprieve as you do from the first game.

So what happens if you play unrelated music while playing the game?  Unless it’s music with a similar theme, I find it detracts from the gameplay.  If I’m playing a game, I’m playing it because it’s what I want to focus on, and hearing Chad Kroeger going on about whatever it is he sings about while I’m trying to gut old Chicken-Legs just doesn’t mesh.  The music was chosen for a reason, and should not be screwed around with by replacing it.

I think the reason for the Diablo games (especially D2) needing music while older games could get on without it is simple: The Diablo games are always hitting you with sound, and the music cuts through it so it doesn’t overwhelm you.  Constantly hearing clangs and squirts with no real variation gets tiresome.  That’s why the original Diablo only had no music when fighting Lazarus: the lack of music there was used as an accent to add intensity to the gameplay, forcing you to listen to all the sounds of the game right down to your own footsteps.  Once you were done with the level the music returned, and all was right in the world.  If you’re going to play the Diablo games, I recommend doing so with music.  Now let’s all go listen to the music of the Glacial Trail.


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Diconstruction (Diablo Deconstruction) is written by Chris Marks.  It examines differences between the two (soon to be three) Diablo games, as well as comparing them to other games, in a hopefully amusing style.  Diconstruction is published on the first and third Tuesday of every month. Leave your comments below, or contact the author directly.

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