Hi all, the new update is rapidly nearing completion. I expect to be able to upload the new patch tomorrow, and invite 100 new players this weekend - it depends a bit on how fast Desura accepts it. And yes, you read that correctly, 100 new players. Because the servers, which are run by volunteers, show no sign of melting, I'm quite sure it will be no problem to increase the group sizes even more. The number of new requests I get between updates is far larger than 100, so even now the waiting time will keep growing, but at least this way it won't grow that fast anymore. As a side note, I really hope Desura will finish their API soon, so I don't have to give these email addresses to Desura manually anymore.
Anyway, as you might have noticed, the new update will have a lot of new music in it. Let me tell you more about it, and let you hear some more stuff.
The three layers of music
I like to think of music as something with three layers: a melody, a background, and a pattern. Not all layers are always present, but they usually are. The background can be anything with long notes: strings, organs, woodwinds, etc. They often play chords, and make the music sound 'full'. However, just long notes and a melody above it sounds a bit boring in a lot of cases. That's why you'll often hear patterns: short melodies or rythms that gets repeated all the time. In pop music, this is the drums, but in film and game music you can also use little melodies here. I like to use pizzicato strings for this (the [string plucking sound] that most people associate with The Sims). Patterns give music some more flesh, and give the feeling something is really happening. For [most of] [the music] [I let you hear] over the last few weeks, you'll notice a repetive little melody behind the real melody. By the way, I wouldn't be surprised if there official terms for what I call 'the background' and 'the pattern', but I never have been able to find them on the internet.
The home theme
Why I'm telling you all this is because I wanted you to understand the difference between a pattern and a melody. As I've explained before, all melodies in Olvand correspond to an in-game concept: you've got melodies that represent the forest, melodies that represent the town, melodies that represent speed, etc. This update, I'm going to add a theme that represents 'home'. But instead of a real melody, it's only a short sequence of notes:
This is because I want the home theme to be used as a pattern. Here is an example of how that sounds:
I wanted this piece, which you'll hear when you're inside your house, to sound dreamy and friendly, but I think I've had over 100 iterations to get it this way. Part of why it took me so long to create something I was happy with, was because I originally wanted one home theme for all three house sizes (small, medium, large). However, I felt this piece is completely out of place in a small wooden house.
That's why I decided to compose a separate piece for small houses, which sounds 'funnier' somehow.
Here, the home theme is played on a marimba, a wooden instrument. One advantage of having a pattern theme (as opposed to a melody theme), is that I can combine it with other themes easily. The new update will also include a track which combines the home theme with the town theme: you'll only hear in your home town. I'll let you hear it next week!