There’s nothing new in the world. Everything has been done before. The idea of including music in a text adventure game may seem a bit eccentric — but of course graphic computer games have had music since the very beginning. So why not?
Even novels have had music. At some point — it would have been at least 20 years ago — Ursula Le Guin released a science fiction book that had a bind-in music CD. At least, that’s my dim recollection. I may even have owned the book at one time.
Right now I’m working on a new text game, which is due for release around April 1st. Also, I just finished writing a review of Propellerhead Reason 6 for Keyboard. I have plenty of other great music software on my hard drive, of course, but it occurred to me that it would be fun to write and record some 30-second music cues for the game using Reason exclusively.
Short cues are desirable because in an interactive game you can’t control how long the player stays in any one location. Writing longer music selections that can crossfade when the player moves from one location to another is technically feasible, but it’s a lot of extra work. What’s interesting about 30-second cues, I find, is that you really don’t have time to develop an idea. The music is just a gesture. It suggests a mood, and then it tiptoes away.
If you’re a graphic artist and would like to add yet another dimension to the game, I’d love to hear from you. This particular story doesn’t lend itself to photos, so I won’t be able to do my own graphics. A few illustrations would be a wonderful addition. The game will be released as freeware, so there’s no money to pay an artist. Well, maybe I could shake loose a few bucks. You might make as much as 50 cents an hour at it if you work fast. Tempting, I know. Plus, you’ll get the satisfaction of contributing to a really cool game.