Legend Of Dungeon Randomizing Everything – Even Music

By Nathan Grayson on March 12th, 2013 at 5:00 pm.

When I rule the world, all games will be reviewed on a scale of [NUMBER]/Has the option to command cat armies.

I’m quite happy to exist in a gaming world where both meticulously crafted locational tapestries and randomly generated frontiers of madness have their place. If I want an experience that weeps intentionality, I turn to something like Lone Survivor or Bastion or BioShock 2: Minerva’s Den. But if I want chaos and mystery and discovery, I can let the likes of Binding of Isaac, FTL, Proteus, or any number of others wash over me, falling wherever they may. Legend of Dungeon certainly looks to fall into the latter category, but it’s taking things a step even further. The entire soundtrack, you see, is randomized. It doesn’t sound like a set of bagpipes stuffed with broken megaphones and goats that sound like people and people that sound like goats, either. Hurrah!

Neat, right? I like how the tone started off fairly relaxing and then descended into progressively more dismal darkness on each reset. I doubt it was intentional (because, you know, randomness and all), but it provided an interesting contrast of imagery and sound.

You’re probably wondering what manner of tiny magical computer gnomes produce these surprisingly coherent beats. Take it away, developer people:

“244 tracks are randomized and assigned to monsters, dungeon blocks, doors and even the title screen and Tavern. As you move through each room, and your proximity to things changes, the music shifts and alters. Every time you play Legend of Dungeon, not only is the dungeon randomly generated, but the soundtrack is unique for your play through.”

“If you listen closely you can even come to expect particular monsters or secrets by noticing changes to the music.”

So it’s consistently inconsistent. Or inconsistently consistent. Or something. It seems to create some decently nice moments, though, and when a game’s intended to be played for hundreds upon hundreds of hours, I’ll take anything to stave off “oh god where is the volume nob my ears are building tiny nooses for themselves” syndrome.

According to Robot Loves Kitty, Legend of Dungeon will release in alpha “very soon.” I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for it, as I enjoy legends, dungeons, robots, kitties, and music. I do, however, realize that those qualities are specific to me and me alone, so your mileage may vary. Or, you know, the other thing: Legend of Dungeon looks scrumptious, and unless it turns out to actually be a set of bagpipes stuffed with broken megaphones and goats that sound like people and people that sound like goats, I’m betting you’ll have just as much reason to be interested as me. So then, watch the skies.

, , .

19 Comments »

Sponsored links by Taboola
  1. Phantoon says:

    Neat. Hopefully there will be some way to give them money soon.

    • tanith says:

      I, too, would be willing to part with some of my monetary units for this.

    • Teovald says:

      I wonder why I did not back this when it was on Kickstarter. It is absolutely lovely.

      • JFS says:

        I played the demo and found the controls to be suboptimal. Still should have given them a few bucks, I guess they’ll iron it out if it actually is a problem for people. Well.

        • RobotLovesKitty says:

          JFS, We have vastly improved the game controls and mechanics since that very early demo… still no guarantee you will like what we have now :D but it is much better.

  2. Ross Angus says:

    Phew. The 244 tracks are pre-written. I thought for a moment that computers might replace Mogwai.

  3. B1A4 says:

    thog likes puppies

  4. abandonhope says:

    Very neat. It sort of sounds similar to how Menomena creates their songs.

  5. Davie says:

    I quite like the music idea, especially in a game like this. I remember my five hundredth attempt at Spelunky when the endlessly repeating music was not-so-slowly chipping away at my sanity. If I’m going to be playing the same bits over and over again it’s good to have this level of variety.

  6. Strangerator says:

    I’d never even thought of randomized music. From the sound they keep it simple enough that most of the combinations sound just fine to me.

  7. Snids says:

    This looks lovely. Day 1 purchase for me. I’m salivating.

    The generative music concept reminds me of the glorious Amiga block breaker Poing. It had amazing algorithmically generated music.

    I’d love the dev to release his code for it so I can carve out a career as a IDM/Glitch DJ.

  8. Sea-Bear says:

    Hmmm, I’m interested o: I’m a composition major at my music school, and I’ve had ideas of integrating music with games more than just providing background music. My idea was to give every person, action, item, etc. a unique motif (basically what Wagner did in his operas), and basically allow the music to be created through three agents: 1) the player, by choosing which character they play, which weapons/armor they use, etc.; 2) chance, through anything that can be randomized (like the enemies the player fights); and 3) scripted events or primary NPCs (this would be the only part of the music that wouldn’t be dictated by chance, obviously).

    Thinking about it more, instead of everything having its own motif, maybe instead some would have motives while others would be expressive commands (tempo, dynamics, attack, etc.), but the basic idea is that the music would essentially be created mostly by chance and by the player’s actions.

    A few weeks ago, a composer visited my school and talked to us about his own attempt, which involved attaching these, like, receivers to a cello and allowing the cellist to control a character on the screen depending on the string they were playing. The overall form (pretty much a basic sonata) was set in the level design, but the music the cellist played was improvised. It was interesting (although it didn’t really work because the composer was still learning game design, so the game itself wasn’t really functional in the way he wanted), to say the least.

    Even though there’s really no player input on the music being played, a lot of music has been left up to complete chance, with no major input from the performer or even the composer. A lot of John Cage’s music was like that.

    TL;DR From a composer’s stand point, this looks really interesting. From a gamer’s stand point, this looks really fucking cool. I can’t wait to check it out :D

  9. Pray For Death says:

    This game definitely wins the prize for most generic name in 2013.

    • Jambe says:

      Something tells me it was intentional; perceived humor was a selling point for me, at least. But maybe I’m a nut.

  10. crinkles esq. says:

    I really love the art style! It’s ‘retro’ but fresh, comforting but not recycled. And Mac & Linux support? Hell yea! Day one purchase.