I have a proposal. Well, maybe not so much a proposal, maybe just a brainstorm.
First of all, I’m obliged to say that I love Wade Clarke’s non-interactive soundtrack. I hope that Wade will join me in this brainstorm.
For a very long time, I’ve wanted to do a game with an audio component, but I never wanted anything so simple as a few clips that play at certain times. Maybe a little like Loom, though I never saw Loom.
I’ve been overwhelmed by the idea of writing a game AND writing music, though. But maybe there’s room for an interactive soundtrack in Kerkerkruip. Maybe not purely in I7 but maybe with the help of Vorple or some other technology. I’m most familiar with Supercollider but that might not hook up well with I7.
So, here’s my idea for how to generate the music:
Rhythms are determined by the game map. Imagine that sound travels across the room in one beat (or one eighth note, whatever. Maybe stairs are dotted notes or triplets). Every room in the dungeon then has a rhythm created by playing a beat and then waiting for the echoes to come back. The maze might be an area with no clear rhythm.
Room and furniture effects would modify the rhythm - they’d change the backing track or instruments, maybe add ornamentation to the rhythm or drone notes. Maybe rooms would have their own chord sequences, or maybe just single chords or keys. Related rooms, like Library, Drawing Room, and Quartering Room, might have neighboring keys. Perhaps the full rhythm and instrumentation would only be played during battle.
Tension increases musical tension in some way, maybe by increasing tempo or subdivisions of the beat, or by transposing upwards or playing higher notes, etc.
One-off effects might just be sound effects or short melodies.
Player abilities might alter instrumentation. Stats would alter parameters of the instruments being played. Low health might have more tremelo. Current attack bonus would have brighter tones or sharper attacks. Current defense bonus might be more legato or involve some harmonization of the theme being played.
Worn clothing and readied weapons might also add backing tracks.
Monsters of course get leitmotifs. Their stats and weapons would affect how their leitmotifs were played, of course.
Maybe this is totally ridiculous, but it sure is fun to think about!