About that soundtrack

Howdy folks, i want to give a little bit of attention and love to the soundtrack of the game and focus on where to improve it for the future of vermintide and darktide.

First of all i am aware that fatshark goes off house for the soundtrack, great move hiring Jesper Kyd to make the base game ost, then to hire two feathers for winds of magic, the result is superb.

I appreciate a lot the fact that most videogame music, not just vermintide itself, tends to focus on telling the story of the PLACE instead of just the player, it ends up sounding more immersive and unique than generic movie osts, this focus is something that shoudn’t change, prime examples:

But vermintide is a different breed from said examples, the ost complements the gameplay, you have horde music, boss music, ending event music, and these were all masterfully done HOWEVER in this game these pieces gonna repeat a lot and it may cause player fatigue, the solution to this that other game companies use is to create music in layers and make the engine play it based on whats going on, here is how left4dead handles it:

The game vermintide takes inspiration from uses its music as alternative cues for special units spawn, i believe vermintide 2 (or 3 and possibly darktide) could benefit from this system as well, even though it will require a bit of extra work on both the ost and how the engine handles it (because now it would have to play it on layers) this could settle complaints of silent spawns/patrols, because when its not an actual sound bug of not being played properly, sometimes the amount of attention the player have is occupied and they miss the spawning audio cue, if theres a constant theme added to the ost thats hinting the presence of said unit, it could help a lot.

Heres an example of how warhorse studios make their in-game music

In vermintide these osts pieces are played similarly based on what is going on, but they are heavily static, meaning they are triggered in a scripted way and always sound the same, and thats ok for the start of the map, bosses or ending event, but hearing a song even if its good again and again and again gonna make you sick of it, muting the music is a great idea but you know well most players won’t do that, they don’t know the music is why they are tired of the game, they just uninstall and move on, layering it in a dynamic way could give it an extra importance, as well make it less tiresome to hear.

What i sugest is to take some of the pieces from mr Jesper Kyd (or hire him to conjure some more) break it into layers and make the engine play them based on what kind of unit you are about to face and what is going on, for example: a patrol spawned, the music plays antecipation (play the patrol is coming) then tension (play the patrol is near) then fading danger (play patrol is leaving) then relief (play the patrol is gone), and if you aggro them then it switches to (combat start) if they are still in large number (combat loop) if they are losing (combat hopeful) if they are beating players (combat hopeless) if they are about to end (combat heroic finale).
Much like every boss have their own theme, each patrol and horde should also have their own theme but it should be dynamic and change according to how players are handling the battle.

In conclusion, vermintide 2 is a monumental game, but it set the bar so high that if fatshark ever make a third one they gonna have to work harder to top it and one of vermintide 2 shortcomings is the music repetition, add that to the list of ‘make it gooder’, thank you.

Here is something for your pain

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