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Bugs: Recent Topics Paging, Uploading Images & Preview (11 Dec 2020)

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Atmospheric Ambience - Music for Board Games

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27 Oct 2020 00:00 #315601 by oliverkinne
Video games do it all the time and so do...

A 60 miles an hour dust storm is whistling around the small Mars base, pulling at the airlock, shaking the whole station side to side and blowing over the tiny buildings with a deep rumbling sound, while the computer equipment fans quietly hum away in the background and a random bleep from one of the monitoring systems indicates that our communications channels to Earth are still down. No, this isn't a review of one of the many Mars themed games available these days, but an idea of how you might set the scene for everyone when playing one of those games, because in this article I want to talk about how you could create a thematic atmosphere when playing board games with your friends.

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27 Oct 2020 12:09 - 28 Oct 2020 09:56 #315602 by Shellhead
I love to create music mixes for my favorite boardgames. The number of discs that I burn is dependent on the length of the game, or session of play if that is more relevant. I think about the setting, in case there is a particular era of music or style that I should focus on. And I think about the pace of the game. So for a specific example, I burned a set of mix discs for Android during lockdown last spring, because several of my local gamer friends want to get together and play Android sometime. With five players, the game could potentially run five hours plus setup and takedown, so I burned five discs of music. Information overload is a challenge in Android, so I wanted to stick to slow or midtempo music that would work well in the background and not be distracting. For style of music, I focused on synthpop and synthwave for futuristic sound, because cyberpunk largely emerged in the early '80s along with synthpop and synthwave, and that was a style of music often used in '80s science-fiction movies.
Last edit: 28 Oct 2020 09:56 by Shellhead. Reason: five not fix
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04 Dec 2020 10:38 #316843 by oliverkinne
It's so nice to create your own soundtrack to games, isn't it. I love how much attention you pay when creating the background ambience for your games nights.
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04 Dec 2020 11:16 #316849 by Rliyen
I use more background music when I play RPGs than boardgames. Since my group is currently in Battlestar Not Galactica, I have several OST from the series and they work fine.

In certain scenes, I've used Sigur Ros, Daughter, Patrick O'Hearn, and others.

However, there is one soundtrack that fits a boardgame like peanut butter and jelly: the Blade Runner soundtrack (bootleg version if you can find it) and Android. First time I played the game with my group, they fell in love with it, primarily because of the theme but the soundtrack definitely helped.

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04 Dec 2020 11:41 #316852 by Shellhead

Rliyen wrote: However, there is one soundtrack that fits a boardgame like peanut butter and jelly: the Blade Runner soundtrack (bootleg version if you can find it) and Android. First time I played the game with my group, they fell in love with it, primarily because of the theme but the soundtrack definitely helped.


If your group gets tired of hearing that multiple times during a game of Android, there are a surprising quantity of decent synthwave mixes on YouTube, in anticipation of the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 game.

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07 Dec 2020 10:00 #316897 by Rliyen

Shellhead wrote:

Rliyen wrote: However, there is one soundtrack that fits a boardgame like peanut butter and jelly: the Blade Runner soundtrack (bootleg version if you can find it) and Android. First time I played the game with my group, they fell in love with it, primarily because of the theme but the soundtrack definitely helped.


If your group gets tired of hearing that multiple times during a game of Android, there are a surprising quantity of decent synthwave mixes on YouTube, in anticipation of the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 game.


They don't, actually, which is weird. Me, I can listen to that OST all day long and not get tired of it. If they ever do, I will take up your suggestion.

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07 Dec 2020 10:29 #316900 by Shellhead
I can believe it. During the months of prep leading up to my D&D Ptolus campaign, I stumbled across a Swedish "neo-classical darkwave" band called Arcana, and I felt like their music captured the tone that I wanted for the dungeon crawling part of my game. I picked up a boxed set that contained four of their albums for the dungeon, and then mixed a bunch of folk music for the adventures in town. Only one of my players ever complained about Arcana, and even he was won over after a session. We listened to those four Arcana discs for four years of bi-weekly D&D sessions, at least all the underground ones, and nobody ever got tired of them. One time during that four years, I was playing Fury of Dracula with a couple of regulars from the D&D group, and put Arcana on again, and one of them just raved how it was even better with Dracula.
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08 Dec 2020 06:41 #316911 by Erik Twice
I used to play music while gaming but it ended up not adding much. In the end, when you are truly into a game, you could be playing with scraps of paper with the rules on them and it would be all the same.

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