Music helps do a couple of things:
1. It Covers Dead Space
Dead space is one of the great game killers. Music can be used in the background or cranked during the heart of the game if appropriate. As a rule of thumb, you don’t want to have more than ten seconds without sound of some sort. At best it feels awkward. At worst, you look unprepared. Music is the makeup that helps mask those appearances.
2. It Creates an Atmosphere
Atmosphere is huge in games! That’s why the same game can be wildly popular with one group and completely flop with another. We’ve discussed the importance of preparation and choosing the right host in past posts, but music can also be one major component in a game’s success.
The songs you choose and the level you play them is very important. If you’re playing 2 Heads Are Better Than One, “Ice, Ice Baby” would be a great song. Other classics are Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”, Europe’s “The Final Countdown”, Starsound’s “Cotton Eye Joe”, Smash Mouth’s “All Star” and many, many more. All you need to do is find music that fits the theme and feel of your game.
Make sure you keep it one of three things: funny, dramatic, or upbeat. Eighty percent of the time you’ll go with upbeat music, but sometimes games allow you to get creative. We did a dunk contest and played, James Ingram’s “I Believe I Can Fly”. It was awesome!
One last note, most of the dramatic or funny songs you’ll use because of the chorus, so you can splice the song to get the portion you need. Most games are not super long, and if they are, you’ll need multiple songs anyway.
Take some time to hop on iTunes and surf around for some good music. You’ll find that it can not only be fun, but it can also take your games to the next level!
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