The studio behind Elder Scrolls Online, Zenimax Online Studios was working on the established musical themes but wondered how to keep people interested in the music for hundreds of hours in different situations.
They started to experiment; the music team came up with the system which was great for all type of players in all the situations and actions in the game but it became very difficult to work with and they didn’t get the results that they hoped for.
Buzzwords like ‘interactive music’ and ‘non-linear composition’ got thrown around a lot, and we experimented quite a bit with different systems.
As it turns out, that degree of flexibility is fundamentally at odds with developing meaningful musical moments within the Elder Scrolls’ vocabulary.
The composers worked very hard and eventually they found a sweet spot:
Themes come and go, floating by, catching the player’s ear then receding, evolving into the next theme. Rather than hearing a motif over and over and growing weary of it, the player’s ear latches onto phrases here and there that enhance the moment.
The final results of Elder Scrolls Online music are claimed to be extremely subtle and effective and they will be loved by the long-time fans of the franchise.
What is your favorite music theme from the Elder Scrolls Franchise? Let us know in the comments!