Networked_Music_Review

Reblogged Emergent Play Through Music in Lord of the Rings Online

stairway.jpgI’ve been playing Lord of the Rings Online for a little while now, and while it has a few interesting twists on standard MMO design, one thing really stood out for me, the music creation system available to every player.

Players can learn to play an instrument starting at low levels and what this does is that when the player chooses to take out their instrument, the keyboard switches to a configuration where specific keys are mapped to specific notes. For instance, 1 is C, 1 + cntrl is C#, 1 + cntrl + alt = C# up one octave, etc. In this way very specific chords can be created. Compositions can also be saved as an “ABC” file and set as a macro so that players can bust out a tune whenever after they’ve done the preliminary work or share it among the community.

Often while waiting for members of a party to arrive, players will play music or listen to the bard in their party perform for them. For me, it raises my involvement with the game another notch as I have also macroed some of my tunes to my Minstrel abilities, really adding that touch of personalization. Other players will remember specific minstrels based on the songs that they play while they’re in the party, because of that custom touch in their experience.

So what gets me now is all the emergent play centering around music that I’m seeing in the game, from random rowdiness and role play in the auction house and taverns in the game to bands and guilds of minstrels that spend most of their time playing music in-game. People I’ve shown this to have commented on the absurd “nerdity” of this system, but I really believe that this open-ended system in a MMO, a very limited environment where players really have little say on player created content, really has created an entirely new brand of emergent play without unbalancing the game world…

Bonds of Sea and Fire Duet (Xenogears)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Tjnuvb0Xwk[/youtube]

Megaman 2 Theme / Dr. Wily Stage 1 Theme (P.S. OKKUSENMAN)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrRuNOWfIIM[/youtube]

Overworld Theme (Dragon Warrior)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h69fzUG67iU[/youtube]

Original Harp Composition (This one is amazing.)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PfSD7MBdt0[/youtube]

The Entertainer
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_C02HAAneA[/youtube]

Hotel California
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmWqlKyVEV8[/youtube]

Stairway to Heaven
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFm9ifgB6OY[/youtube]

[Posted by Al Yang on The Asian Power Hour]


Jan 10, 2008
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Networked_Music_Review (NMR) is a research blog that focuses on emerging networked musical explorations.

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