The game, Sword of Symphony, will teach us how to understand and use music within it. Let’s discover the latest news together
We return to update you on Sword of Symphony, Stephen Ddungu’s solo title. If this is your first article about it, we advise you not to miss the previous articles always dedicated to this game. You can get them here: Sword of Symphony – A love hymn to music and Sword of Symphony – Recent Development.
As the title of our article suggests, we will tell you about the news relating to the fundamentals of music in Sword of Symphony and beyond. And now let’s dive into the news without wasting any more time!
Tutorial level contents finished
Beyond all expectations, including those of the Dev, the contents of the tutorial level are finished. Creating such content wasn’t the most “fun” task in game development says the solo-dev. “I’m glad I got it done. All I’m left with is just to implement what I’ve made for it into the game engine.” – explains Stephen. Although in reality the goal was unrealistic, the Dev achieved the goal once again. Pushing his skills, the speed of his workflow and his ability to work tirelessly towards a goal. All despite enormous pressure and fear of failure. “I definitely felt the pressure, but I can absolutely guarantee it was worth it. However motivated a person may be, we as human beings will always do more to avoid pain and disappointment than risk experiencing pleasure and reward; however, if you can set up your life so that these things are intertwined, you will always have the motivation when you need it most.”
The implementation of tutorial-level content into the game engine
Currently in progress, this step prepares fertile ground for Stephen’s answers to some questions frequently asked by the Sword of Symphony Community. Let’s see them together:
- Q1: Can we skip the tutorial if we already know music theory?
A1: Yes, though I’m sure you’ll still enjoy it regardless
- Q2: Will you be able to play examples of each note/musical concept to help us remember them?
A2: Absolutely – in fact, I’m very glad manyof you are asking this. I’ve prepared a whole mechanic which’ll allow you to do that in a very cool and interesting way, which I’m looking forward to sharing with you all very soon. The events of the game will also remind you of what you’ve learned in the tutorial in various story-related ways.
- Q3: Will you also include the American musical terminology for the musical concepts in the tutorial?
A3: Yes. I am from the UK, so I’ll be primarily using UK musical terminology and that will also be the official musical terminology in the game’s lore canonically. However, whenever there’s any mention of musical terminology in the tutorial, the US equivalent will also be present in brackets. I’m also planning to potentially have an option in the settings, which allows you to switch between UK and US terminology for the rest of the game.
Learn the basics of music in Sword of Symphony
From the first moment we encountered this game, we realized how much technique and knowledge is behind it. Not only regarding animation, development and modeling; but above all regarding its beating heart: Music. A game that really exploits it, through knowledge of it, is a unique innovation. So the question arose spontaneously: How can I play a game like this if I don’t know music? Will I have to give up on playing it?
Well, no – We can easily approach music as novices. Learning the basics in a simple and in a fun way; but above all not alone. As the YouTube Short suggests; we will pass again in the company of Stefān, protagonist of Sword of Symphony. Thanks to learning the basics on a musical level, we will be able to read and best use the notes in gameplay. Furthermore, we will be able to fully exploit and enjoy the game mechanics.
So let’s look at some concrete examples!
The concept of Bars and how many notes you can have for each
Let’s start first from the concept of bars, what are they? The bars (or Measures) musically are that portion of the pentagram enclosed between two vertical bars. It is used to group the notes into periods (portions of the pentagram) all of the same duration.
Together with Stefān, we will learn that furthermore, the number of notes per bar are dictated by a fraction called Meter (4/4,3/4,5/4 etc…). We will then learn the value of the notes, how to recognize them starting from the graphic signs and how to calculate their value when grouped.
The value of notes and rests
As we were saying, together with Stefān, we will learn the value of notes and also of rests, so as to be able to recognize and read them. Furthermore, it will be essential to learn them because enemy attacks will be musically based and consequently ours will also be. By knowing how to read we will be able to make the most out of our counterattacks, causing greater damage.
But what if I can’t memorize all these things? No problem, the Dev has thought of this too! The game design is to remind us of the rudiments as the story progresses. Connecting them in a logical and consecutive way to make everything very smooth.
The YouTube Short ends with the voice of Stefān, who announces to us that this is only the beginning regarding the musical bases and their application to the Gameplay.
What is Stephen Ddungu preparing again…
As announced by the solo-dev, in his update posts, there would be the creation of a new monthly animation. “I am happy that I was able to participate in its production. Considering the particularly ambitious tasks I set myself last month.” His goal is to create a new one for each new part of the game he is working on. So that the animation reflects the state of development. Another goal is also to deepen our immersion in the world of Sword Of Symphony as an audience. This is because all the monthly animations, in fact, take place canonically (in chronological order) before the events of the game itself. So, the last one will take place shortly before the first events of the game.
This will allow us to feel like we are growing with Stefān and the other characters. While we wait for the game’s release, we’ll also be able to get a little glimpse of what they’re doing in their lives. This before the events of the game. “This is also good for me because it exercises my animation skills. As I said in the previous update, the way I animate has improved significantly. Every time I animate a scene like this, I refine my understanding of different practical concepts in my real-time workflow, so you will also see the gradual increase in quality in each monthly animation I release…”
What’s cryptic about it?
The image you see is part of the new animation video, what immediately catches the eye are these brackets. In one of these there is an “X“. If we think about the title (on how it is written) it recalls the intersection of the letter “S” of the word Symphony (treble clef backwards). For now we cannot know more, because as Ddungu himself said, the topic for now is “Top Secret“.
Regarding this cryptic message and the future of Gameplay, stay updated with us! We will certainly still have a lot to learn and discover about this one-of-a-kind game.
Good Game everybody!