Consumer Feedback - Video Game Soundtrack

Purpose of study: The purpose of the study is to research how different composition and production techniques influence the atmosphere of a piece of music. It will study the effect that changing the production method has on the outcome on the final piece.

Your role in the study: If you agree to participate, the study will consist of reading the storyline of a hypothetical horror/sci-fi video game while listening to two versions of the same soundtrack. This will be followed by a short questionnaire relating to the storyline and the pieces of music that you will listen to. The study will require roughly 5-10 minutes of your time.
  

Orbit


You wake up with a jolt.

Your head aches, and your body feels heavy. You open your eyes, but it’s still dark. You feel around you and push yourself up – the movement triggers an automatic light that buzzes into life. Your eyes burn in the new light, and you look around.

You appear to be in some sort of abandoned facility. You are lying in a deserted corridor, with polished white floors and grey metallic walls. As you stand up, you notice a humming sound coming from down the corridor. You walk slowly towards the sound, your reflection floating across the walls.

You reach an opening in the wall of the corridor. You peer down, but it’s dark. All you can see are a few small lights, flickering in the distance. As you take a step down the passage, another automatic light flashes on – and you find yourself in some sort of control room. Buttons, switches, lights and screens cover the walls.

There is one main screen in the centre of the control desk. The light flashes on and off, the picture distorted. You lean in closer. Across the screen, a red warning sign flashes. There is a word in the sign, but you don’t understand the language. You begin to turn away, but the image behind the warning sign catches your attention. It looks like a diary, or an entry to a logbook. It has been signed off with a date. But then you realise, you do not know what the date is. You cannot remember how you got here, or when you arrived.

You turn around, and leave the room. As you approach the corridor, you notice a mark on the wall that you missed before. Three lines, cut deep in the metal. The edges are jagged.

You leave the room, and continue down the corridor. Your footsteps echo in the silence.

You come to another opening, further down. Cautiously, you peer around the corner. There are no buttons or screens this time, only a circular room with a shutter drawn down. In the middle, there is an empty chair. Feeling curious, you walk towards it and sit down.

As you rest your hands on the sides of the chair, you feel something click under your hand. A whirring noise starts up, from across the room. You jump up, heart racing. As you watch, the shutter slowly begins to rise.

The shutter reveals a window, and through it, you see a planet.

At first, it looks like Earth. Clouds swirl across the surface, over masses of rocky land and endless oceans. But it’s different. The clouds are darker, and thicker. You can see the oceans move, watch them cover the land and draw back like tidal waves. This isn’t Earth.

You stand, unable to tear your gaze away. As you watch, something begins to emerge from behind the planet. At first, it looks like a star – a bright light that makes you squint.

As it comes into view, you notice a dark shape materialising between the star and the planet. It stretches from the planet to the star. You put your face to the glass to get a closer look – you can see that it is moving. Dark shapes, moving in a line from the planet to the star, being hurtled through space to its centre.
 
Suddenly, you realise. That bright light isn’t a star.

It’s a black hole, and it’s feeding on the planet.

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* 1. Follow this link: Video Game Soundtrack 1

What do you think about when you listen to this music? How does it make you feel?

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* 2. Do you think the music suits the storyline idea? Please give reasons for your answer.

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* 3. Do you play video games? If so, how often (e.g. once a week)?

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* 4. Do you think this music would suit a film? Please give reasons for your answer.

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* 5. How would you describe this music in terms of quality of production?

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* 6. How would you describe this music in terms of depth of sound?

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* 7. Follow this link: Video Game Soundtrack 2

Does this piece of music sound similar to the first? Which do you prefer?

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* 8. Can you notice any differences between the two tracks? You may replay both tracks as many times as required.

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* 9. How would you describe this music in terms of quality of production?

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* 10. How would you describe this music in terms of depth of sound?

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