[UPDATED] Player-Owned Towns: How to get custom music

Discussion in 'The Bards of Poets' Circle' started by Kailef, Sep 27, 2015.

  1. Kailef

    Kailef Master Bard

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    (UPDATED 19 September 2020)

    First, thanks for making Shroud of the Avatar a better place by running your own player town. Whether you are planning to create a thriving cultural and trading center, a wretched hive of scum and villainy, or just hole up in your own personal refuge from the rest of the world, you get to pick from many of the existing Shroud of the Avatar soundtrack songs to create your town's music playlist.

    But, what if you want a unique song, specifically for your town alone? There are two ways to accomplish that goal. As of September 2020, @Chris has authorized Poets' Circle to fully manage the music review process, which should help streamline the entire procedure when contrasted to the last round.

    Method # 1: You need to find a musician to make you a song

    Ask one of the bards of Poets' Circle guild to create a song for you! Just send a PM on the SotA forums to @Kailef and let us know the name of your player town and tell us about the song(s) you want created. If you have a particular favorite Poets' Circle composer, you can request them specifically in your PM. (Note that the Poets' Circle members are not Portalarium or Catfish Games employees, and depending on their existing workload and personal schedule, may not always be available to create music) They will let you know how much flexibility they have - Some musicians will be happy to make many changes to your custom song until you have it exactly how you want it, and some may be less willing to create multiple revisions depending on their workload. Make sure to discuss this. and the fee that you will be charged, with your musician of choice before you select them to write your song!

    Working with Poets' Circle musicians should be a fairly easy process because we are very familiar with the guidelines and requirements of songs that are made into a part of the Shroud of the Avatar. Once your song is complete, we will submit it on your behalf, it will be added to the game, and per @Chris you will receive some wax cylinders with the song for your use.

    Method # 2: You are a musician, or you already have a musician to make a song for you

    But, what if you know a musician that you want to make your song for you, or perhaps are a musician and want to write it yourself? Just create a PM with @Kailef and the musician(s) that will be creating your song. (Note that your musician of choice will need to have an account here on the SotA forums.)

    Just in case things get really busy, help us keep track of things when you create the conversation by formatting the subject of the PM as follows:

    "PoT Music Submission - Town: <Town Name> Owner: <Town Owner Name> Song: <Song Name>"

    The process is fairly simple: The musician submits a song (or at least a melody idea) for the player town in question via the Conversation that you created in the above step. It's probably a good idea to submit the song early in the creation process in case there are any course corrections that need to be made to the general feel or instrumentation of the song. You can minimize the corrections that might need to be applied by following these guidelines:

    1. Only medieval era instruments are allowed. Synthetic sounds, amplified guitars, modern drums, electronic effects / sound effects etc are not permitted.
    2. The song has to have (with very rare exceptions for ambient tracks) an easily discernible main melody, constructed of single notes that can be easily hummed.
    3. The song should never sound overly orchestrated. No "Movie Soundtrack" type stuff. Songs should be something that can be easily played live and acoustically by a 3-5 person band with period-appropriate instruments.
    4. The overall acoustic environment of the song should be neutral, so keep effects such reverb and echo to a minimum. (This is because environmental effects will be applied to the sound in-game based on your avatar's location, so you don't want any "baked in" effects.)
    5. You can only submit original music to which you wholly own the rights to, and you have not licensed for use in any other video game.

    In general, your song needs to sound like it belongs in Shroud of the Avatar, utilizing medieval era music, appropriate period instruments, distinct melody, and nothing that sounds synthesized or modern. The overall recording quality needs to meet or exceed the standard set by the music in the existing SotA soundtrack.

    It is important to note that all song submissions should be uploaded and presented via Soundcloud. When you submit the song in the PM, you go to your song's page on the Soundcloud website, copy the address, and paste it into the PM. If you do not have a Soundcloud account, you can create a free one which should be all you need for these purposes.

    The song will be reviewed by Poets' Circle and they will advise the musician creating the song for you if any changes or corrections are necessary in order to make the song fit the guidelines for inclusion in Shroud of the Avatar. This process will repeat as needed until the song is ready to be submitted. Note that even a masterfully composed song can be turned down depending on the overall feel and instrumentation used, so please look carefully at the guidelines listed above! Following those rules is the best way to insure that your song gets through this process with a minimum of fuss.

    Once your song is approved by Poets' Circle, we will submit it on your behalf, it will be added to the game, and per @Chris you will receive some wax cylinders with the song for your use. There is no longer a need to post the song into the "Crowdsourced Music Final Submission Thread" as there was in the last round of submissions.

    Do keep in mind that once we've submitted a song, it's out of our control how long it takes to be added to the game. @Chris and the rest of the dev team have a lot of stuff going on, so it may take a bit of time for it to appear.

    Once accepted, your song then becomes licensed to Catnip Games based upon the license terms stated in the "Crowdsourced Music Terms of Use" thread.

    Closing thoughts:

    We know that musical creations are very close to the heart of the person who created them, and having a Poets' Circle representative tell you that your song isn't suitable for the game can be unpleasant. Rest assured that if we tell you that a song needs new instrumentation or some other sort of changes, it's only because we understand exactly what is expected of an in-game Shroud of the Avatar musical track, and we don't want your song to be rejected.

    I'll modify this post moving forward any time I am made aware of changes to the music submission process, keeping it as close to current/accurate as I am able.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
    Lily Byrd, Elrond, Nick and 11 others like this.
  2. Sold and gone

    Sold and gone Avatar

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    I tried my best to make a song. I have no idea how to do it correctly lol. So I gave up.
     
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  3. Xenar

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    Thanks Kailef, we have been wanting for our song in game since PoTs got in the game.
     
  4. Kailef

    Kailef Master Bard

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    I've got a little addendum to the above instruction thread:

    On the subject of custom Player Owned Town music with the advent of the jukebox/wax cylinder system: People have asked me a few questions about how to get their custom song(s) made in to a wax cylinder. To clarify, I am referring to music that was custom made for a single, specific Player Owned Town, not just selecting a town's playlist from the existing Shroud soundtrack.

    The answer from Starr can be found here, which simply says that the development team will handle the custom songs on a case-by-case basis, and won't require you to purchase a Service Voucher the first time. (Note that modifying or adding new custom songs after this first request will require you to purchase a support voucher)

    Basically, if you've already got a custom song that has received Poets' Circle approval and has been reviewed and accepted by Lord British, you're good. You just open a Support Ticket, indicating that you have a fully approved custom POT song, provide the link where Lord British approved the song in the Crowdsourced Music Final Submission Thread, send them an MP3 of the song, and of course let them know which Player Owned Town the song is for, and you're set.

    I don't own a POT, so I haven't personally performed this process, but it seems pretty straightforward to me.

    (Important note: If you do not already have an approved song that has gone through the entire process, please don't submit it via support ticket. Instead, go to the top of this thread and follow the instructions posted there)
     
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  5. Dinsoo

    Dinsoo Avatar

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    Is there any word on when songs that have been Poets' Circle approved will be either confirmed or denied by Port?
     
  6. Kailef

    Kailef Master Bard

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    Richard Garriott personally reviews the final tracks. Since things are a lot slower paced now that the main soundtrack is finished, Richard has been checking in and reviewing the "Poets' Circle Approved" submissions every two or three months or so. I'm not a Portalarium employee (and even if I was I wouldn't deign to say when Lord British was going to do something) but if I were a betting man I'd expect another review to be coming up fairly soon.