I wanted to bring some discussion here from the discord, so we could reach a team decision. The topic has come up by several devs (myself included) to both add songs to the Microbe Stage soundtrack, plus potentially update some of the current ones. I can give my personal feedback on the topic.
First of all, I want to make it clear that I really enjoy the music for the game so far, and always get a nostalgic kick when I hear that familiar melody at the main menu. Plus, I think the themes of the Microbe music match the stage really well. I think the Sound Team has done a great job so far. However, I know my personal experience when recently playtesting the game was that gameplay while swimming around had a repetitive feeling to the music. I think I only noticed this recently because, well the game only became fun enough recently to make me play for several hours. In earlier versions I rarely if ever played up to an hour. This is a pretty good sign cause we’re finally starting to approach a damn fun game.
There are two ways we could add more music to the game. We could simply add more tracks for gameplay during the Microbe Stage, or we could add tracks that are specific to each biome. However, we’ll want to keep it within a reasonable extent to not bloat the filesize of the game. I think there are currently 3 gameplay tracks for the Microbe Stage, and by gameplay I mean they play when not in the editor. What would be a good number? Perhaps 5, or 6?
Another suggestion I have is that the track “Unicellular Organisms” be replaced. I don’t mean anything personal against the people who participated in creating it, and I really appreciate them working to contribute to the project. However, I think that by the iterative nature of this game we have to be ready to accept improvement throughout the game. Just as we’ve replaced and iterated upon older and lower quality code, organelle models, user interfaces, and game systems, so too should we be ready to update the SFX and/or music if need be. I’m not sure what it is, whether it’s the instruments used or the audio quality, but there’s something off about the Unicellular Organisms track that makes it not very enjoyable during gameplay. If we’re able to create a new Microbe Stage gameplay song that matches the themes of the stage and sounds better, I don’t see why we shouldn’t use it to replace Unicellular Organisms.
Anyways, these are my decisions on the topic, please feel free to leave feedback! One reason I bring this topic up is because we’ve been lucky enough to get an influx of talented new composers and sound designers who can help produce new music, so if we decide we want new tracks for the Microbe Stage production on them will be able to start sooner rather than later.