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Composer and Audio designer at Dead Shark Triplepunch


I’m currently doing a research about if, and in that case what it is in music that can enhance the fast pace feel of a fps game. 
I’m not talking about games like Call of Duty or Battlefield. I’m more leaning to Unreal Tournament, Quake and that sort of games.
I am currently doing the music and sound for our game Epigenesis and I am just now started with the soundtrack. 

Does anybody have any experience and/or opinions on this? Also, can anyone point to some studys about it or other writings? Would be very appreciated!”



victor askling

“Sound designer på Sound Solution Studio

My experience have been using a lot of percussion or electronic-isch instruments with a repeating staccato segment. If the song doesn’t involve too much variety when it comes to melodies, and instead keeping it simple, it’s easier not to get tied up in the song while you’re playing. Instead you subconsciously focus on the tempo of the song which could have the affect of a fast-paced game. 

Though this is just my experience. This is not based on any studies or writings. :)”



Laurent Lozano

Sound Designer

“My comment would not be based on studies or writing too. Only based as player experience.

As player, I always felt more involved and immersed with a good beat. 
I mean, whatever the genre is (orchestral, electronica or metal/rock). What I mean is you must add rythm for what is going on the screen.

For Unreal Tournament 3, this type of tracks was simply perfect for multiplayers sessions :

Rythmed, but not nervous as hell. Maybe you should listen to Quake 3, or Unreal Tournament 3 Soundtrack, or Bulletstorm.

For this last one (Bulletstorm), I’ve loved the mix of metal-band formation plus orchestral parts (brass+strings).

Good luck Ola !”



Ola Bäckström

“Composer and Audio designer at Dead Shark Triplepunch

Hey! Thanks for the replies! I also think that it more or less must be kinda simple so that you don’t get to tangled up in the music. My experience also tells me that rythm is fundamental when writing music to these kinda games
Thanks for the tip on bulletstorm, haven’t thought about that soundtrack, I will absolutly look into that.”


Gregory C. Vilfranc

“Composer, Sound Designer, Re-recording Mixer & Game Design Student @ Full Sail University: Online

From the music side of things I’d say Modulation could play a role, but probably not as much as variable tempo mapping. For example, a piece starting somewhere around 110 (character first encounters level boss) and eventually ends up at 125 or so (character reaches critical point of nearly defeating boss).

Having the piece modulate a half step or two would be more like icing on the cake, but I’d definitely say tempo mapping/ramping is a great way to build tension or musically simulate speed or the fast pace, making the player feel uncomfortable in a good way. Hope that helps.”


Shane Keen

“Marketing, Social media & Sales at Beaumont Forest Products

The more simple it is for the listener i.e less melodic and harmonic information/variation the more the listener can hone in on the principle of the piece which in this case will be pace. 

Through my own study of association in music the most obvious port of call would be to research other iconic games and see what instrumentation and tempo has been used and form a basis from that (as we all should have played a game with a bit of fast paced music in before) 

Also remember as a listener our perception of a ‘fast paced’ song is only relative to the speed of any other pieces which are going to be played either side of it, or what other variables in tempo occur within the piece. 

Hope you found this to be of some use.”


Ola Bäckström

“Composer and Audio designer at Dead Shark Triplepunch

Thanks for all the replies so far! Some really good stuff and I’m beginning to see a patterns here.

When I first started to write music for this game I only really wanted to compose a cool soundtrack. But after feedback and playtesting I discovered that the music didn’t really fit the pace of the game and it didn’t hype the players, as I wanted it to do, during the gameplay sessions. So I needed to rethink the soundtrack and do some research on the subject, and I think that the replies here are key to making some sort of template on composing music for these kind of games.

I recently made two knew tracks with more or less all these things in mind, and on my soundcloud you can hear how the pace and style of the music changes during time.

If you want, you can have a listen:) 
(the two new tracks are “The Glitch”and “Evolving”) 
Again thanks for all the help!”

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