One Must Fall     BATTLECAST


Editors Note
Xcelerator, Cyber X-Games, Gamespot

Publishers Corner
A short note from the Diversions Publishing President this month on conferences and a recent survey. Read More...

Composing Music for Battlegrounds
Learn about the process of creating dynamic music for One Must Fall:Battlegrounds. Read More...


And time stands still.

Shootout on the Bridge.

Chronos timing the smack.

Theres a world of hurt.

Editors Note

- Wayne Frazee


I am so excited.

Each month we just get that much closer to game release and its like a little kid waiting for Santa to come down the chimney and fall on your head. Its exciting though, sitting in my office, running through the development build. Sure, we are all busy, Kevin and Juan are hammering on things, applying polish, rob is feverishly squashing any bugs that we may notice, systems and tournaments and content are all coming online into the game and its looking great. This past month has brought a host of improvements to the game including vast tweaks to the netcode, patch content compression, interface changes, transition to release storylines and arena names, and so much additional content to the singleplayer campaign for players to enjoy. The single player experience, in particular, has benefitted from the recent development time as Kevin and Rob have put hours upon hours into getting it ready to go primetime.

Xcelerator was a blast, thanks to everyone who made it out, the game was well received with many people just stopping by as they passed to sit down and spend a few minutes in the game. A special thanks goes out to Edward Brinker, Janos Sipos, and Adam Moyer for their time and effort at the Xcelerator event. Although pictures were not available during the event due to the lack of internet availability onsite, pictures from Xcelerator have since been posted to my log on the One Must Fall site at . Xcelerator was also the first event exposure of our new Promotions Manager, Darcy Naylor, to the public. Check the pictures out!

For those of you on the west coast, be sure to make it out to the Cyber X Gaming LAN and Tournament being held with CES early next year in Las Vegas, Nevada. Game demonstrations, the actual retail title availible for purchase, gaming tournaments, a developer on-site, and so much more! Stay tuned to the One Must Fall site for more details as the event gets closer.

Another item of interest for the community, One Must Fall gear is now availible! You can buy your own hats, tshirts, and posters from direct from Diversions! Those with websites can also signup to earn free gear by offering these fine apparel items to thier own users. Finally, Diversions is offering FREE web hosting to One Must Fall fansites that sell Diversions Publishing gear and offer One Must Fall:Battlegrounds information. Interested webmasters email for more information. Please note that you must be signed up as a Diversions Publishing affiliate in order to take advantage of this hosting offer.

Publishers Corner

- Judy Elam


One Must Fall: Battlegrounds is well on the way to your home. Yes, we finally have made it. There has been lots going on this month to ensure it gets to your home by Christmas with the DE Team spending many sleepless nights in the office. The team is very excited to get this game for you all to play, that the work is very satisfying when you can look back and see how far it has come in the last 6 months.

We expect the game to hit the shelves sometime in Mid Dec. . We don't have a exact date, but you need to ask Santa for OMF:BG. Of course, getting yourself on the list at your nearest Gamestop store or EB Games is very important at this stage. The stores will not be overly stocked for the first run. So if you are wanting to be assured of the purchase, get a deposit to your store.

For those that can not get it through ordering or store, we will have our shop open for the order as soon as we know a exact date it hits the shelves so that you can have it around the same time. We want everyone everywhere to be able to purchase OMF:BG. Those of you that have Fan Sites, you need to get it completed and ready for you to promote your Fan Site to others as game release is coming soon. Remember, those who register to be affiliates earn points for prizes by selling quality Diversions gear. We now have a great collectable for you now. It is a beautiful medal (click for picture).

How you can help spread the word?

Once we announce that the game is bein shipped to the stores, you could start inviting your friends for a lan party and of course ask them to purchased the game. We want to schedule a launch party which will involve people everywhere playing the game and we would include the pictures of your home party as part of our launch party. This most likely would be around the Christmas holidays.

Since we have our game close to actually being reproduced, we want you to start talking it up for purchasing it for the Christmas holidays. You can talk it up at school, message boards, work, and friends and neighbors. We don't have microsoft money, so you all are our source of exposure.

On the 24th you will see some adv. coming out on Gamespot. Check it out and let us know what you think.

The limited test has just had a update, so make sure you check it out.

Composing Music For Battlegrounds

- Ashley Kampta


Composing music for OMFBG is a pretty straightforward process. The actual system itself is simple, leaving out many of the advanced features of dynamic music to present to the musician a template in which they have the most creative freedom. (And the least amount of headaches!)

At the heart of BG’s dynamic music system are ‘segments’. These are basically blocks that contain musical data, such as notes. So, without these, you’d have no music. These segments are static (once you compose them, they cannot change), so you may be wondering “Well, where’s the dynamic element, then? I thought you said this was dynamic music!”

The dynamic element comes in through the use of what is called a ‘jump table’. This is a table of links that allows you to choose which segments are to be a part of which moods, of which there are ten: Silent, Early, Winning, Tied, Losing, Lopsided-Winning, Lopsided-Losing, Time-Winning, Time-Tied and Time-Losing. Please note here that there is nothing in the actual segments that makes them belong to a certain mood; therefore, you can just as well have a segment be part of the Losing mood as you can have it be a part of the Lopsided-Winning mood. Segments aren’t automatically branded as being of a certain mood, in other words. (As a bit of background, in the original soundtrack, Saul chose to compose certain segments to fit certain moods, so they only play when that mood is selected, and at no other time. Tying in with what I just told you, this is only a matter of how the jump table is organised, and not to do with the content of the segments themselves!)

You’ve probably gathered that the dynamic music tracks are rather long, and contain a large amount of music. Therefore, it makes sense when I say that there are hundreds of segments in each piece of music. While you may be surprised, there is some good news: the segments are all pretty short. Each segment, on average, is between five and ten seconds in length – which, in musical terms, equates to between two and eight bars of music, taking into account that different pieces of music can be at different speeds. There is no length cap on segments, so they can be shorter or longer than the average, if desired. However, shorter segments mean that you’ll have more to organise in the jump table, possibly resulting in something that you’ll end up not being bothered to organise well. Longer segments, on the other hand, mean that the dynamic nature of the song is less recognisable, because changes in the music happen at a slower rate.

So what is the typical path for a song to take when it is being played? Well, let’s address the song starts and finishes first: the LMS and Demolition game-type scripts have the music start from the Silent mood (which, rather obviously, should contain no notes at all). This is why you hear some sort of transitional effect or fade-in when a piece of music starts – ‘Snakeirons’ is probably the most obvious example that comes to mind, seeing that most of you have probably heard it. In a similar way, all roads lead to the Silent mood again when a piece is to finish. So you’d most likely be hearing a fade-out of some sort as an ending.

Now that we’ve addressed the beginning and the end of the music, what happens in the middle? In the infancy of the music system, the game would use the Early mood to set the scene for an arena. (In other words, Silent would fade into Early.) However, it was decided that the music didn’t get to the exciting bits soon enough, so the Early mood was removed from the game engine. However, it is still in the music for composers to use as they wish, be it a musical sketch-pad, or whatever. It’s just not selected by the game engine – unless someone needs the Early mood in a mod or something.

Anyway, since the Early mood isn’t used any more, then how does the music work now? Well, after the fade in, the music now jumps to the Tied mood. (So, that means it will play all the segments that have been assigned to the Tied mood.) After one of the tied mood segments is done, the jump table is checked to see which mood should be jumped to next. If nothing has happened, then the Tied mood is continued (or replayed, if all the segments have already been played). If something has happened in the game though, then the Tied mood is changed to another mood, and that mood’s segments are then played.

As well as the main material of the music, transitional material also plays a very big part. After all, fades would not be possible if we did not have transitional material between segments. This is where the most time-consuming element of dynamic music is: the transitions. In Battlegrounds, every segment of every tune has a way of getting from music to silence, as well as from one mood to another (other than Silent, of course). As a musician, you will have to compose a transition that works with all your segments, for every eventuality, and you will also have to check that each and every one of the transitions flows musically from start to finish. (Having an abrupt stop would not really be desirable in the middle of a heated match, with no outcome yet decided!)

Now onto a little bit about how to make your songs behave like the ones Saul has lovingly crafted. In the BG soundtrack, the pieces have around 15 minutes of main musical material, as well as around 5-10 minutes of transitional material. (I told you it played a big part!) In the 15 minutes of main material, the music is distributed in the following way, for the most part: there is usually one minute of introductory music, three minutes each for the Winning/Losing/Tied moods, one minute each for all the Lopsided moods (i.e. when you’re a bit ahead or behind in score, and you have quite a bit of time left), and one minute each for all the Time moods (i.e. when you’re winning/tied/losing and running out of time). All in all, this amounts to 20-25 minutes’ worth of music for any one song.

In this article, I have purposefully left out the practicalities of the system in order to provide you with some sort of grounding in the way the music works, from a theoretical point of view. After all, there’s no point creating music for BG if you have no idea of how it is going to be used. I also cannot stress enough that it takes a lot of effort to create a piece of dynamic music for BG. However, even though creating dynamic music for BG does take a lot of persistence, I’m sure it is enough motivation for you to finish your piece just so you can hear how it sounds while the HARs engage in the mega-sport that is One Must Fall: Battlegrounds.

Judy Elam
Executive Producer
Wayne Frazee
Editor In Chief
Juan Villegas
Media Editor
Ashley Kampta
Contributing Editor

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