Choosing Music For Your App / Game

Steve Crouse —  June 20, 2013

SteveCrouseFrom The Expert:
Steve Crouse
App Developer
Pineapple Media

Making games was always a passion of mine. Back in the day, a friend and I would spend days and nights creating whacky stuff with the RPG-Maker. It was basic, but it was fun. Now I’ve moved on to creating, publishing and selling games and apps professionally. Sure, the engines and tools I use now are a lot more advanced than the RPG-Maker, but there is one thing, that never changed: Music.

When you’re making an app – more specifically, a mobile game (non-entertainment apps usually tend to be rather on the silent side) it’s very important to think about music early on, because it just transfers so much to the user. Even in the first stages of the process, you’ll have a mood in your head and, along with that, music. The problem is, most of the times, you don’t know what the music sounds like – only what it feels like. And for those of us, who don’t have Hans Zimmer standing in front of a 100-man orchestra, it can be pretty difficult to find the right sound. That’s where sites like JewelBeat step in and make your life a lot easier.

For my latest game I created a character: A very pretentious fellow, who makes others miserable, simply because he enjoys it. Also, he’s an octopus. With a top hat. So I needed music, that communicates pretentiousness in a comedic and childlike way, since he’s an octopus. With a top hat. But I didn’t want to make a children’s game. My goal was to find something, that kids and adults alike could enjoy. So I couldn’t make it too happy and bouncy and not-a-care-in-the-world-y. I needed something with an – at least somewhat – serious undertone. Had I hired a composer, even if the final track would have been completely synthesized, the price would have been more than I could afford. I’m glad I spent time searching for music on JewelBeat. I must have searched the site for 2 days straight and test-played with a thousand songs, but I ended up finding just what I was looking for. I used “Too Excited” for the gameplay and “First Date” for the menu, which I feel fit perfectly to the mood of the game.

I probably couldn’t do what I do without sites like JewelBeat. It really compensates for the fact, that I’m an indie developer without a huge budget to blow on specially tailored music. And at 99 cents per track, who’s gonna argue? No one, that’s who.

Steve Crouse

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I'm a passionate independent game- and app developer and UI-designer. Also, I make the world's best bruschetta. And I will keep saying that until somebody proves me wrong… with free bruschetta. A few of my games are here at iTunes: Pineapple Media.