Midnight Flash Game Design #2: Public Domain Music For Flash, And A Challenge

To continue from my last entry , I am trying to finish a Flash game in 27 days. This probably does not sound very hard, but these “days” actually equate to about 27 hours of programming time. Subtract all the time I take to write these blog entries, and time gets even more critical. Since I’m also working a game full-time at my day job, I can’t even take any time out of my regular day to think about how to finish this thing. It’s all midnight.

Anyway, in my last entry I had named a few bugs that needed to be addressed before I really got started on the new “Fireworks” game. Those bugs were addressed last night, but I’m saving my discussion of them until next time. Why? Because I found something very exciting today that will help immensely with this game.

A “Fireworks” game really needs music to set the mood. Most “Fireworks Shows” are accompanied by patriotic orchestra music, but how do I simulate that? I can formulate some decent rock/techno songs with Acid, but classical orchestra songs are simply not possible. I’ve tried places like royaltyfreemusic.com, but the prices for a single song are about 10 times the amount of money we have made from this site in the past 6 months. Since I don’t plan to try anything silly like “selling” this game, I’d rather get something super cheap (read: free) but keep it all legal. As a content creator, I’m really not into stealing other people’s content, and I know that even if I’m not making money off of it, it’s still not legal to use something that I have not purchased or is not in the Public Domain.

While looking for any place that might have “Public Domain” music today, I stumbled upon http://www.musopen.com/view.php?type=piece&id=190This site is not dedicated to distributing sheet music like other Public domain music sites, but instead, has actual, downloadable, performances that have been put into the public domain. Not only that, but the only requirements for use(other than not directly selling the music for profit) are that you cite the musopen.com, and the original performer. A quick search of the site netted me this little beauty: http://www.musopen.com/view.php?type=piece&id=190 , a public domain performance of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture”. Parts of this piece are used in nearly all “4th Of July” fireworks celebrations. Of course, the song is about Russia repelling Napoleon in the 19th century and nothing to do with American Independence, but when has reality ever mattered when it comes to our national celebrations?

Anyway, if you are looking for some public domain music for your next (or current) project, I would check these guys out first. They may save you a lot of time and money searching for a suitable soundtrack for your game.

Oh yeah, before I end for today, I wanted to mention that my brother Jeff has issued a challenge to me. He saw that I’m trying to make a game within the next 26 days, and he wants in on it. He is going to try to make his own game (a version of Gravitar) in the same time frame. On top of that, he wants us to continue this process for the REST OF THE YEAR! I like the idea. This site is dedicated to making games, but so far we have only finished one (Retro Blaster). It’s high-time we started to get serious about our mission here: to launch some garage made games!

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