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Music & Mapping
No, this is not "what do you listen to while you map". This is "What music should be played WHILE playing a certain map".

Music in games is all about setting the atmosphere in a level, you cant have an up beat tune in a dark and evil map, it just wouldn't be right, wheras something gritty, un-settling and generally evil would intensify the mood of the map you have made.

So, how much can music affect custom maps? How should it be used? Is it a shame that in some games custom music cannot be used. Thoughts and ideas please...
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/me Is Still Working On A Title 
I don't think adding music to a map is such an intellectual process. For the Cube maps I've made with custom music, in all but one of them the song was picked from something I already had. Putting the two together just felt right, no analysis.

It would be a joke to try and assign rules like "no up beat music in an evil map." I can picture a style of map where that would work. A sort of psychotic circus freak show kinda map. Hell, if I can find the textures to go with that idea I'll actually do it. 
Music 'n' Maps 
well, the music should reflect the environment. you don't want anything with a techy feel in pure medieval map. beyond that, it don't think there are too many rules that dictate what music should go with what type of map.

anything that accentuates the mood your trying to create in the map should be fine.

for nesp06, i tried to pick a tune that was very heavy and brooding, to reflect the plight of the player at the end (getting stuck in Midian with no way home). it was just some CoF song that i happened to like and that happened to fit in with what i wanted.

mostly, though, it should be music you like. 
The Only Rule Is 
that the music shouldn't suck when you listen to it on its own. All other putative rules will have exceptions, including "no techy music in a medieval map." 
ok, yeah. that was a generalisation, but you know what i meant. ;) 
this sounds stupid,lame and cheap. but sometimes however hard you try to pick (or make) music for a map people won't like it. i get friends saying: chris, why you listening to Grieg? you where listening to Sasha Global Underground Ibiza half an hour ago! how can you do that?

answer is, not all people like all music and they have preconceptions about it. so, in theory a medieval map would sound nice with some dark music, in practice the player may after a while want pumpin drum n bass!

if you include music. do your best. dont worry if you get mail by people saying they think its shit. they prolly dont even have a clue what effort you put in it. you gotta "impose" things. democracy isnt always the way ahead... 
I have found it sometimes can be magical to have very emotional, deep music during violent gaming, at least in SP. It's a strange resolution of beauty and violence I wouldn't expect many to get.

"the music shouldn't suck when you listen to it on its own" .. yes but it doesn't have to hold the interest to the degree when listening only. I have very high standards with regards to extended serious listening.

I'm making my own music for the episode I'm (honestly) nearly done with and it is useful in "framing" the progression of styles and reinforcing the transitions. You might listen to the individual tracks and say "OK but not great" but when the change comes it will certainly have impact.

Re: #5 "do your best. dont worry if you get mail by people saying they think its shit" .. yep, only way to come up with something that isn't watered down (this applies to more than music). 
No Music For Me 
i must admit i tend to prefer no music at all when playing FPS. i prefer to here the sounds of the weapons, monsters dying etc. Infact i think the silence inbetween fighting is often crucial to an immersive atmosphere and also increases the tension considerably.

Having music playing (any kind of music) reminds me i am just playing a game. Without the music, i become much more immersed in the epxerience. 
Neither For Me... 
I prefer no music at all (well if it isnt a situation were there is music in the place were you are like a tavern or something). Good ambient sounds make you feel more immersed in the game, music just feels like something that you shouldnt be hearing. 
What About 
music at the end of the map? like to go along with ending text, or cutscene, etc... 
Music For Me 
Often times I'll play Cube or Q3 with winamp playing my own music in the background. Even though I lose a little bit of an edge by hearing the audio cues a little less clearly, the music gets me in the mood. When I feel the groove I shoot better, or at least feel happier about my shooting. After all, doing well is really only a facet of enjoying the game.

I think what's important is that the music be optional. Like I have F10 bound to (Cube's) music off, and F11 for next random song. I assume a lot of people have something similar, so I'm not forcing my music on them, just suggesting it. 
i never play winamp because once in 20 times it might crash. ok the new one doesnt...i know!

i still think the music from doom2 is one of the best and i went to download it as midi. also checked some of the author's other music. you should too...he's brilliant

quake music was ok. trent reznor did a good job, with the sounds too for monsters and things i believe...

quake2 music..i like rock and metal but not just any becomes cheap and dated. quake music was more industrial technoy weird stuff. quake2 music sounded like cheap punk after a while...

how's doom3 music. anyone heard much of that? i'd love to know. 
I've noticed that some music that I wouldn't listen to normally works quite well in the background while I'm shooting stuff. Classical music, various tasteful techno, the music from Armored Core series, etc.

If you ask me, several of the Half-Life songs were excellent to play quake in. The Matrix soundtrack also holds some excellent pieces. These are songs I'll listen to in or out of the game.

I hated Cube's music (even though I liked the engine very much). It didn't seem to fit with the newness of the engine, it was annoying, and it was so loud it drowned out the other sound. My favorite song was the one that was really quiet and didn't do so many tacky beeps and bops. :) I mean no offense tho... that's just how I feel about it. There are a lot of midi that would fit perfectly into a fps game. Absolutely perfectly, just not those ones.

I still prefer no music over something that doesn't fit at all with the feel of the game. If I was playing a sidescroller with funny enemies and sprite powerups and everything looked like it was done in the '80s, then I would be satisfied with the matching music. But in quake, I prefer something more advanced.

Understand, my opinion is quite different from most here. I didn't like the original quake1 soundtrack; not my kind of music. I did like Strogg Leader or whatever it was on the q2 soundtrack, but that's all I remember. The UT music seems ok to me in the background, but not to listen anywhere else usually.

Has anyone here played EarthWorm Jim 2? There was one level where the music was moonlight sonata, while jim's running around shooting stuff. It fit absolutely perfectly. I guess it all depends on the situation. 
I remember I really liked playing e3m1 while listening to Nirvana's Polly, generally I don't listen to music while playing though 
i think that if the game has proper music, no need to seek for additional sound there. only if you customise stuff yourself. look at quake - prefect sountracks. personally i like 10th and 11th track, so i set them for all my q maps by desault.
as for the other games, some of them have pretty nice music (dungeon keper, age of mythology, starcraft, war3, avp2, unreal, etc), but some of them turn me to disable it (q2, some of q3 tracks, etc).
so, generally i don't use additional music to replace unwanted one. i just disable it. 
The starcraft & warcraft music was quite good. But many other games have me racing to the menus to turn off the music before my head explodes... 
One Problem.. 
with music in gameplay is the loss of sound contrast. And that both in the contrast; battle zone area / licking wounds areas. And contrasts in the ambiant sounds put in to increase moods of different areas of the map.

just a reflection.. 
I don't like music in DM, it's too frantic (not that I'm into DM much anyway). But it can be very effective in SP, since you do have some ability to enjoy the scenery and all.

One other nice place for music is intros, although this is more the case in console games. They get you pumped to actually play (in the case of the Saturn game Amok, more than is warranted ;) ). BTW, the only game soundtrack I listen to regularly is Stellar Fire (Sega CD), it's fantastic.

As to Quake, I found there to be an impressive match between the actual tracks playing and the levels associated with them (although other CDs in the drive can surprise you in this regard).

As to Cube, the good track (IMO) is Drannerz' mighty Cubez0r (enter "music songs/cubez0r.xm"), which is the only non-MIDI track. I've started using soundvol 100, down from 150. All my levels use that track or custom music. 
Thought that was DaMaul's work... 
It is DaMaul's track. 
Sorry, I'm currently at a loss as to how I made that mistake. 
I really like games that the music seems to ebb and flow with the pacing. If there isn't a ton of action going on, there is little to no music....but if you are engaged in lots of action the music picks up a bit getting you into the groove. I liken it to a good movie soundtrack, if music was used more in games like it is in films it would really enhance the experience. Deus Ex comes to mind in this regard. I don't necessarily feel that it is a model of perfection, but it was successful on a level. I take that and imagine a soundtrack, or audio anthem for each map/area/environmental style, and then add in differing tracks that can be placed into the mix when the action gets hot.....I think something like that would work nicely. I really think music can play a much bigger role in creating an over-all landscape for a game. It seems to me that on many occasions, music and snd-fx take the back-seat in the production schedule, thought that is changing. 
Adaptive Music 
I don't like songs simply fading into other songs. Ideally it would sound like a single piece that a composer timed to whatever action you are doing. This would be accomplished by packaging the music as a sort of mod format, and having game events modify the playback using some sort of scripting language -- modifying instruments, changing tempo, or selectively mixing certain channels. My favorite example of this is the drum beat in super mario world (SNES) that you can only hear when riding yoshi. It's just a shadow of what can be done, however.

The great thing about qmap being dead is we can have all the old conversations over again. I know i've had the music one at least twice. 
I agree. I was thinking along the same lines. Not fading from song to song, but tracks that are intelligently created, so that an ambient track could have specified timing points, inserted by the composer, at which time an action track could be started. It wouldn't necessarily have to coincide with the firing of a weapon etc. So scripting would be necessary. 
Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus 
That game has some nice pace-matching music. If you're just walking around looking at shit, there'll be just some ambient woooooshing� and some thematic beats along with the gameworlds ambient sounds. (Fans, miners, bombs, meatgrinders etc) When you enter a room with a lurking danger then, you can hear the music tensen up, the beats go quiet, and there's this trademark 'violin' shound like in movies when the nekkid chick is supposed to get killed and she sneaks around a corner in her basment towards that malicious shadow that turns out to only be last years halloween decorations and the killer clown is actually behind her... that bit is in there. And then when the action breaks loose, and the evil guys come chasing after you, the music immediately gets up to something that might be classified as and 'action beat' or 'chase music' or whatever.
Then when danger is evaded it fades back to the original ambient woooooshing�...
Not the best example maybe, but I still like the effect. Besides, fricking awesome game. Run and buy! Bargain bin, �2.50! 
games with good music;


that is all, carry on. 
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