Match 3 Games: How to make electronic music for these popular online games
Match 3 games. You’ve probably heard of them, or if you don’t know the term, chances are that you’ve at least seen someone play. Think Candy Crush, Garden Tails, and Puzzle Quest. Essentially, they’re a kind of puzzle game in which the player manipulates and moves tiles in order to make them disappear, ultimately aiming to create a ‘match’ of (usually) three tiles. With an overall aim of creating order in what seems like a chaotic board, they are some of the most popular games out there. Why? Because they’re eye-catching, polished, and playable in short sessions, making them ideal for casual or committed gamers.
But, what does all this have to do with electronic music? Well, because every game has to have a soundtrack, and there is no genre better for match 3 games than electronic music. That’s because it creates a great atmosphere and has a repetitive beat. With more and more games yearly including an electronic soundtrack – take for example Mortal Kombat, Rocket League, and Minecraft – it’s become almost synonymous with the world of gaming. And known for making players faster and more competitive, so it’s no surprise. Put simply, electronic music gets players feeling hyped.
So, if you’re an aspiring music composer or just someone that’s interested in music creation, then electronic music is a great place to start. For beginners, there are existing audio kits to layer in the sounds of match 3 games, most of which contain a selection of high-quality music and special sound effects – operating as a starter pack for those who want to dabble in the music creation. However, if you want to go further, then the best technique is to delve into the world of match 3 games and start to understand why the music works.
So, consider, what is it about this music that inspires a good reaction. Get to know the popular match 3 games and understand their key components. What do players get out of the game? At which point does music keep them invested? This article has already touched on what those good reactions are (faster play, good atmosphere, higher sense of competition), but it is your job as a musician to work out which parts of the music are causing these effects. That way you can implement it into your own craft. Interestingly, much of the same music that works for gaming is also ideal for helping people study, so that’s definitely something to consider since both activities require your brain to become fully immersed. Your goal as a game composer is to keep players in the game for as long as possible.
But ultimately, of course, just have fun with your creation. Like with all music, both making and listening should have the primary aim of making you feel good. So, play around with sounds, use previous match 3 games as inspiration, but let your imagination run wild with you. It’s a great focus for a music experiment.