One of the most important but overlooked aspects of game aesthetics is music. Especially for historic games, music can make or break the game immersion. We have not heard any of the in game music samples, but here are some thoughts:
1. Each culture has its own unique musical history. For example, music in England in 1066 is different than music in the Abbasid caliphate in 800 and Ming dynasty etc.
- We have different units/buildings and costumes for each culture. Their in game music should reflect this cultural difference.
2. We have some information about musical instruments and performance practices of these different cultures. Especially Western early music
No, we don’t exactly know what music sounded like in 800 CE wherever, but we have some idea. The music doesn’t have to - and shoudn’t - be an exact museum reproduction. However, it should be inspired by the instruments and aesthetics of the period. One example of this working really well in another game series is Total War: Attila. We don’t know what music of the East Roman or Sassanid Empire sounded like, but as you move from West to East there is a clear distinction between the aesthetics of each region and culture, and some attempt was made to understand and reflect these differences. In contrast, Empire Total War was neither inspired by the period nor had much cultural distinction. Everything felt the same and broke immersion.
This concept is also just an extension of the starting music in Aoe2. Each civ has a different little tune at the beginning that is faction specific that fades out. Would be nice to build on that concept
3. This is probably too late to change at this point but, at least some info on music design would be nice in a fan preview.