Video Game Soundtrack wiki page draft
(subset of the 'Soundtrack' page)
Video game soundtracks (video game music, or vgm) covers music that is mainly associated with video games. Unless specified below, follow the Soundtrack guidelines.
There are two distinct categories of vgm:
- 'Traditional' releases on music platforms and music media formats, or copied directly from a game disc or game download. These are usually official releases.
- 'Rips' - Releases of game audio extracted from game files, or recorded from gameplay. Usually requiring third-party tools, and decisions on behalf of a 'ripper'. These are bootleg releases.
Traditional, unaltered, vgm releases should be entered using the details on the release, as with any other music release. If the release is taken directly from a game disc or download, then the details (release date, packaging, cover art, barcode, etc) can be taken from the game release.
Rips should be entered as bootlegs. They should only contain information related to the 'release' of the rip itself. For instance, if the original public source of the rip did not include artwork, no artwork should be added. Do not fill in unknown data - for instance, a rip release date will rarely be the same as the game release date.
- Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition Soundtrack - soundtrack disc packaged with the game, official
- Deus Ex - soundtrack ripped from game files, bootleg
Follow normal title guidelines.
Game-rip releases should follow this format for the disambiguation: [ripper name] [console] game-rip
The release artist of a vgm release should include the writers (composers and/or lyricists) and performers featured on the front cover. Use only writers and performers who are featured on the front cover (or the spine); don't add artists from the back cover or the inside of the booklet or other places. If the credits contain both writers and performers, begin with the writers. If there aren't any dominantly featured artists (for example, for a compilation of game themes), use the special artist Various Artists.
Where there are no writers or performers featured on the cover (often the case for rips), you may have to research elsewhere to find specific credits. If they can be identified, the specific people that were involved should be credited. If you can not find specific credits, the credit may go to a named 'sound team'. If no credits can be found, as a last resort, you can credit the studio that developed the game.
Use the titles the tracks came with/were given by the original distributor.
When there are no obvious or 'official' track titles (for instance, the tracks are ripped from files that are not descriptively titled) use the most widely accepted/widespread titles. If there are no existing titles, exercise your judgement. In this case you may choose to use the original file names, corresponding game level/scene titles, or other fan-created titles. Unlike most titles on MusicBrainz, these may be updated as new information comes to light.
If you can identify specific artists for each track, that artist should be placed in the track's Artist Credit field. If there are no track artists, use the release artist instead.
Unique game-rip recordings should follow this format for the disambiguation: [ripper name] [console] game-rip
The title should be just the basic name of the track.
The name of the game should be placed in the disambiguation comment along with an additional distinguisher if applicable (often the year), separated by a comma. If the work has a descriptive title (e.g. “Love Theme”), it should be included after the game title. If the song has the same name as the game, there is no need to duplicate the title in the disambiguation.
Examples (disambiguation in link, italics):
In addition, each part of a soundtrack may be linked to one or more 'complete soundtrack' works with the use of the 'part of' relationship.
Examples (disambiguation in link, italics):
Releases representative of the same game, that contain the same core recordings, should be grouped into the same release group.
(The bracketed text below will be removed or left when a community consensus is reached re. whether to group game-rips and official recordings into the same release group.. )
This [does not] includes grouping game-rips and official soundtracks, [even] where the source recordings are the same. [It does include grouping game-rips of the same game, including rips from different formats.]
Curated selections (consider artist/label intent), samplers, or releases that come in different volumes, should be in a separate release group.
Game scores (which showcase the background music of a film/show) should not be merged with game soundtracks (albums of pop songs heard in whole or part in the background of a game).
- Silent Hill 2 - official and bootleg releases, different tracklists, but all using the same source recordings
- Animal Crossing: New Leaf - bootlegs with different tracklists, but pulled from the same game/recordings
- Cuphead Original Soundtrack & Selected Tunes from ... Cuphead - same recordings, but one is a curated selection
early draft: Raw Formats
Raw formats, or 'native' formats, are non-standard audio files packaged with video game releases. For instance, MIDI or ADX music formats. They may sound different depending on what system is used to run the files, and often need to be decrypted and decompiled to get a traditional playable audio file.
When entering raw formats, add the video game as an official 'traditional' release, using artwork and details from the game package. Also:
- If the file format is made to be looped, the track length should be 1 loop
- If a release contains various distinct formats or folders, you may split them into different mediums.
- Blinx 2: Masters of Time & Space - ADX and AIX files from the Xbox release
RG reference links: