Transition

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Changing from one section of the work to another.

Gaming stiffness

RPG — Role-Playing Game, a game where main focus is assuming the role of a fictional character.

Downtime — A situation during the game when a player is not engaged in play.

Transitions between sections of a game are celebrated more in computer games than in analog games (an attractive "cutscene" may be used for that purpose), otherwise if a transition serves a technical purpose it is hidden or disguised. In tabletop RPGs you can have an attractive transition, but only if a Dungeon Master is an exceptional storyteller. In a typical tabletop game, even if there might be separate phases of the game, game developers try to make transitions swift, as they are considered downtime.

Segue and the musical abundance

Transitions are an added value in music rather than in gaming, and they are common in music games even if rules may not refer to them directly.

In the world of classical music, often a long-form piece proceeds from one movement to another with short pauses in between. When there should be no pause, segue direction might be used in the score. Segueing understood more generally as making a smooth, gradual transition (in some cases linking the parts by improvisation) is probably the most useful arrangement for music games, because it is intuitively understood and also doesn't need a precise synchronization. It is featured for example in all music games of Follow the Images family.

All the available possibilities from music might be realized in games that use musical notation. Some more difficult games provide pre-composed parts that are intersected with more interactive sections. In the game you may also have a more general directions common for music (like "half-tempo" or "transpose a full-tone up" as examples from pop). Interesting harmonic transitions might be done by making some sound sources stay with one pitch and let other move freely (similarly to a Staircase game). There are also games that center around some specific musical transition, when successful moving from section to section is among main goals of the game.

Transitions from the theatre

Tagging out is a very playful transition that can be found in Improvisational theatre. It happens when a player is swapped out by someone that wasn't participating in the play up to this point. It is usually signaled with a tap. The rest of the ensemble might continue as before, or perform some form of a "freeze". It provides some competitive element if you arrange for it to be a measure of success.

Many different types of transition, especially those that can be realized in improvisation or conducted, should be considered while making or performing a music game. These may include: conducted cuts, cross-fades, gradual/step transitions, or voice-over edits.

Insterestingly the inspiration from the theatre to music happened in classical music too. Witold Lutosławski's inventions in these regards were inspired directly by his experience with other arts (he mentions theatre in an interview with Irina Nikolska, but his connections to film could also matter). Other traces might be seen with György Ligeti and his experiments.


Mark for clarification

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