11/26/2013

Frugal GM Review: Plate Mail Games Background Loops

Frugal GM Review: Plate Mail Games Background Loops
I've featured a couple different methods for putting sounds into your game and this last week I decided to go with a somewhat different track than I've played with before.

While I've been collecting sounds and music for some time I wanted something simple to use at the game table. Downloading an app and tweaking settings is more prep than I wanted. Nothing wrong with going that route if it works for you, but I often have enough going on that I don't want another "thing" to distract me.

Last week when I was browsing DriveThruRPG I came across this free Volcanic Cavern background loop from Plate Mail Games. Now I've been to the Plate Mail Games website before and wasn't particularly impressed, for a couple of reasons. They do have audio examples of their background loops, but some are a bit on the short side. I mentally filed them away as something to check in on later. When I got the full 10' Volcanic Cavern loop, well that was the "later".

Now I really don't think I'll get much use out of the Volcanic Cavern, much less a good portion of their current titles, but the sample did give me a good idea of what they offered. A quick purchase later and I had the Daytime Medieval City loop. At $1.50 I figured it would be worth checking out that night in-game.

All I did was transfer it to my iTunes collection and then my iPad. Coupled with a wireless bluetooth speaker I was able to toggle it on and off with a single press. Both loops are ten minutes long and if you set the player to loop you can have the background playing for as long as you like. The long length and varying noises doesn't give the soundtrack defining moments that make it seem like a file being looped.

Frugal GM 5 Star Review: Plate Mail Games Background LoopsI was quite impressed.

My only "extra" work for this was to play with my settings in iTunes to put all (both) background
loops into one album. As I add more tracks I'll add them to the one album just to make playing easier. Since I also use my iPad to look up PDF information I like how I can use one device to do multiple things. As long as the program I'm using doesn't compete for the speaker I can have the background loops going as I multi-task the device.

Plate Mail Games has a decent variety of background loop tracks and has just successfully funded a Kickstarter campaign for more sound effect tracks. I know I'll be picking up some more loops to use in my home game.