Game Sound Design: Loop-based Game Music Composition

To test a new non-linear game music arrangement system, these loop-based game music pieces were composed. This music and was presented at the Audio Mostly conference on music and interaction in Glasgow, Scotland.

Similar to a movie’s soundtrack, the music score of a computer game must provide an immersive and captivating experience to the user. Hence, the score needs to adapt and react to the gameplay in real time. Many software tools have been developed to support music composition for interactive computer applications such as games. The most advanced of these tools rely on graph-based representations of a composition using MIDI scores. The graph is formed from nodes, which represent MIDI files, and transitions between them, which are governed by conditions. This describes the music to be synthesized depending on the state of the game and the history of states. Some of these tools even come with an integrated API (Application Programming Interface) and a ready-to-use game sound engine to facilitate game soundtrack production. However, none of these tools focuses on the “long tail” market of low-end games for mobile devices or browser-based games, especially those written in Adobe Flash. Such a technically limited environment requires more specific tools, such as the one we demonstrate here.

Some of the compositions generated for this piece include:

Mellow

A Little Faster

Chill

Energy

The test application using a version of PONG with custom hockey puck controllers at the Audio Mostly 2009 Conference in Glasgow: