Sunday, 14 September 2008

SPORE - plus generative music



SPORE is here and after a week of sneaking in short bursts of enjoying its wonders myself and of seeing the kids explore the scope I am still impressed with the majesty of the whole. It may be that each of the stages could benefit from a fully fledged game environment, but they are actually relatively simple sandboxes to explore some evolutionary pressure and to invite people to bring out their creativity a whole bunch of times.
I have enjoyed seeing the number of creations clime on the Sporepedia site to the near 17 million at the moment. I love the way it self builds upon the creativity of all the players, this is quite a change for gaming, bringing active participation in the design of a game that even the heavily modded games cant even aspire to.

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I really love the beauty of the cell stage and its simplicity is actually quite a nice intro for the long term ideas of your creature. I and the kids have had fun together creating a handful of weird creatures and seeing them explore a world populated by other peoples - awesome. I admit I havent had time to get into the later parts of the game yet - still plenty of fun to come.

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I have been looking at my ProTools Sound Construction assignment, which is planned out using the life or combat of a butterfly. But I am considering translating it over to the world of SPORE. This will introduce a new series of visuals drawn from the game - though I might 'draw' some as well. There is a rich set of sounds that I might be able to bring into the piece from and inspired by the game itself.

My Sound Construction course has mentioned the work of Brian Eno a few times already and so I was fascinated to find that he collaborated with Will Wright and his team on the generative music used in SPORE. There is a nice intro article on this collaboration at :
Gamespy: The Beat Goes on: Dynamic Music in Spore
I am quite amazed with the genius of the complexity which the generated music in the game. The team have created a game that allows not only a great deal of visual dynamics (physical and animated) but also spawned a world of sound that evolves with the gameplay.

Fora TV have a nice 98 minute presentation by Eno and Wright which explores this technology with a focus on SPORE and Generative Systems. Both very intelligent and evocative guys:










More vids to come in this arena

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Sooo, can I bring this to life in a sound construction piece - hell a full machinima creation at that?? This Newsweek interview covers the machinima capability as well as the generated music and audio.

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