Games Microsoft Xbox TOM Clancy S-splinter Cell-stealth Action Redefined
By David Knight, Michael Knight - Prima Games (2003) - Paperback - 152 pages - ISBN 0761542752
The most important missions will never reach the front page . . . ·Secrets to guide you through every covert operation ·Comprehensive walkthroughs or all Xbox, PS2, GC, and PC missions ·Non-lethal ways to deal with enemies ·Hints on getting the most from all weapons ·Tips for each innovative spy gadget ·Stealthy strategies and methods to elude detection [ Report abuse or wrong photo | Share your Games Microsoft Xbox TOM Clancy S-splinter Cell-stealth Action Redefined photo ]
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Games Microsoft Xbox TOM Clancy S-splinter Cell-stealth Action Redefined
Splinter Cell Conviction Deniable OPS Insurgency DLC Pack [Europe]
User reviews and opinions
|pungu||7:13am on Saturday, October 16th, 2010|
|New elements brings even more variety to such an intense game. Many hours of gaming to be had on Xbox Live|
|Seth_H||9:33pm on Tuesday, October 5th, 2010|
|Co-op is the only thing that saves this. readmy review here. http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?bId=9029381 Got my copy ready for some co-op action tonight, gonna murk some mercs|
|saintong||11:02pm on Saturday, September 25th, 2010|
|I am a long time Splinter Cell fan. http://defconawesome.com/2010/04/splinter-cell-conviction-review/ Sam Fisher returns in the next installment of Splinter Cell: Conviction. tried the demo quite enjoyed it did it or norma and thought better go back and do on realistic enjoy that even more .|
|petrxh||7:29am on Thursday, July 15th, 2010|
|This is a cool game I have got the first one of it I think the price needs to go down.|
|Air-Op||3:32am on Thursday, May 20th, 2010|
|Decent scores on metacritic and I played the demo for hours on end trying out different kills, routes and weopons. This is a really good action packed game that I am thoroughly enjoying. Best of the splinter cell series so far.|
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STRENGTH IN NUMBERS UBISOFTS LEADING BRANDS
Ubisoft built its reputation and established its status as a leading publisher and distributor of hit video games by publishing games like the PC adventure series Myst (11 million units sold), Chessmaster (more than five million units sold) and the Settlers (six million units sold). Today, Ubisoft is recognized not only for its publishing and distribution activities, but also for its awardwinning internal development studios and its broad portfolio of multimillion unit-selling video game brands. Brand creation is central to Ubisofts ambition to provide innovative and immersive gaming experiences. Today Ubisoft has a goal of creating three new video game brands every two years, expanding its catalogue to new market segments while continuing to reenergize existing ones. In its 15 internal development studios in 11 countries throughout the world, Ubisoft visionaries are continuously pushing the boundaries in all the genres in which it is present. From shooters like Brothers in Arms and Far Cry to action adventure with Prince of Persia, simulation games like Silent Hunter to strategy games like Heroes of Might & Magic, hot movie-based properties like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and now racing with games like Driver the diversity and strength of Ubisoft portfolio is quickly becoming unparalleled in the industry.
The Clancy Franchises Tom Clancys Splinter Cell is a stunning, award-winning stealth action series that gives players increasingly realistic and interactive environments, unprecedented competitive online gameplay, superior artificial intelligence and Sam Fisher, a hero as charismatic as he is agile. From its initial release in 2002 with the original Splinter Cell, the franchise has redefined stealth action and is a leading Ubisoft brand with 17.5 million units sold to date. Tom Clancys Rainbow Six is a squad-based counter terror series that was first created in 1998 by Ubisofts Red Storm studio in North Carolina. Rainbow Six puts players in command of Team Rainbow, the most elite, international counter-terror squad ever assembled. This series provides complete access to real-world counter-terrorist weapons, equipment and tactics and is extremely popular on Microsofts Xbox Live gaming service for its online multi-player component. The series has sold more than 15.5 million units to date. Tom Clancys Ghost Recon provides realistic squad-based battlefield combat in stunning environments. Players experience the ultimate in tomorrows warfare as they command the Ghosts, a highly-trained division of the U.S. Armys Special Forces. One of the most successful game franchises to date, Tom Clancys Ghost Recon titles have sold more than 14 million units worldwide, and the first Ghost Recon remains one of the most successful Xbox Live games of all time. Tom Clancys Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter set new standards for game creation on the Xbox 360 and has become a leading franchise on Xbox Live (In September 2006, Tom Clancys Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter received the Game of the Year award, the most coveted video game award from the BAFTA.)
Together, the Clancy video game franchises have sold more than 48 million units worldwide with highly anticipated sequels making their debut on the next generation of hardware. Brothers in Arms Franchise All of the games in the Brothers in Arms franchise are developed in conjunction with the awardwinning development studio Gearbox Software and are based on true historical accounts of WW II battles. The first game in the franchise, Brothers in Arms Road to Hill 30 was the first and only squad-based shooter to offer an authentic emotional trip into the intensity and brutality of WWII through the story of Sergeant Matt Baker and his squad of paratroopers in the historic eight day invasion of Normandy. Brothers in Arms Earned in Blood stayed true to the franchise with its unparalleled imagery, authenticity, sound and gameplay. Today, the series have sold more than 4 million units worldwide and the next Brothers in Arms Hells Highway is due to wow fans yet again in fiscal year 2007/2008.
The Rayman Franchise Rayman was created in 1995 by Michel Ancel and was the first platform game to be released on the original Playstation. More than a decade later the series has sold 19.5 million copies worldwide. For holiday 2006 and the launch of Wii, the creative team at Ubisoft's Montpellier studio returned to Rayman, creating Rayman Raving Rabbids, a unique and crazy new adventure in the Rayman series. The game was one of the best sellers of the holiday season.
The Prince of Persia Franchise Prince of Persia was originally created by Jordan Mechner in 1989. Prince of Persia is a mythical brand that helped define the 3D action-adventure genre as we know it today. In 2003, working closely with Jordan Mechner as scriptwriter and creative consultant, Ubisoft revitalized the brand and created Prince of Persia The Sands of Time, a revolutionary action adventure game that sold more than three million units worldwide. It was praised by the industry and critics for its immersive atmosphere, amazing graphics and the novel use of time control and won several game of the year awards. In 2004, Prince of Persia Warrior Within explored the dark side of the Princes character and in 2005 Ubisoft delivered the third installment in the Prince of Persia trilogy, Prince of Persia The Two Thrones, which became an instant success. Released for holiday 2006, Prince of Persia Rival Swords for the PSP is the latest game in the franchise. To date, the Prince of Persia franchise has sold more than 9.5 million units worldwide.
Far Cry Franchise Far Cry was originally developed for the PC by Crytek GmbH and was published by Ubisoft in 2004 where it was the leading PC game in many countries. In September 2005, Ubisoft delivered the first person shooter for the first time on the Xbox with Far Cry Instincts. In 2006, Ubisoft acquired all intellectual property rights to the Far Cry brand as well as perpetual rights to the Cry Engine. Far Cry plunges the player into a mysterious tropical island where nothing is as it seems. With state-of-the-art graphic technology and innovative first person shooter gameplay, Far Cry quickly set new standards in the FPS genre. In 2006, Ubisoft introduced Far Cry Instincts Evolution for the Xbox and Far Cry Instincts Predator for the Xbox 360.
2006 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Rayman, Splinter Cell, Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow, Ghost Recon, Ubisoft and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the U.S. and/or other countries. / 2003 Red Storm Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Rainbow Six, Rainbow Six Raven Shield are trademarks of Red Storm Entertainment in the US and/or other countries. Red Storm Entertainment, Inc. is a Ubisoft Entertainment company. / 2003 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Based on Prince of Persia created by Jordan Mechner. Prince of Persia and Prince of Persia The Sand of Time are trademarks of Jordan Mechner in the US and/or other countries used under license by Ubisoft Entertainment.
7 Appendix A: Controller Mappings 8 Appendix B: MaxMSP modules and syntax 9 Appendix C: Evaluation performance instructions 10 References
List of Tables
Table 1 - Level storage format for Cube Table 2 - UDP messages sent from Cube Table 3 - Level storage format for Pyramid Table 4 - UDP messages sent from Pyramid Table 5 - Level storage format for Sphere Table 6 - UDP messages sent from Sphere Table 7 - Cube play mode default control scheme Table 8 - Cube edit mode default control scheme Table 9 - Pyramid play mode default control scheme Table 10 - Pyramid edit mode default control scheme Table 11 - Sphere play mode default control scheme Table 12 - Sphere edit mode default control scheme Table 13 - midiplay messages Table 14 - channelarray messages Table 15 - sfxbox messages Table 16 - rhythmcapture messages Table 17 - sequencer messages 117
List of Figures
Figure 1 - Cube avatar Figure 2 - Cube goal object Figure 3 - Cube stable platform object Figure 4 - Cube dropping platform object Figure 5 - Cube spinning mill object Figure 6 - Cube coincube object Figure 7 - Cube node object Figure 8 - Pyramid avatar Figure 9 - Pyramid goal object Figure 10 - Pyramid wall object Figure 11 - Pyramid door object Figure 12 - Pyramid key object Figure 13 - Pyramid lamp object Figure 14 - Pyramid pillar object Figure 15 - Pyramid patrolling enemy object Figure 16 - Pyramid spinning turret object Figure 17 - Pyramid node object Figure 18 - The onscreen radar in Metal Gear Solid (Konami, 1998) Figure 19 - Early prototype of Sphere Figure 20 - Sphere avatar Figure 21 - Sphere goal object Figure 22 - Sphere wall object Figure 23 - Sphere patrolling enemy object Figure 24 - Sphere node object Figure 25 - Cube level for "protoCube" and "cubeAdaptive" Figure 26 - "cubeMusic" level Figure 27 - "cubeMusicPyramid" level Figure 28 - "pyramidMusic" level Figure 29 - "sphereAdaptive" level Figure 30 - "cubeMusicSphere" level Figure 31 - "spherePiano" level Figure 32 - "sphereMusic" level Figure 33 - "sphereMusic" arpeggio #1 Figure 34 - "sphereMusic" arpeggio #2 Figure 35 - CQFT data for one performance Figure 36 - MDS graph of player performances Figure 37 - Cube_routing MaxMSP patch Figure 38 - Pyramid_routing MaxMSP patch Figure 39 - Sphere_routing MaxMSP patch Figure 40 - channelarray MaxMSP patch 112 114
Music is currently among the least interactive elements of video games as a whole. Aside from the fundamental concerns of player-avatar control, modern video games have virtual spaces that branch dynamically based on player decisions, procedurally- and player-generated graphics, and sound effects that directly correspond to player input. But music for games is commonly treated the same as incidental film music. Sometimes, however, video game music is deemed highly interactive by developers and players, and because there is no way of evaluating its interactive features by any standards, there is no way of determining how interactive it actually is. This uncertainty is common among a genre known as music games, where interactivity generally boils down to a player rhythmically pressing buttons in a manner indicated on his/her television screen along with a predetermined musical soundtrack. If music games have such a tenuous grasp on the potential of musical interactivity, little can be expected from other game genres. The first objective of this work is to establish a proper framework for analyzing and discussing the various types of player-music interactivity in current and future video games. With this framework, the interactive features of the music of any video game can be examined, regardless of genre. The second objective is to describe the features and design decisions of three video games developed for this work: Cube, Pyramid, and Sphere. These highly customizable games serve as a versatile toolkit for exploring player-music
situational, rhythm-pattern, triggered-incidental, freeform-representational, and enqueued-incidental. These proposed types of interaction can be used to analyze both modern video game music and that of the earliest video games.1
2.1.1 Filtered-preferential interaction
Filtered-preferential video game music interaction describes a situation in which a video game allows a player explicit and active control over its musical soundtrack. This type of interaction allows a player to personalize his/her game experience by choosing its music and controlling when and how the music is presented. Obviously, players have active control over the mute functionality of their televisions and home audio devices, but these are outside the realm of the designed video game experience; the opting out of all or part of a game voluntarily is not considered here. Filtered-preferential music interaction is available in any game that allows a player to mute its music while retaining its sound effects or character dialogue, but this all-or-nothing approach is not as nuanced an experience as many games allow. Grand Theft Auto IV (Rockstar North, 2008), as well as other games in the same series, allows players to either listen to no music or choose between eighteen different in-game radio stations in a variety of popular genres as they explore the games large environment. Microsofts Xbox and Xbox 360, and more recently Sonys PlayStation 3, support custom soundtracks, a feature which allows players to choose soundtracks from their personal music collections in supported games, in many cases overriding
Pre-composed, unskippable video game cinematic sequences offer no player interactivity, and thus their musics are inapplicable to be classified into these seven types.
the games own music (Steen, 2008). Although its game-like features are questionable,.detuned (.theprodukkt, 2009) allows players to load their own custom soundtracks and use their controllers to interact with a set of audiovisual filters that change according to the source music. Other games, such as Audiosurf (Fitterer, 2008) and Vib-Ribbon (Matsuura, 1999) generate levels2 in real-time based on features extracted from music chosen by the player. With filteredpreferential musical interaction, the players experience will be personal and highly variable, but the coincidental nature of the interaction puts it in a different category from the controlled, highly designed musical experiences of other types of player-music interaction.
2.1.2 Cinematic-narrative interaction
Whalens statements that the videogame medium adopts certain roles for music from prior narrative media and that early cartoon music and horror films established certain tropes that videogames rely on today, apply to the majority of video game music (2004). Many games, narrative or otherwise, still treat music in a highly cinematic fashion; this music is intended to establish a mood or emotional context and affect the player in the same manner as a film or television soundtrack. Video games with these cinematic soundtracks generally treat them in two fundamentally different ways, based on different variables of a players gameplay: cinematic-narrative and cinematic-situational. Cinematic-narrative video game music is the most common type of video game music, perhaps due to
2 For the context of this work, the term level refers to a classic video game structure also known as area, stage, or world. This structure divides a game into units of virtual space, often with a specific simple goal and a time limit.
its interactive simplicity. Rather than allowing players to exercise meaningful control over the music, video games with cinematic-narrative music play predetermined music according to the players current location or level in the gameworld. Due to the variable amount of time a player may choose to spend in any given video game location, this type of music generally loops indefinitely until the player changes location. Player skill affects this interaction almost as much as player decision, since some games require players to complete specific tasks before moving to new areas and some games allow players to experience some sort of avatar death state, which may interrupt gameplay. In The Legend of Zelda (Nintendo, 1986), different looping compositions by Koji Kondo play depending on the level or death state. Nobuo Uematsus highly influential scores for Final Fantasy X (Square Co., Ltd., 2001), and all previous games in the same series, interact with players in the same coarse way; players may choose to visit different towns or dungeons in a specific order, regardless of the order intended by the designer. This type of player-music interaction does not feature much nuance because of the simplicity of its presentation. Different compositions are assigned to different game areas or screens, and their relationship is not negotiable by any means other than the order and amount of time the player wishes to engage them. The popularity of this approach is likely due to the simplicity of the interactions between game designers and music composers; a composer must merely create an appropriate composition for each area, ignoring all other interactive musical structures. The Atari 2600 games analyzed by Bowen (2004) all exhibit this type of player-music interaction.
rhythms. Because each player input directly produces a specific percussion sound, the game features freeform-representational interaction, but because the game requires players to input specific rhythms as accurately as possible for the commands to be effective, it exhibits rhythm-pattern interaction. Everyday Shooter (Mak, 2008) is a shooting game which features static cinematic-narrative music for each level of the game, but it also features triggered-incidental musical clips that result from each object a player shoots. Rhythm Heaven (Nintendo, 2008) contains a variety of rhythm-pattern musical minigames, but players can also unlock a variety of freeform-representational rhythm toys that allow for a wealth of musical interactions but lack rules or scoring. A few games previously given as examples even have multiple types of these interactions, but the majority of the game may feature only one. Rock Band (Harmonix, 2007), in addition to its aforementioned dominant rhythm-pattern interactions, also allows players to engage in moments of freeformrepresentational gameplay during drum solos by triggering samples at will. One chapter of Heavy Rain (Cage, 2010) allows players to play an in-game piano through rhythm-pattern gameplay even though the majority of its soundtrack involves cinematic-situational interaction. These seven terms afford in-depth analysis of the ways different video games approach player-music interactions and enable the discussion of new forms of musical video games. By having a way of categorizing different interactions, their contents and differentiating parameters can be examined in much more detail. Thus, multiple simultaneous musical interactions of musical games can each be inspected for their different contributions to a musical texture. 17
2.3 Game genres
Although they lack standardization, genres are a useful tool for generalizing and categorizing a medium into easier-to-analyze groups. The aforementioned music game is one of the many video game genres that currently exist. Popular video game website IGN lists 48 different video game genres (IGN, 2011), Wolf identifies 42 different genres (2000), and user-driven video game site GameFAQs (CBS Interactive, 2011) identifies 54 different genres organized into nine supergenres. Although these three clearly do not agree on the dividing lines between genres, the scope of this work does not include identifying and discussing a unified genre scheme. Instead, it seeks to describe three standard4 genres for easier understanding of the game design work herein: platform games, firstperson shooting games, and stealth games. Platform games are those in which a player controls an avatar over a variety of surfaces/areas (platforms) of different sizes and heights. The player must traverse these using simple movement and jumping controls in order to reach some goal, usually just the end of a specified level. Usually, falling beneath all available platforms will force a player to lose his/her ability to replay the level. Other gameplay features are commonly introduced to these games, including the collection of some type of object (coins, jewels, bubbles, food) for points and ability to control the avatars movement/running speed. Popular examples of this genre include Super Mario Brothers 3 (Nintendo, 1988), Sonic the Hedgehog 2
death state. The health meter would decrease with each collision of an enemy bullet with the avatar, and the death state would be reached when the meter dropped below 1. To prevent the game from being too difficult, this health meter would increase slowly whenever dropping below its maximum of 100. The decision to use a tetrahedron or pyramid as the basic graphical building block was based upon how easily either could be used to represent a gun and bullets, arguably the most relevant aspects of any first-person shooting game. Unfortunately, although Unity3D provided a handful of useful shapes for developing simple graphics without 3D modeling software, it contained no such provisions for pyramid or tetrahedrons. An exhaustive search of 3D modeling resources to find pre-built versions of either of these shapes produced no usable results. Next, a variety of free 3D modeling software was evaluated to find which could most easily export either of these shapes to a format supported by Unity3D. 3DVIA Shape (Dassault Systemes, 2011), Blender (blender.org, 2011), and Google Sketchup (Google, 2011) were tried to no avail12. Finally, a free educational version of Maya 2010 (Autodesk, Inc., 2011) was obtained, within which a usable pyramid model was created and exported in minutes. This model became the basis of most of the level creation objects for Pyramid. It was recognized early on that Pyramid would take a significant amount more time to develop than Cube. Like Cube, the gameplay goal would always be merely to collide with the game goal object, but there would be much more necessary work to make the gameplay feel balanced or fun (both immeasurable
Admittedly, a lack of 3D modeling experience was the primary reason for the fruitless exploration of these software packages. Inability to find a solution in the available time was likely due to user incompetence rather than software capability.
qualities) to encourage a player to reach this goal. The core action mechanics available to a player (shooting, jumping) would each require elements to warrant their use; Cubes only action mechanic, jumping, was necessary to reach different platforms in a level design. Also, the games level editor would need to be as easy to use as possible and be controllable with the same controller as the gameplay while allowing the rapid design of 3D environments. The level editor was the primary limitation on the remainder of the game design. Apart from jumping, the avatars movement through any level of Pyramid would be along the X-Z plane. The level editor would operate from an overhead view to account for how level designs would suit the lack of Y-axis movement. While advantageously easy to use and implement, this overhead view would impose strict limits on level design and the objects provided for designers to use. One major limitation would be that all levels would have to be designed along a single floor plane, with no provisions for how to design multi-floored or multitiered levels. Another would be that the height of objects, very important for level design variety, would be hard-to-impossible to gauge in the designer. The ability to quickly switch between design and play modes would mediate this potential problem. The level design objects available in Pyramid would have to allow for a variety of aesthetic and directional options, like Cubes level editor. For determining directionality and basic structure, walls and doors would be incorporated, each of which could be positioned, resized, and rotated13. To introduce the potential for a designer to further influence a players movement
Devel loping a ro obust enou ugh enemy script to handle the various g e game st tates and provide for reasonably fun gamep p y play was of the utmost importan to f nce making Sph m here the fu unction as designed. The Pyram enemy script alr mid y ready co ontained pr rovisions fo patrolling random p or points on a circle given a center p n point and a radiu seeing the avatar via an invi us, t v isible vision cone, an pursuing the n nd g vatar indef finitely unt five seco til onds withou seeing it had passe Porting this ut t ed. g av sc cript to work in Spher took ver little tim Also, by making th enemy v re ry me. y he vision co visible, the intend visual layout for t game w created in short o one ded the was d order (F Figure 19).
Figure 19 - Early proto otype of Sph here
A few months of continua tweaking and bugfix w o al g xing eventu ually led to the o necessary en n nemy script With it, three types of patrollin enemies were avai t. t ng s ilable to designers one that would patro random points arou a circle (specified by a o s: w ol und e d position and a radius), one that would patrol back-andp d w l -forth along a line segm g ment (s specified by a position a width, and an ang y n, gle), and on that wou stand in one ne uld n sp and look left and right ove an angle (specified by a posi pot d er e d ition, a starting angle, and an angle of variation). Upon seein the avata determin by collision a v ng ar, ned with its visio cone, ea of these enemies w w on ach e would follo the avat until ev ow tar vaded 59
for five seconds, at which time the enemy would return to its previous patrol route/position. Similarly, each of these enemies would interrupt its patrol route to examine17 the position where an avatar triggered a tap, returning to its route/position after five seconds. A semi-transparent white flat cylinder was used as a circular hearing zone for these enemies so players would know which enemies would be affected by tapping; this cylinder was also used as a collider to aid in triggering the tap event efficiently. To illustrate the current enemy state, a color change was incorporated for the vision cone: light green for the patrol state, red for the pursuit state, and light blue for the tap investigation state. The only other object available for freeform placement in Sphere levels was the wall object. Enemies needed a way of handling encounters with these walls in a visually-appropriate manner that would scale to various designer placements. In all of an enemys movements, it continues to check for proximity to a wall and adjust its actions to avoid the wall before getting too close. An enemy will avoid walking through walls even if a designer has placed its pursuit path outside an areas wall boundaries. The enemy will also stop actively pursuing the avatar or investigating a tap if obstructed by a wall, at which time the enemy will continue looking left and right until its five seconds of pursuit or investigation time have expired.
3.6.1 Bugs and revision
Upon reaching the tap spot, the enemy would look left and right until its five seconds of investigation had elapsed or until spotting the avatar and triggering a pursuit.
Even though the reuse of scripts developed for Cube and Pyramid was expected to development time for Sphere to a matter of weeks, the necessary work ended up taking a couple of months due to difficulties completing the enemy behavior script. The core of the script came straight from Pyramid, but right at the beginning, there were problems with wall collision detection. The spherical enemies were supposed to roll around while keeping the functionality of their vision cones and collision detection, but both of these caused problems. At first, the vision cones undesirably rolled around along with the core enemy sphere, and then none of the available types of colliders could be coerced to properly register or restrict enemies colliding with and passing through walls. Calculating the enemys proximity to a wall and influencing it to turn away before ever walking through was the most apparent way to overcome these hurdles. This led to its own share of bugs, most of which were ironed out over time18. In retrospect, it may have been easier to build the script from scratch rather than using any portion of Pyramids. While testing and tweaking Sphere, two new features were incorporated: a harder difficulty mode and the ability for players to kill enemies. Before, if the avatar collided with an enemy, it would remove one of the avatars limited lives; now the subtraction of a life would only occur during an enemys pursuit of the avatar. If the avatar collides with an enemy before the enemy sees the avatar, it kills the enemy, removing it from the level. To balance this, an option was added
18 In order to prevent infinite loop-based freezing, the enemy script permits walking through walls after twenty attempts to find another path fail. A level designer can also currently place an enemy close enough to a wall to prevent it from moving, as it is unable to get far enough from the wall quick enough to determine an escape route. This trivial bug could not be fixed in the available time.
fo a designer to specif the diffic or fy culty of a le evel by intro oducing a t toggle for hard mode in the level edito Hard mode works the same a the previ m e or. m as iously discu ussed difficulty mo d ode, except the avatar also loses a life any ti ime it is see by an en en nemy. This encoura T ages a much more care gamep h eful play experie ence.
3.6.2 Objects 3
The final hurdle to making music for Cube, Pyramid, and Sphere was to develop a set of reusable MaxMSP patches (modules) that would help accomplish the desired musical goals. MaxMSP provides a wealth of interactive music objects that easily allow certain goals, but higher-level implementations to deal with
enqueued-incidental interactions do not exist innately. All of these modules are outlined in detail in Appendix B. First, three modules were created that would receive and route the UDP messages from each of the three games (Cube_routing, Pyramid_routing, and Sphere_routing). Next, to allow incorporation of MIDI sequences for cinematicnarrative and/or cinematic-situational music, a set of modules were developed for loading, playing, and looping MIDI files (midiplay and miditransport). Surprisingly, MaxMSP lacked the facility to load channel or tempo information from MIDI files, so a set of modules were created that would bypass this problem by allowing channel modification and loading information from text files (channelarray and loadseqinfo). For SoundFont playback, the fluidsynth~ object (Schnell, 2007) was wrapped it into a simple pre-configured module (SF2audio). For audio or MIDI sound effects, or other triggered-incidental events, a simple configurable sound effects module was developed (sfxbox). The most important two modules were for enqueued-incidental interactions: a module for capturing rhythms (rhythmcapture) and a module for building/traversing sequences (sequencer). Rather than a description of the development process of the music compositions, what follows is an account of the features and types of interactivity employed in each. Examining the MaxMSP patches (Wroten, 2011) for each of the compositions will reveal the exact implementation and use of each of the modules. In the end, almost all of their various features were employed. These modules should serve as a starting point for creators of future video game music engines. 75
4.6 Music for Cube 4
As Cube had the fewes features, only two m A d st musical exa amples wer created f it re for af fter proto oCube. Th first, cubeAdapti he ive, explo ores stand dard cinem maticsi ituational music comb m bined with triggered-i incidental sound effec The second cts. ex xample, cu ubeMusic, delves int musical video gam principle and prov to me es vides player-deter p rmined enq queued-incidental inter ractions to create the m music.
Cube, Pyram and Sphere each oper mid, rate in differe geometric scales, so le ent c evel layouts c cannot be converted easily between them. They have to be reb e e n h built piece-by y-piece in the level editors.
musical prop m perties. The resistance of Cubes physics-ba e s ased featur to the pl res layer gives cub beMusic its sense of appr ropriatenes ss and c challenge, but
c cubeMusicP Pyramid, especially with its horizonta orientati al ion, offers no s re esistance an feels uns nd satisfying.
4.7.2 pyra 4 amidMus sic
Figure 28 - "pyramid 8 dMusic" leve el
This composition ut T tilizes a variety of types o interaction: freefo v f of formre epresentati ional, trig ggered-inci idental, the c cinematic-s situational, le evel, the avatars and viewing s some a angle
en nqueued-in ncidental. Throughou ut
co orresponds to one octa of chromatic pitch where e s ave hes, each 30 deg grees of vie ewing ro otation cor rrespond to a differen pitch; th pitch is only trigg o nt his s gered when the n player shoot a bullet while facin the pitch correspo p ts ng hs onding ang The sta of gle. art 83
the level begins with a sustained string note, and each time the player shoots a bullet, the previous note stops and a new string tone plays, corresponding to the players current viewing angle. This clock-like mapping of pitches is a freeformrepresentational type of interaction. When the level begins, the avatar faces five sets of doors (Figure 28). Each of these five determines an element of the ensuing music. The first set of doors chooses a timbre for the player to control; from left to right, these are: marimba, square wave, pizzicato strings, or xylophone. The second set of doors chooses a musical interval: a major 2nd, a tritone, a minor 7th, or an octave. The third set of doors chooses a rhythmic subdivision: eighth note, eighth-note triplet, sixteenth note, or quintuplet. The fourth set of doors determines how many notes will be sampled for rhythmic capture: four, five, six, or eight. Until the avatar has passed the first four sets of doors, only the aforementioned sustained strings will be present in the music. After the doors are passed, each of the previous decisions influence the music, and the strings will disappear. The set of door-based decisions form an enqueued-incidental interaction. If the player returns through a set of doors, its corresponding musical result will trigger immediately; the original enqueued-incidental set of interactions becomes a triggered-incidental set of interactions. The rhythmic subdivision determined by the third set of doors manifests in a repetitive hi-hat rhythm. Each time the player shoots a bullet, the pitch based on the avatar rotation will emit as a short note in the timbre specified by the first set of doors. Each time a bullet bounces, it will play a pitch transposed up by the interval determined by the second set of doors. If the avatar jumps, a pitch 84
Fi igure 33 and Figure 34), each loade from a s d , ed separate M MIDI file, fo orm the bas of sis
th music. he f e d d es matic-situati ional The form of the music is determined by a serie of cinem nteractions based on the level layouts fou opening (Figure 32). As the level l ur gs 2 in begins, the first arpegg begins repetitively playing at a constant sixteenth note f gio r y t t ra with tw timbres an electr organ a ate wo s: ric and an acc cordion. W When the av vatar passes throu the sec p ugh cond openi ing, the sec cond arpeg ggio takes t place of the the fi irst. When the avata passes th ar hrough the third opening, the two arpeg e ggios in nterleave an play at a slower ei nd ighth-note triplet rate When th avatar pa e. he asses th hrough the fourth op e pening, the first arpeg ggio return to its ori ns iginal sixte eenth note rate wit n thout any notes of the second arp n e peggio inter rleaved. Th hus, if the pl layer 90
ch hooses to merely go st m traight thro ough the lev without backtracki vel t ing, the mu usical fo orm would be ABCA.
Figure 33 - "sphereMus F " sic" arpeggi #1 io
Figure 34 - "sphereMus F " sic" arpeggi #2 io
t ncidental in nteractions occur in s sphereMusi If the pl ic. layer Two triggered-in in nitiates a ta event, a loud crash cymbal ti mbre is tri ap h iggered. Als if the av so, vatar kills an enem a quick hand drum timbre is triggered. k my, m As th player continues to coerce the avatar into mov he c r vement, he e/she en ngages in two enqueu t ued-inciden interact ntal tions. Both revolve ar h round the n notes produced by the curre arpeggio configura p y ent ation deter rmined by the previouslymentioned cinematic-situational form dete m ermination Any mo ns. ovement ev vent, co orresponding to the players pr ressing of a button in Sphere, s n sends the m most re ecent note from the arpeggio se a equence int two buff to ffers. All no otes in the first buffer play simultane eously as a vibraph hone chord when m d more than 200 milliseconds have passed since the most rece moveme event, a the buff is m s e ent ent and ffer cl leared. Thi enqueued is d-incidenta interactio provide harmoni events to the al on es ic o otherwise-m monophonic texture of the arpegg The second buffer empties w c f gio. r when nine notes have been stored in it; these note are playe back, wi a contra n h s ; es ed ith abass ti imbre, at th exact sam unquan he me, ntized rhyth they we entered into the bu hm ere uffer.
The vibraphone and contrabass combination provides a jazzy, humanized complement to the regularity of the arpeggio sequence. Enemy states in the game also manifest in two cinematic-situational interactions. When an enemy is looking to locate an avatar tap event, the timbre of the ongoing arpeggio sequence changes to bowed strings; it returns to organ/accordion when the enemy returns to its patrol route. As the sphereMusic is played in Spheres harder difficulty mode, the avatar loses a life each time it is seen by an enemy. A percussion rhythm enters when the avatar is being actively pursued, another example of a cinematic-situational interaction. However, each time the player loses a life, the rhythm plays at a faster subdivision of the current pulse (from triplets to septuplets). Also, the percussion rhythm is created from a quantized version of the current nine-note bassline sequence, making this interaction also an enqueued-incidental one. Clearly, sphereMusic takes advantage of a wealth of interactive possibilities that engage the player in both the gameplay of Sphere and the music being generated by this gameplay.
4.9 A New Context
By exemplifying a variety of new and interesting ways of dealing with video game musical material through player-music interactions, these three games clearly position themselves as musical video games. The games, as illustrated by the above musical examples, provide meaningful links between their players and their music by way of their intrinsic musical properties. In various ways, they also
exemplify modification and creation of timbres, rhythms, forms, and pitch sequences. As the games for this work were designed to fit within standard genre constraints, for the first time, a paradigm emerges whereby a gamers arsenal of learned gameplay skills translates into musical skills. These games demonstrate that video games can be mined for their intrinsic musicality instead of merely being infused with a trivial few musical interactions. However, there is a possibility that the use of gameplay systems as musical determinants results in trivial connections between player choice/action and a games music. Maybe the automatic, rule-based game events control more of the music than intended. In order to verify this link is non-trivial, it must be evaluated.
5.1 What to Test?
Evaluating the successful link between gameplay choices and musical output is not a straightforward task. Comparing data generated by the games would not necessarily correlate 1:1 to the musical output, especially in regards to the delayed nature of enqueued-incidental interactions, nor would comparing controller input data. Just as a musician can modify relative tempi without drastically altering a piece of music, a players exact timings should not be used to evaluate his/her performance. If inputs and timings are not useful for evaluation, what about a players cognitive awareness of his/her influence on the music? As long as a player understands how to navigate the game and follow instructions, his/her awareness of the musical effect is negligible for evaluation. Certainly, a players understanding of his/her performance could be quite valuable in many contexts, but not until its consequence is confirmed. If two players could follow a single set of instructions and produce two variations of the same piece of music, there might be a link between the instructions and the music. If two players could follow two different sets of instructions and produce two different pieces of music, there also might be a link between the instructions and the music. But, if a group of players could consistently perform variations of one of two pieces of music by following one of two sets of instructions, there is undoubtedly a link between the instructions and the music. The confirmed replicability of gameplay-determined music would establish a meaningful link between gameplay choices and musical output.
X button SQUARE button TRIANGLE button CIRCLE button R1/L1 buttons R2 button
8 Append B: Ma dix axMSP modules and syn m ntax
A variety of MaxMSP patches (her referred as modules were crea p re s) ated for ma aking music in Cu m ube, Pyramid, and Sph here. Their various fu r unctions and interfaces are described below. All of these mo d o odules are provided with the g games (Wro oten, 2011). Three modules were create to receiv and rout the UDP messages sent e w ed ve te P by each gam Cube_routing (F me: Figure 37), Pyramid_ _routing (F Figure 38), and Sphere_routing (Figur 39). The three m Sp re ese modules we designed to output the ere d data from ea game in a similar format28 to allow easy exchange o musical i d ach n f y of ideas between gam mes. They also serve as a visual display fo the game message d l or e data. These modu T ules requir no input to functio other t re t on, than that p provided C Cube, Pyramid, or Sphere. P r
Fi igure 37 - Cu ube_routing MaxMSP p g patch
Each modu has six da outlets, providing info ule ata p ormation abo the avata goal, collisions, out ar, en nemies, nodes/level, environment respe ectively.
Figu 38 - Pyramid_routi ure ing MaxMS patch SP
Fig gure 39 - Sph here_routin MaxMSP patch ng P
To play and modify MI p m IDI sequen nces, four modules were crea ated: midiplay, miditranspo channel m m ort, larray, and loadseqinf The midiplay mod d nfo. dules handles the loading an playing of MIDI fi h nd iles, as wel as tempo transposi ll o, ition, and channel re-routing It also allows MID files to b enqueue for seam g. a DI be ed mless se equencing. A second mode, trig mode, ena m ables trigge ered-inciden control of a ntal MIDI seque M ence by only output tting note informatio when r on requested. The messages su m upported by midiplay are listed b elow. y a
Table 13 - midiplay messages 3 y
Message Inlet 1
basetempo bpm beatout div loop [0, 1] midifile [now, enqueued] filename
Sets the base tempo of a MIDI sequence. Sets divisions of quarter note (default 1) to send through outlet 2. Toggles MIDI sequence looping, where 0 does not loop and 1 loops. Sets a MIDI file for playback, either immediately or after the current sequence completes. Turns a MIDI channel output on or off. Reroutes a MIDI channel to output through another, or forwards it to output through itself and another. Reset channel on/off and routing/forwarding. Same as basetempo, but for enqueued sequences. Sets messages to be sent out of outlet 4 when an enqueued sequence begins. Same as usetempo, but for enqueued sequences. Starts MIDI file playback. Stops MIDI file playback. Transposes all MIDI information by a specified number of semitones, except for channel 10. Sets the playback tempo of a MIDI sequence, determined by its base tempo.
mods [on, off] chan mods [reroute, forward] chan1 chan2
mods reset qbasetempo bpm qchanmessages msg qusetempo bpm start stop trans steps
GV-1120 TD4112W LE32A467c1W KDC-W7644UY SS-TX7 Sli-DR WV-DR9 LAC-M8410R TDM-7582R Casio AT1 SCM665W KDC-C710 TC-KB820S Cablage EDF Airmap 600C MJ-D508 DV350AEW XAA AC-V16 Mdxproxl LV-S3 RW420 KX-FL501G SF-330 510 USB 37PFL3403D Leica M2 LH-T760IA T8550 5000N NW-E016 GR-151SSF AND GO 29FU6RS ECO 3 NV-VP60 NV-GS50B TX-PF46g10 Mini Dock DR-S2 2 HT-CT500 Compact Vseries2 Curse Lavamat 970 37LC7R CF-755P 44-90 RM-V402 FS-9000 Dimension 3100 PI7200E D5060 Presario 2100 Tower IVA-D310RB 21MS77CX WGA11B SU-A707 MP-9486SC MDR-IF130K DV-U7 Idect X3 WD-14110FD Wf215SB Systems FTR9964 12S CA-53 Machine LN46C550j1F Ekhbrd014AAY1 SCX-1870F MV-1501W Review DVD-HR738 Pioneer EX Unold 8100 Azur 640R Whammy Security PSR-7 2 0 P599VM ZOB592NQ RS55xdgns Super FK-101 Deskpro 300 JAX-PK77 Asus R800 8150MFP IC-27H Type 320 Vostro 200 510V4 Z200 FD CDI210 LT-zoom 105 Cruz CD32 TH-42PZ700E ZTK123 UE-46C8780
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