06 Feb 2013


So I mentioned maybe two weeks ago that I wanted to do generative music from the parameters of a video game. At that time Golan suggested to me that I should find an open source game from which I could extract my parameters for generating. Since then I have done hours of scouring. What game would it be? I had an idea which kind of grew out of my Sifteo project that I could take an open source multiplayer game, and have interactions between different characters create different chords, and then the sound could somehow then affect the gameplay. As I continued to think, though, I felt like I should limit myself to a single-player experience in a language with which I was familiar so that I could focus most of my attention on the music and not the game itself.

After much browsing and a really poetic experience that I unfortunately didn’t think fit the project, I think I found my source game.

This isn’t really a game per se, but I think it has an attractive simplicity and mathematical depth that it could produce some really good music and a cool experience. Some parameters I thought of include: number of living particles/dead, location of living particles, number of moving particles, average color difference from frame to frame, survival and birth rules, average solid color block size, triggers for clear and reset, time application has been running, number of user interactions with the program (or an average of this per x seconds), and help me come up with more! The messaging system isn’t built in, but with some oscp5 action I could fairly easily write some signal sending I think.

The receiving program would most likely be Max/MSP, but Pd or Nyquist are alternatives I am considering. I think the next step is to build the generative music part and see what kind of sound I can come up with, and then we begin merging and tweaking the connection of the two.