Preliminary Poetics of Procedural Generation

“Procedural generation has a long history in games and art, but we currently lack an effective vocabulary for talking about what it means when we use different kinds of procedural generation.”

Isaac Karth’s talk covers views on how to discuss the different forms of Complexity, Form, Locus, and Variation in procedural generators. He also applies the aesthetics of Dionysian and Apollonian order.

Full post and transcript at Procedural Generation Tumbler.

Procedural Listening

Fully-procedural animation. I’m using a function state machine (Playmaker) to trigger random timing on expressions and head tilts, and an IK system smooths the movement of the head, neck, and shoulders at slightly different timings.

I ended up creating an elaborate gimbal of parented rotating joints so the chin could point in one direction and the eyes another. The IK system is set up to follow the rotation of one of the gimbal joints, rather than rotating the head directly.

Elias Engine – adaptive music

Elias is an elastic music engine that dynamically swaps instrument loops and adds stingers on musical cue. It consists of a composition tool, a light-weight player engine licensed for games, and a growing theme library from a variety of composers. A Unity plugin is also available.

Dave Crowley at Designing Music NOW writes:

[quote icon=dark size=12 width=80% color=#FFFFFF align=none]Elias is a tool that composers and game developers can use to manage complex scores that play the appropriate music at the appropriate time based on the events and actions in the game….

Elias is designed to handle live music rather than programmed or procedural music. It is able to adjust seamlessly and adapt between parts of the musical score in a way that is imperceptible to the listener. Elias behaves like a conductor, and the game tells Elias when to move smoothly between parts of the score. Elias manages when and how the parts change. Some parts change immediately, and other parts change at musically appropriate bars and beats.[/quote]

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