Joystick has a quick report from a GDC lecture presented by Jason Page and Michael Kelly from Sony, discussing the future of ‘next-generation audio’ on the PS3. What’s interesting about their take is that they believe that use of highly customized sample sets and MIDI can provide a much more interactive and adaptive approach to dynamic game scoring than the increasingly popular use of fully-orchestrated soundtracks. The Interactive Audio Special Interest Group (IASIG) has been working towards the same conclusions for several years, as they move towards completion of their Interactive XMF format specification. No doubt this is a topic that will come up more as the technology to deliver both high-quality sample sets AND highly adaptive scoring systems becomes ever-more available to developers.

Renowned Nintendo composer Koji Kondo also presented at this year’s GDC, and we’re on the lookout for reports. If you’ve got any, please pass them along.

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  • http://www.oscillateur.com oscillateur

    There's an article on Koji Kondo's speech here :

    http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3157844

    (it's funny, as I work in videogames I get links about this kind of things both from coworkers and from my personal rss feeds ;) )

  • radian

    Why MIDI rather than OSC?

  • http://symbioticaudio.com W. Brent Latta

    Thanks for the link, Osc. Great article, and Kondo seems to be ahead of many in his thinking on the important factors of interactive scoring.

    Radian, I suspect that OSC simply isn't as widely used given MIDI's long and robust history. The fact is, even as dated as the basic MIDI specification is, it still works, and works extremely well with very low overhead. OSC seems to be more focused on networked communications between audio applications, and likely requires more resources to be implemented effectively. The focus with OSC seems to be more on how to communicate audio control parameters and so forth, vs. MIDI's primary function which is sending and receiving note data.

    The fact is, nearly every game platform already supports MIDI in some form or another, straight out of the box. And many, many game engines have some kind of MIDI support as well. As such, it would require fewer tweaks to the system to improve upon an existing implementation with MIDI vs. implementing an entirely new system such as OSC.

  • http://blog.whats-your.name carmen

    i met with the CEO of a company who is part of the MMa about a contract job – she hadn't even heard of OSC.

    you cant even read the spec mentioned in this post without membership, so we'll just have to guess if 0-127 decrepitude lives on in infamy.

    OSC is an extremely simple to implement binary protocol. networking is not required – its just that UDP is a convenient transport.

  • http://blog.whats-your.name carmen
  • http://okt5.com mtcs

    I was at Koji Kondos talk, the lecture was fantastic and although seemingly simple the methods were in depth without ever taking the focus off of gameplay.

    Things like basing the tempo and movement of the music off of the idle state of the character as well as moving things like enemies to the music were really more effective than I realized.

    His music systems are very dynamic which can be done because he's not creating some elaborate system to bring in new sections of an audio file, he's just triggering more MIDI.

    Granted Nintendos music has always had a GM sound, but it's pretty effective as game music.

    -mtcs