SoundCraft Transducing StarCraft 2 CCRMA

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the world drawing crowds of spectators to cheer for their the perspective of a single actor within the game and his. favorite professional gamer or team Fans watch the game or her direct interactions with the game world and other. as a spectator sport from the perspective of an all seeing players As seen in Hamilton s work such gameplay is read. director observer who decides what action is shown and ily sonified with sound sources distributed throughout the. commentary is normally provided by casters who have deep game world spatialized from the perspective of the player. knowledge of the game and strategies Specific in game actions such as flipping a switch or shoot. During a game players see the action from a top down ing a projectile are mapped directly to a sonic result Real. perspective and only have vision of the map where they have time strategy games differ significantly in terms of game. units or buildings present Players switch between building play in that the perspective is an overview of the current. up their economy by constructing workers that collect re game state and interactions with the game world are in. sources and building an army to do damage to their enemy direct The player gives orders to large groups of worker. A player who is able to build a strong economy and the and soldier units in the game which carry out those orders. proper composition of units that counter their opponent s based on simple artificial intelligence algorithms. units is in an advantageous position The game ends when Consider moving a unit or group of units from point A to. a player destroys the other player s structures or the other point B In a FPS game a player has control over a single. player surrenders character and simply moves that character from A to B In. StarCraft 2 a player issues the move command to a select. 3 RELATED WORK group of units and chooses the destination A pathfinding. algorithm takes over and handles getting units from A to B. SoundCraft s use of a video game as an interface for produc in the shortest time possible While Blizzard has not pub. ing music is directly influenced by many other works and licly discussed its pathfinding technique many community. research in the computer music community members inferred that StarCraft 2 uses techniques based. In the 2008 paper Composing for Laptop Orchestras found on sophisticated flocking AI 2 which attempts to mimic. ing members of the Princeton Laptop Orchestra PLOrk the movements of a flock of birds or a school of fish Craig. discuss the possibilities of using games in computer music Reynolds explored and implemented one of the earlier mod. environments as well as some of the game centered pieces els for flock simulation for Boids a generic flocking creature. they have developed One early and relevant piece to Sound Flocking consists of a combination of steering behaviors. Craft is Scott Smallwood s The Future of Fun 1983 which the most fundamental behaviors that allow a character to. has each performer playing a different game from the Mul navigate their surroundings in a lifelike manner 5 Such. tiple Arcade Machine Emulator MAME Performers pick artificial intelligence behaviors have been employed for mu. a game from MAME which features games from the early sical purposes in Hongchan Choi s Lush an organic mu. 1980s arcade game era such as Pac Man Defender and sical sequencer program in which groups of boid creatures. Donkey Kong and play the game for a specified amount of controlled by flocking behavior activate musical patterns as. time The sounds each game produces become the piece they flit about the screen 2 SoundCraft by harnessing ar. which while different from game to game contributes to a tificial intelligence behaviors already present in StarCraft 2. soundscape of low resolution synthetic sounds common to presents similar opportunities to orchestrate musical works. that era 6, Rob Hamilton of Stanford University s Center for Com. puter Music Research and Acoustics CCRMA developed. a modified version of the popular first person shooter FPS. Quake 3 to enable bi directional communication between a. game and external audio servers via OSC Dubbed q3osc. the modified game allowed players to connect with each. other over a local area network or internet and control an. avatar that could fire projectiles The data for these projec. tiles is shared via OSC and in one of the mapping schemes. Hamilton explores the collisions of projectiles and environ. ment surfaces triggered impulses through a resonant filter. in a ChucK program 3, Hamilton continued his work with game engines modify. ing the Unreal Developer s Kit UDK to add OSC function. Figure 2 Harvesters mining minerals and vespene, ality creating the UDKOSC framework 4 This framework. gas which triggers musical events, was used by Charles Verron and George Drettakis to explore. plausible and efficient implementations of sound synthesis. for rain fire and wind that could be used for video games In addition to the complex algorithms used for unit move. Verron and Dettakis created different fundamental sound ment units themselves automatically behave in ways that. atom units that could be combined to form these sounds can be musically interesting Consider a harvester unit that. To test their implementation they created an interactive mines resources like a mineral node and returns it to the. scene using the UDK game engine for graphics rendering foundational structure where it then becomes available for. an external Max library for sound rendering and the UD use by the player Figure 2 There is a complex set of rules. KOSC library to communicate between them The scene that govern this entire process which the player may be un. also supported spatial distribution of sound sources for lo aware of as it is all done automatically The entire process. calized sources fire and diffuse sounds rain and wind 7 begins with a harvester unit accelerating to full speed as. it moves towards the node decelerating to a stop as it ap. proaches the node Once stopped at the node the harvester. 4 WHY STARCRAFT 2 mines the node for exactly 2 768 seconds then pauses for. Of fundamental importance to the sonification of a com. puter game is the gameplay itself In terms of gameplay 2. http www teamliquid net forum viewmessage php, a run and gun first person shooter FPS game emphasizes topic id 132171.
Figure 3 Flow of data among players and between the game space and auditory space. 0 5 seconds before it accelerates to full speed away from lates into a variety of player actions providing a rich field. the resource node towards the foundational structure As for sonification. it approaches the structure to deposit the collected miner The three different races of the StarCraft universe offer. als it decelerates to a stop 3 While monitoring one worker another interesting opportunity for musical expression Not. harvesting one node may seem only marginally interesting only does each race have a different look and feel as well as. when you scale up to the eight mineral nodes a typical a set of different units with distinct abilities and proper. base will have with the optimal three workers per node ties but the strategies employed by each race vary as well. and then include vespene gas gathering which operates on For example all Zerg units come from the same pool of re. a slightly different timing mechanism a far more interest sources larva Since a strong economy is key to winning. ing scenario is created These workers become members games a Zerg player will want to spend as much larva as. of an autonomous multi agent system which has been ex they can on building workers that collect resources Only. plored for music composition in the past Researchers from when a threat is incoming will a Zerg player want to spend. Zurich University of the Art s Institute for Computer Mu larva on the necessary fighting units The other two races. sic and Sound Technology developed the Interactive Swarm Terran and Protoss do not share this constraint of sharing. Orchestra ISO that supported the creation of multi agent economy building and army building Thus even if a sim. systems consisting of point like members possessing simple plistic mapping were created where all worker units and all. behaviors 1 fighting units were sonified equivalently across all races the. In StarCraft 2 a player is able to give different units dif audible result would vary from one race to another as when. ferent orders This allows for parallelization which is not these units are built varies. available in games where a single player controls a single. character by giving it a set of instructions that are pro. cessed in a serial fashion Not only can different actions be 5 SYSTEM OVERVIEW. issued as fast as a player can input them a player can also SoundCraft consists of a set of utilities that work in tandem. queue up orders creating a complex set of actions to exe to get data from a StarCraft game to OSC clients that can. cute automatically For example a group of units can be creatively express that data A diagram of the system is. told in one string of commands to board a dropship that will shown in Figure 3 The main components include a custom. then transport the units across the map drop those units StarCraft 2 map developed with Blizzard s publicly avail. off and then have the units move to another point before able map making tool and a game data output parser and. attacking potential enemies While the units are executing OSC dispatcher developed in Ruby. those orders another set of units can be instructed to move. to potential enemy bases attacking any enemies found along 5 1 Creating the Custom Map. the way The game itself can be extremely high action at. An existing StarCraft 2 map Bel Shir Beach shown in Fig. times even though the player at that precise moment may. ure 4 created by community member LSPrime 4 was mod. not even be watching as his units simply execute on orders. ified to collect various data in real time during a game using. given several moments before, triggers Triggers can be thought of as instructions that ex. These dimensions of StarCraft 2 s gameplay can be fur. ecute after an event occurs Events that cause triggers to. ther expanded by customizing the maps on which players. run can be occurrences in the game e g a unit is produced. do battle Blizzard provides a tool just for this purpose the. or can be fired off periodically e g every 2 seconds 5 For. Galaxy Map Editor The design of a map greatly influences. example one particular trigger used extensively in Sound. which strategies will be successful and the general flow of. Craft collects game state and writes it to a set of XML. the game With the Galaxy Map Editor a map creator can. files The map created while developing SoundCraft is for. decide what types of terrain features players must overcome. two players battling against each other but the triggers can. to fight their enemy what additional territory is available. be shared to any other map with any number of players or. to harvest economic resources from and many other map. design aspects This diversity of potential gameplay trans 4. http wiki teamliquid net starcraft2 Bel Shir Beach. http us battle net sc2 en game maps and mods, wiki teamliquid net starcraft2 Mining Minerals tutorials trigger. terpreting the data being generated we feel the game itself. provides an interesting domain for visual experimentation. Tilesets are fundamental in creating maps and encompass. the background elements and terrain available for use Star. Craft 2 features twenty tilesets named after planets in the. StarCraft universe that encompass different and varied en. vironments including volcanic jungle and desert worlds. destroyed cities and even indoor industrial environments 6. Bel Shir Beach shown in Figure 4 uses the Jungle tileset. Tilesets provide the background for a plethora of cus. tomization options for a map in the map editing software. Terrain itself can be modified to include cliffs valleys canyons. bodies of water or toxic waste if that fits better roads and. various types of foliage that complement the tileset being. used e g trees in the Ice tileset will be frozen or have snow. on them while trees in the Jungle tileset will be in bloom. and filled with leaves 7 In addition to modifying the envi. ronment many other elements can be added to the map To. list a few buildings of various types fences fossils birds. fish rocks trains and even non playable characters that. players can interact with can be added to a map Even the. weather can be manipulated to include rain snow light. ning sporadic volcanic flares and clouds If the editor does. not offer something you are looking for you can construct. it yourself but it is more likely that a member of the active. Figure 4 Bel shir Beach with points of interest map making and modding community has already built it. highlighted With this flexibility in building a map a unique envi. ronment tailored to the particular story one wants to tell. can be constructed Perhaps instead of designing a map for. custom games that feature custom objectives and story el two players to battle against each other you could design a. ements map featuring cinematic storytelling that has a player con. Data collected during the game focuses on events as small trolling a single unit as it traverses diverse environments. as an ability being used by a single unit to more macroscopic questing for some mythological item meeting allies and en. SoundCraft Transducing StarCraft 2 Mark Cerqueira Smule Inc 577 College Avenue Palo Alto California mark smule com Spencer Salazar Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics CCRMA Stanford University spencer ccrma stanford edu Ge Wang Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics CCRMA Stanford University ge ccrma stanford edu Figure 1 A SoundCraft performance in

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