Conan interactive music

The interactive music system is made up of 4 states defined by game play parameters that control the intensity level of the music.

The 4 Music states are:
1. Ambient
2. Low Intensity Combat
3. High Intensity Combat
4. Combat Transition

State changes are based on enemy engagement, with the ability to set a threshold for the number of enemy AI, at which point the system will choose between Low and High Combat on a per music system basis.

The Ambient state plays a stereo looping music piece until the AI engages the player in combat.

The Low, High, and Transition musics are each a stereo looping music piece of the same duration compiled into a 6 channel looping file.

The choice to use a single 6 channel file for each piece of Combat music was important in order to minimize the amount of streaming used by the music system.

The Ambient music will trigger and crossfade either Low or High Combat depending on the number of AI engaging the player.

When either the Ambient or Combat loop is triggered a predefined randomized start point is selected to begin the loop, in addition to playing a one shot musical flourish from a randomized bank.

Once the 6 channel looping Combat file has begun, the system will crossfade between Low and High intensity based on the AI threshold set.

For example over 2 engaged enemies will play High Intensity, if the number of enemies engaged falls below three the system will play Low Intensity Combat Music.

When there is no longer enemy engagement the system will crossfade to the Combat Transition state and wait for 15 seconds in case there are additional enemies nearby.

The Combat Transition music helps to maintain the tension coming out of combat, and allow for seamless transition back into Low or High Combat if further enemies are engaged during the wait time.

At the end of the Combat Transition wait time the state changes back to Ambient by choosing a predefined randomized start point, triggering the Ambient music file, and also playing a one shot musical flourish.

The initial prototype was sketched out using FMOD designer, and then rebuilt programmatically outside of the event in order to utilize the 6 channel file.

The resulting music system was a collaborative and concentrated effort between the Music Supervisor, Composer, Audio Programmer, Interactive Music Editor, and Audio Implementer.

Nihilistic Software

Outsourced Audio:
Bay Area Sound Department

Sound Design:
Julian Kwasneski
Dave Levison

Audio Implementation:
Damian Kastbauer

Mike Reagan

Interactive Music Editor:
Dave Levison

Music Supervisor:
Victor Rodriguez

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