Date of Award

3-2020

Degree Name

MS in Computer Science

Department

Computer Science

College

College of Engineering

Advisor

Foaad Khosmood

Advisor Department

Computer Science

Advisor College

College of Engineering

Abstract

Procedural content generation for video games (PCGG) has seen a steep increase in the past decade, aiming to foster emergent gameplay as well as to address the challenge of producing large amounts of engaging content quickly. Most work in PCGG has been focused on generating art and assets such as levels, textures, and models, or on narrative design to generate storylines and progression paths. Given the difficulty of generating harmonically pleasing and interesting music, procedural music generation for games (PMGG) has not seen as much attention during this time.

Music in video games is essential for establishing developers' intended mood and environment. Given the deficit of PMGG content, this paper aims to address the demand for high-quality PMGG. This paper describes the system developed to solve this problem, which generates thematic music for non-player characters (NPCs) based on developer-defined attributes in real time and responds to the dynamic relationship between the player and target NPC.

The system was evaluated by means of user study: participants confront four NPC bosses each with their own uniquely generated dynamic track based on their varying attributes in relation to the player's. The survey gathered information on the perceived quality, dynamism, and helpfulness to gameplay of the generated music. Results showed that the generated music was generally pleasing and harmonious, and that while players could not detect the details of how, they were able to detect a general relationship between themselves and the NPCs as reflected by the music.

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