A patent application by Activision Blizzard explores the idea of using machine learning technology to create custom soundtracks for players, which could potentially be used to enhance gaming experiences. As noted by computerthe “Dynamic generation and modulation of music based on game events, player profiles and/or player reactions” submission details how artificial intelligence can be used to create a more dynamic sense of immersion in a video game, by using variables to compose music on the fly.
“There is a need for systems and methods that generate and modulate music that is unique to individual players,” the patent application states, detailing specific scenarios for how the software will change a user experience. An example of this is a boss fight, where even if the player easily overpowers a high-level opponent, the music is dynamically modulated to create a more intense atmosphere. According to the patent application, the system could influence a player’s success or failure during gameplay and uses the correlation to improve the player’s performance in future gameplay.
As for how it all works, Activision has described how the software essentially reads its player’s room, examines the “mood” of the venue, and then modulates audio segments into different styles using machine learning models combined with other techniques. The core idea is that the music generated will increase a player’s overall enjoyment by subtly making encounters more exciting and less frustrating.
“Automating the process of what kind of music is played and how the music is modulated can make the video game more immersive, enjoyable, and provide players with a wide variety of customizable features to improve the overall user experience,” Activision explains. Oddly enough, the patent application mostly deals with multiplayer game scenarios, but it does state that the technology “may also apply to single-player and offline games.”
Video games have made huge strides in visual performance over the years, but only a handful of games have used music to enhance their design. A recent example is Metal: Hellsinger, an FPS that combines run-and-gun brutality with a heavy metal soundtrack accompanying your action. The internal system for that game has been a big hit and fans can eventually add their own songs to it when custom music modding tools are coming in the future.
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