[PD] Pd in video game Spore

Andy Farnell padawan12 at obiwannabe.co.uk
Sat Nov 10 11:32:08 CET 2007

This makes me happy because as you know I've been tirelessly
advocating the use of Pd in games. 

Aaron McLeran:
quote: "As far as I can tell though, it's the only team in the industry doing
anything like it."

Not quite. Recently been talking to the developers of a 
popular game audio engine about incorporating Pd (or a Pd like fork
with real-time graph reconfiguration) for procedural game audio, so it
can be used in all games. Hopefully we'll see more of this, and 
eventually I can get some of my work on game audio into the mainstream.

Very true about maintaining a good natured and enthusiastic attitude 
in your work Kyle. Some people are naturally good at steadily promoting
their ideas and themselves while still doing original hard work. Eno is
certainly one of them. He's championed proc/algo compostion for
who knows how many years. In a way it's the culmination of
everything he's been waiting for, a game like Spore is the only vehicle
that can realise the full potential of those ideas, because a recording
can never capture a procedural composition.

It is still a bit frustrating for me though, because although games developers
are ready to embrace procedural score generation they are not yet ready
to deal with the general case of procedural audio, in fact I experienced
quite a bit of resistance to and lack of understanding about the
idea. I was so puzzled by this I interviewed and discussed with
many developers to understand the obstacles and wrote about it in
some detail.


Many people actually said they thought it couldn't be done. "We don't
have enough CPU cycles" etc... old school thinking.  We have entire
cores that can be devoted to sound now. The presentation I gave at
Fraunhofer was designed to be proof that it works. Think it was
very well received and made a few people wonder seriously about where
game audio should be going now.

(If anyone wants a copy of that proof, a 100MB file, please drop
me an email)

The fundamental problem is no longer computational/technical, but 
about training content producers and toolchain development.
As I said two years ago, it's slow painful baby steps to drag the 
business away from a love of the inflexible data model (samples)
and towards a coherent system that integrates the physics engine with
sound (where it belongs). Anyway, this revelation re Spore and Pd is
certainly very encouraging news.


On Fri, 9 Nov 2007 13:28:52 -0600
"Kyle Klipowicz" <kyleklip at gmail.com> wrote:

> Pretty awesome! Thanks for sharing. I love the tip about good-natured
> demeanor being a key to professional connection building. I think that
> tip should be emphasized more around here sometimes!
> ~Kyle
> On Nov 9, 2007 1:20 PM, Hans-Christoph Steiner <hans at eds.org> wrote:
> >
> > I just read this on the Max list:
> >
> > http://www.cycling74.com/pipermail/maxmsp/2007-November/038995.html
> >
> > Apparently, Pd is part of the EA game Spore.  Makes sense, since Mark
> > Danks, Gem creator and UCSD alum, is pretty high up at EA.
> >
> > .hc
> >
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Use the source

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