tags: no-mans-sky

“It also included several interesting phrases which stood out to me, including Every Atom Procedural and Every Planet Unique. On its own, this language was not a surprising angle for a game to take in its marketing. The Binding of Isaac’s Steam page, for example, promises ‘you never play the same game twice‘ but no-one so much as raises an eyebrow when they sit down and discover that they are, shockingly, playing The Binding Of Isaac every time.”

“When we use extreme language to talk about procedural generators (or any other kind of technology), we encourage people to draw extreme conclusions.”

“For many other generators, you might think that explaining how its processes work would be kind of… boring? You’d probably be right. A lot of generators are boring, and I think that’s one of the reasons why we reach for the big numbers and strong statements, to cover up this fact.”

“Drawing his finger across the screen, he nudged the lever bars to indicate attributes like body mass, aggressiveness, windpipe length, wetness, screechiness, harshness. (The software makes sounds based on roughly a hundred different parameters.) Then, while moving his thumbs across two graphical boxes on the iPad—one labelled “vowel map,” the other “pitch”—and simultaneously twisting the device in space, he generated a vocalization. The iPad’s physical movement determined the energy behind the utterance: the arc of the motion shaping the sound’s arc.”

“We’re actually working on that now with Paul. We’re taking the sessions from the record, which were mixed and mastered some time ago, and we’re diving back into those and pulling elements out, and then re-recording more variation, more complimentary sounds. […] You know that you have to make a record and that the record has to make sense and be accessible, and at the same time you know that all of that music is totally destroyable and it’s going to be atomized and rendered in a great number of variations.”

“But the way it tends to play out is that most generated stuff tends towards ambient and quite granular, soft, synth-y stuff because the nature of a computer game as opposed to scoring a film means that the music’s never quite sure what action it’s about to be soundtracking. It could be anything because the player’s got agency. Having a soft, ambient soundtrack that can react very quickly tends to work best, but obviously the further you go in that direction the less memorable, the less melodic it becomes.”

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