In Rise of the Tomb Raider, Crystal Dynamics used, for the first time, procedurally generated music: the percussion music during combat scenes is composed and played by a software system in real time. It never loops, adapts dynamically to game action, and is different with every gameplay. Furthermore, the music is based on the game composer's original music: his original MIDI scores and sample data are analyzed in order to compose new music in his style during the game. In this talk, one of the game's audio designers discusses in detail the the benefits of procedurally generated music, as well as the issues and limitations faced when working with it. Videos from the game will be used as illustration.
Utilising a middleware solution created by Intelligent Music Systems, Rise of the Tomb Raider features a fantastic selection of highly dynamic music throughout the game. Rather than simply cross-fading pre-recorded audio streams, the solution employed here is able to generate real-time audio that dynamically changes based on data created by the game's composer. It's an incredibly impressive solution to the dynamic music situation that works beautifully throughout the game.
Rise of the Tomb Raider composer Bobby Tahouri talks about what it was like to use the Dynamic Percussion System.
In this blog, Crystal Dynamics releases their first video of our Dynamic Percussion System running in Rise of the Tomb Raider, along with a great blog about how it works!