Evolving in-game mood-expressive music with MetaCompose

Marco Scirea, Julian Togelius, Peter Eklund, Sebastian Risi

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    MetaCompose is a music generator based on a hybrid evolutionary technique that combines FI-2POP and multi-objective optimization. In this paper we employ the MetaCompose music generator to create music in real-time that expresses different mood-states in a game-playing environment (Checkers). In particular, this paper focuses on determining if differences in player experience can be observed when: (i) using affective-dynamic music compared to static music, and (ii) the music supports the game's internal narrative/state. Participants were tasked to play two games of Checkers while listening to two (out of three) different set-ups of game-related generated music. The possible set-ups were: static expression, consistent affective expression, and random affective expression. During game-play players wore a E4 Wristband, allowing various physiological measures to be recorded such as blood volume pulse (BVP) and electromyographic activity (EDA). The data collected confirms a hypothesis based on three out of four criteria (engagement, music quality, coherency with game excitement, and coherency with performance) that players prefer dynamic affective music when asked to reflect on the current game-state. In the future this system could allow designers/composers to easily create affective and dynamic soundtracks for interactive applications.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationAudio Mostly - A Conference on Interaction with Sound - 2018 Sound in Immersion and Emotion, AM 2018 - Conference Proceedings
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
    ISBN (Electronic)9781450366090
    StatePublished - Sep 12 2018
    Event2018 International Audio Mostly Conference - A Conference on Interaction with Sound: Sound in Immersion and Emotion, AM 2018 - Wrexham, United Kingdom
    Duration: Sep 12 2018Sep 14 2018

    Publication series

    NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


    Conference2018 International Audio Mostly Conference - A Conference on Interaction with Sound: Sound in Immersion and Emotion, AM 2018
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


    • Affective expression
    • Evolutionary algorithms
    • Music generation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Software
    • Human-Computer Interaction
    • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
    • Computer Networks and Communications


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