MOODSAURUS: In-game Player Selected ‘Mood’ Jukebox

Author: techlord
Sat. March 16, 2013
Categories: Concept, ProjectHaste

The concept behind MOODSAURUS Jukebox is simple: allow the Player to direct their experience by selecting music they prefer to listen to and assign them to a Mood Influence Category {Suspense, Celebration, Sadness, Boss-Battle, others}. Referred to as MoodSaurusCue, these are played when triggered during game-play to set a specified mood. Player’s can select up to 7 MoodSaurusCues per Category and sort of groups of Categories by Theme:{Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, etc}. MoodSaurusCue in a Category can be played back in a shuffle (random) or in a specified sequence. The MoodSaurusCues simplify level design by re-using the Player’s selection list for all levels populated with them.

The current design of MoodSaurusCue is an UnrealScript class that extends the Trigger Class. The MoodSaurusCue creates an Actor that can be placed in a level to play a SoundCue upon Touch with the Player/Bot, or call to the PlayMoodInfluence(int categoryid) function. A MoodInfluenceCategoryID Property holds an integer value representing the Category to be played from. There are a few other support classes for managing Mood Influence Categories and Themes. MoodSaurusCue Class also provides state-based functions to handle transitions from one to another. In UnrealEd, MoodSaurusCues are setup using Level Streaming for Audio Memory Management.

The most complex aspect to MOODSAURUS’s design is the Music files themselves. The challenge is to determine how the music is packaged and delivered. This will drive the design of the UI interface is implemented to select MoodSaurusCue, to save and load selections. The original idea was to play songs from CD, Hardrive or Flashdrive. Although I desire Music to be downloaded directly from a online source the easiest approach is to create Music Packages in which the player make selections. In other words, we pre-organize music by Theme and Mood Influence and let the Player pick the ones they prefer. TBC…

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