SPIRE – Masters Project

The video above shows a playthrough of my final MDes project, SPIRE. I set out to investigate ‘genre sonification’ in a game scenario, so I built the game you see here from scratch as a research platform for exploring it. If I ask you to imagine a generic science fiction film, you probably get a clear idea of how such a film might sound, but if I ask you to imagine a real-time strategy game, for example, you probably don’t get such a clear notion of stereotypical RTS sound. As a game’s genre is largely defined by mechanics within the game rather than narrative or setting, I was curious to see how you could take this mechanical genre markers and interpret them sonically!

I used roguelike games as a case study for this, taking traditional roguelike genre markers like procedural generation and permadeath, infusing them into the sound, and invited people to compare ‘roguelike’ and ‘non-roguelike’ audio in a research study. People who played the game received it and its roguelike soundtrack well, and I’m very proud of the final result. It was a great learning experience!

The visual assets shown in the game are sourced from third parties, while all the programming and audio is done by me!

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