Interactive Music System in Crysis 2 (2011)

A golden oldie that was pending for quite some time in my drafts posts…

Videos of designers explaining their interactive music systems in games are not quite abundantly available. In the case of Crysis 2 (2011), the composers have explained their way of working, collaborating and more. Especially the large amount of interactive material – 5 hours! [1] – made this a monster job.

Chris: The score for Crysis 2 pushes the CryENGINE 3 engine with an interactive music system. Could you elaborate on the development of this interactive music system and how it is used during the game? What superior qualities does it offer in the audio department compared to other engines of today?

Borislav Slavov: The score was implemented with the in-house music interactive system, which is part of the CRYENGINE 3 technology. With its help the music in the game is able to interactively follow each situation and intensity level of the game play. In other words, the approach of the gamer has a direct impact on the music intensity in the game. We created ambient tacks which play when the player is moving stealthy or just explores the place without any enemy within a close distance. Every fight track in the game was composed in three different versions:

Tension – Played when the player is coming close to the enemy. The player is able to see the enemy, but the enemy has not discovered his presence yet.
Action – This version is being played when player is basically spotted and is already under fire.
Frantic – This version which is the highest level of intensity played when the player is badly wounded and the situation is quite dangerous for him.

As a result it feels like the currently playing track does not change but rather evolves following the intensity of the current situation in the game. You are ready to swear that you are listening to the same composition, yet it adapts smoothly in accordance with the activity on the screen.


[1] []