Podcast: Procedural Content Generation & Spore
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In an extremely, extremely chaoric duet, Will Wright and Brian Eno give an a series of perspectives on generating content by procedure or algorithm, and letting the effect emerge on its own. They run through generative system basics, SimCity, emergent behaviours in music, DNA strands creating life, and the Sims. The talk culminates in a half-hour run through of the game Spore.
Back in the 1970s both speakers got hooked by cellular automata such as Conway's "Game of Life," where just a few simple rules could unleash profoundly unpredictable and infinitely varied dynamic patterns. Cellular automata were the secret ingredient of Wright's genre-busting computer game "SimCity" in 1989. Eno was additionally inspired by Steve Reich's "It's Gonna Rain," in which two identical 1.8 second tape loops beat against each other out of phase for a riveting 20 minutes. That idea led to Eno's "Music for Airports" (1978), and the genre he named "ambient music" was born.
Almost everyone who uses the home computer for gaming has heard of Will Wright. Co-founder of Maxis Entertainment, he is one of the greatest proponents of procedural and algorithmic content generation. Designer of SimCity, designer of The Sims, designer of SimIsle and of Spore, to name but a few. Everything he has created, uses emergent algorithms for the bulk of its content.
Brian Eno is a musician, composer and producer of audio and visual landscapes. Eno's synthesizer work and electronic manipulation of audio textures was first featured during the early 1970's as a founding member of Roxy Music. His solo and collaborative musical compositions with John Cale, Robert Fripp and David Bowie have been in circulation world-wide over the last 25 years.
Eno has produced records for numerous artists including U2, David Bowie, Jane Siberry and performance artist Laurie Anderson, executive produced the "Help" benefit album, and performed with Pavarotti, Bono and The Edge at 1995's Modena Festival to benefit the War Child charitable organization.
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Size: 313.4 mb
Duration: 1 hour, 38 minutes
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