[Research] Musical Automation in the Australian Games Industry: A Comparative Study of Adaptive Audio and Generative Music in Game Development

[Currently in Progress]

This multi-faceted research project aims to uncover the current effects of automation and AI on professionals in the Australian Video Game Music industry, as well as developing one technology aiming to “democratize” music-generation for Game Designers – without removing Composers from the picture.


Stakeholder research – 25 interviews with Australian games professionals, including composers, sound designers, voice artists, developers, programmers, and consumers. Findings to be translated into an industry report.

Deeply Reactive Music in a Game – Demonstrating the capabilities of Unreal Engine’s ‘MetaSounds’ real-time synthesis technologies, this narrative game has multiple levels and plays like an interactive 5-track album.

Open source – The game’s design framework and project codes is intended to be no-cost and free to view and re-use.

Video demos and build guides – ‘Behind-the-scenes’ footage of the project’s development to be released alongside the game and report.


Dr Sam Whiting is a leading researcher in cultural policy and creative industries specifically the intersection between technology, markets, and creativity. Dr Whiting’s previous research experience has included work with the SA Music Development Office, the National Live Music Office, the City of Melbourne, Monash University, RMIT University and the University of Tasmania.

Dr Susannah Emery has extensive scholarly and creative practice expertise in video game design and narrative, and will be able to bring a great understanding of prior game design / interactive narrative research into the project. Dr Emery has won and been a finalist for several international awards for her game design and teaching in this area.

John Oestmann has created reactive music for several Adelaide video game projects in the past (including the recently released Rooftop Renegade, and nominated for Best Sound at the GDEX conference).

George Martin is a video game developer and PhD candidate whose research is focused on the design and development of video games in Virtual Reality for entertainment. They have experience in the Adelaide independent video game development community, previously co-founding Melonhead Games and acting as the primary programmer/technical artist on Rooftop Renegade which was a finalist for the Excellence in Emerging Games award in the Australian Game Developer Awards in 2023.


This project is funded by Creative Australia, the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA AMCOS), and the University of South Australia.

More info at UniSA Website..


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