The interactive nature of video games offers players unique playthroughs of the same game. Choices made during gameplay, despite going through the same narrative story, create a journey that differs from other players. Music can help support a player's connection to the game's characters and narrative while also providing information to the player to guide their decisions. Ludomusicological studies in the past have shown how music can support a game's narrative, while also serving to inform players of changes in game states. The usability function of music, while crucial in this overall sonic experience, is not the sole purpose that music can fulfill. An area in ludomusicological research that's less explored is understanding how a composer's intent for their music is not indicative of the player experience but rather influences the way players play the game and how they are emotionally impacted by the music. Combat scenarios are an effective area that showcases the usability aspects of music as well as its impact on player presence, which will be demonstrated through the game Xenoblade Chronicles. By combining the principles of presence, immersion, engagement, topic theory, and adapting the dual semiotic approach of Iain Hart, this thesis seeks to analyze the composer's intent behind musical choices and how it shapes the overall player experience.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Wong, Jedidah, "Combat Music, Usability, and Presence in Video Games" (2021). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 1063.