Marco Scirea
PhD Fellow - Game Designer - Musician


I am currently a PhD fellow in the Center for Computer Games Research games at the IT University of Copenhagen.

I completed my Master degree in Information Technology through the Media Technology and Games program of IT University of Copenhagen in June 2014. During my master studies I have developed a great interest in Procedural Content Generation for games, especially of music. My research at the time created the basis of what now is my PhD work: the expression of affective meaning through computer-generated music.

I have also developed different types of games (both large and small) during my education and in my spare time. I received my Bachelor degree in Computer Science from the Università Statale di Milano in 2011, in which I specialized in artificial intelligence and mathematical logic.

My PhD research investigates the expression of moods and the affective effect this mood-expressive music can have on the listener and applying this research to games: the final objective is to create a system where, by using a cognitive model of the player, we would be able to identify the player's emotional state and be able to reinforce or manipulate it through the use of mood-expressive music to improve user experience.

What we hope to achieve is creating better immersive experiences (reinforcement of current emotional state and playstyle) and help the designers create experiences where the players are put in a specific emotional state (manipulation).

Research Interests

  • Affective computing
  • Algorithmic composition
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computational Creativity
  • Evolutionary Algorithms
  • Game AI
  • Procedural Content Generation
  • Computational Intelligence


Peer-Reviewed Journals

Scirea Marco, Julian Togelius, Peter Eklund, and Sebastian Risi. "Affective Evolutionary Music Composition with MetaCompose" in Genetic Programming and Evolvable Machines PDF

Peer-Reviewed Conferences

Scirea Marco, Peter Eklund, Julian Togelius and Sebastian Risi. "Can You Feel It? Evaluation of Affective Expression in Music Generated by MetaCompose" in Proceedings of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO) (2017) PDF

Scirea Marco, Julian Togelius, Peter Eklund and Sebastian Risi. "MetaCompose: A Compositional Evolutionary Music Composer" in Proceedings of Evolutionary and Biologically Inspired Music, Sound, Art and Design (EvoMusArt) (2016) [Best Paper Award] PDF Presentation

Scirea Marco and Joseph Alexander Brown. "Evolving Four Part Harmony Using a Multiple Worlds Model." in Proceedings of International Conference on Evolutionary Computation Theory and Applications (2015) PDF

Scirea Marco, Gabriella A. B. Barros, Noor Shaker and Julian Togelius. "SMUG: Scientific Music Generator." in Proceedings of International Conference on Computational Creativity (2015) PDF

Scirea Marco, Mark J. Nelson and Julian Togelius. "Moody Music Generator: Characterising Control Parameters Using Crowdsourcing." in Proceedings of Evolutionary and Biologically Inspired Music, Sound, Art and Design (EvoMusArt) (2015) [Nominated for Best Paper Award] PDF

Scirea Marco, Byung Chull Bae, Yun-Gyung Cheong and Mark Nelson "Evaluating musical foreshadowing of videogame narrative experiences." in Proceedings of Audio Mostly (2014). PDF

Scirea Marco, Byung Chull Bae, Yun-Gyung Cheong and Mark Nelson "Mood expression in real-time computer generated music using Pure Data." in Proceedings of the International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (2014). PDF

Scirea Marco. "Mood dependent music generator." in Proceedings of Advances in Computer Entertainment (2013). PDF





Procedural Generation of Music for Foreshadowing in Games, MSc dissertation, IT Univerisity of Copenhagen


I released an album in 2012 called Cosmic Project, you can check it out (plus some other old pieces) on bandcamp or soundcloud.