This game started with the briefest idea – interact with text and music to make a game.
The idea came from a CD rom I made back in 1999 – Blu.mov (the Blue Movie – PC download here ).
Blu.mov was an early interactive video work full of interactive animated text with music and personalisation.
short video excerpt from The Blue Movie (Blu.mov)
At the time it had a very limited audience. I was interested in CD rom as a mass media format but it never really took off. However, Blu.mov was shown around the world at digital art exhibitions and events.
Later on, in 2016 I wondered if now was the time to try some of the same ideas again. But this time on mobile. It was the content that interested me more than anything. Very personal content, personal ideas, a personal connection.
I got in touch with Andrew Williams who ran games courses at the University of Bolton to see if we could run a competition or something. It was decided to sponsor a Games Jam in 2017, and if the winning game was good we would release it. (It was, but that’s secondary to this story – more about that later.)
The Briefest of Briefs
I wanted to see if the Games Jam could centre on some of the ideas and content from Blu.mov so I wrote a brief…
I kept it very loose (on recommendation from Andrew).
This was possibly a mistake.
GAME JAM COMPETITION BRIEF (version 3)
For this game jam, we will provide some music and lyrics. Your task is to make a game out of creating songs! We want you to reinvent the pop song as an interactive audio visual game experience. Kinetic images, captivating words and driving music – put them all together to win one of four prizes!
To win one of the prizes, you need to be able to demonstrate a working gameplay demo in portrait mode (vertical) on an Android device that uses screens of lyrics, loops of music and user input to create an exciting ‘build a song’ experience.
We want the audience tap tap tapping to make a big noise and immersive experience.
Your resources are lyrics and music that we will supply. Your theme is ‘SONG’.
The games jam ran over 3 days in June 2017.
It was brilliant fun and I met tons of interesting people. But none of the games really came out like I wanted. They were good, the participants created games using the lyrics as story or as a theme for their games. There were some ingenious ideas…
And I met some talented programmers so I decided to employ one to try and get something more like my original game idea – of interacting with onscreen text as a game.
Working Title: Lyric Tap
I recruited one of the programming students, a talented guy called Tom Pyne to work on my original brief:
GAME JAM COMPETITION BRIEF (version 1)
Kinetic images, addictive words and pumping music make this interactive message experience unlike anything you’ve ever seen before – you must interact to find out who is behind these messages – and what do they want?
We want to see a working gameplay demo that uses screens of lyrics, loops of music and user input to create an exciting vertical experience in Unity.
We will provide sample media to work with.
Tom started experimenting with gameplay mechanics around the lyrics and music.
Version 01 was called Lyric Tap.
It was rough as hell. But there was something going on that made you want to play it.
Want to see it?