So, electronic musicians and dance music makers just push buttons, huh?

Actually… why not? There are certain parallels between the synchronized, quantized grids of computer music and video games. Rhythms, aesthetics, and even interface have evolved in tandem. Early games even hard-coded synthesizers and scores into the same circuitry that made the music, and each has made its impact on the other.

Game designers keep toying with this concept in game design. I gave a talk on interactive music in gaming last week at Berlin’s A MAZE Indie Connect. But here’s one person at that same festival who did one better. In a matter of hours, Simon Cubasch coded up an arcade game that synchronizes sound effects with a beat grid, making a shooter that’s also a kind of music interface. It’s reminiscent of titles like Jonathan Mak’s ground-breaking Everyday Shooter, which notably used guitar riffs instead of the ubiquitous dance music. But I think each experiment in pulling this off is a learning experience. Description below.

And I post it again partly as we’re working on more with music and gaming, using libpd, I’m coding up examples, and other workshops and game jams are possible. So – who’s interested? Who’s made stuff like this? What other games (ancient, recent, or upcoming) have you seen that play with music and gaming? I’d love to hear.

More on this jam — remember, be gentle, this is just hours of work which is the whole point:

Since the theme of Ludum Dare was minimalism and I wanted to experiment with sound I was looking into minimal techno and a shooter marriage where the gameplay was generating the music. Every object has a sound on a certain step of the 16 sequencer steps. Bullets, missile, enemies etc. There is no real gameplay yet and in order to make the game more interesting the gameplay also would have to be more tied to the music it generates. There could be a battle between the enemies music/sounds and the players own. Sequences of evade and catch could make the game more diverse. I also like the notion of powerups making the player sound different (instruments) just as now the players missiles and lasers (red and black) firing rythm make up the players beat/music. This was meant as a prototype to figure out if the sound resulting from the interactions could be interesting enough -as a basis to work more on gameplay and develop a game. I would also need a musician to produce good minimal techno samples. What do you think?