From the research collected, we were able to create a working interface. We needed the interface to be easy to understand and feel the layout works well. The user is able to select a song to listen to, whilst the song is playing they will be able to see the frequency and audio wave as well as watch an example of the game, Striker 1945 alongside it.
Overall we feel we had met the requirements of the brief. The feedback we got from our peers as were able to show a working example and explain the way in which our idea works. We did a have few technical difficulties with the sounds playing at the same time, but it is a problem that can be sorted.
We decided to make a playlist where we would choose three to help visualise our work. We chose to use a variety of music from a selection of genres.
We concluded that the best song that uses a large amount of frequency and beats were:
- Paint it Black by The Rolling Stones
- Autumn Leaves by Chet Baker
- Hips Don’t Lie by Shakira
We chose these songs They are all very fast pasted songs, just like the games.
Xaver started creating some sketches of how we wanted the interface to look:
From the sketches you can we that we want the design very structured and minimal.
We wanted to keep the design simple as there was a lot of information that was needed in order to understand the elements of the visualisation.
Our visualisation will show:
- Song list
- Frequency analysis
- Audio wave
- Game – Striker 1945
Also, we have created a GIF to show how our concept works:
Here it shows the how the music changes to the what is happening to the game
As you can see Autumn leaves is playing.
A different song is played, due to the changes of the game.
During our research, we brainstormed some ideas and came across some games, such as Audiosurf. We thought this would help develop our idea.
“Audiosurf is a music-adapting puzzle racer where you use your own music to create your own experience. The shape, the speed, and the mood of each ride are determined by the song you choose.”
Soon after we came up with the idea looking at shoot-em-up games and decided to do further research within this field of games.
We have chosen to specifically look at Striker 1945 in order see how our concept would work with the game:
Strikers 1945 is a vertically scrolling shoot ’em up arcade game. It was ported to the PlayStation and Sega Saturn by Atlus in 1996; later was also released as part of Psikyo Shooting Collection Vol. 1: Strikers 1945 I & II by Taito for the PlayStation.
Each plane in Strikers 1945 has three attacks: a normal shot, a charged shot and a bomb that clears the screen of enemies and bullets. Both normal and charged shot can be strengthened by grabbing power-ups and extra bombs can be collected. Gold bars, which are found by destroying certain buildings or enemies, can be collected for bonus points. After the defeat of the final boss, the player’s time, the number of gold bars, and the number of enemies killed are added up for each level and, if high enough, marked with a silver or gold medal.
From the help of our research we were able to come out with a concept to meet the requirements of the brief:
Rather than the game affected the sound, we decided to have the music effect the game, whilst still retaining to using an algorithm that functions as noted in the brief but without focusing on it. Instead, depending on the frequency time signature range of the genre of music. Example such as, Pop, Rock, and Classical. The frequency will have a direct impact on what conditions happen in the chosen game.
How will it work?
We’ll select a distinct frequency range to identify for each genre, as this will help differentiate between each music genre. The Song will directly affect the game if a song is the music is in that frequency threshold. Games have a variety of genres and within them, sub-genres, however, can maintain core elements and themes with each other, within that specific genre. If no distinct conditions are in place new conditions will have to created to use.
- ‘Shoot-Em-Up’ styled games will have a set of conditions that affect the weapon “power-ups”, enemy occurrence etc.
- ‘RPG’ (Role-Playing-Game) affect character statistics etc.
- ‘Strategy Games’ Player Funds + Random Mechanics.
We have looked at how various games caters to different devices.
- Educational: – learning
- Physical – board games, puzzles
- AR/VR Games – virtual reality, escape rooms
- Console – PlayStation, Xbox, Wii
- Handheld – DS, PSP, Nintendo, Switch
- Mobile Games – iPhone, Android
- PC – usually more powerful
Next, we looked at the different type of gamers:
- Novice – a new gamer
- Casual – gamer that plays a few hours a day or week
- Core – a wider range of interest, more likely to try a variety.
- Hardcore – dedicated more hours to try and play competitively, and complexity.
- Professional – play games to earn a salary usually sponsored by a large company. They will usually deeply study games and enter into competitions for price pool of money.
We decided to compare the two games which we are currently playing at the moment and compare how they work through the user and sound.
Game: ‘Make Hexa!’
Current playtime: two months
Make Hexa Puzzle is a simple yet addictive gameplay that challenges your brain.
Simply drag the same-colored triangles to make multiple Hexagons!
I usually play this game as a pass time – for example, on the train. As for sound, I usually turn it off and listen to my own music. The interface and the location of the sound is easy to find.
Game: ‘Dark Souls’
Current Playtime: 6 months
Dark Souls is a third-person action role-playing game. The core mechanic of the game is exploration. Players are encouraged by the game to proceed with caution, learn from past mistakes, or find alternate areas to explore. Dark Souls takes place in a large and continuous open world environment, connected through a central hub area (Firelink Shrine). Players are able to travel to and from areas and explore various paths at will, although certain prerequisites have to be met in order to unlock certain areas.
As for sound, it is needed throughout the game. When you enter each level a different piece of music will be played. Additonally, different sound will be played for specific things, for example during a fight.
Spotify gives users a personalized experience through the songs the music streaming platform gives. One way this is done is through Spotify Wrapped, which gives you a rundown of your music from the past year.
I have created a data visualization based on the artist I know from my Discover Weekly playlist. From my findings of this playlist, I found that out of 30 songs, I only knew 6. Brief:
Design an interactive visualisation and an animated GIF to communicate a system of algorithmic music.