Monday, March 10, 2008

Surfing my music

Well, I've discovered the game that everyone else is discovering via Steam, and that game is Audiosurf. It would seem that I've become most enamored with 5-minute games of late with my limited free time, and Audiosurf is the perfect game, because it's a game that makes music interactive. I am a radio dj on my college station, wrbb (, Sunday nights 9-11pm EST ::wink wink:: ), and part of the reason I volunteer my time 2 hours a week to working at the station is that I love the depths of the music world. There are so many genres and so many amazing pieces of music that I can't help but enjoy playing music for others.

Meanwhile, Audiosurf allows me a new way of interacting with music by building a simple Puzzlequest/Guitar Hero game on top of any music you have on your computer. It analyzes your music and constructs a 3 or 5 lane track with various blocks spread out over the length of your song and placed on beats. You must collect the blocks into groups. The thing that makes the game great is that it gives you a real sense of the flow of your music, from the tempo changing how fast your character moves to the beats determining the frequency of collectible blocks. Also it gives a multitude of play styles available through the choice of avatars, which interact with the track in different ways or affect the difficulty of the track. I've been playing on the simplest mode (albeit at medium difficulty) and the game has allowed me to explore my music. It's a fun diversion for random times and further destroys the little amounts of free time I still have.

So don't play Audiosurf unless you're in the mood for only listening and experiencing music. It's great for that, but an evil timesink otherwise.

Meanwhile I'm trying to work on game-design half an hour a day no matter my other tasks, because I need to start really getting better at this stuff, and only with persistence can I complete my goals. Struggle onward, readers, fight through. And rest once in a while, that's the other thing I gotta work on...

-the musater

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