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A jam submission

Echo Sings at NightView game page

A musical instrument making procedural ambient
Submitted by Itooh (@Itooh_) — 1 hour, 14 minutes before the deadline
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Echo Sings at Night's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Originality#1264.1804.180
Overall#3113.7803.780
Presentation#7943.6803.680
Fun#8233.3403.340

Ranked from 50 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

How does your game fit the theme?
The player doesn't control the melody they create (… and neither do I), or more globally the outcome of their actions.

Did your team create the art for this game during the 48 hour time slot?

Yes

We created all art during the game jam

Did your team create the audio for this game during the 48 hour time slot?

Yes

We created all audio during the game jam

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Comments

Submitted(+1)

This was the most soothing game I've played thus far. I was getting some digital clipping as the complexity of the soundscape opened up: if you revisit this idea, make sure to watch the volume of your audio sources as they all turn on, and be careful about balancing them.

But with that said, I think you could definitely make more levels for this game with different challenges, maybe have a "par" for each one so the player has an idea of how many shots they should be trying to take (though don't punish them for going over).

All in all, great game and excellent music. Keep up the good work!

Developer(+1)

Thank you! In my first draft, I planned for making several levels, each with different layouts and collectibles to catch in order to get to the next level. However, I eventually scratched that idea, as the only challenge it presented was mostly based on RNG and thus not that interesting to play. For me the most interesting aspect of the game is the procedural music, and thus it felt more pertinent to work on a single level that I could "tune" correctly, and that would produce a single music that evolves as the player interacts with it. The "challenge" required to beat the game is just an excuse to play with the musical system. Otherwise it's just firing balls randomly and hoping it will bounce in the right directions!

(… pro-players of pinball might strongly disagree with me…)

Glad that you enjoyed the game! Sorry for the clipping. I tried as much as I could to reduce it with compressors and lowpass filters, but it's still slightly there. The thing is, each instrument has kinda to be on lead, as otherwise it is a bit frustrating to not hear them when they bounce. With that constraint, balancing volumes was a bit tricky. I guess a good solution would have been to increase the volume of an instrument when it plays a new melody, so that the others stay in the background. But of course that's another layer of complexity!

Submitted(+1)

Very cool! Very soothing game. 

Submitted(+1)

A nice experimental experience. I wish there was a way to control the rithm so I could create a more coherant melodies.

Developer(+1)

Wow, "control"!? But that's illegal here!
In all seriousness though, it was by purpose that the rhythm is so chaotic. Random notes combined with long and varied delays make interesting ambient, with the emergence of patterns that change with time.

However, I recently noticed that when played on mobile, the melodies surprisingly follow a rhythm! This wasn't intended, but it does sound pretty nice. So I might try to reproduce it in an updated version, and implement it as an optional mode. :)

Thank you for your feedback!

Submitted

Oh I definitely should try it on mobile then!

Submitted(+1)

This is a really neat, experimental take on the jam theme! Super relaxing to play that really pulls you in. The shooting mechanic was a fun way to give it a bit more interactivity. Great job!

Submitted(+1)

Really cool game! I really loved it! The idea of making a relaxing game fits the "out of control" theme is so good! The melody of my playthrough was real good. Congratulations!  

Submitted(+1)

A really relaxing game with a unusual yet good interpretation of the theme. Well done!

Submitted(+1)

A relaxing game to dampen out all the chaos in between it. It works better than I expected.  There's limitless of possibilities on this one. Well done!

Developer

Thanks! Playing the other entries of the jams, I can see how mine can feel like a relaxing break from the others.^^ A lot of games are about trying to retain a control that is inevitably lost in chaotic situations (which is not a reproach, this idea is really fun), while I started from the philosophy of accepting the loss of control and enjoying the beauty of the emerging chaos. In a way, it payed off! I feared that it would be a bit frustrating to not control anything, but I'm glad that you enjoyed the game eventually! :)

Submitted

Cool randomized melody generator. Would love to see this idea built upon. 

Developer

Thank you! I might build a slightly improved version of this game (with the possibility to select the instruments and modes), but after that I will probably move on to other musical game projects. I love to make short games that allow player to create music with a layer of uncertainty. Those are really fun systems to explore.

Submitted(+1)

Nice and minimalistic interpretation of the theme! I'm a fan of procedural art too :)

Submitted(+1)

Really enjoyed my time on the game ! It's unique and well, the music gets a bit chaotic but's it's enjoyable ^^

Developer

The chaos was even worse in the earlier versions!^^ But indeed, the music it makes is more a minimalist ambient, an unusual & kinda "modern" genre but still pleasant to listen. Except when playing on phone, where the music seems to follow some kind of rhythm and I still don't know why!

Thank you for playing the game! I'm glad that you enjoyed it. :)

Submitted(+1)

A drop of out of control peacefulness. Very clever, very good result  5/5 :D

Submitted(+1)

This is trippy and beautiful

Submitted(+2)

This is such a chill game I really like it. It's satisfying seeing the ball continue to bounce within the ring and creating a beautiful little tune out of the randomness.

Developer

Yeah, I kind of like myself when music react dynamically with the events of the game! It creates some kind of synesthesia. Bouncing balls making beautiful sound when hitting stuff procures a very basic satisfaction. :p

Happy that you had a good time playing the game. Thank you!

Submitted(+1)

I love it :D A very simple yet interesting interpretation of the theme. I really enjoyed making my little random melody and listening the result at the end. 

Good job!

Developer(+1)

Thank you! It's really cool to learn that the music produced by the game is enjoyable by itself. That's always the catch when making procedural music: by not being really sure how it will be, sometimes it can be "fun" to play but not really great to listen. This time the result sounds really different from other musical toys I've made!

Submitted(+1)

NIce, its like a google doodle :)

Developer(+1)

Google has indeed made some very cool generative music doodles! :D While this game is not directly inspired by one of them, they played a role in my discovery of what can be done with algorithm and music. (the Oskar Fischinger doodle is to this day still amazing)

Thank you for your feedback!

(+2)

Absolutely sublime. I think this should get a mention on Mark's channel.

Submitted(+1)

I love this! Just the relaxation needed after a game jam crunch! My only question is how it relates to the theme, but, well, it just sounds so nice.

(+3)

Fits much better to the theme than most submissions in my opinion - you're creating a piece of music but you have no control over the notes or rhythm.

If a beautiful, sublime song comes out the other end, was it really you who created it if you had no control over what any of the notes were?

Developer

Thank you very much! As audreydeux said, the core idea was to let the player create something over which they don't have control. The breakout aspect is mostly just an excuse for inviting to play with a musical system. I like to present the game as a musical instrument that doesn't produce precise melodies.^^ The bouncing of the ball is also here to make feel that the outcome is tied to rules of physics rather than the player will.

But yeah, I also agree that this is debatable. I wondered during the creation if "out of control" was equivalent to "loss of control". If there is nothing for the player to control in the first place, is it really out of control? And since in most games the music is not in the player's hands anyway, what does it really change for them if it is procedural or not? In a way if you play the game with no sound, it becomes just a breakout with too much randomness. Thus we can ask if the "out of control" aspect is part of the design or purely an esthetic…

But I guess that's why this game is often qualified as "experimental"!^^ I don't know for sure if it completely fits the theme or not, but it started from questions around the idea "out of control" that I tried to answer by creating an explorable system. And at least it produced something enjoyable! :)

Submitted(+1)

Really enjoyed this one, one of my favorites to date

Submitted(+1)

Best game so far!

Submitted(+1)

This is really cool, I love games that explore procedurally generated music!  The audio and visuals are tied together so nicely

Developer

Thank you! I'm happy to learn that the visuals are pleasing. I wasn't sure were I was going with it, but after fiddling with color palettes and light effects I accidentally found this "night / fireworks" atmosphere. While it's mostly made of fancy effects (can't resist the magic of particles), it seems to work nicely.