Instrumental Worlds

Games currently playing: Brave Frontier, Fire Emblem Fates – Conquest

I just came up with an interesting idea for a video game… It’s more of a general concept though. I’m not sure how the actual gameplay would be. It would probably be an RPG, just cause that’s what I mostly play! XP

When coming up with interview questions, I think the best questions are the ones that make both the interviewee AND me really think about things. In my interview with Nikhil Koparkar, one of my rapid-fire questions (as I normally do in the end of each interview ^_^) was “If you could make an entire video game WORLD, INSIDE of any instrument, which instrument would you choose? What instrument would you want to LIVE INSIDE??”

It wasn’t the most thought-provoking question for my interviewee, but that question got me to thinking… Are there any video games like that? How interesting would that be for a concept? A game whose worlds were made up entirely of orchestral instruments… You’d need to have some sort of plot that would allow for a sort of Alice-in-Wonderland shrinking—I guess you could just use the reasoning of MAGIC:

“How can you shrink and venture inside of an instrument?”

“…BECAUSE MAGIC.”

And then you’d need some sort of reason as to WHY you have to go into the instruments, then what you’d wish to accomplish… And what kinds of villains would lie in your path? There’d probably be some music-hater metaphor there lulz like jaded musicians who are very unsupportive of younger musicians, or family members boiling with disapproval of their child/relative’s decision to become a musician… I could see that, actually, especially after speaking with Schematist about how a lot of games these days, especially indie games, are very personal to the developer.

I think it could be an interesting idea! Plus, in each instrument/world, the OST could use JUST that instrument for each track. It could be a cool opportunity for exploration for the composer(s) to play around with extended techniques. Plus it would also be an interesting experience for the player, as a sort of answer to “How does this instrument work?”

Ooh! This game could have a variety of different kinds of play styles. For example, the flute world could have a side-scrolling sort of style, where your character is floating on a piece of dust, or some other tiny object that could easily move through a flute, and you have to navigate through all of the keys and other metal obstructions that you could find in a flute… And then a clarinet could include a more downward-scrolling level, again where your character is navigating through all the various keys and obstacles that you’d find inside a clarinet. That could also set the stage for some interesting sound effects, which would be created using the instruments themselves!

Oh goodness. Something else, relating back to the villains… This may be a little too similar to Psychonauts, but it could even be that each person in the orchestra (or maybe it’s a small ensemble, like an after-school ensemble, or band) has some sort of personal conflict that is preventing them from being the best musician that he or she can be! And so… For some reason… They… Have to dive into their instrument, to free their inner turmoil… Hm. That idea doesn’t quite work as well as it did in Psychonauts X’D

But it could still be an interesting concept to explore in a game, the sort of conflicts that musicians face, whether socially or psychologically. I think that sort of concept for a game could open some really wide doors to compositional creativity! ^_^

What do you think? If you could live inside any instrument, which one would you choose? What would that world be like?

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2 thoughts on “Instrumental Worlds

  1. Have you ever played a game called Eternal Sonata? Its not quite like your idea, but its based in the mind of a dying composer…..I’m not good at explaining plots and stories so please look it up 🙂 Your idea would be awesome in terms of level design and FOLEY. I’d love to be on the FOLEY team haha

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    • Ooh, I have not heard of that game! That sounds pretty interesting though… I checked out the wikipedia page, and it definitely sounds like something I would like! ^_^ And yay, thank you! 😀 Yeah, the foley artist would certainly have a blast with that project haha

      Like

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