As I have mentioned in previous posts regarding Project 2 aka Space Racer that our student client was looking for us to deliver a specific experience. She wanted the interactive music video to serve as a way to enhance the vibes she was looking to create in her music: a chill and relaxed feeling.
After clarifying with Taylor what she classified the genre of her music, I began researching the genre a bit more in-depth. My research mainly consisted of listening to different tracks on YouTube that was classified was chill techno/chillwave. I noticed that most of the tracks had a very soothing beat (no harsh beats/build ups) and it definitely was very relaxing to listen to. It can have lyrics or purely instrumental. However, it was the sense of relaxation that I had from listening to the music that I wanted to recreate as our game’s core experience, which I was hoping to apply my research on the genre to aid that goal.
Taylor’s musical track was instrumental and the musical piece we were using was a combination of two different tracks. Listening to the mashup, it was clear there was a slow build up but it was still very soothing to listen too which fits with the qualities of the chillwave/chill techno genre.
We did take advantage of the fact there was a build up in Taylor’s track by having that serve as the game’s ‘introduction’. Using the track to build up the moment the car begins moving till it transitions into space. On paper, this seems opposite of what we want to achieve, however, the build up in her track is actually slow and gradual. Unlike the build up you would hear in a dubstep track for example. We wanted to build up a sense of anticipation and when it drops into the main portion of the game, we want the player feel entranced by the visuals at first before sitting back to enjoy the experience. With Taylor’s music enhancing that experience and delivering a sense of relaxation to the player.
Keeping her desired experience in mind and the research we had done, we felt the best route was to keep it as a visual-audio experience. As most chillwave tracks give the listener the feeling of relaxation, we wanted to recreate this feeling in the game visually. The visuals should amplify the feelings that the music track generates, and vice versa.
With this in mind, we decided to limit the gameplay elements in the project, as we felt it would distract the player from the core experience we wished to deliver. We hoped by doing this it would have the players focus on the visuals and audio, having them feel relaxed. The main gameplay element we had in the project is the player movement (side to side only) as Taylor had asked for limited interactivity if players wanted to move around. We included the ability for the game to autoplay itself, our hope was this would encourage the player to simply ‘enjoy the ride’. Watching the car slowly transverse through the cosmos, enjoying the view and the music playing in the background.
The project does remind me a lot of the free ride mode in Audiosurf 2, I often loaded AudioSurf 2 and choose a song that is slow or relaxes me and simply watch it play on its own. It is very soothing watching the vehicle in that game just drive through a randomly generated road, collecting collectibles with an ever-changing scenery scroll past on your screen. I don’t bother with playing the game at all, I just simply watch it play on its own till the song is finished. It was this experience from AudioSurf 2 and the feelings from listening to chillwave that I really hoped to recreate as the core experience in the interactive music video.