June 5, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Pitchfork Teams with Intel for Interactive Music Games (Updated)

soundplay pitchfork intel m83

“Interactive” is an overused buzzword, but it’s also an actual thing that means something. In the case of music, it can mean all sorts of things from jumping up and down, to playing an iPhone guitar, to playing videogames that go along with the music. In pursuit of that last element, Intel has opened its deep pockets to allow Pitchfork to choose its favorite songs for which Kill Screen will make interactive music videogames.

” These games don’t just use music as a soundtrack; their scenes, characters, and settings are all driven by the song,” reads Pitchfork’s announcement of the new SoundPlay site. “The first three games take their inspiration from tracks by M83, Cut Copy, and Matthew Dear.”

So far, two of these music games are online, and you can play them here (requiring installation of a Unity Web Player software client, which renders in three dimensions):

  • The game “We Were You,” inspired by M83′s “Intro,” was designed by Jake Elliot. To play, you run around with the arrow keys. We won’t spoil it for you by providing further details, but you will encounter a mammoth.
  • The game “Street Song,” inspired by Matthew Dear’s song by the same name, was designed by Santa Ragione. This one is a sort of flight simulator-ish game where you run around a desert in a helmet collecting shapes, but we haven’t really figured it out yet. (Update: Knar Bedian cracked the code; see update below.)

According to Pitchfork, three more games will go online on SoundPlay in July, including one for a Cut Copy song, which will be designed by Bennett Foddy.

The fun doesn’t stop there. Pitchfork’s annual music festival in Chicago will feature some sort of arcade where attendees can play the games, and later this summer, Pitchfork and Intel will host a “game jam,” which will bring together game developers together for a two-day hack day to create another music game, also to be featured on SoundPlay. Pitchfork.tv (exclusive launch story) will film that event.

This is not Intel’s first foray into hipster-oriented technology (note: we are not using hipster as a pejorative here, because hipsters are people too, and the whole anti-hipster thing just gives us a headache). The chipmaker, ever eager to promote the netbooks it powers as app platforms that can compete with Apple’s iPad, partnered with Vice for The Creators Project in an ongoing relationship.

Update: Evolver.fm‘s own Knar Bedian put some more time into the “Street Song” game and observes the following as a sort of walk-through for those who are confused about how the game works, as I was. Spoiler alert!

At the start of the game, move towards one of the buildings to collect a your first object which will appear as a big black gem. With each object you get two extra heart bars and what seems to be some sort of special power. The first object I obtained was a car, followed by an eagle, a strange looking object with a handle, and a fancy chair.

Be careful what you hit while exploring the desert; running into red gems or equalizer-like objects will deplete your life by one bar. Later on, new objects will appear (a mutant form of the red gem) that will deplete your life by 2 bars. Following the lines that appear in the sky will lead you to smaller dark gems which have green highlights underneath – there are 30 of them to collect throughout the game.

The circles that appear will give you a burst of speed — thick ones will make you go faster than thin ones. Small blue-ish white sticks will change the color of the world.

  • http://modestcomplexity.blogspot.com Darci

    This is a pretty wild idea, and I really dig it. Out of the games so far, I definitely liked the M83 one the best, probably because “Intro” is such a great song to inspire a cool game. The M83 tunes that Morgan Kibby contributes to are usually my favorite and “Intro” is no exception. Cool stuff, Pitchfork now let’s see if they actually develop this instead of milking it for what it’s worth and then forgetting about it (can anyone say Altered Zones?)