Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The games in my head

There are a few songs by random artists that create fully fledged video games in my head whenever I hear them. At first I thought it was, maybe even a little strange, but then it occurred to me that spending as much time as I do in pretend places interacting with things via my thumbs it is not surprising that my mind works in this way. After a while these individual songs gave way to ideas for whole games, complete with stories and graphics and game play. As soon as someone invents a way to plug my brain into XBLA these games will actually come into being, but until then my words will have to do, as I have no programming ability and enjoy playing games much to much to spend time learning how to make them.

Love me some Rage. One of these ideas that has been bouncing around in my head for some time is a horizontal shmup where everything that happens on the screen is directly tied to the music. I do not mean that the game makes the music, as this has been done, but the music actually makes the game. Every shot, every explosion, every action is tied to to song. Specifically I see enemy attacks being determined by the drum beat; as the song gets faster, more shots come your way. If you happen to get killed the song vamps for a few bars until it can you loop you back in at a pre-determined checkpoint. Writing it out makes it sound pretty lame, but that is only because I can't get out the picture out of my head and onto the page.

This song is the first level, starting it in some kind of planet sized prison. Our nameless hero steals his ship back and is trying to escape. The quite(er) parts of the song are stealth areas, spotlights searching through underground caverns, until the prison guardian realizing what is going on. Picture the giant space worm from Empire Strikes Back, smaller and meaner and covered with cannons. The good guy runs for half the song, barely surviving, until he gets fed up, pulls a 180, hits the afterburners...

Bring that shit in.

The giant worm is caught off guard, takes some big hits, and the ship slips buy. Horizontal shooting changes to vertical as he makes a run for the surface.

Freedom. Yeah.

He can see the stars at the top of the cavern, but the guardian is chasing, getting closer, throwing everything he has at the escaping ship.

Freedom. Yeah right.

Of course he gets away, and the guardian destroys most of the prison trying to catch him. It's only the first level, after all. This is the last:

Bullet hell. Oh yeah.

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