Emergent Music Video

by L.B. Jeffries

23 June 2010

 

Appreciating this clip from Everyday Shooter takes some explanation if you’re unfamiliar with how the game works. Everyday Shooter is an emergent music game, which means that the normal beeps and pews have been replaced with sound effects meant to compliment the background track. Everytime the glowing dot hits something with a bullet, a unique guitar note is struck. Keeping everything musically coherent is very difficult and even the most talented designers opt for House music or techno to make the work easier.

Everyday Shooter is unique in this already small genre because it draws on inspirations like Steve Reich’s Electronic Counter-Point along with a hefty amount of Don Caballero. The music is almost entirely electric guitar, performed by programmer and designer Jonathon Mak. Some tracks work better than others depending on your tastes, but all are designed conceptually as songs because of how rigidly you have to play to have much chance of survival. For that reason the game is brutally difficult. Each level is its own track and designed completely differently from the other. Enemies do not repeat, you have to study each level individually and figure out how to win. By doing so, the level’s song starts to make more sense and come together the more you play. The video is from the last level. It’s a moody and cathartic guitar solo, which is appropriate considering how hard it is to get to this point in the game.


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