A musical adventure game… in stop motion?

Since my radio silence re: a certain new game of mine in a certain competition still isn’t over yet, I figure I ought to say something about another project I have in the works.

So, the thing is, ever since I played that one scene in Curse of Monkey Island, I’ve always thought it’d be really cool to do a whole game full of interactive musical numbers. I also always figured I’d never actually get around to doing one unless and until I had an AAA-sized budget, because, you know, doing an interactive Disney movie would add up and such. Lately, though, I’ve been thinking about ways I could do an interactive musical on a shoestring budget, aiming less for Disney and more for, say, Colma: The Musical. Start small, build a proof of concept of sorts, then maybe pave my way to something bigger. That sort of thing.

I’ve been tinkering around as a result, putting together a library of sorts [1] that duplicates the basic functionality of the sound engine used in CMI, allowing sections of music to flow seamlessly together and on the beat while allowing user input as to which part of the song plays next. I made a little Flash App showcasing this with one of the tunes from Life Flashes By: there’s a main looping riff, and an “A” and “B” section that you can cue up to play by clicking on the associated letters in whatever order. Like I said, pretty basic, but it’s a start.

Meanwhile, I’ve recently been rekindling an interest in stop motion animation, which I was really into for a period in my early teens. Stop motion itself isn’t terribly new to videogames; The Neverhood has always been a favourite of mine, and I recently came across the nice looking Dream Machine as well. But it’s rare enough that I wish there was more of it, and what better way to bring that about than to do it myself? I’ve been craving an excuse to work with my hands and not stare at a computer all day, after all.

Thus, I set out to work making these little puppets below, whom you may recognise me teasing in a previous post:

I made them using some Sugru hacking putty moulded around skeletons made of aluminum wire and epoxy, as well as some scrap fabric I had lying around. Then, using a cheap webcam, some free frame-capturing software and a little Photoshop magic, I made this. Neat, huh?

So, put these ideas together and we get a musical stop-motion adventure game. If that doesn’t absolutely scream “least likely to make any money whatsoever” to corporate bigwigs in the videogame industry, I don’t know what does. And that’s all the more reason I need to make it.

Footnotes:
  1. I’m probably going to call it “JazzHands”.
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