A lot of computer games that (either fully or in part) revolve around music, tend to have highly specific game mechanics, game design and not in the least dedicated hardware; Wii Music, Guitar Hero, Dance Dance Revolution, Rock Band, … to name but a few. Immaterial of the platform on which it runs, music-oriented games as such tend to employ a variety of sensor technologies (e.g. proximity sensors, accelerometers, gyroscopes, …) piezo microphones, MIDI-controllers, motion capture devices or even VR-applications.
This experimental course aims at working with and providing alternative control beyond the keyboard, whether that is the computer keyboard or an actual (MIDI-)keyboard. We look at various information protocols (OSC, MIDI, RTA, DMX, …), at application development, at options for hard- and software development and game mechanics.
As such, the course is divided into three constituent pieces: 1) NIME creation (for gaming), 2) audio programming and 3) lectures. From the part of NIMEs (I.e. New Interfaces for Musical Expression), students are expected to get acquainted with the research field and come up with their own innovative setup and game design. To accommodate this, students also 2) train with the C++-based audio programming tool JUCE and 3) experiment with a variety of soft- and hardware development packages that are useful for coming up with their own prototype, such as Python, Processing, Arduino, Max/MSP/Jitter, Touch Designer, analog synthesis, …
During the semester, the students develop their idea into a fully functioning prototype from scratch, learn how to iterate on their idea, to test and to present their prototype. For the exam, students need a functioning prototype, documentation of the development and are required to demonstrate they have acquired insights in all three aspects of the course.
Graduates of this course should be able to autonomously go through a full iterative design process of a simple interactive music device/interface/game/tool, from ideation to execution.
Software: JUCE and other.