Brandon Boyer

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I’ve been following KirbyKid’s delightfully obscure blog for some time, where he’s been showing an almost troubling level of dedication to deconstructing the gameplay of everything from Super Mario Bros. to Treasure’s excellent roll-your-own DS shooter Bangai-O Spirits (check his critical-glossary for an extrapolated glimpse into the madness).

It was with some interest, then, that I noted his most recent entry, in which he explains how he put LittleBigPlanet‘s level editor through its paces by attempting to bring a Kandinsky painting to life, garnished with a layer of generative and improvisational music:

# I looked to paintings like the one above for inspiration. I also looked at Kandinsky’s paintings from his “Improvisation” series.

# Another idea from the list is for a level that uses musical sounds to create a harmonizing melody. As the player moves closer to the end of the level and as the player platforms more boldly, the generated music would sound more cohesive while matching with the player’s platforming tempo and prowess.

# I decided to combine these two ideas harmonizing around the concept of improvisation. The abstract, non structured, freedom of the Kandinsky paintings (form) will influence a similar freewheeling, intersecting style of platforming. And the musical, positional sound design will blend with these two ideas to create a circular, playful flow throughout the level that moves the player in any and all directions.

Having taken the level for a spin, I can comfortably say that Jimi Hendrix’s song structures make for a happier Guitar Hero level than Kandinsky’s art makes for a platformer — its shapes too chaotic to make for pleasing play — but I sincerely applaud the attempt to break LittleBigPlanet from its traditional bonds and do something entirely unique, and will be eagerly watching further efforts.

Critical-Gaming Network – Blog – Improvisation #1 [Critical-Gaming Network]

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