GDC 2012: Create music, broadcast it online, become (Internet) famous with the PS Move-centric title, 4am

gdc 2012 create music broadcast it online become internet famous with the ps move centric title 4amIf you wander through the stores, looking at the newest releases, it is hard not to feel a slight twinge of déjà vu. The big developers and publishers put out games that they think will have the best chance of attracting the mainstream and selling the most possible copies. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it does make it tougher for developers to experiment with quirky titles that try new things.

Thanks to the growing market for digitally distributed games, the opportunity to try new things is greater than ever. Sometimes those ideas produce duds (see thousands of forgotten examples), other times it creates masterpieces (see Thatgamecompany’s Journey). But good or not, each new and creative title pushes gaming further and further into new and uncharted directions that can only help the industry in the long run.

One such title is PixelJunk’s upcoming music-based game, 4am which will soon be released on PSN. Actually, calling it a game isn’t exactly accurate. It is presented as a game, of sorts, but it is more akin to a music manipulator.

The title uses the Move to create sounds that turn into a coherent track, which can then be broadcast online to listeners, who then vote on whether they like it or not. The better received a track is, the more kudos the creator receives, and the more fans they will gain. The best performers will then even be able to announce when they are going to play via Twitter and/or Facebook.

The game (for lack of a better word), begins with a single beat. Using the Move, you can then add in new rhythms with the touch of a button. Swiping the Move then adds the sound as a continuous beat, and moving the controller back and forth tweaks and adjusts the sounds. You can then bring in and isolate tracks and beats while an equalizer-like display onscreen reacts to your movements and the sounds you create.

In principle it sounds simple and even limiting, but in practice, it is not a simple things to pick up. It is easy enough to create a few beats, but to manipulate the track at the right time, and in the best way to add to the sound is a different matter, and one that will take people a while to master.

4am is not a game, that is just the easiest way to understand it. It isn’t deep enough to be a full music generator either. It falls somewhere in between. The real fun is going to come when the people that just “get it” begin to jump on line and show off what they can do. Once that happens, gaming will have created something new. And for that alone, 4am is a “game” that needs to be on your radar when it is released later this Spring.


Here are all the awesome award-winning indie games from IGF

Indie games are now offering experiences capable of matching -- and often surpassing -- that of big-budget blockbuster titles. The Independent Games Festival recognized the best of them on March 20.

The best of the last generation: Our 50 favorite Xbox 360 games

The Xbox 360 thrived during a generation where games were plentiful. Here's our list of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, including all game genres and even a few special indie hits.

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our favorites, with all the features you want.

Get in the Dark Zone and blow away the competition with our The Division 2 guide

The Division 2 has three Dark Zones, specialized areas for PvE and PvP combat. Our Dark Zone guide teaches you the ropes, from the recon missions to the leveling system to the dangers and benefits of going Rogue.
Product Review

Acer Predator Triton 500 review

Nvidia’s new RTX 2080 Max-Q is the fastest GPU you’ll find in any laptop, but it usually comes at a steep price. Acer’s Predator Triton 500, starting at $2,500, makes it a little more affordable. But what must you sacrifice in the…

The Division 2

The latest news, guides, tips and tricks, updates, patch notes, and more so you can learn how to level up your game in The Division 2. Related Categories: The Division 2 News | Guides | Features

Get a new Nintendo Switch? You'll need to grab these accessories

The Switch is a capable console right out of the box, but it has its limitations. Thankfully, these Nintendo Switch accessories will allow you to make the most of Nintendo's latest console.

From fatalities to new characters, here's what we know about Mortal Kombat 11

Mortal Kombat 11 releases April 23 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Here is everything we know about NetherRealm's latest fighting game, including its characters.

Get a head start mastering Apex Legend's newest character Octane with our guide

Apex Legends' newest legend Octane ran so fast in the Titanfall 2 gauntlet that he blew off his legs. Now dropping into Kings Canyon with prosthetics, Octane's ability set is still centered around speed. Here's how to play as Octane.

The Division 2 offers nothing but a funhouse mirror of America

Tom Clancy's The Division 2 improves on the design shortcomings of the original game in several different ways, but its version of Washington D.C. is completely removed from reality.

World of Warcraft's allied races will make you want to start a new character

The Hord and Alliance are seeking new allies in their struggle for control of Azeroth. Rather you pledge your allegiance to the Horde or Alliance, we've got a guide to help you unlock every allied race that's coming in Battle for Azeroth.

How the Google Stadia could lead to a new era of multi-GPU gaming

Google's Stadia could use more than one graphics card to deliver the high-performance visuals it's promised. If that leads to better developer support for multi-GPUs, could that mean gaming with two or more graphics cards could finally be…