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This page lists some of the projects, past and future, we have created that experiment with audio mechanics as compositional systems within games and interactive media. To view these games in the arcade index view, visit the AGL Projects Page, or click on individuals links below to the game pages themselves.
[ Go to AGL Projects Page ]
The sea of o (2023 – current)
A 2D maze game about waterways. Began it’s life as a laptop orchestra piece for the Peabody Conservatory of Music, and will be further developed into a game/live performance work.
The Way In (2021-current)
An audio album by the band Evidence, featuring music from The Tank in Colorado. Traverse mazes through listening, and collect/preserve soundscape recordings of imaginary civilizations.
The Aga Khan Garden Project (2022 – current)
This game project serves two functions. One is to give the user a virtual experience exploring the remarkable Aga Khan Islamic Garden in a virtual way. Underneath is a hidden soundscape crawl, where music from the main level is scrambled and must be unscrambled through spatial listening and movement.
Know Thyself as a Virtual Reality (2022-23)
A pair of virtual reality artworks by Marilene Oliver, as well as works by others, for a special exhibition of new VR works on the subject of human digital and medical data repositories and our connections to these datasets. The two main works, Your Data Body and My Data Body, explore the personal medical, social media, and other data of Marilene Oliver and others, with sound design and music integrated into a integrated media experience.
The Lost Garden (2016-2021)
A first-person audio puzzle game that features sonic exploration in an abandoned underground urban environment. As a stranger here, the player explores the soundscape of a world cut off from nature, perhaps a future us, by interacting with sonic puzzles that open doors to new areas, and, ultimately, the lost garden. Through listening and interacting with sounds, players are encouraged to consider the fragile nature of our natural soundscapes, and to speculate on what the story might be for the abandoned game world. As puzzles are solved, clues are revealed, and doors to new areas are opened, ultimately leading the perceptive player outdoors, to the lost (last?) garden.
Super Paulino (2015 – present)
Adapted by Scott Smallwood from the game Super Sparty Bros, originally created by Brian Winn and Greg Kozma at Michigan State University, this game imagines the genre hero as a sound collector. The game was designed with the idea that students could each create their own set of sounds for each level, exercising and demonstrating both sound design and compositional skills in a variety of styles. As Super Paulino collects notes, she turns on sounds that are part of a multipart composition, unlocking sonic layers that come together at the end of each level.
Locus Sono (2015-16)
Locus Sono is a first-person audio puzzle game, where listening and exploration are the key forms of interaction. The game demonstrates a simple audio mechanic that involves locating sonic “sweet spots” in an otherwise silent soundscape. The game progresses as you unlock portals to new spaces for listening. Each level is a kind of composition that is explored and mixed through locomotion. There are many sounds to explore, including secret ones, and the pathway through each level eventually leads to a mysterious audio theatre.
Sync or Swim (2012-17)
Sync or Swim began life as an installation that is also a simple listening game, and now exists as a downloadable game for several platforms. The idea is simply to listen very carefully to the repetitive textures and move the knob (using buttons in the software version of the game) until you hear the pattern repeating exactly (i.e. nothing is out of sync). Once you find the sync point, the game will “bloom” into a drone, which crescendos and drops you into a new level, with a new and more complex pattern. If you reach level eight, you get a nice little sonic surprise.