Next Step for Guitar Hero and Generative Music

BoingBoing had a really interesting two part conversation between Xeni Jardin and Peter Kirn of Create Digital Music and Matt Ganucheau of Expression College about generative music.

There was a question asked toward the end about the next direction for Guitar Hero.  I didn’t feel that they had a good response (off the top of their heads) to it, so here’s my (had some time to think about it) opinion.

There are two directions to go from the current state of Guitar Hero, and in opposite directions.  I expect to see offerings in both directions in the future.

With regards to generative and collaborative music, there is the more creative direction (which as mentioned is less emotionally safe) in which people are collaborating in new composition.  It would be interesting for the software/game to lay a background and others to layer on that.  Perhaps with the software reacting and changing depending on player input.  Think drum circle with more instruments.

The other direction is toward more realism in instrument play.  I can’t recount how many times I’ve heard musician friends say “why would I want to do that when I can play real music?”  I can imagine a future generation of this style of gameplay that takes input from “real” instruments.  Using a MIDI interface is the most obvious choice.

Whether either of those directions will ever be as popular as the current Guitar Hero and ilk is unlikely in my opinion.  The dumbed-down, lowest common denominator game play is what leads to this genre’s popularity.

Video embeds for the conversation that got my mind churning:

Continue reading Next Step for Guitar Hero and Generative Music

Strangers in a Crowd

A random idea for an iPhone Application: Apple announced they would provide bonjour discovery of devices in the iPhone 3.0 software.  (They announced it to the world, so it’s not covered by the iPhone SDK NDA, you NDA nazis.)

My mind was w[oa]ndering and I thought of an interesting, odd, but compelling idea for an iPhone application.

Strangers.  You can discover devices in the area.  You invite them all to play Strangers.  The push notifications show a “badge icon” (that red number) showing you have been invited to play.  Any number of people join in.  It becomes a game of 20 questions to discover who each is.  That means YES or NO questions only.

Player A (Q3) to Player C (Q2): Are you wearing red?

Player A is asking his/her third question.  This question is of Player C and is the second question asked of C.

To put a little twist on it, we could of course have one Bot running on each device and have it asking and answering questions as well.  (It would not answer truthfully, it would answer randomly.)

It’s a little creepy of an idea, but i can imagine there being at least one “discover strangers” application.  In some places it would be fun – MacWorld convention.

Perhaps just the anonymous, concurrent 20 questions game that people could join into and leave at will would be more feasible.  You can’t ask another question if one is pending for you to answer.

Anyway, that’s a random app idea in my head.  FWIW.

Bionic Blogging

Been a while since I’ve posted.  Not that I haven’t had things I want to write about, I’ve just been allocating my sparse time elsewhere.

There have been articles about blogging being dead.  Baah.  There have been articles about Twitter’s short attention span pushing into blogging’s space.  Perhaps some truth there.

As I was driving home today, the evening commute that takes twice as long as the morning one, it struck me that blogging may get an uptick in the future.  I think that voice recognition may lead to more “writing” on blogs.  I certainly have plenty of time in my car during the commute.  And ideas often come to me while driving.

The ubiquity of audio note taking on cell phones and mp3 “players” (hopefully soon for me, the second generation iPod Touch) will help people to take down their thoughts.  Voice recognition is becoming more common (Google’s iPhone app for searches).  Whether it’s available on the device itself or your home computer, it will be available soon.

I can image a Google Transcribe application that takes the whole recording on your phone.  Sends it instantly or later to the Google farm and delivers the text to you via email or back to the mobile/desktop application.  You wouldn’t need any local ability to transcribe.  (And Google could start indexing your thoughts.)

Until then, I’ll try to write more.  (I really write mostly for myself.)  And when the pocket transcriber gets here, I’ll try not to write too much.

iPod idea

iPod touchAs soon as the iPod was out, some users whined about wanting a radio tuner embedded, and eventually they got an external one. Personally, I almost never would want it. That’s the point of the iPod – the radio these days sucks.

Now that the new iPod touch is out, and is quite nice for video, I’m thinking it would be cool to have an HD tuner attached to it. Of course, watching college football made me think of it – that would be the ideal use.

How small can a tuner be made? How much power does it consume? Will Apple let companies start officially adding applications (it seems so from the half vacant home screen)?

I heard a business pundit on NPR the day before the announcement – “what’s left to do with iPods? they’re already played out. who could want more that 80GB?” That person looks like an idiot today. These will be the holiday fodder once again.

But how long will it take before we have an HDTV tuner on these puppies? I’d be surprised if it’s not before Xmas 2008.

Note to me: all Houston library branches have free Wi-Fi (and so does HCC).  Oh,… and get the iPhone without the phone: iPod touch. Then I can continue to stay cell phone free.