Longing for a more collaborative play dynamic in music games, Kevin Lim and Shawna Hein came up with a new direction to take the genre – straight toward the land of jug band. Jug music has strong social and even humorous connotations – a perfect antidote to the solo button-racing so prevelant around the time of this project’s development –
Two players are assigned one jug instrument each, which they blow puffs of air into to score points. Players also “clink” their instruments together in a social “cheers!” that allots them bonus points. Each jug includes a microphone to sense resonant puffs of air in the mouth of the jug, and a force-sensor to sense social “clinking” of two jugs at the side of the instruments. The interaction is kept both simple and social. Also, because the tempo of jug band music varies widely, the arbitrary “easy/medium/hard” trichotomy is removed in favor of a foot pedal, which allows the players to choose a difficulty level much more intuitively. At any point in the game, either player can tap the pedal slower or faster to play a song with the corresponding speed. Finally, the game includes a simple “keyboard” for bonus musical effects. Keys on a laptop are mapped to sound-snippets. To allow the keyboardist creative expression, she is not told what to do, and can simply play sounds as she feels fit, which adds points to the team’s total score.
Sorry, passing out from lack of air does not currently enhance your score – but cleaning your spittle from the jug-troller most likely should!
Unique hardware interface ideas can be inspiring to learn of – but they’re all about experience firsthand – So bring that hand (and the other one too) to the Bay Area Maker Faire and commence the jugging!
– read more @ Jug Hero
UPDATE: Kevin, a Jug Hero developer writes –
Just wanted to update, that we’re only going to make it on the Sunday
(may 4) of Maker faire… because of a prior engagement.
So, if you’re planning on gettin’ juggy with it, be sure to come on Sunday, ya hear?
Maker Faire is a two-day, family-friendly event that celebrates the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset May 3rd and 4th at the San Mateo Fairgrounds, CA (Upcoming.org). It’s for creative, resourceful people of all ages and backgrounds who like to tinker and love to make things. Buy tickets now and save, discount ticket sales end on April 25th, 2008.
If you’re in the Bay Area, or plan to attend Maker Faire add “makerfaire” to your Twitter, we’ll be giving away tickets and will have updates before and during Maker Faire!