In August of this year my company Lucky Frame released Bad Hotel, an “insane hybrid of a tower defense game and a procedural music toy, with beautiful art and tons of bullets.”
Bad Hotel is another example of what I’ve been working on over the past few years, both on my own and with Lucky Frame. It is looking at interactions with sound, and seeing what other things can be used to expand our experiences with sound in general (and vice versa – how can music generation be enriched by other interactions?).
I was very proud of Bad Hotel when it came out, because I felt that we really managed to make something unusual and wonderful whilst still being an iPhone and iPad game (with all of the associations that comes with that world). We put a lot of love and work into it, and we were very pleased with the reception it received. A few choice quotes from reviews:
“…an unlikely work of minimalist art.” – Nick Gillett, The Guardian
“… endearingly bizarre.” – Shane Richmond, telegraph.co.uk
“Bad Hotel is, in short, the stuff of wonderful nightmares: an eerie soundtrack, a menacing palette and an all-pervading sense of inescapable doom. Yet it’s also one of the most original and atmospheric tower-defense games we’ve played all year…” – John Bedford, modojo.com
“…to understand how excellent Bad Hotel is, you need to play it. And you need to hear it…I like Bad Hotel so much I’d buy it for you. Get it. It’s for iPhone and iPad. It’s wonderful. ” – Stephen Totilo, kotaku.com
Our extremely positive reviews resulted in a mini storm of interest on the internet, which drove sales! It was great.
In the end, we’ve sold nearly 10,000 copies to date, which is wonderful. On the other hand, it’s a lot less than people think. To try and educate people and help out other small companies, I decided to be very open about our sales figures. You can read my full analysis and statistic on the Lucky Frame blog.
It features the same adorable and hilarious Pug characters from Pugs Luv Beats, this time doing nothing but singing to their hearts content. In other words: it’s a super fun synthesizer and drum machine – changing their costumes and hats changes the sounds and drums.
Pugs Luv Beats, a music composition game for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, is now available on the App Store!
My company, Lucky Frame, has been working on this project for a while, it’s very exciting to have it out! We’ve even made a great promo video for it:
Focusing on musical creativity, Pugs Luv Beats offers a refreshing change from the standard karaoke-style music games currently on the market. Instead of forcing a player to accurately recreate an existing song, the game encourages exploration and musical composition – playing the game will create original music, different for every user.
In the game, the player controls an alien breed of pugs. Once the masters of a wondrous and highly advanced civilization, these pugs are the victims of their own greed. They loved nothing more than to collect beats, which they cultivated with their special brand of “luv”. But an ill-advised scheme to grow the biggest beat of all time spun wildly out of control, and their home planet was destroyed. The player must help the pugs to grow more beats so they can rediscover new planets, build houses, and recover their lost technology.
Head over to the Pugs Luv Beats website to see lots of videos, screenshots, and information. Give it a download and let me know what you think!
Just a quick note to say that things have been busy at Lucky Frame – today we are launching Festipods, a fun and quirky visualization of Edinburgh festivals data.
In a nutshell, Festipods lets you create a petri dish full of little musical creatures that represent the events you have attended (or will attend) in the Edinburgh festivals. It was commissioned by the Edinburgh Festivals Innovation Lab, after our participation in Culture Hack Scotland.
There is much more information over at the Lucky Frame website, include images of the development and the open source code of the whole project. Go check it out!
The Amazing Rolo is Yann Seznec, an artist, sound designer, musician, and entrepreneur in Edinburgh, Scotland. He specializes in making fun and intriguing musical instruments, software, and installations. He is founder of creative studio Lucky Frame , releases music with The Seznec Bros and is currently on touring as part of Matthew Herbert's band.