About the rhythm-type games...it's funny, because it's true that's where they are now, but it was popularized by PaRappa the Rapper, which had original music.
RJ: True. Good point.
Have you ever thought about doing something like that yourself?
RJ: What, working on rhythm-action games?
RJ: I had a small involvement in Samba de Amigo, because there's a track on there I had on there from Sonic R, actually -- Super Sonic Racing is the hardest bonus track that you get in the game, and I was involved in the sequencing of the maracas.
So I was playing through the earlier stages of the game and getting used to the game, and you know, I'm not a game designer. I don't know a lot about game balancing. But I knew what I was supposed to do, and I thought, "Right."
And we were using fairly basic sequencing packages to create the on-screen icons, so I did a basic mock-up of what would work with the track, and Sega of Japan kind of tweaked it from there.
I also work on the SingStar series, in more of a technical capacity, and also on some of the EyeToy series for Sony. There's quite a few music games in that, and apart from writing the music, it was fairly involved.
There's a little mini-game in there called Air Guitar, which is on EyeToy Play 2, and that was long before Guitar Hero. And that's just with a camera. There's no physical controller, so the music had to be written in a very precise way so that it was fun to play with all the licks and riffs and stuff. I would love to do more of that kind of work.
Sony's EyeToy Play 2
My girlfriend, who is a game designer... we kind of toyed with the idea of doing something together, because she's really into rhythm-action games, and she's a designer and I'm a composer.
Maybe we would look at doing some kind of other web-based or downloadable thing, because neither of us are coders. But I have so many ideas, because I understand games, and I understand music so well, and I understand what makes a rhythm-action game fun.
And it's not necessarily because it's got some band in there. That makes no difference at all. It's about how much fun it is to play, and how well it's executed. Rez has got to be one of the finest examples of that, in terms of musical feedback and how it works.
It's just absolutely brilliant. And I'm a big fan of Guitar Hero and Rock Band and those kinds of things. They're bringing quite a bit of family audience as well, and it's been executed very well with the music in mind.
There aren't a whole lot of games out there that are composer-driven, which I don't know if it's down to people feeling that it's not an important part of the process or something or what, but aside from all the games that NanaOn-Sha has done like PaRappa the Rapper or...
RJ: Um Jammer Lammy.
Yeah, all those types of games. There aren't a whole lot of games that have been driven by that sort of thing.
RJ: That's very true.