Songlines Game

Songlines was a gesture-based musical experience, built in Unity and featuring motion control via Microsoft's Kinect platform. The game's core concept is based on an Aboriginal Australian creation myth in which totemic spirit beings created the world through song and dance. The player takes on the avatar of a primordial creator spirit who flies through a blank and formless landscape, using gestural control via the Kinect and a unique recombinant music system to directly shape and populate the world around her.

An increasing amount of games in this modern time are allowing players to be creative, whether they know it or not. Indie games, especially, are tapping into this new and exciting capability.

One of which is Songlines which caters to player creativity twofold. It’s also one of the few games using the Kinect that actually seems worth a damn. The player flies over a landscape and using gestures they can shape it to their liking. Alongside this, the game’s music will be generated according to the player’s actions, thus the player creates music and a terrain at the same time.

Songlines provides a sensory experience that is at once relaxing, energizing, and transcendent, as the player watches life burst into being all around her.

Songlines was developed as a Master's thesis project at the Interactive Media Division of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California.

It was shown at USC's First Look Festival, UCLA's Game Art Festival, the TEDxUSC Game Lounge, the IMD's 2012 thesis show “Other Worlds”, and at the E3 IndieCade Gallery.

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