July 4, 2010


In 1978 Steve Reich recorded the most important minimalism piece: «Music for 18 musicians».

In 2009 PopCap released the best tower defence game, Plants vs Zombies.

I believe there’s a room for another milestone release here.



The idea is to combine two things in one game: minimalism music of the 60s-70s and tower defence gameplay.
The basic idea of minimalism movement is this:

а) The piece consists of small music phrases, each phrase attached to a particular musician.

b) It may be repeated an arbitrary number of times. A musician can choose when to start/stop playing his phrase.

c) The piece can be performed by 18 or 118 people. They can play 18 минут or 18 hours – each time it would be different and great:


I think this is a great premise for an improvisational game, when combined with tower defence mechanic.


Now let’s take a look at Plants vs Zombies.

This is a very simple and balanced tower defence game.

The basic concept is this:

a) Game field is a 5x9 grid

b) Enemies move from right to left, and they strictly follow a row, never changing it.

c) Player has a set of defense structures; each occupies one cell on the game field.

Everything in this game follows a tempo: defence structures shoot with a set period of time, enemies move with a set speed, the game progresses on a set tempo.






Now if we imagine that every object in this game has a musical phrase attached to it (it plays every time it shoots, gets a hit or explodes), we’ll have an interactive minimalistic music piece that plays differently every time.

Now imagine that music phrase tone is different depending on the position on the grid.
Now imagine there’s a list of 100 defence structures (music phrases), but you can only take 7 or 10 of them on a mission.
Now let’s imagine that it is set in an abstract minimalistic design world.
Now imagine it on an iPad.

We have an interactive music album, where every mission is a music piece and every time you play it – it’s different.

I’m looking for:

·         Game designer who, working with a sound designer, can develop a game-design document, setting the grid size, game’s tempo, defence structures power, etc.

·         Sound designer, who, working with game-designer can develop music phrases for every action in the game (by sampling them from Reich’s «Music for 18 musicians» or by making his own sounds)

·         Graphic designers, who can make this game look beautiful and clean.

·         Programmers, who can make both prototype and a full game.   


Oleg Stavitsky

11:30pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z7BpUyjwLWZ
Filed under: games music