Working with Adult Swim Games, Studio Bean has developed a new rhythm game entitled Soundodger. The game takes the formula of hitting notes from games like Guitar Hero and flips it, instead creating projectiles on the beats that the player has to dodge.
I had a chance to talk to the man behind Studio Bean about the game, Michael Molinari.
IGM: What’s your history as a game developer?
Molinari: I’ve been making Flash games since 2001. I worked at Namco Bandai Games America for two years, thereafter becoming a full time independent developer.
IGM: What inspired the creation of Soundodger?
Molinari: Soundodger is my attempt at fusing together a lot of my loves, including shoot-em-ups, rhythm games, and the art of dancing. I’m mostly known for my experimental narrative games, so this was a wild departure from that mindset, allowing me to just focus on gameplay and the sensation of moving through music.
IGM: How did you get involved with the musicians in Soundodger?
Molinari: I realized I needed a lot of varied music for a game like this to speak to a lot of people, so I made a wish list of all of my favorite musicians – both in and out of games – asking them if they’d be down for making a track or two. I sent out an early prototype that used licensed music, and almost all of them agreed to be a part of the project.
IGM: The rhythm genre of gaming has been a lot quieter ever since the downfall of Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Do you think there could be a resurgence?
Molinari: I’m not quite sure it’s hushed much, with Dance Central and Just Dance selling plenty of units. It may not be the same kind of gameplay as Rock Band, but I think there will always be a place for rhythm in games. It’s one of those instinctual connections that can’t be forgotten.
Molinari: The people working at Adult Swim Games are awesome! They like new and different ideas and don’t get in the way at all as far as making changes to the original vision of the game I showed them. It would be hard to find someone better than them for support.
IGM: What are you working on next?
Molinari: Right now I’m working on a bigger and better version of Soundodger for PC and Mac, slated for release later this year. It’s going to include a full level editor, the same one I’ve been using to craft the levels in the Web version. There’s also an “instant level” mode in case you just want to jump in and play your own music. And of course there will be more original songs included from more amazing artists.