I get the e-mails like the one heralding “Rhythm” all the time. “Dear NAME,” they read, “wouldn’t you like to check out such-and-such frippery because of how awesome we’re telling you it is?”
No, I wouldn’t.
But I was 18 once and I’m pretty sure I wanted to make games, then. Or at least I had ideas for games.
The PR blather from the missive in question follows:
Dan Slutz, 18, of Canton, Ohio won the National Invent-A-Game Challenge, a competition for America’s youth to create their own video games in June 2009. Slutz won for his music-based platform game where players battle evil forces utilizing various musical styles as weapons to advance, conquer and defeat their enemies. As the Grand Prize Winner, Dan was honored at EA’s offices in Los Angeles, and received his Grand Prize, a $10,000 U.S. savings bond.
In the game, Rhythm is the hero of the story, in trying to recover the stolen platinum disc from his nemesis Sylence. The loss of the platinum disc has stolen music and color from the world, and converted its youthful inhabitants into mindless, colorless drones. Rhythm needs to explore the world, use a megaphone to convert drones back to music loving teens, and re-power amps to bring music and color back to the world. Rhythm can collect new musical genres, which when enabled change the world and allow him to perform special moves. When Rhythm finally catches up with Sylence, he needs all of the musical genres to defeat his arch enemy and recover the platinum disc.
‘Rhythm,’ created by Dan Slutz, was developed by Say Design, with support and funding from Electronic Arts Inc. and the Best Buy Foundation, in cooperation with BKFK.
“It is really exciting to see that my game has actually come to life and is ready to play,” said inventor Dan Slutz. “This is a very important first step in realizing my dream to become a video game developer.”)
So I followed the links in said e-mail to see what young Dan Slutz’s handiwork played like. And it’s pretty good.
“Rhythm” has some basic but strong ideas that are presented in a fun, easy-to-understand way. The whole “restoring color to the world” thing has been done before, but who are we if not the sum of our influences, right? I actually would love to see it beefed up from a graphical and control perspective and ported to the Nintendo DS or the iPad.
So, here’s to you, Dan Slutz. May your game development journey be fruitful and fun. And make sure EA hooks you all the way up, a’ight?