Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Swing It

If I were to make a flash game, I want it to teach people how to appreciate music in school programs. Although the object of the game is for the player to enjoy music played by the classical, jazz, or latin music orchestra, they will have to understand the fight to keep music in education programs. So, I propose an assortment of easy mini-games so the player can empathize with teachers.

At the beginning of the game, the game will ask whether the player wishes to start a jazz band, classical orchestra, salsa band, or rock band. The first mode takes place in a teacher’s garage or apartment (depending if you want to be in an urban setting or not). Throughout the location there will be a bunch of miscellaneous items with instruments strewn about. At the top of the screen, a certain instrument will appear. The player must guide the teacher with the arrow keys to the instrument under 7 seconds. Depending on the music group the player selected, the instruments available will change. The mode will finish when the player collects enough instruments for the ensemble in mind. Also, the joint retail price for all the instruments would flash across the screen.

The second mode is a teacher teaching the player how to read, write, and develop an ear for music. For this, the player will be quizzed on basic musical theory such as recognizing notes (single) on the treble, alto, or bass clef, hearing chord qualities (minor, major, augmented, or diminished) through sound clips. Essentially, the clef will appear across the screen and the note will appear on the clef. The player will have to identify the note via the letters from a pool of all the notes on the bottom of the screen. Since music theory may not be everyone’s forte, there is no time limit. For the aural section of the game, the player will hear a chord played. The chord can be played melodically or harmonically depending on the player (you can toggle between the two on the side). Once played, the player will have to identify the quality of the chord from a similar pool seen in the note game. The player will also have the option to have the chord played again by clicking on button labeled, “play again.” The second mode is beaten once the player can get twenty drills correct, ten in the note section and ten in the chord section. Once you beat it, the player is allowed to select an instrument they wish to play within the ensemble.

The third mode is not a part of the game but a reward for the player. Depending on the group selected, the player witnesses the student ensemble perform a standard to an audience. The classical ensemble would play Mozart’s Symphony No. 25 In G Minor, the jazz ensemble would play Haitian Fight Song by Charles Mingus, and Estudio En Trompeta by Cachao. Then the game would finish with a screen filled with links to organizations which seek to help keep music programs within public schools.

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