~Reveries~

If I had to categorize ~Reveries~ as something, I think it'd be best described as an interactive short film. Really, it's more of a musical composition with gamified elements - an experiment in the fusion of genres.

My inspiration for this project comes from a couple of beloved animations, such as "Bao" and the opening scene from "Up". I noticed that due to the lack of dialogue in these sequences, the underlying musical score did most of the heavy lifting in evoking an emotional response; furthermore, I found the effectiveness of the music to have derived from its perfect synchronization with the visuals - both in terms of overall aesthetic as well as timing with events. This led me to wonder, though short film animations are typically regarded with respect to their visual narrative, perhaps their musical narrative is equally (or perhaps even more) fundamental and compelling

Thus, ~Reveries~ is an attempt to reframe the short film animation medium by letting the audio drive the visuals. I designed the system to be minimalistic and cohesive, as the only control throughout the entire playthrough is pressing and releasing the spacebar to emit a chime. That way, the user has nothing to worry about other than creating sounds. Regarding the visual and gamified components, they are quite literal in the sense that you are embodying a child who learns to play musical instruments and falls in love with music as they continue playing over time. There's no way to lose - only ways to experience the music and narrative however one prefers. (For example, a friend of mine spammed the spacebar during the full playthrough and said they liked it best that way!)

Overall, the process of building this project has been interesting without a doubt. I think that as a proof of concept, ~Reveries~ succeeded in demonstrating the nuances of such a system, as well as the limitations. For one, because the user is directly invested in the music making process, the experience feels more engaging. However, the system is not interesting without novel ways of responding to audio cues; as it currently stands, I think ~Reveries~ is not fully there yet, and one flaw in my design that I realized is keeping the controls too simple limits the range of expression I have to work with. As such, theoretical next steps include giving the user more tools to play with, so that while the big picture narrative remains consistently linear, perhaps the steps they experience along the way are more uniquely tailored to individual actions.