A Break in the Road


A Break in the RoadJaredIf you like music (and I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that you do) then you'll probably like A Break in the Road. Created by Luke Whittaker, the game puts you in the role of a DJ recording and collecting sound samples throughout the city to mix into a one minute piece. An amazingly well-produced cut scene, complete with top-notch voice acting talent, introduces the back story and drops you right into it.

There are a lot of places to scout for good sounds: someone shaking the carpet outside, closing a garage door, people humming while they work or waiting for the train. Even if you're looking for some lyrics in your piece, just head down to the coffee shop and catch some fragments of conversation—the people there, just like you or I, speak in rhyme.

A Break in the RoadOnce you've loaded up on recordings its time to hit up the mix studio. There you can download the samples you've collected into your virtual computer, and then go back to the city for more or stay to compile your mix. Songs are created easily by simply drag-dropping any of the collected sounds onto one of 5 layered tracks. Editing is equally easy: just click and drag the samples where you want them. In about a minute, I had made the greatest song ever conceived—it urgently required that I call in my girlfriend to come and listen to it.

Once you have your masterpiece finished, you can then take it to the club and play it. A meter reads in how much the crowd is loving your song so you can see how it measures up. My first time, I got booed off the stage; but the great thing is, even if you have to suffer this humiliation you can always go back and make your song better! Not only that, but you can save the song and come back to it, and even email it to someone so they can check it out, too! I sent my revised copy to each of the major record labels in the hope of a record deal... you could also send it to a friend.

Analysis: This game is extremely well done. It goes beyond just being a simple "create a..." toy and becomes an actual game by giving you the challenge of pleasing the crowd at the club. It's a lot of fun exploring the city for sounds and seeing what you find, in a way it kind of felt like a Where's Waldo book with sound.

Aside from the great audio, the game also features fantastic hand drawn animation, artistic city backdrops, and superb voice acting—all done on a professional level. From the first second you start the game you feel immediately sucked into the world and story.

My only qualm, a very tiny one, is that I wish there were even more sounds—some of which could be hidden a littler harder. It didn't take long for me to visit all of the locations and see what was available. That said though, this is one of the best and most artistic games out there, going beyond just technical execution and becoming a form of self expression.

Play A Break in the Road

Cheers to Star for suggesting the game! =)

57 Comments

very nice, gives you the musical freedom that we all need now and then

This game is awsome, a great idea. More sounds and more tracks would be amazing.

Out of curiosity, how many sounds are there to find? I've got around 25 so far, how many more are left?

i'm addicted to this game on an unhealthy level...well, i suppose it's more unhealthy to be addicted to other things...lol. great game!

I have exactly 27, but I get the feeling there should be around 30. Still...
This is such an awesome game, though. I've had almost more fun with this than I did with flOw, and that's saying something.

If only real life was like this! Power tools are baselines, everyday convesation is rap, and every hum and whistle an angelic chorus line. That said, the game has a really nice balance between linearity (you can only use a few dozen pre-set sounds, you need to please the crowd) and interactivity (you can organize them as you like, you find the sounds yourself). The begining intro has rotoscoping (at least, I hope it's rotoscoping) as good as anything in GTA or A Scanner Darkly. Also, it's an educational game: it teaches the basics of most mixing software, as well as elementary composition. Nice stuff.

Could someone tell me where the game stores the sounds and music on your computer?

i love games like this where you can put together different sounds and make music but this is the best of them all. Its not complicated and all the sounds really fit together and there not all just gutars and drums. i just wish u could choose which part you wanted to listen too so u didnt have to wait the whole time to see what fits in a later part.

hhhm, no, don't know where it stores them...
found where it stores the actual sound files though!

Nice find, interesting to play with but I still love Cakewalk pro audio 6. nothing like writing the music on a stave ;)

though if you want it printed prettily then Sebalius is your program to use, whereas cubase is more like this game - good for sequencing.

(*ends lecture on music sequencing/composing software, and ambles off humming)

Here are the sounds I found:

percussion (10): snip, drip, builder, carpet, sk8r, fence, garage, window, radio, static.
bassline (3): arcade 1, car, thumpbass
trebleline (5): guitar, arcade 2, shanty, windchimes, piano
vocals (8): drunk, train, tannoy, girl sing, whistle, girl talk, girl hum, "bit fresh..."

what am I missing?
Love the interface, and I was actually pleased with the mix I made after playing with it for a bit...but I hadn't quite gotten the crowd to "loving it". Then I realized the trick:

I think the crowd just wants you to keep switching instruments. The more switching, the happier the crowd.

So when I took that into account, I degraded the quality of the track but it was easy to make the crowd go crazy :-)

This game could be so, so much. Instead, the only real thing you need to do to get the crowd to love it, is jam all the diffrent sounds you can in the tracks, it doesn't matter how it sounds.

You're missing one in the trebleline

windchimes

which can be found in

Are you sure? You're gonna hit yourself if you haven't gotten it...

Windchimes Street

The scoring seems to be based on the number of different sounds to use. Which makes sense in the 'completionist' sense, but it ends up sounding pretty poor. However, trying to program any other clever musical scoring algortihm would probably be too difficult.

here's me rekid winnin' setip.

Track 1: Arcade 1, Thumperbass, piano, girl sing, Arcade 1
Track 2: Car, Arcade 2, drunk, shanty, girl hum, garage
Track 3: _, _, windows, carpet, shop, sk8r
Track 4: _, _, _, builder, guitar, static, thumpbass, wistl, windo
Track 5: Bit Fresh, snip, _, Tandy, _, Girl talk

Try it out, Whoever's reading this, and tell me what you think.

-MANAX

I like this game, it would be cool if everyday life created music...

one thing i was dissapointed with was how to win.

I found that if you have lots of different tracks the crowd like it. My track i created was much better sounding but only included 7 things so they didn't like it

I feel that the audience rating system spoils it, as it really doesn't reflect the quality of the music. It could be somewhat improved, for instance, by having certain sets of sounds that score points when put together, based on how good they sound together.

Also

Builder Builder Builder Builder Builder Builder
Thumpbass Thumpbass Thumpbass Thumpbass Thumpbass rest rest
rest rest Arcade 1 Arcade 1 Arcade 1 rest rest Arcade 1
rest rest rest rest shanty shanty arcade 2 rest rest arcade 2
girl hum rest rest rest rest girl sing

Here's my mix (Didn't make the crowdometer, but oh well):

Track 1: _(x2), Carpet(x2), Fence(x2), Garage(x2), _(x2)
Track 2: _(x2), Builder(x2), Static(x2), Windo(x2), _(x2)
Track 3: _ (x2), Thumpbass, Car(x2), Thumpbass, Car(x4)
Track 4: Arcade 1 (x3), _ (x6)
Track 5: Arcade 2 (x3), Piano (x2), _ (x2)

Also, a little hint for the crowdometer:

It goes by the number of instruments used in the mix, so the less you use of one instrument, the more room you have for another!

This game was so much fun! There are so many combinations that you can make that it could probably keep me entertained all day if I didn't have to you know...eat...

It's too easy to please the crowd, you just compact as many instruments into as little space as possible and they love it..

How about a little constuctive criticism for a change. Yes, I absolutely agree that it sucks that the total scoring system is composed of cramming as many clips into the song as possible. But how should it be done?

My idea: Score the song based on hidden factors that would show during the song play such as...
*Playing clips should give a standard point amount. "new clip +10"
*Certain sounds clips combined in certain ways should give a bonus, e.g. when you start the girl hum sequence during the last segment of girl sing you would recieve a "nice flow +35" bonus (listen to it and you will see what I mean). The more of the combos possible, the better, but it really should sound good.
*Having certain key components should give points, e.g. if you repeat the drip sound four times in a row you get a "solid baseline +50" reward.
*Recieving bonuses at the same time could multiply the bonuses. "double bonus x2"
*the bonuses should show as you are playing to the crowd as how they are commenting on the song.

...So who wants to make it? :)

Hey! You put up the game I showed you! I feel special.

-that annoying girl from the chatroom.

Yes, Star, so thank you for bringing it to our attention! You left too quick for me to thank you and ask for a name to credit for the suggestion. Cheers! =)

I must say, I did feel a great sense of accomplishment when I got the girl hum to fit between the girl sing and the 'bit fresh' soundbytes JUST perfectly :)

Start the girl hum just before the end of the girl sing, and start bit fresh just before the end of the girl hum, (along with your basslines etc) and you'll see what i mean. it's great!

Make way for the new Kanye West !! (except, white and female....)

Great game!

I created a few mixes:

Windy Street:

Track 1: thumpbass, car, train, wistl, snip, window, fence, arcade 1(x2)
Track 2: windchimes(x6)
Track 3: bit fresh, tannoy, train, girl hum
Track 4: carpet, guitar, shanty, shop, piano(x2)
Track 5: static, radio, windo, garage, fence, radio, builder(x2), arcade 2

Flames from his Feet:

Track 1: static(x2), windo, garage, shop, sk8r, train, guitar, shanty
Track 2: piano(x6)
Track 3: fance, garage, thumpbass, windchimes(x2), drunk, tannoy
Track 4: girl talk, radio(x2), girl sing, arcade 2(x2)
Track 5: drip(x4), static, snip, builder, arcade 1, car, train

Arcade Arcadia:

Track 1: arcade 2(x6)
Track 2: thumpbass, arcade 1(x5)
Track 3: static, radio, fence, garage, thumpbass, car, train, piano(x2)
Track 4: drip(x2), snip(x2), sk8r(x2), carpet, builder, guitar, shanty
Track 5: bit fresh, drunk, tannoy, wistl, girl talk

What do you think?

All made the crowd thing, by the way. And I dun use rests, as you can see. I really like these mixes, or maybe my musical sense is impaired.

Ok, so this game is pretty awesome, check out my song and see what you think of it. It makes the crowd go wild, and yet I think it sounds pretty good.

Track1-thumpbass,car,girl hum,arcade2,paino,static
Track2-girl sing,thumpbass,bit fresh,car
Track3-carpet,windchimes,drip,snip,drip,snip,drip,guitar,drunk
Track4-drip,snip,drip,snip,garage,garage,arcade1,train,snip,arcade2
Track5-builder,shanty,shanty,panio,fence,builder,builder,snip

Thanks!

ive found a winnin combination

line 1 girl hum, bit fresh..., drunk, wistl line 2 windchimes, shanty, arcade 2, windchimes, piano, guitar, arcade 2 line 3 car, arcade 1, thumpbass, car, car, thumpbass, car, arcade 1 line 4 carpet, sk8r, builder, radio, snip, drip, fence, radio, windo, drip line 5 bit fresh..., drunk, train, tannoy, drunk!

is there a legal way to keep the mix permanently? shockwave will only keep it for 60 days.

(I love my mix!! though I got booed off..=P)

I got a winner!

Track 1: shop, girl talk, tannoy, girl sing
Track 2: static (2x), builder, arcade 2, piano, girl hum
Track 3: radio (2x), thumpbass, drip, window, shanty (2x), thumpbass, piano
Track 4: static (2x), arcade 1, drip, snip, arcade 2, arcade 1, windchimes
Track 5: static (2x), car (2x), drip, fence, piano, builder, guitar (2x)

I call this "Brassing Out The Blues".

Can somebody please list all the sounds?
I have

Snip,
drip,
Builder,
Carpet,
Fence,
Static,
Sk8r,
Garage,
Window,
Radio,
Car,
Arcade 1,
Thumpbass,
Guitar,
Shanty,
Piano,
Windchimes,
Arcade 2,
Tannoy,
Drunk,
Train,
Wistl,
Girl talk,
Bit fresh,
Girl sing,
and
Girl hum

Somebody needs to let the creator know that we need more sounds, I more than 27 sounds!!! With all due respect, get off your butt and make a new version!

Here's one of mine:

I call it Time Travel.

1: Shop, _, Drip, Drip, _, Windchimes, Thumpbass
2:Fence, Shop, Guitar, Guitar, Wistl, Girl Hum
3:Drip, Garage, Drunk, Tannoy, Snip, _, Arcade 1 , Arcade 1
4:Static, Windo, Skater, Train, Train, Shanty, Fence, _,Arcade 2, Arcade 2
5:Carpet, Carpet, Drunk, Car, _, Builder, Builder.

I found that this combination had a rather "Transcending" feel, and thus, I named it Time Travel. ^^

I just finished another, which, in my opinion, sounds much better than Time Travel.

I named this one Universe.
1:Girl Sing, Builder, builder, builder, builder
2:Thumpbass, Skater, Girl Hum, Wistl, Guitar, Windchimes, Car
3: Radio, Carpet, Window, Fence, Skater, Girl Hum, Shanty, Wistl
4:Fence, _, Carpet, Arcade 2, Arcade 2, Garage, Arcade 2, Static
5:Drip, Drip, Drip, Drip, Arcade 1, Arcade 1, Snip, Arcade 1, Drip.

Tell me what you think of it. :)

Where do you get "shop?"

Shop:

The store right next to the antique shop.

I like this game because it's more interactive than a musical webtoy.
I dont mind the scoring system for the end. It's really all about the music you create anyway :)

It's also fun to try other people's combinations and find out what sounds good to you.

I noticed a lot of people overusing Arcade 1 and 2, so I tried to make a good song without them.

Here it is, I named it Step Up.

1:Tannoy, Builder, Builder, Builder, Builder, _.
2:Drip, Carpet, Garage, Fence, Window, Girl Sing, Snip, Skater
3:Thumpbass, Piano, Piano, Piano, Piano, Thumpbass
4:Train, Wistl, Guitar, Windchimes, Guitar, Guitar, Windchimes, Guitar, _.
5: Girl Hum, Girl Hum, Girl Hum.

Try this one out, I love the beginning, personally.

Track 1: Builder,car,car,car,drip,shop,_,_
Track 2: Thumpbass,whistle,whistle,whistle,drip,_,shop,_
Track 3: Shanty,shanty,shop,shanty,_,shop
Track 4: Carpet,fence,fence,drunk,_,_,_,windchimes,_
Track 5: Arcade 1,tannoy,_,_,train,thumpbass,thumpbass,whistle

It's called Shanty Swing.

here are a few of my personal favorites. If you have all of them, than you can use most. sorry that these don't all win the crown:

Urban Rhapsody
#1:carpet, carpet, builder, builder, thumpbass, fence, car.
#2:fence x6, drip, drip, thumpbass, _, car
#3:arcade 1, arcade 2, snip, thumpbass, _, thumpbass, _, car
#4:thumpbass, shanty, shanty, pianno, pianno, _, _, _, car
#5:arcade 2, guitar x2, _ x3, wistle, _ x3, car

Urban techno
#1:Thumpbass, builder x2, piano, car, builder, wistle
#2:thumpbass, fence x4, carpet, car, carpet
#3:_, fence, thumpbass, arcade 2, bilder, fence x4
#4:carpet, thumpbass, arcade
#5:snip x3, guitar, _ x3, snip, car, tannoy

Urban tranquility
#1:windcimes x6
#2:fence, snip, piano x2, shanty x2, builder
#3:drip x2, fence x2, carpet, guitar x2, carpet, drip x2
#4:_ x2, drip x2, arcade 1, carpet, drip x2, fence, wist
#5:wist. x2, thumpbass, fence x2, drip x2, girl sing

Ps. one of the only reasons i use multiple on the same area but different tracks is because it makes it sound louder,good with the car and thumpbass.

Update to earlier ones. Most are pretty good, but dont win anything

Urbana Rhapsody

Carpet, Carpet, Builder, Builder, Thump bass, _, Car
fence, fence, fence, fence, fence, fence, drip, drip, thump bass, _, car
Arcade 1, Arcade 1, snip, thump bass, _, thump bass, _, car
Thump bass, shanty, shanty, piano, piano, _, _, _, car
Arcade 2, guitar, guitar, _, _, _, whistle, _, _, _, car

Voices of the Urban times

Whistle, girl talk, girl sing, bit fresh...
snip, fence, fence, fence, fence, fence, fence, fence, fence, fence, fence, fence
static, static, carpet, carpet, carpet, carpet, carpet
Radio, _, thump bass, guitar, guitar, shanty, shanty, thump bass, thump bass
drip, drip, thump bass, Arcade 1, Arcade 1, Piano, Arcade 1

Urbania and a haircut

Snipx5, radio, snipx6
_, dripx4, static, carpet, wind chimes, tannoy
staticx3, arcade 1, garage, thump bass, car, drip, fence, guitar
fencex3, carpet, fence, arcade 1, shantyx2, _, shanty
_, carpet, fence, guitar, _, arcade 2, Pianox2

Urban Tranquility

Windchimesx6
Fence, Snip, pianox2, shantyx2, builder
dripx2, fencex2, carpet, guitarx2, carpet, dripx2
_x2, dripx2, Arcade 1, carpet, dripx2, fence, whistle
whistlex2, thump bass, fencex2, dripx2, girl sing

Urban work day

Builder, fence, builder, fence, builder, fence, builder, fence
drip, carpet, drip, carpet, drip, carpet, drip, carpet
Fence, drip, snip, radio, drip, snip, window, drip, snip, garage, drip, snip
Arcade 1, static, Arcade 1, static, Arcade 1, static, Arcade 1, static
Sk8r, _, guitar, sk8r, _, shanty, sk8r, _, whistle, sk8r, _, drip

Urban Tech

Thumpbass, builderx2, piano, car, builder, whistle
Thumpbass, fencex2, Arcade 2, carpet, car, carpet
_, fence, thumpbass, arcade 1, builder, fence x4
carpet, thumpbass, fencex2, Arcade 1, static, car, shanty
Snipx3, guitar, girl sing, snip, car, tannoy

Urban Arcade

Dripx12
_, carpetx2, static, carpet, shantyx2, carpet,
Tannoy, fencex3, snip, Arcade 1, guitarx2, fencex2
_, thumpbassx2, train ,thumpbassx3
_x3, shantyx2, _, piano, girl hum

I loved the story revealed in the lyrics, and it must have been hard making it so that it wast impossible to make something sound bad

where do you find the tannoy???

my song

The Happy Ones and the Sad Ones

builder, wistl, arcade 2, windchimes, girl talk, arcade 2, snip
snip, arcade 1, piano, fence, wistl, sk8r, thumpbass, builder
arcade 2, guitar, shanty, builder, carpet, snip, thumpbass
girl sing, drunk, arcade 2, drip, radio, arcade 1
windows, thumpbass, static, girl hum, shop

i'd got the crowd thingy and i dun either use empty spaces

Here's my mix. Tell me what you think!

So Fresh

Track 1: Builder, Builder, Fence, Builder (x3), Drip
Track 2: Piano, __, __, Car, Thumpbass (x3), Car
Track 3: Carpet, Carpet, Wistl, Arcade 1 (x3), __
Track 4: Girl Sing, Bit Fresh..., Piano, __
Track 5: __, __, __, Girl Hum, Girl Hum, __

Follow Manax's set up and change the colors (like purple to blue or somthing) so in each space their is about one of each color in each vertical row. with a little work i did it!

why does the game glitch and freeze up when I click the garage road sign?

Long time visitor to JIG, first time poster....

Anyways, I discovered this game long ago and decided to revisit it. Apparently now the game has a new glitch... Any attempt to access garage street freezes the game! I hope this gets fixed, because this was one of my favorite music based games, and still is to this day!

Thanks for commenting! :)

I'll try contacting Luke about it to see if there's anything he can do about that. The game freezes on me, too, when accessing Garage Street.

Yep, thanks Jay for getting in touch. It's been hosted by Shockwave for a while now, and I've got in touch to see if there could be a problem at their end. Will update here when things are fixed.
Luke
Luke Whittaker
@State of Play

Don't know how useful it'll be, but after freezing up on me at Garage St. repeatedly with FF, I swapped over to IE. Guess what? It didn't freeze there, under that browser.

This is a great game; I totally love it! However, every time I click on Garage Street, the game freezes and refuses to load. It's REALLY getting annoying. Please Fix It.

I loved this game, but I was extremely dissapointed that when I tried to send myself a copy of the mix I created through the send to friends feature, sending continuously failed. Other than that, I loved the art style, the fact that every sound clip was in the same tempo made it easy to mix the sounds, and it was an all-in-all enjoyable game. I just wish I could have sent myself a copy of the sounds I made as a momento.

Freezes up whenever I try to go to Garage Street...

I love how creative this game is, and how you can make music from such ordinary sounds. Definitely going on my Favorites list!

Okay so this game is awesome and thank you for linking it! I've found that, like most "music" games, I have the most fun when I ignore the scoring system and do what sounds "right."

To this effect, I find that a pleasing song is one that contains mantras, or a consistent beat. Something you can lock onto and follow. Which means I need to repeat tracks a lot, which means I don't get as many points in this game :) In fact, my best sounding song so far (to me) uses only 7 or 8 different tracks, and all the one-measure percussions appear in sets of two to make them match up with my melodies, which are mostly 2-measure melodies.

But I really like the premise. It makes me want to get into digital music.

omgosh i love this lol

This one is fairly simple.
I call it Beatnik:

Track 1: Fence(x2), Windchimes, Fence(x3), Windchimes(x2), Rest
Track 2: Girl Hum(x2), Girl Talk, Drunk
Track 3: Rest, Thumpbass(x5), Rest
Track 4: Rest(x2), Piano(x5)
Track 5: Guitar(x2), Rest, Girl Sing(x2), Rest

Hope you enjoy!

It might be just me, but I can't find the tandy, whatever that is.

Here's my song, just discovered this game fifteen minutes ago, and I think this is good. I call it Siple Serenity, since everyone else's seem a bit more involved.
1 dripx12 (yep, the whole line)
2 -, girl sing, piano, windchimes, piano, drip
3 -, -, girl hum, windchimes, girl hum
4 -, -, arcade 2, arcade 1, carpet, shanty, whistle, -, -
5 -, -, -, thumpbass, girl talk, thumpbass, thumpbass

i can't send it to an email...help me

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