It's the Era of Automation! We automate everything from manufacturing, to financial transactions, to blog updates. So why not automate creativity as well? Okay, that sounds horrible, but there is something fascinating about pre-configured, automatic processes that produce beautiful and seemingly random results. Depending on how you start your composition, you can either create regular repeating patterns, or patterns that subtly shift in interesting ways. It can be difficult to predict how a given setup will act, but that is part of the joy of Otomata.
Isle of Tune is a fairly simple webtoy, with a mere six elements that you can control to create a variety of sounds. There's just enough tools available to let you create some rather intricate loops. The pre-made loops are a great way to get an island started, and the simple sharing system is good for spreading your island creations with everyone.
No puzzles, no enemies, no action... just music. This simple and relaxing little webtoy from André Michelle lets you just click to create some lovely tinkling melodies that arise from expanding and contracting shapes.
You Are Games returns with a musical challenge this week. Introducing Nudge, a simple to use musical composition webtoy that gives everyone the ability to create pleasant sounding melodies. And we want to hear what you can do with it. Let loose your inner musician!
If you're like me and suffer from "Funky-Chicken-itis" and are looking for a tool to help you shake yo' groove thang, might I recommend a little dance music? The Tony-b Machine is a cool techno-music webtoy to give you just the right beats. Simply slide the sliders and push the buttons to crank out your own thumping creation.
Fitting in the webtoy category more comfortably than being a game, Music Dodge is an entry from Daniel Gutierrez into our 3rd game design competition. Colored bars streak across the screen in time with the background music. You control a colorful orb and must "scratch" against the edge of the bars to score points. It's a simple game of avoidance and precision made much more interesting when you use your own music.
A soothing sound toy with which to bathe the aural senses, Pianolina is a beautifully designed and gorgeously sounding Flash application created to introduce you to the sounds of the Grotrian piano. Choose between several different compositions and see how the notes react to gravity as they bounce around the display.
Ian Snyder's Valo requires the same painstakingly delicate touch as removing a funny bone or charley horse from the classic game Operation, albeit with a much gentler, more abstract style. Use your expert pointing and clicking skills to navigate dangerous fields of red squares while clicking on or dragging the mouse over all the blue squares to earn points and advance to the next level.
Musicovery is an interesting little web app that blurs the line between interactive toy and radio. Musicovery lets you choose and explore music by mood, style, genre, decade and much more. Mix and match filters and customize your internet radio experience to suit your tastes, even if that happens to be dark energetic pop or jazz from the 80s.
Frets on Fire is an open source clone of the ever-popular PlayStation 2 music/rhythm game, Guitar Hero. And just like Guitar Hero, Frets on Fire features a handful of songs and allows you to play the guitar sections by pressing just a few keys. Instead of using a separate controller to mimic the guitar, Frets on Fire lets you pick up the keyboard and jam in right front of your desk. Best of all, a built-in editor lets you tab any song, spawning a growing community of music-modders on the web.
Phase Toy is a simple Shockwave sequencer that allows you to create compositions using a point-and-click interface. Just click on a cell to have the sequencer play the corresponding tone when the 'play head' sweeps over it. Click and drag to add several tones at once. Phase Toy makes a nice little diversion that is as mesmerizing as it is relaxing.
Created by Macoto Yanagisawa of Japan, this Shockwave work of art is a nice diversion from the usual fare, and there is much to see and hear in this electro-luminescent piece. Click the mouse to cycle through the displays; move the mouse to interact with each. Although it's not Electroplankton, it is very reminiscent of the musical wonder-toy for Nintendo's dual-screened handheld.
la Pâte à Son is an amazing sound toy created in France. This original musical piece and compositional tool was conceived to encourage musical experimentation, and its achievements surpass its goal. Not only is this toy fun to play and experiment with, it is also capable of creating some very beautiful music.
And now for something completely different. Bip Hop is an audio game created by Paul Farrington under his Studio Tonne name. The Shockwave game features small colored icons that can be freely moved with the mouse about the interface. By placing them on the play bars that wipe back and forth, sounds are created from the samples contained in each of the icons. When the icons are placed in the correct locations, it is promised "you will get a nice surprise."
Not a game per se, but definitely fun to play with. Infinite Wheel is a series of Flash movies by Jim Johnstone that borrows samples from various 'Dub' artists and presents them in a virtual playground in which you click, drag, and mouse-over the unique and compelling interactive controls to create your own dub music mixes.