“An unexpected, exploratory experience that successfully combines animation and interactivity.” —juror Gabe Kean
“Call me if you want a job.” —juror Drew Ungvarsky
Overview: Avi Naim and Adar Rom had never coded or made frame-by-frame animation. But for their last big school project, they challenged themselves to combine their two passions, design and music. The resulting interactive game, Closer to Nowhere, enables players to make their own sound track. Players can vary the rhythm by touching the handheld device’s screen—smooth strokes for longer notes, fast jabs for staccato. The unique style of their bespoke sound track then controls the game’s story line.
•Naim and Rom composed original music for the game using synthesizers, guitars and samples from old Israeli records.
•Currently in demo version, the project contains about 25 minutes of game play, with about thirteen different screens.
•The project won the grand prize for the 2015 Adobe Design Achievement Awards.
Comments by Avi Naim and Adar Rom:
What was the thinking behind the navigational structure? “The player explores an animated world while making music in different ways throughout the game. The player’s musical choices are weighted into points that are represented by a bar around the screen, with two choices for how the game should proceed. For example, if the player makes pleasant, calm music by activating certain loops, the adventure will proceed in one direction. But if he makes loud, more intense music, the adventure will go in another direction. Players can try to find out how the different styles of music affect the story—or just enjoy the ride and let their musical taste make all the decisions. In this experience, there is no specific goal, and you can’t win or lose. It is built in a way that every player, even those with no musical background, can make music.”
What software, back-end technology and programming languages were used? “The project was coded in ActionScript 3 and was made with Adobe Illustrator, After Effects, Flash, CINEMA 4D and Ableton Live.”
How did this project compare with others you’ve worked on? “This project is different from anything we have done before, which has mostly been branding and app design. It was more abstract research of interactivity and communication through music and animation. We learned a lot from people’s reactions to this game—in particular, we learned how people react to music and animation without any instructions.”