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Plink, a multiplayer HTML5 music game (dinahmoe.com)
329 points by skimbrel on Oct 9, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 74 comments



This is incredibly fun. When others joined and started making music together it immediately brought a smile to my face.

The greatest part about is the music created isn't terrible.


To me it sounds as if the reason for the music not sounding like total crap is, that the author uses pentatonic scales, which are also used in improvisations. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentatonic_scale)


I agree, I noticed that almost immediately. Also, the rhythms are quantized and the tempo is fixed.

It's still a very cool demo, though.


Second this comment, the real time feedback that you get and the realization that you aren't making something that doesn't completely sound like crap makes this surprisingly more fun than I thought it would be.


I think it's really clever how the game makes it very difficult to NOT sound good! The timing of the notes seems to snap to the tempo exactly (e.g., there's a delay when you hit a note too early) and the limited scale of notes all sound good together.

I've played a few HTML5/Flash music games lately, and all of them give enough flexibility with sounds to easily become messy when played with multiple players (especially with trolls!). This game makes the player feel like they're good at music. Great work!


+1 creating a game that involves collaborating with strangers and creating music could be tedious. This overcomes that handicap pretty well. I love the concept, great work!


Hey, I'm a pianist and I have a few ideas you might consider.

1. Let me pick the colour with the numbers 1-9. 2. Let me play notes with the keyboard. (I'm not sure the best way to assign the keys, but I'm sure you can come up with something). 3. Let me play chords.

That would be awesome. Great work so far!


Sounds like you are asking for the ultimate band-roulette :)


Well now that you mention it... Haha! :) Actually I was thinking, and perhaps adding to many features would make it harder to be musical without any previous experience.


I can't stress #2 enough: it's extremely difficult to do any complex playing without keyboard mapping. Try doing a disco hihat, a tom roll, or a repeating bassline pattern.


seriously the coolest thing ive seen in ages - had a really great time jamming out with a bunch of strangers just like that ... awesome effort


Came here to say exactly that; so much fun :-)


This is amazing, and not only as a demo of the API. I was waiting for a uniform raw audio standard to be implemented by all browsers, but after this I'm motivated to start playing around now. There are so many interesting possibilities for musical improvisation interfaces.


Love it. Needs one feature pronto. Channel mode, so me and my friends can jam out together in a private room.


Having been through the Director, Flash and now HTML5 fads, I dream of a day when this title would suffice on HN:

"Plink, a multiplayer music game"

This is just to say - I enjoyed Plink very much and would have just the same regardless of the technology.


It felt out of sync. I could move up and down, and clicking made the circles solid, and there were some other players, and some sounds. I suppose moving up and down and clicking changes the sound, but I'm not sure how.


Wow, this is amazing.

I completely ignored HTML5 audio after a couple of abortive attempts at using it to make something for an iPhone web toy, but seems to show it's not quite as terrible anymore.


"Oops! Your browser doesn't support Web Audio."

Meanwhile, Adobe just announced that the Unreal Engine runs in Flash Player 11. That's AAA quality 3d gaming in the browser (and not just Chrome). I am so bored with "HTML 5" game (that aren't even HTML 5 official spec) announcements getting such a ridiculous amount of play.

Imagine if someone went out to E3 in 2011 and announced that they just came up with this crazy TV game concept called Pong, but it only works on Magnavox TVs. Absolutely no one would care.


The Quake Engine has been running inside browsers for ages.

Also if you speak about portability. Flash really isn't very portable when you compare it with the platforms supported by Webkit. Flash has always been a huge mess when it comes to this. Webkit and Gecko are pretty much up to date, but many people hardcode browser checks instead of just asking whether the browser supports certain stuff. I think that's the biggest problem - well, besides the market share of outdated IE versions of course.


What portability. I mean, Web Audio API is supported by only Chrome and Safari (so that's not "webkit". Sure Flash ain't better. But hey! None of this is standardized.

And why should Gecko support Web Audio API? You see, they got Web Audio Data instead. Not compatible of course. None are standard.

So flash does beat them and HTML5 on that very topic.


The Gecko API is very basic, it just gives you access to sample buffers in Javascript, so everything must be processed in Javascript.

The Web Audio API is a much more fleshed out API, built on the higher level audio APIs used in professional sound apps. You can use it to process raw buffers, but you can also use it sequence and compose many effects on audio buffers with very low latency timing requirements without having to write time critical javascript DSP code and hope for the best that no delays or scheduling skew creep in.


Meh. As if that matters. It’s not really a common use case and I don’t see it becoming one. Flash will die and then rot in its niche.


Is the adobe demo playable by the public? I was under the impression that they showed a video but I can't find a way to actually try it.

Until then Adobe still has to fix all the issues that the browser vendors are working on. We will have to see but I'm going to wait until it's released and usable, right now it's just a tech demo.

In fact, just yesterday someone had code up to display TF2 levels and he also built a demo capable of displaying the Rage IOS levels in WebGL a few months ago. So there your example of AAA games.


in the main JS file, you can see an error thrown creating the main audio-context object triggers that message:

  audioContext = new webkitAudioContext();
IIRC, Firefox has their own mozXxx versions of these audio APIs. I guess both will be updated to standard names (ex: AudioContext) once everyone is on board.


Pretty awesome! I just played for a couple of minutes (well, that was the original aim - it turned into 6-7 minutes all-too-quickly!)


Just played this for 5 minutes. Absolutely fantastic! I had a riot, and seemed to play some music with other people. Really cool!


I wonder whether, if there were all 12 tones on the Western 12-tone scale, it be more cacophonous. Somehow, with two octaves of only white notes, as it were, and the tendency of users to move about constantly (because it looks pretty and you get the exciting perceptual feedback of changing the sounds), most of it doesn't sound bad. Great idea.


Pretty sure this the pentatonic scale actually - so all black notes. It almost certainly woule be more cacophonous even if it was just all white notes, never mind the full scale.


This is surprisingly addictive and the music actually sounds cool too. It would be nice to hit notes without sliding though.


Very nice!

Funny, I've been spending this last week (off from work) working on an Audio API/Node.js multi-user drum machine. So it's very cool for me to see another similar idea pop up at this point. As a long-time software synth/VST/music guy, I can't wait for the browsers to catch up on audio as fast as they are visual APIs.


This is amazing. Even with a bunch of random people doing random things the music still sounds great!


Fantastic! Great use of web sockets and though there was some obvious latency (unavoidable) it did not at all deter from having a great time. I love that all the sounds in the set work together well and you could take this in a million directions.


I've wanted to dabble in a few audio experiments myself, however I keep coming up short trying to find single sample tones for all the notes on a scale. Not sure exactly what to search for. Any tips for good source material?


I was delighted to see how people automagically give others a chance to try other instruments and switch with some kind of intuition.

Also the most pleasure gave me an idea of playing a bass for a while and watching others improvise.


Very cool. This reminds me a lot of playing around on a korg kaossilator, a very nifty toy with an xy pad where you can pick a scale, bpm and an "instrument" and jam away without worrying about hitting wrong notes.


I could play this forever.


Pretty cool. A time-quantised version would probably have the potential to sound better though, as the latency makes it difficult to get any kind of rhythm going in this version.


Am I the only person this isn't working for right now? It loads, I enter a username and then it tells me I've been idle too long. I guess the servers may be overloaded due to HN?


I have the same problem...


How do you solve this?


I used a proxy server in US and it works now.


This is so great, that I really hope it catches on so I can go and jam out with others whenever I want. I spread this site as far as my little network will go. Awesome job!


I am hooked! Who was i playing with? Need keyboard shortcuts. Sometimes there are too many guys playing (sorry guys, some of you suck :P), have separate rooms.


This is the kind of things I could lose days to. Well done.


I love it. I'm musically challenged but feel like I can actually make reasonably not-horrible music. And it's like a video game. Love it!


Is the Web Audio API actually part of HTML5? It looks like it's still just a proposal that only works in Chrome. :(

Very cool demo though. Feels smooth.


I think it's just a chrome proposal right now.

Firefox also has an implemented proposal. Not sure if one or the other has any particular advantages?

https://wiki.mozilla.org/Audio_Data_API


Instant addiction.


Unfortunately doesn't allow my Chromium-browser


Same for my Firefox Aurora, even though I think it supports the Web Audio API (not sure, though if it's really up to date).


I run the Firefox Nightly and it doesn't support Web Audio either. Shouldn't that be happening soon?


Firefox was the first with a Web Audio API. Google has an alternate API. Neither one is a standard. Both are great ground for experimentation though.


Google named his one Web Audio API and Mozilla named is one Audio Data API.

Mozilla's Audio Data API is available since FF4.

Web Audio API has been enabled in Chrome 13 or 14, before it was off by default. Probably appeared shortly after FF4 (?)

Such non-standardization sucks balls if you ask me.

These guys should make HTML5 standards and stick to it. Not make the standard evolve every NEXT day saying "oh look its what HTML5 is now!"

That's absolutely non-standard and annoying as hell.


Doesn't work in Chromium 13, but works in Chromium 14.


Really really impressive - surprisingly fun.


This is really nice. Well done. It'd be great if you could create your own private games and invite your friends over.


Seriously good fun! Wasted too much of my time today playing on it when I should have been working. Thanks :-)


Super fun. I'd like to see some keyboard suport, like up and down arrow keys and space bar to play a note.


And maybe keyboard support for 'notes' - every letter on the keyboard assigned to ABCDEFG and the black notes in between. Then you could, say, plug in a written text and see what happens.


I enjoyed creating a song with it (lyrics/melody), but I didnt understand the gaming mechanics.


Interesting one of your clients created a drunk alarm clock app itunes.apple.com/se/app/fyllekameran/ . Not sure how it works? Do you you record a video when your drunk and that's what wakes you or is it your friend's creating drunk wake up greetings that are your alarm sound?


Very nice. It took me a moment to realize there were other users who were creating sound too!


Awesome... is Google Chrome the only browser with this API level?


Addictingly amazing!! Is there I way to record my jam session?


This needs to be an iPad app ASAP. When can we get it?


This is seriously fun. LOVED it! Thanks for making it


Whoa. That was heaps of fun!


Wow, really cool. Great fun


This is awesome :)


Love it!!!


While it's very cool, it's worth pointing out that the idea is derivative of a Unity-based game called "Planck" (as in Max, size, etc) that's been in development for quite awhile. See: http://www.shadegrowngames.com/

It's hard to believe the authors of Plink aren't aware of Planck...


Whilst Planck looks very cool (extremely cool), it is a bit of a stretch to say that Plink is a rip off of it. They both have generated music in them, but I can't see much similarity beyond that.


I didn't mean to say it's a rip off. It's different enough, and plus it's cool. I'm just speculating that the Plink coders must know about it. I got to play with the Planck alpha, and Plink "feels" similar in certain ways. The way the notes are displayed as ripples, the way motion across the play area triggers notes on a scale with different instruments (which in Planck are "weapons"), and the way the notes are quantized. In Planck, the notes/loops happen when you hit something you're shooting at, but the point isn't so much to hit things as it is to create rhythmic loops between the gameplay and the music you're generating. It makes some interesting compromises to keep the music on tempo and still give the sense of hitting the targets instantly. Really, I just wanted to know if the Plink guys had heard of it.


There is a photo of the guys of dinahmoe next to the definition of awesome. Seriously, and i just had an overflow of ideas about online music creation.




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