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Skrillex Quest (skrillexquest.com)
592 points by Wraecca on Nov 30, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 197 comments

What I find perhaps most fascinating about this is that it's almost certainly an advertisement (note the iTunes link at the end of the game, and the tagline at the bottom that the creator makes 'advergames'). If it is, in fact, an advergame, it's awesome to see folks like Skrillex (and/or Skrillex's marketing folks) willing to build something so cool and of legitimate artistic value to try to build up viral buzz.

It is indeed an advergame. The page source refers to http://jasonoda.com/ . The author, Jason Oda, claims to be in the advergaming business and lists various viral games, like perfect strangers, as well as facebook games and the like in his credits. The about section lists a pretty impressive client portfolio, actually.

I was going to say that Skrillex is signed to deadmau5's (of Something Awful fame) label mau5trap, but that appears to no longer be the case. Skrillex is now with Atlantic, which is doubly impressive if they had anything to do with it.

I noticed (c) 2012 Atlantic Records on the intro screen on my second time playing the game. At the very least, Atlantic helped bankroll this effort.

Skrillex has a longstanding deal w/ Atlantic leftover from his earlier band From First to Last. His label OWSLA is an imprint on Big Beat, which itself is a subsidiary of Atlantic. The cost of this was probably shared between Big Beat / OWSLA, Atlantic, and the artist himself (or his management team Blood Company). These sorts of deals get pretty convoluted when major labels are involved.

Either way, a very cool interactive experience. The only criticism I have is that they completely ignored mobile/tablet/non-Flash -- it's a Flash-based game, but if you visit the site on a non-Flash device you don't even get an alternate "Sorry, your device is not supported" message.

Wait, what did deadmau5 have to do with Something Awful?

He was a longtime goon. The name "deadmau5" actually came from the SA IRC chatrooms, where he posted pictures of a dead mouse he found in his computer and was referred to as "that dead mouse guy". The chatroom had an 8 character max for nicks, so "dead mouse" became "deadmau5".

I brought it up because I'd have an easier time seeing a label run by an ex-goon engaging in this kind of marketing, as opposed to one like Atlantic.

Yeah, this definitely puts the Avoid the Noid games to shame

Artistic value? The fuck?

"Here's the deal, folks. You do a commercial - you're off the artistic roll call, forever. End of story. Okay? You're another whore at the capitalist gang bang and if you do a commercial, there's a price on your head. Everything you say is suspect and every word that comes out of your mouth is now like a turd falling into my drink."

- Bill Hicks

Does the game make you feel? Then it has artistic value.

I felt something playing this game. It has surprisingly good ambiance and seeing a bunch of pixel characters who have accepted their fate and were waiting for death, to me, gave it a level of emotional attachment I did not expect after I read the tag 'advergame'.

One thing you have to realize is that it's very hard to make games nowadays without some kind of income. If you are lucky, you only have to slum it for a few years and then you make a hit on the side. But more often, you have to do whatever it takes, unless you are willing to keep your day job.

I actually still agree with the Bill Hicks quote, but I feel there is some wiggle room when what is produced is actually a game, and in the end, does not fit the constraint of standard advertising.

IMO if more advertising were like this, the world would be a better place, and Bill Hicks would have been less angry.

And here I will quote Tool's Eulogy, which was about Bill Hicks, if you didn't know:

"He had a voice so strong and loud and I Swallowed his facade cuz I'm so Eager to identify with Someone above the ground, Someone who seemed to feel the same, Someone prepared to lead the way, with Someone who would die for me."

Just because a voice is loud and you agree with it, doesn't necessarily mean that it is entirely correct. I love the shit out of Bill Hicks and I still feel the world would be a better place if he had lived long enough to foster the change he felt he needed. But I still don't feel his quote applies to this game.

Tool's "Eulogy" wasn't about Bill Hicks. They actually quite liked the guy, put his face in their albums, and quoted him frequently in a positive light.

Regardless, I agree with your points. It's not always bad to sell something if you want to get the rest of your works heard. It's all a big game, and most people have to play to some degree to be able to do what they love.

"It's all a big game, and most people have to play to some degree to be able to do what they love."

Sure.. but then don't go mixing those two things up. There is work (entertainment or otherwise), and there is art. That some people cry unfair because they want their pie and eat it isn't really my concern.

I didn't argue that the game creator is somehow evil, I just actually feel my brain hurting from dumbness intruding when I read people talk about "artistical merit" in the context of this "game" (the gameplay mechanics are a bit limited to call it that, but that's a whole other can of worms). The response to that? "Yeah, but" and downmoderation. Oh well, oh lol. What else is new.

Despite being wrong, I always interpreted Eulogy to being mostly positive, with an undercurrent of anger that was aimed mostly at his untimely death than anything else.

Yes yes yes. One hundred times yes. Not sure what it was but the whole experience was great. The combo of the music and graphics felt like art.

Well, there's many ways to mean the word "art" or "artist", aren't there. Of course something that is skillfully crafted is art "on some level".

On another, the motivation and goal of the creation, at least to me, outweighs such considerations by order of magnitude. And on that level I don't consider that, or much anything really, "art" by any stretch of my imagination.

Which means yes, I would consider the exact same thing art or not art depending on by whom, why and how it was created and presented.

That may not be fair, but it's my firm opinion anyway. Yeah yeah, people gotta eat. I know that. (I do think that technically even that is a decision, but I'll accept that in this in context.) But what people do NOT "absolutely have to" is to consider themselves as artists, or to be considered by me as such. They'll have to settle with mediocre.

And here I will quote Tool's Eulogy, which was about Bill Hicks, if you didn't know:

Eulogy was about L. Ron Hubbard.

I also always thought Eulogy was supposed to be about Bill Hicks but it always confused me that it sounded so critical. Thanks for the correction.

Interesting, I had always thought that since the album was dedicated to him, that Eulogy was also related. It works either way, really.

I reflect on that Bill Hicks rant occasionally as I get older and wiser.

It was stirring and idealistic when I was in my 20's.

However over the years my instinctive distrust of the world of commerce diminishes as I realise that humans live, swim and breath in commerce. It was here before art-with-a-capital-A and it will outlive it.

The other thing to remember is that art-with-a-capital-A was largely an invention of the Romantic movement. Artist-as-lone-hero and all that. It's not an eternal truth and in fact it creates a fictional view of the Artist that I distrust more over time.

And on a more practical level - good graphic design usually has more artistic merit than whatever the Saatchi's just dropped several million on.

"Take the money and run," Woody Allen said it best.

"humans live, swim and breath in commerce. It was here before art-with-a-capital-A and it will outlive it."

Who is talking about commerce? It's about using emotion to lead people to make irrational choices. If you need rice and I farm rice, and I sell you some rice, that's commerce. It has however NOTHING to do with anything Bill Hicks ever ranted about. So don't flatter yourself I'd say, your insight isn't really one.

"The other thing to remember is that art-with-a-capital-A was largely an invention of the Romantic movement"

The idea that washing your hands is a great idea for doctors and in general is also fairly recent; so?

"in fact it creates a fictional view of the Artist"

No, it simply raised the bar. How can it be fictional if people existed and exist that fit the description? That's just wishful thinking on your part so you don't feel too bad for going back to sleep.

It's fictional because the idealism falls apart when you realize you have to find food and shelter somewhere, which costs money. Very few aspiring artists are independently wealthy. Doing a commercial is just another job. If you did a commercial advertising your art gallery would you lose all credibility as an artist? What is the difference between a commercial and a flyer? Do bands who advertise their shows forfeit their claim to be artists? I would also add that it isn't safe to assume someone is trustworthy just because they haven't done any commercials.

You also make the claim that all advertising is about trying to make people make irrational choices. But if I post a billboard that says "Come try our pancakes!", am I really trying to make you behave irrationally?

There is certainly plenty of "bad" advertising, and campaigns that artists would be better off not associating themselves with, but the blanket statement just doesn't fit.

In that case, there's a pretty lengthy list of artists who need to be struck off.

Michelangelo. Shakespeare. Leonardo Da Vinci. David Lynch. William Wordsworth. Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

All of these people, and many more, made things that were essentially adverts - commissioned pieces designed to promote a particular institution.

So? It's not like they, or I, would care. Consider them stricken.

Fair enough. Referencing back to your original comment, if you don't believe any of work from the above names to have artistic value, then we're sufficiently far apart on the definition of the term that there's not really much more point discussing.

His point is that we (as a society) definitely consider works by Michelangelo (e.g. the Sistine Chapel) to be _definitive_ works of art, despite the fact that they were sponsored. It's a direct refutation of the standpoint that art and commercially-motivated work are entirely separate.

If an individual disagrees with that view of "society", and I agree with that individual, then just repeating that view of society doesn't really refute anything. It does however explain this deluge of people making themselves known to disagree with something they don't even understand.

For those of us who aren't raging anti capitalists, it's fairly obvious that something can have artistic merit and be designed to promote something. If you have an actual argument to the contrary that extends beyond "The fuck?", it'd be great to hear it. Quoting a comedian is not really an argument.

"it's fairly obvious that something can have artistic merit and be designed to promote something"

doesn't constitute an argument either, does it. So there's not really anything there to argue against; just an assertion. Meanwhile, to me it's "fairly obvious" that this ain't art, and therefore "the fuck" is perfectly sufficient.

"Quoting a comedian is not really an argument."

Oh yeah, because a comedian is by definition funny, and not ever insightful.

Good thing people don't react in a butthurt, predictable fashion, or anything. Haha.

> Good thing people don't react in a butthurt, predictable fashion, or anything.

Kinda spiking the irony meter here. You asserted that there's no artistic value and, what, expected people to accept that as a valuable part of the conversation?

If your definition of art is only that made with no profit of the artist in mind then your definition excludes a vast amount of what most of the world considers art.

Commercial music? Artists who make a living selling their work? Commissioned pieces? Art doesn't have to be produced by the idle rich and the impoverished and starving. It's hard to define art precisely, but your definition seems to be at odds with the generally accepted one.

>"You're another whore at the capitalist gang bang and if you do a commercial"

Are we to assume that Mr. Hicks never promoted his gigs, and performed them for free?

What makes you think he considered himself artist, or ranting on stage, or making jokes, art? Quotes please.

This is a lot more like a music video than an ad for McDonald's. It's more of a complementary art form, to expose you to the original in a different medium.

Fuck Bill Hicks. This is cool.

Bill Hicks wasn't talking about this. I doubt he would have any disagreement with an artist promoting their own work.

Nah, you're just infected ^^

You could just shorten the whole thing to "You're another whore at the capitalist gang bang, period".

Everyone's selling something. Try talking to an actual professional artist and ask them if they're following their dreams and expanding boundaries or if they're mass-producing different variations of the same 2 paintings they've been able to sell consistently in between kissing asses at galleries.

"try talking to an actual professional artist"

Well duh. However, I see what you did there. Why the arbitrary qualification? Why does it have to be a professional artist, why not an albino one, or someone who only has 8 fingers, or an artist period? Oh right, because then your argument kinda falls on its face.

Everyone's gotta eat. If professional artists don't live up to your standards of what makes art vs whoring, then who does?

I think you're trying to make a statement about objective artistic value, which arguably doesn't exist.

From this comment all you've really said is that you and Bill Hick (probably) wouldn't think this is art. Nobody here could argue with that. But it says nothing about what art is or who is an artist.

There is a difference between making something and talking about something.

Bill Hicks was referring to talking about something you basically only have a monetary interest in.

Reminds me of the fact there are people who still care about Chex Quest:



> Chex Quest, made by Digital Café, is a total conversion of The Ultimate Doom. It was released in boxes of Chex Cereal in 1996, becoming the first game to be included in a cereal box. When it was released, it increased sales by over 200%. It then went on to win both the Golden Reggie Award for Promotional Achievement, and the Silver EFFIE Award for Advertising Effectiveness.

I had not heard about this as a kid growing up but it would have definitely made me buy the cereal. In fact I'm off to see if I can find the game now somewhere.

Wow; I remember this game. This game was pretty awesome when I was 7. I'm not surprised to hear that it was a full conversion of another game.

I just upvoted something done with flash on hn for the first time ever. The zelda 1 esque levels were sheer genius. I would actually dig playing an entire game with that perspective/style.

Out of curiosity have you played the Binding of Isaac? It's a zelda-esque game using short gameplay/permadeath + lots of random elements. Although may be windows only I don't recall.

I have not but I am checking it out now. Thanks for the recommendation!

Binding is available in steam and is available for Mac as well.

Yeah I knew it was on steam, but not everything on steam is available for mac. Haven't played my copy in a while to look and see what OSes it is on (plus I own nothing made by apple)

And linux!

Wow you're missing out on an extremely huge amount of high quality Flash games then. Go checkout newgrounds.com...

This game reminded me of Sword and Sorcery EP[1]. It had a similar aesthetic and used music in the same way that this piece did, although it was music from Jim Guthrie who sounds completely different from Skrillex. The main character even looks like the character from that game. The gameplay is very different (SS is a two dimensional, puzzle based point-and-click sort of thing), but there is definitely a similarity.

1: http://www.swordandsworcery.com/

I agree. It definitely looks like Sword and Sworcery.

It's like a cross between that and 3D Dot Game Heroes.



Ugh, when I was a kid, electronic music didn't suck and you only started out with two heart containers.

Get off my lawn.

Link electronic music that wasn't repetitive and wasn't released on Warp Records.

Oh, and then go back and play The Legend of Zelda all the way to the end, and then come back here and say it was good.

Also, you have a lawn? Lucky bastard.

>Link electronic music that wasn't repetitive and wasn't released on Warp Records.

I personally don't believe that repetition in electronic music even implies a sub-par track, but that's highly subjective of course, and we know where you stand.

Some of the most groundbreaking and beautiful music to me is found on the Basic Channel and Chain Reaction labels, with tracks that are extremely minimal and would probably sound repetitive to many listeners.

Plus 8 has a long history of incredible and innovative artists and tracks. It really depends on how you define electronic as well. If Chain Reaction is repetitive, Plus 8 less so, Warp less so, but even less are labels like Wax Trax! that had much more dynamic and traditional song structures from their artists (industrial). Do you consider them electronic? Subjective. Labels like Mo Wax delivered far less repetitive offerings than Warp artists, and just as compelling. Ghostly International takes takes us back to more traditional electronic offering if Mo Wax and Wax Trax! aren't 'electronic' enough for one's definition.

Really, there are just too many to name, even with the constraint of stripping out electronic music subjectively deemed 'repetitive'.

But I take your point though. Warp Records, especially at a particular time in electronic music's history, was one of those special and legendary labels that every genre seems to have one or two of. They were home to some of the most compelling and innovative artists of their generation, and rather than having just one or two, they were home to many. Might be the best electronic music label in history for strength of talent and how deep their roster went.

And I too have a lawn, but you don't need to get off it, -instead you can hang out on it and bring your vinyl. I've got a few crates of some incredibly good and rare discs and a 1200 on which to play them ;)

I agree that there is no correlation between the quality of music and repetition. There are even a number of "high brow" musicians and composers, such as Philip Glass or Terry Reily, that have had repetition as a common motif in their work, and for which they have been heralded by many.

>I was only pointing out that there's a massively wide variety of electronic music these days...

On that note, if you have not seen this site yet, be prepared to have the rest of your afternoon's productivity destroyed:


I posted to first version of the site to Hubski a while ago but I can't find it. I think the author has updated it since then, but the general look and flow is the same. Incredible wealth of historical knowledge, complete with audio examples.

Yeah. I was only pointing out that there's a massively wide variety of electronic music these days, and saying that it sucks now is ignoring the history of electronic music where a lot of it started out as extremely boring stuff that appealed to specific tastes and not much else, with a few notable exceptions. Hell even some of the high profile Warp releases relied on a ton of repetition.

But as you say, it's not a bad thing... just like how a lot of electronic music today is also not a bad thing.

Just droping by to say Warp Records is my absolute favorite record label :P

Although I would add that Ninja Tune, Rephlex, Brainfeeder and Planet Mu all have some great artists too.

I would add Too Pure to the list of small labels with an amazingly great track record.

Yeah, I didn't die once. Unacceptable.

I hope this site brings a little boost back to the Flash world, especially with Stage3D and all of it's possibilities.

Actionscript 3 was such an enjoyable language to code in, though I haven't been able to use it professionally in over a year due to demand; the extent of my 'interactive' work has been hacky, ill-performing CSS3 transforms, and WOW are they limited.

It's been all JavaScript, all the time, and I do love the community but then again I really (really) miss the rich immersive creativity that used to be so inspiring on the web.

Creativity is still here. We have WebGL, canvas, CSS3, audio, mic, camera, in an environment that is evolving faster than Flash ever did. ES6 will bring js a bit closer to the formalism of AS3, though I don't mind it's current syntax lightness at all. There are many cool games and experiments being released every week.

Warning: cool game of the week requires [Chrome developer channel|Firefox nightly] to run. Also does not run well on [Mac|Windows|Linux].

It is both funny and sad that in these days of the "open" web it is actually much, much more difficult to get good cross platform results when doing anything with graphics/sound.

Games like X-Type[0] make me think things are getting there. The making-of is interesting[1].

[0]: http://phoboslab.org/xtype/

[1]: http://phoboslab.org/log/2012/06/x-type-making-of

Yeah, well, but x-type only requires a 2D canvas and that has worked for ages now, even without hw acceleration. WebGL is still a very different beast that can work, or not, or only crappily, depending on your browser, OS, graphics card and driver. I guess the percentage of those who don't have or dislike Flash is smaller than that of those who run into WebGL problems.

Agreed, canvas works well now, but WebGL is younger than canvas, and this gives a hint at what WebGL will look like tomorrow.

What's more today the first cause of WebGL not working lies more in the graphics card periphery. OpenGL drivers on Windows are often an aftertought given DirectX prevalence, and on Linux some drivers are simply unstable with 3D acceleration, regardless of WebGL. Besides, short of software fallbacks like llvm-pipe or OSX, you can't invent features not supported by the card. Onve overriden[2] WebGL actually works[0][1] well on my embedded HD2000, but bugs in the driver make the whole thing randomly unstable, hence it is blacklisted by browsers (chrome://gpu even lists and links to bug reports, and lists Flash Stage3D as blacklisted too).

As for number counting, while the number of people running into WebGL problems exists, it has been drastically reduced since a year ago, when the number of people running into Flash problems for years, and is not shrinking.

ALso, there's not just graphics on X-Type, but correctly timed HTML5 audio too.

[0]: http://madebyevan.com/webgl-water/

[1]: http://alteredqualia.com/three/examples/webgl_cars.html

[2]: "Override software rendering list" in chrome://flags

There is an important difference which is that is a time of transition. There's nothing stopping anyone getting their browsers into shape and these APIs are slowly solidifying.

The story with Flash was much more single-vendor-dependent despite the half-hearted noises Adobe made over the years about supporting alternative implementations.

I agree. Like I said, I really enjoy the community and they're pushing hard for innovation -- since I moved away from AS3 and started focusing on JS, I feel like I've become a much better programmer -- but there are just too many variables to account for when it comes to a robust immersive, experiential solution in browser. Once Webkit takes 80% of the user-base I'll change my mind, but not until then; the difficulties absorb and complicate seemingly simple ideas.

That said, I've started playing with Three.js lately and it's impressively straight forward and filled with capability.

Don't wait too long - many parts of the world already have great adoption rates for modern browsers. Here in Brazil Webkit sits at 58%, adding FF+Opera that's 78%.

+1 to this.

These days I do Objective C, but I still love AS3 & the Flash API. I just wish browsers would implement it natively (a JS version of the API), as opposed to the HTML canvas and (currently) flaky support for audio.

Check out Haxe and the library NME, which is pretty much what you describe.

except its not... :) I`m mean it suppose to be but its not

Where does Haxe fall down for you? Not many people I know have ever looked back after using it.

I`m not talking about haxe in genereal. I have nothing against it. I`m talking about the idea of NME which is really nice but would fail in many (higher performance visuals) cases when it comes to javascript/canvas.

I`m not talking about haxe in genereal. I`m talking about the idea of NME which is really nice but would fail in many (higher performance visuals) cases when it comes to javascript/canvas.

As a long time game developer, the most impressive part of this game is that when you get to the end, and you don't have all the keys, you can simple break all the locks.

That's the kind of game design that the game industry needs to learn from.

The only reason that's necessary is because the game advances you regardless of finding the keys. This is because there is much reduced expectation of commitment from the gamer, and if they can't find the key and get stuck, there's greater chance they'll leave before the advertising message is satisfactorily conveyed.

Yeah I know, but 'failure' as a mechanic is something that's a weak hold-out from a time when games weren't as good. Thus, the requirement for three hearts is largely negated.

Plus it's not like most AAA games nowadays punish you for anything at all to begin with, so having you actually hit a situation where you have to experience the inconvenience of loading a save that takes you back 30 seconds is ultimately just a waste of everyone's time.

But, SPOILER ALERT... If you don't break all the locks in time, you don't rescue the princess (though she does drop her flute)

Personally, I am a fan of electronica but have not been a fan of skrillex as an old fogie who is akin to resenting anything with the dubstep label. However after playing this game I am more inclined to check out some skrillex music. Therefore, as an advertisement, this in my mind gets an A++ in effectiveness. I would also point out that being an 80s kid the sample images in the glitches evoked memories of Duck Hunt and Mike Tyson's punch out which made an emotional connection with me that is in turn associated with some great samples of the musicians catalog. Double A++.

Last I will add that I am not a gamer as an adult but I thoroughly enjoyed this "game". My 5 year old daughter completed the game after I did an had no trouble whatsoever with the controls and the story line (I read the text for her). There is definable a market out there for non-gamers who would invest more time into games if the target was not as narrow. This market is likely larger than the Call of Duty/SOCOM market.

So to wrap up.. This is no my cup-of-tea per se, but it is one of those things that can cross boundaries and bring new customers into a market if executed as well as this is.

I'm with you. I've always liked Klaypex (of Dubstep Guns fame) better than Skrillex, but I'm willing to give Skrillex another shot after this.

Dubstep Guns: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDlif8Km4S4

I totally get the theme but I can't help getting nervous goosebumps from the artifacts - I feel like I have to reset the display cable or blow into the cartridge! Well done.

Me too, totally feels like the glitches are actually real, my nintendo dusty cartridges nightmares came back to life

If you have a 360 you should avoid Fez. That game does some clever things with glitches and crashes.

I love this guy (Jada)! Once again showing that Flash, when used correctly, can create unrivaled experiences on the web. Also of note is the Perfect Strangers game: http://nothingsgonnastopmenow.com/

Heh, love this game. Like a time machine to the 80s.

Yeah exactly. Such a perfect use of flash.

I am the only one that thought the game was making fun of Skrillex? I thought all the noise cubes were supposed to represent his music..

Well seeing as how the final boss is Skrillex and you have to defeat him while he throws the corrupted cubes at you, I'd say yes they do represent his music, which is "corrupting the world".

It is tongue in cheek and that is part of the charm.

Totally. I saw it more as him having fun with his image than him being the butt of the jokes.

I think not. If it is making fun of him, it is doing so in Some way that required active participation by Skrillex himself, because...

WARNING, POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT: If you beat the game you see a video clip of him that is specific to the game.

I hit start and 90% of the time nothing happens. The other 10% of the time, Flash crashes.

I'm using Chrome stable on Ubuntu 12.04. I have no extensions besides Adblock Plus. This is the only page I've encountered that crashes Flash on my computer.

Just blow on it.

It's all 3D, so likely to be a graphics acceleration issue.

The only extention you have blocks ads, and you're tying to watch/play an interactive ad.

That's rather meta, isn't it?

It's an ad. Turn off Adblock Plus. (worked for me)

I have the same setup and have had no issues. Do you have local storage on?

Works fine with Chromium Xubuntu 12.04 for me. Extensions out the wazoo.

works fine for me with the same setup

Hmmm, same setup and it didn't work for me in Chrome, only in Firefox. Did you install any special flash stuff? Any tips would be appreciated.

Everything is normal..(also have AB+ and ghostery) worth mentioning that on checking it is v20 of chromium (ie from the software center), v23 is apparently the current stable chrome version.. are you using that?

Move to Firefox. I too am on Ubuntu 12.04 and never had a problem.

My ex-gf always used to say Skrillex sounded like videogame music to her.. I was like "whatever, you don't GET it", but I stand corrected. Should send her some "I'm sorry you were kinda right" chocolates.

Disclaimer: Personal Tidbit

I love electronic music. But, I can not get into Skrillex or American Dubstep for that manner. I feel like im missing something...

I've been listening to electronic music for, at some level, my whole life, and I feel ashamed to say I like brostep. I don't think it's fair to call it dubstep, but it has to be accepted on its own terms.

"That's the worst turnip I've ever tasted!" "Sir, that's a daikon radish." "Well, then, it's not bad then."

I think a lot of it has to do with expectation. I find brostep good cleaning music, actually -- the quick change of pace works for it. I also find a bit of emotional release from it -- there's something in the contrast for me, at least.

But nobody I've ever met likes every type of music. :)

I like the turnip analogy. Sometimes it's just a matter of approaching a piece of art on different terms.

Yeah, a lot of the controversy seems to be (as ever) over genre classification. I hadn't really thought about it before, but I think I mentally file Skrillex-style music near "industrial dance" and some of the glitchier kinds of EBM.

I don't think you're missing anything, it's simply a matter of personal taste. I don't enjoy Skrillex either (dubstep to me is artists like Burial) but I can see why his more muscular approach might appeal to the American crowd.

Correct, Burial, on the other hand makes music I enjoy.

I see him as part of the first wave of the new pop-electronic which I think will be only more popular through this decade. It's certainly not typical traditional electronic music, so no, you aren't missing anything.

I didn't really get it either until I went to a club and danced to it. I didn't even know how, I just copied what people were doing, picking up on the ambiance of the place and what fun people were having. By the time the place closed, I was having so much fun I didn't want it to end. It's probably true with all types of music, that the context in which you experience it will create the associations that determine whether you will like it or not.

Agreed. I find Skrillex derivative. It's like Chicane with extra noise.

Dubstep can be awesome however.

Skrillex is derivative but Chicane is original. That's a new one. I say this as a fan of both.

Never said Chicane was original. They're both derivative.

Obviously every song is in some way building on other previous works, but there are degrees of originality and contribution above and beyond the building blocks that a song draws from. Some songs seem to be just "beautiful component" + "harmonious other beautiful component" = "pleasant synthesis resulting in more beauty", while others seem to be "beautiful component" + "rotting vegetables" = "pretty rotting vegetables"...

Curious how you got from Chicane to Skrillex. Or to Chicane in the first place...

Hehe - I'm just de opposite :) Not a fan of electronic music at all - but can't stop listening to Skrillex :-) So I guess they're not that related after all :-p

You're not missing anything. It's watered down.

The correct term for what you refer to as "american dubstep" is actually Brostep.

Dubstep was invented in Europe in the 90s and came out of the early techno scene. The shit these douches are making in California is completely unrelated.

I really hate to be a "genre pedant", but Dubstep is a descendant of garage, dub, drum and bass and a few other styles from the very late 90s early 00s in England. "Early techno" is Detroit in the 80s.

If you're correcting someone on nomenclature please be more accurate, and if you're trolling, please be funnier.

Dubstep proper is a near direct descendant of dub techno, pioneered in Berlin in the early 90s, following in the footsteps of Detroit techno from the 80s and the 2-step and acid house coming out of the UK and Chicago.

I live down the street from Hardwax, for fuck's sake.

As much as there is an aesthetic link between the berlin sound and early dubstep, the croydon lot weren't listening to lots of basic channel and stuff at the time.

The UK scene has its own independent subbass heritage. People in the london scene at least aren't generally that aware of what comes out of europe, especially back in the web 1.0 era we're talking about.

Check out this from 2000: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doMX6su9Ue0

And this from 95: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjQZxMoF8Kc

Both pure london sounds.

Burial in particular was already doing that sound without having ever having heard of basic channel, until kode9 showed it to him.


Also living next to hardwax doesn't qualify you to know about tunes. My mum used to live near blackmarket and she hasn't got any dubs at all.

EDIT: Also technically the R&S lot took that sound from english people like Mad Professor in the 80s :P

You clearly don't hate to be a "genre pedant" :)

There are too many electronic music genres. A slight change to the timing of the drums or the way vocal samples are used should not propel a track into a completely different genre. Does all this come about because people are ultra specific about what they will dance to?

It comes about because the genre names describe the scene more than the music. There may be only relatively small (to an outsider) aesthetic differences between, say, progressive house and UKG, if you go to raves where each is played you will find the people playing and dancing to it are completely different, with almost no crossover. The racial makeup will be different, the age, social class, the drugs being used, the clothes worn.

That's why people differentiate dance music so carefully. When people talk about dubstep they aren't talking about a halfstep drumloop and a falling 808, they're talking about Third Base, Plastic People, Big Apple, Music House and Red Stripe. When people talk about berlin techno they're not just talking about 909s on the up and white noise filter bleeps, they're talking about Hardwax, Berghain and D&M.

Good answer. Its a shame that a more cosmopolitan attitude does not prevail.

True, although a certain amount of isolationism is needed to fully develop creative ideas. Really good new art is typically utterly alienating to everyone except you and your associates, and it needs to stay that way long enough so that you can explore its potential before outsiders are let in and the inevitable compromise and dilution begins.

The internet has kindof put a top to this and it's a shame. The creative engine of the london underground which produced dubstep and everything before it is chasing its own tail right now, devoid of new ideas, and it's partly for this reason IMO.

"Brostep" is actually a pretty good term for it.

Interesting. I've always thought that Dubstep was a mutation which came out of the acid -> hardcore -> garage -> grime lineage in the UK.

Western Music Formation and Influences by Genre and Region: http://www.thomson.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/infographic...

Interesting, though it completely ignores Scottish/Irish folk music, Appalachian/bluegrass, country, and western.

Western Dance Music* ... sorry.

This is really awesome, definitely a good entrant in the "video games are art" category.

I do wish it wasn't Flash though. Not that I have anything against Flash itself when used the right way, but I feel like it's really hard to "own" a Flash game.

Unlike, say, iOS apps that you can download and come back to 6 months later, Flash games are a lot more of a flash in the pan (sorry…) and I think it's a shame in cases like this where the end result is so great and so much work obviously went into it.

I agree, like this bomberman-inspired HTML5 game: http://powderkeg.artillery.com/

I'm confused by your comment. How is it hard to own a flash game? You cant download the .swf onto your computer?

That's the most exciting black screen I've ever seen... I'm sure it was awesome when it worked.

Same here. Broken on Chrome on Windows 8. I don't know, I have a Mac next to me I can try. Don't really feel like trying the lottery. Maybe the site's just down and nothing would work. ;/

I touched a chest. It took me a long time to get there. I can't move and horrible noises are coming out of my speakers. I'm tearing up at the beauty of it all.

Entering THE code actually did something. I'm seriously in love with this thing.

Was this created using Unity3D and exported to Flash or was it written with the usual Flash methods in the first place?

It feels very much like Unity3D to me. I bet that's what they did.

Yes it does. I would be very grateful if someone could point to some more convincing proof of this.

Such a good example of how to market music today. Not a Skrillix or dubstep fan myself, but I can respect this.

Very cool concept and enjoyable game, but it caused the Iceweasel 'plugin-container' on my laptop to use over 200% CPU, which I'm guessing is related to the circuit breaker flipping (twice). Running Crunchbang 11 on a Dell Latitude E6410...

Edit: And took me from somewhere near 100% battery to 67%. Crazy

I played it through a couple times and then decompiled the flash using the free demo of Sothink. The secret word is (spoiler, use ROT13) "FABJ". Unfortunately, it's just a treasure not a substitute for getting all the parchments...

The problem with making this game in flash is that during the intro when the graphics go all fucked up I wasn't sure if that was supposed to be part of it or if flashplayer itself was having a fit.

I saved the world with a 28%, first time. :oD I might have done better if I'd noticed the timers.

I figured this was for an album or something. I hadn't heard his music before, but it is now on my radar.

Well done and spotted.

The Neverending Story reference to Atreus seeing the Rock Eater after losing his friends to the Nothing was a huge flash back moment for me. Very well done.

I got to the fairy then I couldn't control the menu. I like the idea of the game, although I was hoping it wasn't done in flash.

I had to dig up this article again: http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/142550

On how we all told each other that blowing into the cartridge actually worked, but it didn't. I used to do it as well of course, I'm amazed by how that "technique" turned into some sort of urban legend.

Shows. Nothing on a iPad.

Not only is it Flash, but it requires the keyboard as well.

It's flash.

Saved the world Ranking Apprentice %23 and I got to watch someone blow fuzz out of a painted gold NES cart. Awesome.

Those interested may enjoy the equally (or more) offbeat Goblet Grotto

http://harmonyzone.org/GobletGrotto.html http://gamejolt.com/games/rpg/goblet-grotto/10253/

This game would be a lot more enjoyable with music that matched the theme. Impressive performance for flash.

Okay, recreate that in HTML5.

Is there any reason one couldn't?

The problem now is that if you do it entirely with WebGL, you won't have as much people who can play it. WebGL support is still far from Flash support. It's however something that will change over time.

Oh man, this is the guy who made emogame and emogame 2. Loved those games!

Saw this link on Twitter earlier, didn't click through though. Flash ran fine in Chrome, pretty fun game, love the sound effects. I'm only 23% apprentice... if anyone made it to the end.

Desperate to learn who the developers were behind this!

Loving the fact there are FFVII sound effects too.

Skrillex's music is just like broken video game!

Pretty incredible what can be done in the browser these days. Anyone find out what happens if you get 100%? I only managed 58%.

Its not done in the browser, its done in Flash. And it probably could have been done 5 years ago, easily. It is creative however.

AFAICT there isn't anything special for high achievers except for a better "rank": 70+ = Prince, 80+ = King, 90+ = Legend, 100 = Master of the Universe

A whois of the domain points to Warner Music.

Is this promoting a particular tour, or release or something? Or it is just Skrillex brand awareness in general?

Wow. This is tremendously well done! I was very pleased to get the Contra code right, too. :D

I hate to nit pick but I think I found a bug...

Seriously though this is awesome! Much better than Halo 4 A+

I was really hoping this had something to do with dubstep.


love the hidden humor and classic gaming references all over...totally worth a replay

"All the food is poisoned, all the trees are dead ..."

Not very interesting on an iPad, black screen w dark gray writing and not much else.

All I see is a dark page, with some social network links towards the bottom.

This is amazing. Nice use of song samples for sounds effects in the game.

yea, it somehow fits really well doesn't it!

the game was a bit simple, but have nice touches.

I love Skrillex and the game is awesome and pretty fast, Great work !

I just played this for an embarrassingly long period of time.

I always thought Skrillex sounded like a video game.

Love the stunt. Skrillex is the biggest thing in music right now, no one even comes close. Very nice and tiny guy too.

Biggest thing in music? I think that's overstating him quite a bit. He might be the biggest thing in electronic music, which is a much smaller pond.

my ad blocker plus blocked the site on chrome. was puzzled for a while.

This is incredible!

Well done.

HN FTW. Thank you.

won't load for me, latest crunchbang, also tried on Mint 13, and it wouldn't work there either.....

I think if this page demonstrates one thing, then how bad his music is, when i am correct in presuming it's his music that can be heard throughout the game.

Here we have a modern artist, heard by millions, being swamped with prices, yet his music when in the context with a game which even was especially designed with the music in mind, can't hold up to the old classics in any way.

Basically: Soundtrack of most N64/SNES Games >>> Skrillex :D

To all downvoters: i personally am annoyed by the music after 2 minutes of playing, can't deal with this

To you: The downvoters are personally annoyed that after reading two lines of what you wrote they couldn't deal with your opinion.

Out of curiosity, isn't going to a page where you already know from the start you aren't going to have anything nice to say a bit, trollish? :)

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