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May 2014: Amplitude Kickstarter Final Hours

On 05/22/2014 at 02:35 PM by Sonicbug

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A week ago I figured there was absolutely no hope of Harmonix's Amplitude (HD) kickstarter making it's insanely lofty goal of 775,000 dollars.  As of today, approaching the last 24 hour stretch, they are within distance of actually meeting that goal.  

I think I've told the story before about how before Guitar Hero and Rock Band became the thing, my friend Chrissy and I were slightly obsessed with FreQuency and Amplitude, the games which laid the framework for the popular ones.  So when this kickstarter came out of nowhere I was elated and immediately depressed.  

For those that don't know the game, here's how it plays.  You have a series of tracks, each focusing on a different instrument or part.  There are beats on each track, matching one of 3 spots.  You have to hit them on the rythem and at the end of a phrase of song, if you hit all notes, you get points added to the total.  You get powerups which ad to your score. If you're playing multiplayer you can fuck up player two with powerups.  Your reward for playing well is a very high score, unlocked levels, and a good sounding playthough with the entire song unlocked.  It's hypnotic and very competative.  There was usually a remix mode where you could make your own remixed levels if you wanted.

The problems with this kickstarter that have me worried? 

1.  The asking price.  I knew that it was gonna be a hard reach.  The easy reason is that even though a ton of people knew about Harmonix's later games, FreQ and Amp sold poorly and most of the people who played it picked it up second hand from small print runs.  

2. People think Harmonix are loaded, when in truth those amazing Guitar Hero/Rock Band payouts all went to Viacom and the shareholders before Harmonix was cut loose and returned to being a smaller developer.  People don't follow the money, they just know that Rock Band made bank and that 775k is a lot of money.  775K is actually an super small amount for a game and Harmonix has to foot the rest of the bill themselves because Sony, who still owns the IP, isn't funding the game.  They started the kickstarter late.

3.  Harmonix good with music, not words.  People thought this was just an HD version of the original game. No, it's not, it's a completely knew entry.  So, why not just port the original?  Well, you know that lag thing that games built for CRTs have when you switch them to an LCD?  Yeah.... so that's why they really had to remake the game.  Not to mention those music rights long since flew the coop and well... the original looks like something made just outside the 90s.

Anyway, as of RIGHT NOW, the kickstarter is sitting at 733K.  If you think the game sounds interesting, you can kickstart it for 20 bucks, for a crossbuy for a PS3/PS4 game, which would be rad.  You get your name in the credits!  You can play it and try to beat my score, if you dare, but only if it comes out.

The final reason I want to see this game get made is that Massachusetts game developers have had it rough this last year, with big layoffs and major studios closing their doors.  A friend of mine is moving cross country today to take a new job at another studio because of that, which sucks.  I want to keep my friends in game development happly employed here, in Mass.  

That's all.





05/22/2014 at 03:35 PM

Hope it does well despite people's misunderstandings about Harmonix. Guitar hero and Rock band always looked fun but I never got a chance to try either of them. Brutal Legend is probably the most music centric game I've ever played. Assuming you like "Heavy Metal" and the imagery that goes along with it I highly recommend that game!


05/22/2014 at 04:22 PM

I almost completed Brutal Legend... that game had some interesting design flaws....


05/22/2014 at 04:50 PM

I thought it was odd there was no "jump command". lol. I mean you're given this huge open world to chop up things and drive around in yet you cannot jump. Beyond that, I was lucky enough not to experience any bugs. Brutal Legend was a bit of a hodge-podge though. It goes from an open world hack n slash to a real time strategy battle of the bands! I can see where that might throw some people for a loop!

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