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Audiosurf: an “adaptive” experience

AudiosurfHere is what makes Audiosurf, for us, so incredible: the software manages to analyze music files and generate ‘playable tablature’ in a way no other rhythm game can even approach. Just as no two iPods are alike, the Audiosurf we play is not the same game that, say, Sharkey plays. (Sharkey—who proselytizes for Audiosurf any chance he can get—plays Audiosurf with a library full of prog-rock, for instance.)

Dylan Fitterer, the one-man team behind Audiosurf, recently spoke at a Valve press event (Audiosurf is now digitally distributed using Valve’s Steam service). Chris Remo of Gamasutra wrote up the best bits of Fitterer’s presentation, and the resulting article is Inside Audiosurf: the Indie Adaptive Steam Music Experience?

Part of Audiosurf’s success was due not just to Fitterer himself having easy access to his customers, but also due to potential customers having open communication between themselves.

The game’s design, he argues, lends itself very much to viral marketing, something Steam facilitates. For example, he saw users linking one another to the Audiosurf Steam page, which contains a convenient purchase link. Some evangelists went as far as purchasing the game for their friends with Steam’s gift function.

On the development side, he implemented a simple feature that encouraged competition between users, as well as providing automatic, but personal, encouragment keep coming back to the game.

“Dethroned” emails are sent to users when they are knocked off a song’s leaderboard, informing them of their defeat.

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