Game That Tune

Game That Tune / Everyday Shooter

Six-String Shooter

In Everyday Shooter, the music doesn’t act in service of the game—it’s the other way around.

By Derrick Sanskrit • December 13, 2012

Game music has the power to earworm its way into your heart long after you put the controller down. Each week in Game That Tune, we highlight a great tune from a great game (or a great tune from a just-okay game).

Everyday Shooter was openly referred to by its developer as an album, in the musical sense, where each level was a song. This was no metaphor. Each guitar-laden tune on the soundtrack jangles along oblivious to the player, and the stages are designed to enhance the progression of the songs. There are no ultimate bosses to be defeated—each level ends when the song reaches its natural conclusion. The player’s job is to survive and try to enjoy the experience. The game and the music work together like a bedroom artist using abstract forms in the quiet of her own privacy to build something expressive. Programming an indie game and jamming out on your guitar—they really aren’t all that different. “Root Of The Heart,” the second track/stage, is where this all comes together.

Here, Jonathan Mak’s fuzzed-out waves of guitar grunge paint the picture of the one-man garage band, the lonely artist with a thousand emotions to express and no words to share them, only the crude, uncommon skill sets of rock-’n’-roll and video games. The distortion is more than a lo-fi punk-rock crutch. It’s a veneer through which the cruelty of real life is made somewhat manageable. You can hear Jonathan’s doubts filling the pregnant pauses and his determination kicking in on the ridged refrains. All this is tied to a stage about cutting off central life supplies, destroying the heart so that the arms and legs will stop pummeling you. Here, Everyday Shooter becomes the modern equivalent of the double gatefold LP sleeve. It’s the visual component of an audio experience meant to be pored over for meaning.

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875 Responses to “Six-String Shooter”

  1. Chum Joely says:

    I remember hearing about this when it came out, but never checked it out. Now I am playing Child of Eden and really appreciating the “psychedelic shooter” genre. Everyday Shooter looks and sounds a lot more lo-fi than Child of Eden, but there’s nothing wrong with that. I’ll figure out a way to play this on some platform or another soon.  Thanks for covering it here.

    • TerancePickles says:

       Everyday Shooter is most definitely more low-fi.  I want to say it was a solo project for Mak.  He literally made the entire game by himself.

      • Almost. Shaw-Han Liem (I Am Robot And Proud) helped a bit with the audio effects. The collaboration must have been happy because the two worked together more closely on Sound Shapes. But yes, Everyday Shooter was by and large Jonathan’s baby.

        • TerancePickles says:

          Thanks for the correction, I didn’t know he worked on Everyday Shooter.

          It’s probably a given by now, but if anyone reading this liked Everyday Shooter, please go play Sound Shapes!

  2. Drew Toal says:

    This made me think of this:


  3. Mercenary_Security_number_4 says:

    When I was a teenager, I was quite the bedroom artist — but they were always solo performances.

  4. zaofan596 says:

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