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Let's Make Music Together: Cadence

We last mentioned Cadence [Kickstarter page] back in March last year, a music puzzler where connecting nodes allows pulses of tune to create looping patterns. I met up with developer Peter Cardwell-Gardner at GDC this year, to learn how the project is expanding its ambitions, and has launched a Kickstarter to help it get there.

Making music through puzzles isn’t a new idea, but it’s one that always seems so satisfying when it comes around. In Cadence, a concept that’s generally so complicated immediately feels very simplified. You draw lines between nodes, and if you can connect them up in a correct order, following the nature of an ever growing number of node varieties, then a looping simple tune plays. That’s it in its basic form. But the superbly named two-man studio, Made With Monster Love, has a desire to embellish this simple start into a puzzle game that lets players create far more complex music, with bass, drums, and melody.

As you can see in the video above, the presentation is already something cleanly special. While I think there’s still a lot of work to do on better communicating the nature of nodes, it is unquestionably superb at expressing success. Sound waves ripple from completed puzzles in the shape of the structure you’ve built, through the gorgeously minimal design.

How this then scales up, with beats and bass, is why they’re Kickstarting. They are after the funds to keep working on the project, to solve the challenge of moving this from an already very satisfying puzzle game toward something more elaborate and involved.

The further ambition here is to let players start designing their own puzzles, and in doing so, write their own music. Music/puzzles that can then be shared with others. And that’s certainly something I’d be interested to see happen.

The Kickstarter is after a modest £25,000, with £10 securing a final copy of the game should they manage to get there.

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John Walker

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One of the original co-founding robots of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I'm now a senior editor and hero of humanity. Old and special.

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