Indie Games, where the heart and soul is!

Let’s JAM With Jarod from Zivix (JAM Live Music Arcade Interview)

banner-BInterview by: Master Blud

There have been many instances where I have left the rhythm game series.  I grew fond of Guitar Hero and Rock Band.  I slowly went in and out of my constant need to play rhythm games.  As a musician myself, I found it amazing to play songs on a guitar peripheral.  But it tends to get boring after a while.  Then came the whole “Realistic” rhythm games such as Rocksmith and some others.  I felt I was controlled too much by these games.  I couldn’t do what I wanted to do.  I wanted to just jam out instead following a highway of notes.  Even with the realistic games such as mentioned before, you didn’t have that elbow room to do what you wanted to do.  So I had time to email Jarod from Zivix, to get the deets on JAM Live Music Arcade.  We hope this will help answer some questions you might have had about the release of the game.

JAM Live Music Arcade is Now Available on the Xbox Live Arcade and PSN.

VVGtv: Thanks for taking the time to jam with us on some questions Jarod (From Zivix)!

Zivix: Your welcome! Its good to be here…is this mic on?

VVGtv: No, I am afraid your fingers will have to do the talking.  First off, what makes JAM Live Music Arcade different from all of the other Rhythm Games out there?

Zivix: There are two separate modes in the game, JAM and Arcade mode. JAM mode is what sets this game apart because it lets you, the player, decide what you want the entire “band” to do, and when to do it. People have the chance to create music on their own terms instead of simply following a linear song experience that gives them illusion of performing.

So what are you when you play JAM…a musical puppeteer that directs the band? Sure! It gives you the ability to instantly launch or turn on individual tracks such as drums, bass, guitar, synth, vocals, etc. while they play in sync. You can start by launching a drum beat, then layering on a bass line, adding vocals, taking drums away for a break down; you can basically tell every instrument when to play and when not to play. The game lets you solo any track you want at any time. For instance, it’s pretty cool hearing the Modest Mouse vocals by themselves. It really is a different way to experience music; hearing songs you know and love from the ground up, then remixing them however you want.

The more you play, the better your timing becomes to bring in these tracks on beat, which will also score you more points to unlock new songs and visual venues. The experience gets a bit deeper as you progress, allowing you to change from Verse to Chorus to Bridge, while simultaneously turning on and off tracks. It makes for some pretty powerful transitions. We also offer “one shot” drum fills, guitar riffs, synth lead, tracks with are not in sync with the main tracks, which are fun to stutter and really get you into the JAM.

Arcade mode is based on more of the follow the leader game play. This is a great mode to teach someone how to play for themselves, and make decisions when to launch and turn off tracks in JAM mode. For those used to the GH / RB style of gameplay, it’s a nice way to give them another challenge and introduce them to our format.

jam7VVGtv: How many tracks are in the game, and is there DLC being planned?

Zivix: 32 tracks are in the game. We have some DLC ready to launch soon after the title is out, and we’re definitely excited about providing more as fans ask for it.

VVGtv: Besides making JAM Live Music Arcade, do you have any other products or games that you have made?

Zivix: Yes, we’ve got a baked down music mixing experience called, “Just Jam” on WiiWare that we did in conjunction with Big John Games; and we’ve also got several mobile apps on the market. Some of these are music based, but we’ve also had fun experimenting with different types of entertainment apps and games.  We’ve got a pretty fun one with a lot of character in the form of “Nog’s Gem Quest” coming soon to mobile. It should show off that we’re a pretty versatile team and love all types of gaming! We also have several patents for a touch sensing technology which we’re incorporating into a musical peripheral that we’ll be announcing soon; along with building derivative apps to support it. Exciting stuff!

jam4VVGtv: If you were to give one tip to the player from your own experience while working on the game, how would they enjoy the game more?

Zivix: Forget anything you’ve known about other music games, turn up your speakers, and don’t be afraid to zone out and have fun.

VVGtv: What are some of the key features of the game that you enjoy the most?

Zivix: Personally I enjoy just getting into the “musical zone”, (which is the same feeling when I perform live), while playing in JAM mode and just exploring all the different sounds and seeing what I can come up with. I mixed and coded every-single-individual sound in this game and I still find new and interesting combinations I feel like I haven’t heard before. The artists that created the original songs are always blown away by the combinations they see people come up with when they watch them play. It’s a treat to see people have fun with what we’ve created; we still have fun with it every day.

VVGtv:  I would like to thank you again Jarod (From Zivix) for jamming with us on this fine day!

Zivix: I would like to thank you for having me! –Jarod Hadaway, Music Director/Producer, Zivix LLC


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