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GDCE: 'Feature: SingStar - That's Entertainment'

In today's coverage of GDC Europe in London, SCEE senior producer Paulina Bozek presented a detailed lecture tracing the evolution of SCEE's microphone-based karaoke styl...
In today's coverage of GDC Europe in London, SCEE senior producer Paulina Bozek presented a detailed lecture tracing the evolution of SCEE's microphone-based karaoke style title SingStar from the early prototype stage to full-fledged game franchise. In this excerpt, Bozek explains how SingStar was first conceptualized: "A good starting question, Bozek suggested, is where SingStar was actually birthed from, and it turns out that the game was developed from technology created in the prototyping department at Sony's London Studio. Sony London's prototyping teams work in groups of 8-10 people, and raise some interesting questions about who takes 'charge' of the concept after it moves into production, according to the producer, but this initial experimentation was focused on developing a pitch detection system, and then developing game concepts geared towards a children's audience. In particular, these two concepts were 'Songlines,' a third-person adventure game in which the player would make the world come to life by singing, exploring and unlock new environments through song, and 'SingAlong Safari,' where young players could sing along with animals to complete their singing missions. However, after some time in the prototype phase, there was a design direction change, transitioning from singing as entry into an elaborate virtual world to singing as the main gameplay. Bozek explains that the team decided to move toward themes and concepts that are more accessible, and that people could relate to regarding popular music, but retaining the main game mechanic of singing and evaluation." You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject (no registration required, please feel free to link to the article from external websites).

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