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Hi guys - we developed a violin game
We need people to try it out and give us critique, so we can develop this unique game into an awesome violin practising experience :)
Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 (3 votes) 
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Lajer
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August 23, 2013 - 2:28 am
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Hi Guys and Fiddlerman.

I want to tell you about this violin game we've developed, it's called Magic-Tune :)

Thanks to Fiddlerman for some incredible videos, he is actually part if the inspiration to this game, him and his excellent community that I've been following for some time now :)

 

About 15 months ago, we started developing this game, we looked at a violin-tuner, and we looked at some existing games like guitar-hero and Fiddlerman's finger placement-game, and we thought to ourselves, we can make a combination of all of this and make it into a great practising game :)

 

Ofcourse, it wasn't as easy as expected, actually we've spend thousinds of hours each, developing this game, but, and now we're ready for some feedback :) We could spend years on more development and perfecting, but that would be a waste I think. We need comments from the violin players out there - what are we doing right, and what can we do better :)

The violin is a great instrument, and Magic Tune is made for violin only, because I'm absolutely in love with this instrument, and we felt that it's better to support only one instrument fully, than to support numerous instruments a little - so all of our worktime will go into perfecting the game for the violin.

We're software developers, we're neither musicians (yet :) ) nor youtubers, but, we tried to make a video, explaining one of the new features that we just released - you can watch the video here: feature=youtu.be

Please comment, and tell us what you think, feel free to like us on Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/magictunecom?fref=ts ) in order to get the newest updates, and in order to contact us :)

Ofcourse you can try Magic Tune on http://magic-tune.com

It's free to play :)

So, what do you think? :)

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Picklefish
Merritt Island, Fla
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August 23, 2013 - 8:19 am
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Yeah, that's pretty cool

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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Ginnysg
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August 23, 2013 - 8:31 am
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very interesting!

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent” 

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Hman
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August 23, 2013 - 8:50 am
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I haven't even downloaded it yet but I think this is a great idea. There is a new game on the market called Rocksmith that allows people to plug in real guitars to their video game consoles and learn awesome songs for real, unlike the old Guitar Hero and Rockband games that used fake, plastic guitars. I wish Rocksmith would support other string instruments like the violin. So here's to hoping I enjoy your software!!! cheers Either the way the effort is much appreciated.

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Lajer
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August 23, 2013 - 8:56 am
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Hi Hman

We don't expect to "get it right" right away :) That's why I'm writing here, we need feedback in order to make a awesome game for the violin - we're still in the developing stage :)

 

And I have some good news for you - there is no need to download anything, it's purely browser based - however, it's only Goodle Chrome that supports the new technology, so you need to have access to Google Chrome :)

 

Thanks for your reply, appreciate that :)

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Hman
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August 23, 2013 - 9:13 am
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Well, after trying it out I have to say it's a nice attempt but falls very short of being accessible to many people. If you want it to pander to new people who have never played the violin to get more people interested in the instrument then the way you have it set up is not going to work.

You said you looked at Guitar Hero/Rock Band but you didn't take the fundamental element away from those games that made them hits. You need to look at how Rocksmith is played. It is teaching a real instrument by way of FINGER PLACEMENT. You cannot just have sheet music scroll by and have new people play along with it. They will be immediately intimidated and turned off. You need to have something along the lines of 4 lanes continually scrolling for each string and have FINGER PLACEMENT be the visual aid. 

Again, nice attempt but get rid of the sheet music. You could have a mode that shows sheet music and/or notes, but it should not be the core of your game if you truly wish this to help more than a handful of people. (I'm harsh because I actually care. Great idea, I want it to succeed!)

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Hman
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August 23, 2013 - 9:34 am
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When I'm browsing for a song you have finger positions of to the left. THIS NEEDS TO BE THE CORE OF THE GAME! Have the notes scrolling towards the correct finger placement. You could have an option to have the letter 'C' show up or the note C. This way people can see where they need to put their fingers and see the pictorial representation of the note if they were reading sheet music. THEN once they can play the song and have finger placement somewhat down the option to switch to scrolling sheet music could still be there.

But I'm telling you, you need to take the FOUR STRINGS that you have when selecting a song and start building around that. You could have the circles scrolling from the bottom to the top with the letter or note in the middle of the circle. You can then have a dashed outline of where the circle (or note) needs to be played. This way you will visually be showing finger placement and the name and/or picture of the note all at the same time. This will be far more beneficial and more importantly FUN for the user. Once you do this you will find it much easier to implement harder songs as well as different genre's.  

Again, as someone who grew up on video games and loves the violin I find myself extremely passionate about this idea. 

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ozmous
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August 23, 2013 - 10:39 am
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This is super cool! I felt pity to myself for being busy and not being a tester. but at least it is now finished! this is greatness in the making, it can seriously teach many beginners! I hope you can release one for lower version of windows though, or maybe an app iphone, etc. for the near future, I currently can't use it since my os is of a lower version :)  

cheers! - ⁰ℨ

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Lajer
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August 23, 2013 - 10:52 am
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Hi again Hman

 

You just confirmed the thoughts I've had. We've actually had several meetings where we discussed the possibility of implementing 4 string system.

Right now we fall down between two chairs. it's too hard and intimidating for beginners, and too easy and effortless for more experienced players.

I'm really glad that you put all of your thoughts into words. That just might give us the push we need to actually go through with this change. Because of you we've planned another meeting this monday to discuss the implementation of this model.

Again thank you for your reply, it means alot :)

 

And for you and everyone else watching, it would mean alot to us if you showed your support by joining us on Facebook - we would absolutely love that ;) Link in the first message :)

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ozmous
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August 23, 2013 - 10:55 am
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Btw, @Hman , why do you want him to copy rocksmith or anything, it's original, it's nice to see originality in this days.....and you want to remove the sheet music.....what's the point of learning without it? the point of the game is to learn intonation, learn to read sheet music(like fiddlerman's game) etc. without the sheet music, how can you learn how to read? so you read without a sheet music? lol...what do you want as a visual aid? like rock band where there are dots/circles and coloured lines coming across the dots/circles? and after that, when it comes to real life, it won't really do any much help. I see this as a learning game, let it stay that way. you don't want to learn incorrectly and waste time for nothing, violins are different from guitars.

cheers! - ⁰ℨ

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RosinedUp
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August 23, 2013 - 11:10 am
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Offhand, it sounds like a bad design decision to let it depend on chrome, unless you are reasonably certain that the other browsers will have implemented the required technology by the time the app is ready.

Another concern is that none of the developers are violinists or even musicians.  Maybe one or both of you should take up the violin and make the app to please yourselves.

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Mad_Wed
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August 23, 2013 - 11:21 am
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That's AWESOME! I'm working on intonation now quite intensivly, and your game seems to be really helpful!!! Especially Kitty (?) mode. But unfortunatelly i couldn't log IN, it says:

Fatal error: Call to a member function fetch_object() on a non-object in /srv/http/magic-tune/modules/user/confirm-email.php on line 18

should i confirm something from my e-mail? But there's no mails from magic tunedunno Maybe i'm doing something wrong though...

 

And also: there's an option of tuning (A frequency) So that would be great if there was a tuner in that game to be able to tune the violin according to that settings. It's just a thought. Maybe there is that function, but i can't see it. because of login troubles..facepalmdunno

Anyway, That's a GREAT job You've done!!! Thanks for it!

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Lajer
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August 23, 2013 - 12:51 pm
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Hi guys, thanks a bunch for all of your great replies - I'll take notes of it all and talk about it with my partner :)

 

But here is a few replies:

RosinedUp: "Another concern is that none of the developers are violinists or even musicians.  Maybe one or both of you should take up the violin and make the app to please yourselves."
If you watched the video, you'd see that I play violin myself, I've played a few years, but I consider myself very much a rookie, the reason we started this app was solely because we care about technology and I fell in love with the violin, as I wrote in the first submission of this thread aswell. So, no need for concern there.

Mad Wed: I'll look at this issue ASAP, it seems like we released an error - whoops, embarrising, thanks for notifying me about it, and I'll get back to you as soon as it is fixed :)

 

Thanks for alot of replies, I'm looking forward to going through it all and taking action on your comments - keep 'em comming ;)

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RosinedUp
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August 23, 2013 - 2:35 pm
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Oh, sorry, Lajer, since you said you aren't a musician, I thought that meant you didn't play violin, ha ha.  If you've been playing a few years, and you know enough about scales to do what you've done, then, offhand, I'd say you're a musician.  smile

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Hman
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August 23, 2013 - 6:27 pm
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@ozmous If you really don't get why I said what I did then you really don't get it at all. They have the potential to get people to touch an instrument that they would otherwise be afraid to pick up. Removing the sheet music breaks down a barrier that you obviously don't understand. Just because you are over it doesn't mean others are. If you read what I wrote you would see that I still suggested a way to do it so that you can learn the notes to read the sheet music. No one would learn anything incorrectly using the current method that guitar games use. The way they have the game now is not original. It is just sheet music scrolling by. It barely helps anything except intonation. They have the ability to make something very great if they go in the right direction, and I'm trying to point them there. They could easily take the scrolling idea of Rocksmith and implement it in a very real and positive way for the violin. It would work just as well or better on the violin than it would on the guitar, so to say it wouldn't is just ignorant. Stop relying to my posts with counter-arguments that aren't positively motivated, but rather ego-centric.

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Kevin M.
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August 23, 2013 - 7:14 pm
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Sounds like a great app but I tried it out and cannot run it on my computer or my tablet.

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KindaScratchy
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August 23, 2013 - 9:37 pm
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Seems like a cool idea. You're looking for feedback so here are a few suggestions:

Maybe you're planning this for the final version, but it really could use an "About this game" page, so that visitors could learn the objectives of the game and how to play it. In particular, an explanation of why the game wants to take control of the user's microphone would be a good idea. I found it off-putting when I got that message and didn't allow it.

(So, why do you want to take control of the mic?)

Maybe it's just me but I found the messages that came up while I was trying to decide whether to allow access to my microphone somewhat annoying. I assume they were intended to be humorous, but still thought they were annoying.

Also, you've got a typo on the main page: excercise should be exercise.

Sorry if that all sounds critical, but I'm sure when you asked for input, you wanted to know what could be improved. That's my two cents.

Good luck with your project!

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

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ozmous
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August 24, 2013 - 12:40 am
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@Hman , how can that be egocentric if I want people, specially beginners, to learn how to read music? Of course there would be problems without a sheet music, that's the main goal of their game, intonation, sight reading, etc. and they also need this to be beginner friendly, from any ages, and also easily understandable, you wouln't want any trouble with the app and then trouble with the violin per se.

cheers! - ⁰ℨ

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DanielB
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August 24, 2013 - 5:01 am
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I don't see anything hugely wrong with it, provided it runs ok.  I don't use Chrome, so I didn't try it, but I watched the vid and felt that was a pretty good simple demo.

It may not be an action packed and colourful game, but it does what it sets out to do.  Giving a sort of game environment to practising reading from score.  Useful enough, if perhaps not most exciting looking game in the world.

Obviously it needs to use your microphone to be able to tell if you are playing the correct notes.  It probably wouldn't hurt if the program actually explained that, briefly, though.  When one has spent a lot of time working on a piece of software, it can be easy to forget that it may not seem as simple and intuitive to a first time user.

So far as showing the fingering, well.. I'm not so sure as that is utterly mandatory.  Even in first position, some notes can be played with more than one fingering, and deciding, on the fly, which choice will work best in a given situation is kinda part of learning to sight read better on a given instrument.  Consider a note like C5, for example, which can be played on any for the 4 strings of a standard violin.  But since the point of the software appears to be a game activity to improve sight-reading skills in standard notation for violin, it rather makes sense for the score to be the main focus of the action on the screen.

On a good point, it does show the next few notes as the score is scrolling, which is good for learning to read ahead a little bit as one gets better.

I think that for what it was intended to do, it is a good piece of work.  I would think of it more as a practice aid than a game in the entertainment sense, but that's fine.

 

@Hman:  Absolutely no offence intended here, please understand that.  But it sounds like you have some ideas and a vision for a completely different sort of game than the people who developed this have in mind.  That could be great, though!  You should seriously consider developing it.  Different approaches can appeal to different parts of the marketplace.  You might be on to "the next big thing" in a game concept, who knows?

 

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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coolpinkone
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August 24, 2013 - 6:57 am
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Very cool... Not a lot of input from me... I don't play games much.

@KindaScratchy ... not picky at all ... Spelling matters.  I have left a site that was selling something for that reason alone.  My thinking... If they can't spell it.. I don't want it.

Not the case with this game... Just saying....

 

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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