Karmaflow: The Rock Opera Videogame is a puzzle platforming game for the PC. It is a unique spin on the traditional gaming experience. In Karmaflow, the game’s story is presented entirely in the form of a rock opera, sung by some of the world’s most talented rock voices. You play as the Karmakeeper and it’s your task to restore the balance in various mysterious worlds. Through an adaptive music system and sung narrative you will experience a truly unique rock opera.
Both Act I and Act II feature an impressive all star cast of international rock & metal singers and musicians from bands like Epica, Cradle of Filth, Textures, MaYan etc. The score of the videogame and live-show is performed by the world renowned Metropole Orkest (NL), the world’s biggest
professional pop and jazz orchestra.
– A unique blend of musical narrative and gameplay experience
– Extract from and infuse Karma to objects and beings to change their behaviour.
– An adaptive music system: your actions control the tone of the music.
– Explore five different mysterious worlds. Meet all the characters. Learn about their conflicts. Your actions determine the fate of each world
Best Music & Audio
Karmaflow's music is the unique selling point of the game. The music was the starting point of the game and was the main inspiration for the creation of the surreal world of Karmaflow. Because of the interactive nature of videogames and the vision in mind, the music had to be non-linear. This required an alternative method of composing and was an experiment in itself. The music works through an interactive system: the player makes different choices which influence the music and has to solve puzzles by making music through interaction with objects. The music is part of the gameplay and it stimulates and improves the narrative of the game which makes it a fascinating visual and aural experience that immerses the player in the world of Karmaflow.
The game is, like the titles states, a rock opera which means that all texts (all the narrative, background stories and dialogues) are sung. Because the whole narrative is brought to life through music and song, we were able to work with some top notch musicians including the award winning Metropole Orkest and several world-famous rock/metal musicians, such as Mariangela Demurtas (Tristania), Dani Filth (Cradle of Filth), Simone Simons (Epica), Henning Basse (MaYaN) and Daniel de Jongh (Textures), among others. The musicians portray different characters in the game who have various unique appearances and sounds, ranging from angelic mezzo-soprano’s to aggressive grunts. The mixture of rock, classics, electronic sounds and ethnic music bring the different mysterious worlds to life and takes the player from serene air-worlds to dark lands. The Metropole Orkest provides the game with dramatic overtones and enriches the worlds with an epic and fantastical sound.
The music was also brought to the stage as a live and interactive rock opera (performed on 18th and 19th of January 2015 at Theater aan de Parade) and because the music is the most prominent feature of the game, the official soundtrack album was released along with the videogame. The album is a 45-minute journey through a constantly changing metal landscape, alternating between melodic symphonic passages and heavy brutal guitars, with vocals going from a pop-oriented sound to harsh guttural vocals.
Bringing together these various disciplines required the search for a balance. A balance, in this case, between how the music, the (visual) design and the interactive element play together and a balance between different the musical styles.
Motivatie 2e categorie
Best Art Direction
From the outset it was clear that the musical style also required a certain visual design. The symphonic rock of the game plays well with the fantastic and unreal settings. It ties closely with the theatrical nature of the music, which lends itself perfectly for the grand, epic tell style of a rock opera.
Each (of the five different) world(s) has a different theme (in story, music/sound and art) and visual design. The intended versatility that we tried to achieve within the musical aspects are also reflected in the style choices in the visual design of the worlds and the fantasy-based art styles. They bring out different feelings and experiences through their atmospheres and narrative choices. The artstyle combines, on a unique and refreshing way, a cartoonish and stylized design with influences from lost cultures and religious mythologies (such as the Mayans, Egyptians, Mesopotamia, as well as from the Buddhism), surrealist artists and unique landscapes from our own world.
The fantasy genre of the game and the epic music inspired different characters and beings who take on a non-human design. This contributes to the unreal settings and creates a unique style and look. The main characters, the so-called “Guardians”, who are performed by the international cast of singers all have a design that fits close to the art style of each world and blends the surreal with the actual look of the singers. They’re made more human through the way they sing the dialogue, which creates a feeling of empathy with the players.
Motivatie 3e categorie
Karmaflow: The Rock Opera Videogame started out as a student graduation project. The team behind Karmaflow strives to bring a new and unique way of telling interactive stories through the medium of videogames, and is taking it one step further by bringing the music of Karmaflow to the stage.
The Karmaflow-project (it suddenly wasn’t just a game but also a music album and a real live rock opera on stage) created quite a lot of buzz and attracted more people who wanted to invest (in either money, effort and/or time) in the team and the vision. We have worked together with arrangers, film director, sound engineers, appdesigners, costumedesigner, make-up artists, and many more.
Through connections of the composer and creative director, Ivo van Dijk, we were able to attract various international musicians. An all-star cast stepped into the shoes of the game's characters and brought the story singing. This cast for instance includes:
• Simone Simons (Epica)
• Dani Filth (Cradle of Filth)
• Marc Hudson (Dragonforce)
• Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica)
• Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy)
The musical accompaniment was provided by the Metropole Orkest (the world's biggest professional pop and jazz orchestra) and band members of Epica, Textures and Within Temptation.
For the realization of Karmaflow we worked with people from Sweden, Finland, UK, Canada and off course the Netherlands. The combination of the game and the theater show could only be realized through the co-production of Basecamp Games, the Metropole Orkest, Theater aan de Parade and DBLR media (who developed the interactive app for the show). The complexity and many challenges that came with working with all these different parties took up a huge part of the realisation of the complete project and is a never seen before feat. Completing it despite this tremendous communicative difficulty in an achievement in itself.
The real live rock opera, Karmaflow in Concert: The Rock Opera, brought the music from the multidisciplinairy game to the stage. It was an interactive musical journey through the universe of Karmaflow, performed by Daniël de Jongh (Textures), Dianne van Giersbergen Official (Xandria), Mariangela Demurtas (Tristania), Henning Basse (MaYaN), Marcela Bovio (Stream of Passion), Lisette van den Berg (Scarlet Stories, Epic Rock Choir), Jesper de Kruyff (Purest of Pain), Bas Dolmans, Arjan Janissen, Michelle Splietelhof and the award-winning Metropole Orkest.
The costume designs where based on the characters from the game. These are high level, extensive costumes manufactured by Ingeborg Steenhorst which translate the game’s characters to the performers on stage.
Through the whole project we pursued an unique synergy between different artistic disciplines. All disciplines worked closely together to shape the Karmaflow story, the musical and general core concepts and ideas. In addition, the involved artists had creative influence in certain ideas for the overall sound design and in the songs/dialogue they sung. It was therefore a healthy interaction that inspired all those involved and took the project to the next level.