RELEASED. Magic Sushi - a musical experiment.

Here it is. Play in Explorer and Chrome only.

Here is the trailer. :)

It now has cover art! (By my friend Nathan Cocks.)

So, I think this is as good as it will likely get. I’ll probably add a few more sound effects. Maybe.

It’s a really weird project. I went in expecting to be able to do things with javascript that just weren’t stable enough. Consequently, I ended up messing around with musical solutions to coding and gameplay problems. And writing all of the sound into the story. You’ll totally see.

There may still be a few bugs. It’s a really hard one to test because it has an adventure game style progression with a little bit of branching at key moments. If you find a bug, report it and I’ll give you a free Chocolate Eclair Plate Key and my eternal thanks. (which otherwise costs 3 nex) (not my thanks - that’s otherwise expensive)

Over the next few days, I’ll document how I put in the code etc and composed the music and hosted the files, so others who want to add music to their projects can. There are definitely limitations with what an average creator can do here. But, if other people are interested, great.

(OK. Here is some documentation. )

If you have tested already, like babelfish, and do not have a free key, let me know.

PS. All feedback is very welcome.

Known issues that would take forever to fix.

  • The live guitar sounds are too soft. Long story.
  • The quests don’t cancel well.



So, I’ve removed the lock after the first 5 cards. This is the skeleton of the game, story and quest structure. I have plans for the music and am going to start putting this together very soon.

This is a testing phase, so feel free to wander in and have a look. People who get halfway through will collect a key which will grant free access to the black plate - which I’ll nex lock in the future.

Feedback much appreciated.

Magic Sushi - the opening 5 cards. (Or, technically, 8 altogether, there are 2 paths through the intro.)

It’s the story of being hungry, uninspired and plagued by a weird song. It has interactive music. (Provided you play in Explorer or Chrome.)

It’s in its very early stages. But, I don’t really want to continue until I’ve nailed the system of delivering music.

I’d love some feedback, if anyone is inclined to have a quick play. (The music itself may change, I just made it quickly, but the implementation of the music.)



PS. I’ve put in a feedback link for people who use twitter or whatever. But feedback here is also good.

ALSO - If anyone wants to join me in a musical quest, or just add some audio to their game, let me know and I’ll share some code. I spent ages figuring it out, but I can totally share. (Also, I’d really like to get more functionality happening.)
edited by Firky on 9/15/2013
edited by Firky on 9/15/2013

Hey Meg. When you say it plays music…is it a link that is clicked on like the pictures in black crown…or is it actual sound clips that play from storylet?

Well, I was trying to make it opt in, so it’s currently from buttons within the text - like inserted into the story. But, I really don’t know the best way to do it. I did try just playing the music from each storylet, too. And, I’m hoping to get some mouseover sound effects happening elsewhere (but I dunno what’s happening with the code there, yet.)

This sounds really, really exciting! One of the things that makes me somewhat disappointed in novels is the lack of music that you’d see in other mediums – it can really add a whole new dimension of emotion and storytelling. An electronic medium for a novel is the perfect way of delivering that, so I’m glad someone has finally taken that step! Perhaps one day ebooks will incorporate music as well.

Thanks for vote of confidence!

I have a (rusty) bachelor of music, from uni many years ago, and I thought it would be fairly straightforward to compose some music for an interactive story. But, when you actually start doing it, there are lots of considerations.

Like - is the music too distracting? How are files loaded, preloaded, faded, etc, if they’re hosted online? Which browsers can play which audio files? How to code around that without lag? Can you make it opt in - is it even possible to make the music optional if it’s part of the story? All the possibilities with javascript/jquery for how to actually work files into the UI.

I’m going to keep trying. I’m just really interested in seeing what’s possible, I guess.

That sounds neat! I haven’t had a chance to try it yet but I do have a world idea where music would greatly enhance the gameplay.

This is incredible, all the way around. Taking the leap into having music in StoryNexus is really exciting for me, I was hoping this would become possible at some point in time… That being said, I would be very happy if you shared some of that code with me, either by sending me a note here or in email if you prefer, just let me know.

The story seems really interesting and I am excited to see what you have planned for this adventure, I will be watching this project close.

Now, as far as game mechanics go, do you purposely omit the actual value of the qualities/changes or are you still getting use to SN? I have been out of it for six months but plan to get back into writing and will be able to help you more afterwards…[li]
edited by Kitsune on 6/15/2013

Hi. Yes, I’ve been purposely omitting values. I’m not sure it always worked well in Thirst Frontier, but in this project, I have quests (called circumstances) which update with a line of instruction for each value, as you progress. I really like that.

So, I’m not sure the best way to try to code music. I’ve tried a variety of stuff. The nature of the pages seems to break bits and bobs.

But, as a very simple intro, try this.

Just copy and paste that into any storylet. When you play (in explorer or chrome) you’ll now hear my musical example looping. It’s just something from a previous project of mine hosted at the url you see.

Now change the url to somewhere you’ve hosted music.

That’s a very simple start. I can get more into it if people are still interested. I’ve had some successes and some failures. Also, I’m told it’s possible to tie music files to areas and qualities, but haven’t got as far as figuring that out yet, or getting help with that. Soon.
edited by Firky on 6/16/2013

Or, try this. This is what you’ll see in Magic Sushi so far - but I’m going to change it soon.

Ah nice thanks much and that is a very interesting stylistic choice on your part and I like it.

Would you just put the text like you have on the button after the source but before you close it? I know some code works like that but want to make sure before I experiment too much. Thanks again![li]
edited by Kitsune on 6/16/2013

Copy paste it into a storylet and you’ll see how it works. Then you can just put whatever text you want in and around the button. There probably are other ways to do this, but this is simple.

I’d really like to get fade ins and outs happening, but it really doesn’t seem to like anything I’ve tried so far. I just get browser crashes and such.

That would be cool but if nothing else you can see if you can find clips with/make fade-ins and outs part of the clip itself.

True. But, if it’s background music, how long will it take the player to read the storylet etc? Also, I’ve had issues with hosting longer, larger files. Then you get into preloading audio etc.

Have a play around, because it’s really interesting to learn what’s possible, etc.

I will definitely do that at some point in time. I can see how preloading audio may cause issues with slower/older comps but I feel like you could fade-in or out on even a 30 second clip if you wanted. I could be wrong, though. The most I have played around with composing is the OLD Nintendo art game on Super Nintendo, cross-fading with WinAmp, and playing with Fruity Loops for a quick month or so…haha

Just a quick update because I’ve noticed a few more people are playing this. I’m going to change the music model fairly soon. So, I’m going to have background music for the entire time you’re reading the storylet - hopefully I can make this soft - and make the “singing along” part that the protagonist does the opt in component. It’ll make sense, but I need a bit more time to get it together.

Thanks for playing, people who have, but it’s going to change, now.

Well, I am OK with that change. Again, I would love to share in this knowledge if it is any different from what you have already told me. Thanks!

Hi all,

I’ve been super duper busy with work. But, I’m intending to start putting music into this this week.

It’s currently a bit rough. I got my husband to knock up some trombone lines and I’ve been experimenting with making the files as small as possible, while still vaguely being listenable - because of hosting issues.

So, if you’re playing it now, you may find stray javascript and such. Or lots of silence, then some music, or whatever. My apologies. It’ll be done soon. :) (Or at least a first music draft type thing.)

Here’s a musical preview.

Julie’s theme:
Sam’s theme:

For anyone interested in the music, this is what I’m going to try to do.

So - there are 4 characters you interact with in the game, each tied to a different plate. Each has a theme and harmonic backdrop. All four of these are very simple and enharmonically linked (so you don’t need bridging chords between areas.) The themes are only heard at the end of the game - they’re collected, as it were. While you are at each character’s plate, you will hear ambient fragments of the final themes which I’m going to allow the player - with buttons - to turn off, on, and on with improvisation.

Makes no sense? That’s OK. :P Stay tuned.


Oh. And I decided to make the singer a trombonist, because I decided the idea of lyrics (even though I wasn’t going to make any) get in the way of a good melody. So, that will get confusing until I change all the singers to trombonists. Or something.
edited by Firky on 8/3/2013

Hey Firky -

You said you were able to host your sounds out of dropbox?

What’s a legitimate length/size for sound clips?


I’m making them as small as possible - otherwise there is noticeably more lag when they load. It’s more about which program you use to produce them. Vegas, for example, can make much better quality, small mp3s than Audacity etc.

I have a gigantic work deadline coming up, but that should be gone in a few days. Then I’m, ostensibly, free until October the 2nd. So, I really will finish this ASAP.

I have lots of things to tell people interested in music about. Most of it is about what myself and a friend have failed to achieve with javascript, injection programs etc. Sadly. But it may help other musical pioneers.

And you will see how I’ve worked around limitations, with compositional techniques, etc.


Sorry - so about 365 KB mp3 still works well for loading and quality, if the file is made with a decent program. But. As small as you can get that sounds good enough.