The background story on the island tells of how Alida was originally built and inhabited by a wildly successful rock band, hence the reason for the island's shape of as a gigantic guitar. When money woes and paranoia set in, like they do, each member of the band claimed different parts of the park, devising strange and elaborate systems to protect their respective remaining wealth.
"Alida", The Game on a Guitar
By Chris Burnett,
This summer, a love of music and games are coming together on a computer screen near you. Combining forces with Got Game Entertainment, Australian musician, artist, and game developer Cos Russo, conjures music and mystery in "Alida", an intricate first person 3D graphical adventure game. If you're already a gamer, think "Myst" with a rock 'n roll attitude. And if you're not, this is the kind of game that could make you one.
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Russo's setting for the music-based adventure is on the fictional island of Alida, an abandoned theme park located ten miles out at sea. The background story on the island tells of how Alida was originally built and inhabited by a wildly successful rock band, hence the reason for the island's shape as a gigantic guitar. When money woes and paranoia set in, like they do, each member of the band claimed different parts of the park, devising strange and elaborate systems to protect their respective remaining wealth.
Growing increasingly isolated, all eventually abandon the island. Now, several years later, the band's manager suggests a reunion on Alida. Band member Arin leaves for the island but is not heard from again. Your adventure begins when his wife sends you to Alida in search of Arin. Traversing the various scenes of the game that was five years in the making and navigating these strange and elaborate systems, one finds an amazing attention to detail and realism. Scenes are replete with wondrous and ornate graphics, enhanced by unique and even bizarre locations.
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Those embarking on this mythical music adventure will soon find themselves engrossed and captivated by the way the developer presents various objects they can interface with during the course of the adventure. The technical development of the game is nothing short of genius in the logical manner by which things are mapped out.
Founded by Howard Horowitz, who has over 15 years of industry experience to his credit, Got Game Entertainment, LLC is a publisher of games for both Mac and PC. With the release of games such as "Alida", Got Game Entertainment continues its commitment to bringing to market quality games offering exceptional entertainment. I had the opportunity to interview Howard Horowitz and the game developer Cos Rousso on their newest creative development.
Tell us something about "Alida" brainchild Cos Russo?
[Cos Russo] My background is in the Australian music and film industry. I've performed quite a lot of piano for film and television scores here in Australia and performed live with many Australian artists from the eighties. I began computer programming a little in a recording studio twenty years ago. Back then, the only thing that was around was the Apple II - it had a whopping 64K of ram! I had come up with an application that figured out cue points between film and music based on the music's b.p.m.
"Alida" is one of the few games at this level of intricacy, which is available on the market that is purely based upon a musical concept and context. Why did you choose this direction and how did the development process begin?
[Cos Russo] Well, I'm a musician and I love music and what it can do. My life experiences in the music industry are no less bizarre than anything that Spinal Tap may have encountered! The initial spark began with the giant guitar concept so the ideas that followed were centred around music. I've experienced a couple of situations where conflicts can create havoc, and can destroy the most successful band. There is a lot of history and conflict in Alida, even before the player starts the game.
You have also successfully integrated a high-level of interactive elements in the way players of "Alida" find clues, along with stunning graphics and a very professional music underscore. How did you arrive at each aspect of the final results we see as a player of "Alida", and then realize each to such detail?
|Noted publications have raved about Alida
"... absolutely a triumph. Its visuals are beautiful, puzzles are challenging, yet fun and its audio is wonderfully realized. Alida is everything one could want in an adventure game." Inside Mac Games
"... who can turn down a strum or two on a giant guitar? And believe me, after that first strum, you won't be able to put the mouse down!...5/5" Applelinks
[Cos Russo] The interaction between the player and the environment and puzzles was important I didn't want the player to be stressed navigating the environments. The puzzles had to be interesting to play with, and most importantly not difficult to use. I also wanted the puzzles to be broad, encompassing the whole game, and part of the story.
"Alida" is currently available as of May for Mac users and will be available for PC users in August. Where can readers purchase a copy of "Alida" today?
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[Howard Horowitz] Alida for Mac is available at Comp USA, Apple Computer Stores, Frys, MicroCenter, Musicland and Amazon.com. The PC will be available at those locations plus Best Buy, Electronic Boutique, and Gamestop.
I'd like to thank you for taking time for this interview and article. Do you have any final thought to share with readers about "Alida" and any other future products in development?
[Howard Horowitz] Alida is a rare project in scope, graphics and gameplay from a visionary game developer named Cos Russo, which Got Game is proud to be publishing. In the genre of adventure games to follow Alida, Rhem 2 will be released later this year. Rhem's successful release last year, makes Rhem 2 a must have for the adventure gamer.
Provided by the MusicDish Network. Copyright © Tag It 2004 - Republished with Permission