Muse is the first truly interactive and collaborative musical universe!
The name Muse covers a large body of work by Current Circus, and at its core is Alpha Muse, a music-driven exploration game. In Alpha Muse players create music by leading and ‘inspiring’ groups of sonic creatures, sharing these compositions and collaborating with their friends and the global Muse Community.
Muse as a concept connects a variety of mediums and platforms into a central musical universe – The Muse-Verse. This abstract space presents an evolving sonic ecosystem, based around a cutting-edge procedural music system. People can already access the Muse-Verse via Alpha Muse and in parallel audiences can interact with the Muse-Verse (and Muse’s procedural Music System) via a variety of installations called Muse Pods – currently live in Sydney, Melbourne and San Francisco. The Muse-Verse is a dynamic sonic ecosystem, designed by musicians and extended by players.
Current Circus strives to connect people of all ages and musical abilities, and empower them to share and create music together. Our goal is to extend the reach of Muse as far as possible – a project that is multi-platform, supporting multiple input devices and technologies.
Alpha Muse – The Game
Dive into Alpha Muse – a collaborative, experimental and playful musical experience.
Alpha Muse is the video game component of the Muse project. Players are encouraged to explore an ever expanding, abstract, audio-reactive online universe. As they travel through the Muse-Verse, players can collect energetic musical creatures, which can be accepted into the players flock (and musical composition). Each and every creature in the Muse-Verse is a musical element – a note, chord, rhythm, sound effect or even longer song segments, tracks, loops and full compositions. These organic compositions can be tweaked and modified to extremes, enabling players to gradually create songs as they fly through the game-world.
Our custom procedural audio engine provides players with endless variation and comprehensive control over their music. As players’ compositions mature, they can choose to leave them for future visitors or keep them in their personal collection for future sessions.
Alpha Muse is currently available on PC, and later this year it will be released on PS4/XB1. The game was designed as an interactive audio-visual experience, that expands into a massive multiplayer online game. The Muse-Verse is an online space that connects the virtual with the physical, allowing Alpha Muse players to collaborate with Muse Pods and explore and create music in a unique and innovative manner.
Alpha Muse is a living project which contains many of our experiments, design iterations and new content appears monthly. The game will continue to evolve and expand in monthly iterations based on the direct feedback from its community.
The Muse Pods – Immersive Physical Installations and Live Performances
Muse Pods are custom art installations, designed to extend the reach of traditional video games and provide a public and communal experience. Some of the Muse Pods are permanent installations, and we also tour with Muse Pods to major game conferences and music festivals around the world including GDC, PAX East, Sonar, Gamescom and Burning Man. We explore this exciting avenue as we enable players, live musicians, performance artists and audiences around the world to collaborate and create music together. Muse Pods use motion control and tactile interfaces, based on innovative 360-degree depth-camera mapping that invites natural and expressive human movement.
The Album – A Collaborative Audio-Visual Odyssey
A critical component of the Muse project in 2014 (and a creative exercise for the Muse Community) is the production of an audio-visual album. This album will be created through a large-scale collaborative effort, engaging all of our audiences to compose, share, remix and rate the content they produce in the game. Throughout the year we will hold different collaborative “interactive music jams“, taking place both in-game and around the Muse Pods. Each of these collaborations is designed to include 10,000’s of Alpha Muse players and Muse Pods audience members, all interacting together, and at times engaging our in-house and guest musicians as well. The album is planned to be released in November this year, and it will present a compilation of the most popular 12 tracks from the game’s Music Zones. It will also included an in-game recording of the associated gameplay session, and a matching limited edition artwork, which will then be used as concept/reference art to guide the creation of unique spaces in-game that will host the album songs (and allow for further remixing). These songs would be created, selected and rated by our community, and then mastered and produced by the project’s musicians.
New Trailer – GDC & PAX East (2014)
Features on display :
- Online Multiplayer – Meet other players and share compositions
- Freeform gameplay – providing players with a unique world to play in and enjoy at whatever level they choose. They can play an adventurer, a musician, or both.
- Procedural Audio Engine – designed by our in-house powered by professional-grade synthesisers and audio plugins from the award-winning FabFilter
- Muse Pods – Connection to physical installations during featured events, including VideoDreams and AudioWonders
- Audio Reactive Environment – visualise your music!
- Oculus Rift – see the Muse-Verse like you’ve never seen it before
- Song Bubbles - save and share your music online, or collect songs that other players created.
- 9 music zones – each zone offering a new audio-visual experience (currently the thematic variation between music zones is mostly musical).
- Music Charts – Listen to the best songs, or watch your own masterpiece rise to the top
- Outstanding Concept Art – original concept art by renowned visual artist Andrew ‘Android’ Jones, founding member of Massive Black and famous for his work with Nintendo and Industrial Light and Magic.
- Energy – Collect and earn energy for exploring the Alpha Muse world, then spend it on perfecting your musical creations.
- MuseDev.net – Online portal – get updates, follow production and collaborate with Current Circus towards next release!
Features in development:
- Wonder Muses – control and manipulate aspects of your music as you interact with unique characters and flora in-game.
- Additional Multiplayer modes – go solo or start a band!
- Multi-device support – Depth Camera, Leap, Phone controller
- Multi-platform – Xbone, PS4, Portables, PC/Steam, Mac, Tablets.
- Musical Clusters – unique visualisation of your song in the form of a huge creature. Populate the world by sharing your own Musical Clusters, or explore other people’s creations.
- Expanding Universe – The game space is constantly growing as new music zones and interaction spaces are added
“What we’re most excited about is collaborative music creation via online co-op or a second screen (imagine having effects, EQs, channel kill-switches etc etc on a tablet) and seeing what the community can come up with once this is in the wild.” – IGN
“I really love that kind of a concept, where you feel like what you do matters, without having to earn points or hearts or that kind of stuff.” – Robin Hunicke, via Gamasutra
“Regardless of your imagination though, there is one thing that will occupy your time in Muse: making sweet, groovy sound tracks by collecting orbs / particles / alien microbes — whatever you want to call them.” – Kotaku
“Muse is a joyous, abstract game where you steer notes through a soundscape, procedurally generating and modifying ambient trance music.” – The Guardian
“I am musically-challenged in almost every sense. I just can’t do it. Music has always been an enticing yet elusive art form to me, but that’s probably because I haven’t had a toolset like Muse before.” – MMGN
“(Alpha Muse is) what I hope the genre can one day be – a seamless fusion of sight and sound, recreating the drug that is, and has always been, music. Party on.” – Indiestatik
Current Circus is an innovative and creative collective that specialises in tactile and motion-controlled entertainment software and immersive environments. Our developers have worked on console games dating back to the 32-bit era, and have created games in many different genres. Muse has organically grown over the past 2 years, and it is the studio’s main focus and passion.
Our collaborating musicians