I had the chance to work with Paula Lehto and the team at Musopia Ltd, an awesome group of developers working on FourChords Guitar Karaoke. They’re looking to get Greenlit, so definitely check them out! We got onto the subject of music games and their place in the indie market today, so I asked Paula a few questions.
Tell us a little about yourself and your studio! What inspired you to make FourChords Guitar Karaoke?
Based in Helsinki, Finland, Musopia Ltd is a mobile app development studio dedicated to creating fresh and innovative music software. We want to make playing music as easy and fun as possible, so that more people can enjoy it. We have been working with mobile applications so far: FourChords Guitar Karaoke, ChordShaker Pocket Guitar and Ukeoke Ukulele Karaoke are our first apps. Our team is a team of guitar enthusiasts and IT professionals.
How has the app been doing thus far on mobile? What is the feedback like?
We realeased FourChords in Apple App Store in january 2013. It was featured by Apple as well as all our other apps. We´ve had an active user base from the beginning and they give us a lot of feedback and ideas. So far we´ve done close to 40 rounds of iterations in the app and it has improved a lot from the first days. For example the tempo adjustment and transposition features have been added based on the user´s suggestions. We feel that we are able to bring a very complete and well tested product to Steam as there has been almost 1M users using FourChords so far in the mobile side! Feedback has been very good.
What do you think about games whose purpose is to teach music, like FourChords or Rocksmith? Are they viable to take to market in 2015, given the state of indie games today?
I believe that the traditional way of learning to play an instrument is often too difficult and time consuming, if I dare to say, even boring. For example, 85% of the beginner guitarists who want to learn to play guitar quit because it is too hard and frustrating for them. With different kind of mentality and digital tools learning can be made much faster and above all more fun. In FourChords we have re-arranged the songs to very easy versions that can be played only with four easy-to-play chords. Guitar players can find everything they need within the app: tutorials, chord charts, lyrics and backing tracks. Things like adjustable tempo and karaoke-style display that tell player when to strum make learning the songs much easier. Rocksmith has a similar idea of new kind of visual display of the music,using the backing tracks etc. and I believe they share the same vision as us: to help people to enjoy making music.
People have loved music from the early days of the history, already our ancestors were singing and dancing around the born fire clapping their hands. So I think there will always be people who love to make music – either in digital way or by playing real instruments. Luckily the barrier to be able to play a real instrument is much lower now!
What are your future plans for FourChords?
We are working together with great partners like Jamstik+ smartguitar and ” Little Kids Rock” non-profit organisation that teaches kids to rock. We are looking forward to the cool things that will be made with these friends. It would be great to get greenlit in the Steam community. That would open up new opportunities in the PC world. FourChords rocks in the computer and TV screen!
Make sure you support FourChords Guitar Karaoke on Steam Greenlight! Big thanks to Paula for the interview and insights.