|Graphic: The Grateful Dead World|
Something tells me quite a few Toke of the Town readers are also fans of the Grateful Dead, nudge nudge, wink wink, so you’re gonna be interested in a new video game based on the band and its music.
As reported by Jeremy M. Zoss at Joystick Division, our Village Voice Media sister blog, the new Dead game will launch this August for online and mobile devices, in a new partnership with Asheville, North Carolina-based “Digital Experience” builders Curious Sense.
The game will reportedly be nothing like Guitar Hero or Rock Band, but will instead be more of an interactive playground than a single experience — sounds ideal for stoners, doesn’t it?
The game will be accessible via the band’s official website (www.dead.net), Facebook and online game portals, reports Scott Steinberg at Rolling Stone.
A custom website will be designed specifically for the game itself, designed to host the game and its community for the 3-1/2 years Curious Sense’s exclusive license to the game lasts.
|Graphic: Deadheads United|
According to Curious Sense, dozens of small games are being developed for the first version of the product, which will feature the music and likenesses of all the band’s members, as well as artwork, photography and video from the Grateful Dead vault. Sounds tasty!
“Grateful Dead has always looked for inventive ways to embrace new technology,” said David Lemieux, “legacy manager” of the band. “Curious Sense are lifelong Deadheads who have some brilliant plans to take our fans on a very cool journey. We can’t wait for everyone to check out the fun new toys we are building.”
As one example of how the game could combine the band’s legacy with the latest technology, fans could use their smartphones’ cameras to embark on a real-world scavenger hunt to snap photos of Grateful Dead logo stickers in their area, according to Adam Blumenthal, CEO of Curious Sense.
Many of the game’s facets remain undefined, but Blumenthal said the title will reflect themes prevalent in Grateful Dead lore, including Americana, the Old West, gambling, Biblical tales, nature, space and journeys.
Blumenthal said he’s itching to repurpose an animated sequence from 1977’s Grateful Dead Movie featuring a cosmic pinball game, reports John Jurgensen at The Wall Street Journal.
“Digital games are a mass medium — they’re not just for kids,” Blumenthal said. “We have the chance to reach a very big audience that fits the profile of the Grateful Dead audience, from high school all the way up.”
“Furthermore, Web-based and mobile interactive experiences are getting very good, where actions taken on one platform impact your experience no matter which device you use,” Blumenthal said. “The Grateful Dead is one of two or three perfect bands for this kind of multi-channel game experience.”
“Players will explore a Grateful Dead-themed world comprised of many types of games, earning points for game play and points for other ways of participating in the Grateful Dead experience,” Blumenthal said. “Whimsy, surprises and pranks will delight. There will have to be a Miracle button.”
Blumenthal is exploring a “freemium” model, meaning a basic version of the game will be free to play, but players would make purchases within the game.
“Personally, the only thing surprising about news of a Grateful Dead video game is that it hasn’t happened already,” Zoss writes at Joystick Division. “As someone who used to work at a record store, I witnessed first-hand how Grateful Dead merchandise outsold the actual music by three-to-one. That’s not intended as a slam that they’re ‘sell-outs.’ Especially in today’s music business, bands could learn a thing or two on how to create additional revenue streams from their work.”