Creative Director, Harmonix Music Systems
Josh Randall is the Creative Director at Harmonix Music, Inc in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For the past 6 years, Josh has been dedicated to pushing the envelope of musical interaction by applying his artistic, musical, and design vision to the groundbreaking music video games Frequency, Amplitude, and the Karaoke Stage series.
Josh served as the music director and co-designer for the online beat-matching/remixing game Frequency (2001), and its sequel Amplitude (2003). Frequency won a BAFTA award for “Best Lifestyle and Leisure Console Game of 2001.” Amplitude was a nominee for BAFTA's "Best PS2 Game of 2003" and was chosen by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of four "Best Console Games of 2003". Frequency and Amplitude are also the world's first and only online multiplayer music games.
In 2003, Josh lead the production of Karaoke Revolution Vol. 1 (known as Karaoke Stage in Europe), and has since overseen the creative direction of its numerous sequels. Karaoke Revolution turns singing into a competitive game and turns the game console into a high-end interactive karaoke machine. Karaoke Revolution was named by TIME Magazine as the "#1 Video Game of 2003" and was a nominee for 1UP's 2003 "Game of the Year", as well as winner of Electronic Gaming Monthly's 2003 "Gaming Innovation of the Year" award.
Currently Josh is directing a yet-to-be announced music game project for Harmonix.
Prior to Harmonix, Josh spent 5 years at Looking Glass Studios, where he produced the critically acclaimed PC action/adventure games Thief: The Dark Project and System Shock 2. Before his adventures in the gaming industry, he did audio production and remix work for recording artists on Geffen, TVT, and Polygram Records. Josh graduated from Massachusetts College of Art with a degree in Electronic Multimedia in 1994.
In his spare time, Josh performs as a VJ alongside djs and bands as his alter-ego, “VJ Robotkid.”
Interactive Music for the Masses
Harmonix Music, Inc. was founded on a simple principal: Let's use technology to give non-musicians the thrill of making music together.
Josh Randall will discuss his experience at Harmonix Music, from the company's origins as a funky interactive music startup, to its growth into North America's leading music game studio. He'll trace the development of their award-winning music games Frequency, Amplitude, Karaoke Stage, and Guitar Hero, and discuss how teams of artists, designers, coders, and musicians all worked together to create these groundbreaking musical game experiences. He'll look at some of the pitfalls of designing interactive music products for a mass audience and describe lessons learned from over 6 years of music game development.
He'll discuss the role of creative expression within the game space, and how new interfaces and controllers are changing the way we interact with our music and TV's. Music gaming is bringing more and more people together every day, so what is the social impact of these games? Let's peer into the future of music gaming, and ponder what might be coming next.
Harmonix Music Systems, Inc.
Harmonix is an independent game development company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. The company specializes in music-based videogames, and is renowned for their groundbreaking design innovation in such titles as Frequency (2001), Amplitude (2003), Karaoke Revolution/Karaoke Stage series (2003 to present),EyeToy: AntiGrav (2004), and Guitar Hero (2005).
Harmonix was founded in 1995 by Alex Rigopulos (CEO) and Eran Egozy (CTO), who met while working in the computer music group at the MIT Media Laboratory. Alex and Eran formed Harmonix initially not to develop videogames, but rather to create new ways for non-musicians to experience the unique joy that comes from making music. Before developing videogames, the company created interactive music attractions for theme parks, including Disney's Epcot Center, and other location-based entertainment venues.
Harmonix Music Systems