Nitrome is a company that started out wanting to make mobile games (They’re making them now but it took a while). The independent game company based in London makes Unity based games although previously churned them out in flash (they have over 150 games developed). Nitromes signature is their pixel art and chiptune music as well the jingle that starts before every game as the logo materializes.
“Flipside is a 2D racing multiplayer game released on November 14th, 2008. The player controls a flipside vehicle, competing against three other racers to take first place in every one of the fifteen tracks.”
There isn’t a lot of official information about this game other than the game itself (http://www.nitrome.com/games/flipside), so collecting legitimate information from third parties proved a little frustrating. The game loads up with Nitromes signature jingle and then starts with the menu which is when the menu music starts playing.
Upon selecting a level the “level music” starts playing. The sound design is quite sparse and there isn’t a lot of music or sound design to speak of. The music was composed by Dave Cowen.
The music itself is quite lo-fi, simple and repetitive. It has a futuristic techno lead accompanied by some sweeping synths in the background. The music is non-intrusive, almost soothing to play to and fits the futuristic theme, in other words, it’s fitting.
The audience was a little counter intuitive to pinpoint since some statistics had contradicted my initial estimation of the audience. This “menu music” seemed rather made to fit the game rather than to lure people in, since no trailer for this game actually exists, so you can’t hear the music until you actually play the game. That being said, the site shares a common theme of electronic music or chiptune and anyone from the outside seeing or hearing the style of the presentation of the website may be enticed to proceed further.
Another thing that made pinpointing the audience difficult were these statistics I found on Alexa, a site that collects information from visitors on various websites. According to Alexa:
“Relative to the general internet population, people who went to college are over-represented at this site.”
“Relative to the general internet population, people who did not go to college are greatly under-represented at this site.”
Since I had frequented this site often in my grade school days I had not anticipated the demographic to be more so college students than not so. Perhaps this is the reflection of the audience now from back then revisiting the site and the younger generation presently not taking interest for whatever reason.
I stand vexed on the matter but I believe the intention of the site originally was to appeal mainly to a younger audience interested and engaged in gaming. Perhaps people between 10-25. The site isn’t overly masculine in its presentation and as such could appeal to a female and male audience interested in online browser-based gaming. Narrowing it down further, the pixel art and chiptune and electronic music would appeal to an audience enticed by this art style and sound. It my sound like a very niche audience, but this pixel-chiptune combination is a perfect platform to attract former or current players of Nintendo or gameboy systems. The music and art style is similar, so people engaged in that would appreciate the chiptune and pixel art dedication of the website. People visiting this website would like the chiptune music because it is similar to/or would remind them of any device that reproduced those exact sounds while engrossed in that experience.
For Flipside in particular, the audience would the one mentioned above but split further into the ones who admire the lo-fi techno sound the two tracks have to offer. Anyone within that demographic who likes the lo-fi techno beat sound with a bleak futuristic flavour will be pleased or at least satisfied with the tracks composed for the game.
I thought it was pretty groovy.