OTOGARDEN is a musical game about free improvisation designed by Costantino Oliva. Players can explore their musicality in a Japanese garden atmosphere, control a mischievous kappa, a traditional yokai spirit, and feel the musical possibilities of your surroundings. The game was created for research purposes as a tool to demonstrate musicality in digital games. OTOGARDEN is inspired by the musicking concept introduced by musicologist Christopher Small, the works of media artist Toshio Iwai, and the Japanese musical soundscape. The development team included Marvin Zammit (Mighty Box) who did the programming and Fabrizio Calì who worked on Animations and Art.
Costantino Oliva is a Lecturer at the Institute of Digital Games, University of Malta, and is intended as a playable support to music and game research. Through an intuitive game interface, OTOGARDEN explores the topic of musical improvisation, "an activity of enormous complexity and sophistication, or the simplest and most direct expression” (Derek Bailey, 1993).