Horde: The Game

Interview for Library Road Show 2023
Premiere Performance by Drew Farrar, Treya Nash, and Austin Franklin

Year: 2023 | Duration: 10-20′ | Flexible Ensemble and Video Game | Graphic Design: Nick Barrett

Full score available on Scores page


Horde: The Game is a digital video game that is controlled with sound by any number of improvising musicians simultaneously with the goal of earning as many points as possible within the time limit. Throughout the game, musicians are instructed to move an on-screen avatar around using musical gestures, notes, and other instrumental effects to explore the game board and collect orbs, power-ups, allies, and avoid obstacles. The controls and other elements evolve as the game progresses.


  • Use the pitch names located at the top, bottom, left, and right side of the screen to move the center beetle in that direction. The louder you play, the faster you move.
  • Use the noise and depth sliders to control moth allies that you collect. Playing noisily on your instrument increases the timbre slider while playing in a low register on your instrument increases the depth slider. These will make your allies spin faster and further out from the center, respectively.
  • The beats per minute indicator controls a variety of things on screen, mostly related to overall movement of game characters and mechanics. The enemies (frogs) move throughout the game and can be slowed by playing at a slower tempo.
  • There are several power-ups that make certain actions easier. The power-ups are: growth, boost, teleport, anti-gravity, multiplier, and invincibility. The power-ups are other bugs that bestow their power upon you when you approach them.