While I was scrolling through YouTube, I stumbled upon one of my favorite streamers playing a game called Friday Night Funkin’. FNF is a free browser-based rhythm game that feels like a love letter to flash game sites like Newgrounds.
You play as Boyfriend as he fights to prove himself to Girlfriend’s rockstar father by performing through a gradient of genres. Players can find themselves including drum and bass, house, EDM, trap, and more with corresponding characters.
Issac Garcia aka KawaiSprite is the artist behind the FNF’s audio production. In an episode of the “RebelTaxi” podcast, along with the rest of the game’s development team, Garcia informs us about the nostalgic influences for the game. With Friday Night Funkin’ being conceived in a 72-hour game jam where teams try to execute a game idea in a timed session. In tying the game together, KawaiSrpite collected various tracks that had flavors of 90’s boom bap hip hop, hardcore, jungle and anything he could get his “grubby ogre hands” on.
Overall, the music quality is phenomenal.
Many fans, including myself, have been piecing together a narrative from the music and the level design. The opening track ‘Tutorial’ gives off the feeling of the conversation you have before you go meet the parents for the first time. Meanwhile, a track like ‘M.I.L.F.’ sonically convey a conversation one could possibly have with a mother. (Spoiler alert?)
There is a point in the track where you start harmonizing after one of the hardest breakdowns I’ve personally heard in a while. Either for narrative or musical flavor you resolve the conversation with a pleasing counter melody. Then you enter a level where you are on a presumed double Christmas date with the parents.
‘South’ is one of my favorite tracks because it sounds like the boss music that would play if you had to fight the entire Dungeon Family ft. Big Freedia. The piece is begging for some Memphis rappers.
With a variety of genre influences and visual references to other Newgrounds creators, the Friday Night Funkin’ has been able to foster a dynamic community. The game is open sourced which means that players can insert their own characters, dance moves and even their own tracks as a mod to the game with minimal coding knowledge.
The game as this creative entity holds an ethos that is reminiscent of the internet in the early 2000s. It was a time where many people found themselves discovering online communities and goofy flash animations on Newgrounds or YouTube. With that motivation, KawaiSprite has even made the track’s stems public for content creators to use.
To think, the game still has so much room for growth while amassing such a dedicated following. Members of the community even stream mod showcases to highlight the group’s fun creations.