How Daft Punk almost made a musical ‘Tetris’ game in 2012

Following the emotional blow that was Daft Punk’s split, we’ve thrown our eyes to the past and found Lumines: Daft Punk was almost a reality.

Daft Punk were in chats to make a video game back in the day. Specifically, they were roped into chats with Q Entertainment about their involvement from the ground up in a new edition to the Lumines game series.

Lumines, for anyone who isn’t aware, is a rhythm version of Tetris. You rotate 2×2 blocks around until they’re eliminated when the ‘Time Wave’ passes over them, all set to thumping electronic jams. It could just as well be called Overstimulation: The Game.

Daft Punk Lumines

So far, so standard. However, in an old Gamasutra blog post, we’ve found that around 2012, Lumines were looking at making some pretty wild changes to their formula. The producer, James Mielke, went on record saying that he was looking at redeveloping the series to hone in on the work of one artist. That artist was Daft Punk.

“What I wanted to do was put the player in the cockpit of Daft Punk’s pyramid-shaped DJ booth that they tour with, and – as Daft Punk – rock the crowd by performing big combos in Lumines. Everything in the game was going to be Daft Punkified, from the HUD, to the soundtrack, to the bassy aural ambience found on their 2007 Alive live album, to the special effects, real-time lighting, bouncing 3D crowd, etc.”

Daft Punk were not entirely averse to this idea. Although at this time, whether they knew it or not, they were already beginning to build roots within the gaming world. In a throwback to slacking off, the Newgrounds smash-hit Kitten Cannon used Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger for the title sequence.

Fun fact: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger came off of their 2001 album Discovery. Meaning that, demographically speaking, that album was soundtracking virginity losses before a ton of us had our first kisses.

Unfortunately the inclusion of Daft Punk in the 2012 Lumines spin-off fell apart during early production. The reason? Daft Punk were committed to bringing brand new music to the game if they were going to be involved.

However, they had just come off of scoring Tron: Legacy, were involved in creating Random Access Memories, had upcoming collabs with Adidas and Star Wars, and were struggling to fit Lumines into the hectic schedule they had found themselves in the middle of. In the words of Kanye: their lives were dope, and they were doing dope shit.

In hindsight, Mielke went on to say that he should’ve known better and approached them with something legitimately ground-breaking. Smashing blocks just wasn’t enough to get the Punk involved. Here’s looking to whatever timeline they met in and created a genre-breaking, era-defining, game and music sensation. We envy you, alternate universe.

Daft Punk is dead, long live Daft Punk.