Hello Party People!

This is the first newsletter for the ETC pitch project team:  The Drop.  The semester has just began so there is not too much to report on, so this will be a quick introduction and update on our pitch and the progress we made last week.
Our Awesome Team:
Inline image 2

The Drop Description:
Here is a quick description of what we are aiming to do this semester:  The Drop is a pitch project that is focused on prototyping innovative music gameplay by combining rhythm games with a first-person duel. The Drop will map the gameplay to the structure of electronic dance music featuring tightly integrated music and visuals for an exciting musical experience.
Inline image 1

Interest Curves:
What you see above is the structure of electronic dance music (EDM) and an interest curve that you will find in games, movies, and all sorts of entertainment.  Due to the similarities between the two curves, one of our main goals this semester is to map the excitement of the game to the structure of the music.
The most important and exciting moment in EDM is known as ‘The Drop’:
“The drop (also known as a climax, depending on the music genre) is the point in a music track where a switch of rhythm or bass line occurs and usually follows a recognizable build section and break.[1] A drop (in electronic music) is characterized predominantly by a sudden build of textures as opposed to a slow build of them, and usually links a building section with the climax and following main theme and rhythm of a track.” Source:  Wikipedia
Because this moment is what we want to focus our experience around, we decided to name our team and game after this crucial idea.  The name of our team and game is also an allusion to “Getting the drop on somebody” as our game is going to center around one-on-one duels.
Week One Progress:
Because the team is still figuring out exactly what it is we are making, we want to focus on simple design at first so that we can playtest and build around core ideas that capture the essence of what we want to make.  This also ensures flexibility so that we can move in new directions when appropriate.
Tao has begun prototyping a duel component (based on a simple first person shooter) and JD is prototyping a rhythm component similar to Guitar Hero games.  Mac mapped the notes in JD’s prototype to the song ‘Draper – Men & Machines’ which (after some bug fixing that resulted in some unpredictably unsynced behavior) we can already play.  At the same time, Elizabeth has been sketching concepts of our environment and characters, while Ariel has been working on custom shaders for the game.
Here were the results of our playtest:
Inline image 4

 Unsurprisingly, the two people that spent the most time mapping the music performed the best.  Overall, it was a good first week with challenges overcome and some fun being had.
Next Steps:
Our next step is to integrate the two systems and then to playtest it and see how it feels.  While we do that, we will continue to shape our goals for the project, expand our rolling game design document, and quickly prototype our ideas.
See you next time!
The Drop