Destroy the Speakers
This week Ariel had a very cool idea about trying to use 3D sound in the game to add a location based mechanic where you try and locate the speaker that is playing your music and the speaker that is playing your opponent’s music. One of your main goals would be to destroy your opponent’s speaker to shut off their music. Elements of this didn’t work within our current structure as it would require multiple audio sources, but it got us thinking about some much simpler mechanics that would fit with our current system.
Initially, as we talked about last week, one of the ideas we were trying out consisted of needing to “charge” your own speaker with your music by firing on the beat. That prototype also used control points which decided when you could hear your music and when you were able to fire at your speaker. We tested that out, but found it was a little bit too complex and chaotic. Ariel’s idea made us think of a simple system that essentially features a player on offense and one on defense. You can find some of the details above, but it satisfies many of the conditions we are looking for right now including: emphasizing the moments of The Drop, flippable gameplay, simplicity, and having some alternative goals other than just “killing” the other player.
Playtests and Usability
We had a very interesting and crucial moment late last week where we realized that our prototype was just too difficult. What was particularly troubling was the fact that even internally within our team, members that have experience with both rhythm games and FPS games were still struggling to play it.
We quickly moved to action by changing the two note system to a one note system. Now players only have to worry about one type of note and can hit the notes using either of the bumper buttons. We also made the beatmaps simpler and made the accuracy required to hit notes more forgiving.
We have run at least 10-15 people through our experience in the past few weeks ranging from FPS players to rhythm game players to people without experience playing either. We got a lot of great positive feedback from people who enjoyed the uniqueness of the experience despite it’s current imperfections.
We also noticed a huge improvement from the playtesters that played the game after we simplified the rhythmic aspects. The playtesters also provided a lot of ideas to potentially improve the game and to solve certain design dilemmas that we are encountering. We have implemented a few of them and will test a few more in the next few weeks.
Weapon and Knob Design
Elizabeth has been working on some badass weapons modeled after Akai MPCs. MPCS are some of the most iconic samplers ever created and have been instrumental in production of electronic music and a variety of other genres. Since we have a variety of notes and different timbres of sound being fired by our characters, the sampler fits our goal of making sure that the visuals and audio of the game are integrated in a way that makes sense.
The knobs were originally going to be used for our control points, but now will fit well with the intro/breakdown moments focused around trying to turn on your own music before The Drop.
That’s about it for this week. Thanks for tuning in!