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Old 03-09-2010, 10:39 AM   #1
ddelisle
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Default Guitar Peripheral and Gameplay Redux

(originally posted in my Gamasutra member blog)

I used to be a big fan of Guitar Hero/Rock Band. Both games really took the gaming world by storm with their unique and original gameplay. Both franchises also tried to up the ante every year in trying to escalate the game experience for the end user.

But now the franchises are guilty of over-saturating the market in a short time frame, and with not much in the way of innovative new gameplay, the fanbase has started to stay away from the newer releases.

Instead of being critical of how stagnant the two have become, I have decided to pitch a few ideas that might bring some new life to the games:

First. a major change in the key peripheral:


It features a sliding button panel which amplifies gameplay. Now the placement of the 'notes' adds another dimension. I also added a few more buttons for combos and specific notes, and the purple button is intended to mimic a 'Slide Guitar', which will act like another whammy of sorts.

The onscreen gameplay will look something like this:


(More likely to be in a perspective view)

And it doesn't have to stop at the guitar. Here are a few more ideas to help revitalize the guitar games:
1.) A headset microphone that runs to a pedal (for cowbelling or autotune), that enables people to play guitar/drums and sing-- so everyone could be Phil Collins or Eric Clapton.
2.) Pedals for guitar players to add more depth to gameplay- though I believe there are aftermarket pedals already in existence.
3.) If they could compress motion detectors to fit in a drumstick, the drummer could do some drumstick spinning for an Overdrive bonus-- heck everyone does it. Okay a bit far-fetched.

So what do you think? Are the games in need of some fresh blood?
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:20 AM   #2
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Instead of trying to revive a horse which has been deader than dead (wait... what?) for over 4 years, go back way to the beginning.

Music + Games, not Rhythm + Games.

Instead of making it a glorified 'PLAYER PRESS THE BUTTON BECAUSE I TELL YOU TO... OOOH PRETTY COLOURS AND MUSIC'-game, incorporate actual music into the gameplay.
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:43 AM   #3
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I would say the reason people have stopped buying the game is the same reason people would stop buying halo 3 if it was released 6 times with slightly varying weapon layouts. It's a good game. But if you keep releasing the same game over and over, eventually people aren't gonna go for it. At which point in time, you make a new game, not another new variation. I think what they tried with DJ Hero was on the right track. Too bad it didn't do too well. I say they release every song they've ever used as a download for whatever version you have, and then let it be. Make a new game.
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaak View Post
Instead of trying to revive a horse which has been deader than dead (wait... what?) for over 4 years, go back way to the beginning.

Music + Games, not Rhythm + Games.

Instead of making it a glorified 'PLAYER PRESS THE BUTTON BECAUSE I TELL YOU TO... OOOH PRETTY COLOURS AND MUSIC'-game, incorporate actual music into the gameplay.
So basically you want gamers to be given the ability to generate music, as opposed to mimicking or playing along in rhythm. Sort of like playing the Ocarina in Zelda-- but with an instrument peripheral?
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Old 03-09-2010, 01:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddelisle View Post
So basically you want gamers to be given the ability to generate music, as opposed to mimicking or playing along in rhythm. Sort of like playing the Ocarina in Zelda-- but with an instrument peripheral?
Well, I've thought about this long and hard and concluded that, when stripped of everything, Guitar Hero, Rock Band et al consist of nothing more than pressing buttons on an instrument-shaped peripheral along the BPM of a song.

The sound could just as easily be that of a **** flick and it wouldn't make any difference... well, it actually would make it extremely hilarious but not the difference I'm talking about.

The instruments themselves are also interchangeable, you can play RB with GH controllers and vice-versa. You could even play it with a gamepad, but that's stupid.
Similarly, an online browser game called Jam Legend is basically the exact same game, but on a keyboard. Just like Frets on Fire, which isn't browser based, but still.

I haven't played Ocarina of Time, but I can remember something... somewhere about it with Link playing that kidney shaped, blue thingamajig.
I think I have game design (or rather a concept for) floating around in my Evernote somewhere for actual interactive music, or maybe it's somewhere in my actual notes.

I'll get back to you on that.
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Old 03-14-2010, 11:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaak... wait, was '****' just censored?
I'll get back to you on that.
Getting back to you took a little longer than I wanted.

Right, where was I?

I came up with not one but two possible games in which the player has control over the music and using said control properly rewards him or her.

Beatrunner

After being fed up with the countless Guitar Heroes and silly knock-offs I went and whiteboarded everything Guitar Hero was and completely did the opposite.
Now for describing it:

The player takes the control of a character running in a 3D, abstract visualization of a city; simple blocks with recognizable shapes, colours and ways for the player to move. The character is a freerunner of sorts and can only move forward through a long 'street' of sorts. The player has no direct control over the forward motion.

Prior to 'running' the player can select a variety of loop packages containing beats, bass, melodies, etc. This also determines BPM and therefore the speed at which the player character moves forward. The player can also determine the length of the song here, defined by bars.

After selecting which packages to use, with a minimum and maximum amount, the player starts running through the 'street'.
When running the player can activate loops by running over or jumping through 'activations'.
The player can move to either sides, jump, wallrun, swing and whatever I can't seem to come up with right now to reach these activations.

The game also has the element of verticality in it: bass, beats and percussion are situated in the lower parts of the 'street', mid range is located in the middle, high notes are high up.

The player starts off with just a beat and can activate additional loops which layer on top of that, creating a song.
Additionally, the player can also run over 'pauses' and 'deactivations' which give him the option of creating bridges, solos etc.

Adding additional loops adds points; the more loops playing, the more points.
Points are also rewarded for the right timing of activations and pauses/deactivations.

Basically, by running through the 'street', activating loops and killing them the player creates a song. Creating a well put together song means the player is rewarded with points, along with an awesome song made by the player himself.
The player can choose to save this song and export it to a playable format so it can be shared with friends and the like.

Relaxation music 'game'

Yeah... I didn't quite think of any name for this and right now it only consists of two sentences which aren't even actual sentences.

This idea/concept is born out of a habit of mine: when in need of relaxation, I put on my headphones and listen to music which allows me to daydream the day away and process all information that's bugging my brain.
But sometimes my playlist comes across a song which is not fitting the mood I want to bring myself in, so I have to manually go to the next song, which may also not fit.

So, there are two problems: when in the 'zone' I have to go through getting my iPhone out, turning the screen on and go to the next song, which doesn't really help staying 'in the zone'.
On top of that, the next song might be some massive, completely bonkers neurofunk tune while I'm just looking for some nice, cruising Phillip Glass.

So, I got thinking. Not too long ago I saw Microsoft's new muscle control interface, which shows an example of it being attached to an MP3 player. That would solve the control issue, as 'the player' would only have to use the muscles in his arm to 'play'.

With this means of input, why not have the player control his or her own relaxation.
Different inputs could mean different soundscapes, starting out with 'light' ones bringing a player into the mood and later on introducing 'deeper' ones progressing the meditative state.

In short, players would control their own relaxation through minimal input.

Hm... you could name this game 'Soundscape' or something along those lines.

That's kind of my take on the 'music' genre; actual music making with various goals in mind.
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Old 03-31-2010, 07:08 AM   #7
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Talking This idea is featured on my wacky new blog!

Thanks for the feedback guys. I started a blog which will feature all kinds of crazy ideas. I'll even be posting some game designs (old and new) on it eventually. Check it out: http://originaldave77.wordpress.com/
(Sorry the first post is the same as the guitar peripheral listed here, but do scroll down) Thanks!
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