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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: The New Sound

    [12.22.09]
    - GameCareerGuide.com staff

  • Mackenzie Peterson, Front Range Community College in Colorado

    To address the issue, I would combine two-genres: Rhythm/2d Platformer. The game would be set to music, and the player would control the character through varying levels. Each move or action the player makes creates a unique sound, and the proximity of the key press to the "beat" would determine the effectiveness of the move (i.e., jumping off of the beat would cause your character to trip and fall). Different playable characters could have different sound sets. An example of a drum-set based character might utilize this sound set: running=drum roll, jump=crash cymbal, duck/slide=bass drum and so on.

    So if you can imagine running through a bright and vibrant level, the plain background music would come alive as you bound through: brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrUT-CrSH-CrSH-CrSH-guuh (running, jump, jump, jump, slide)

    What makes this an effective set-up is the freedom of the player to use their character as an "instrument", jamming along through the level. The level design would optimize said "jams".

    Following the music would create timing based combat. Say a monster charges his move. You know that it takes two counts to charge so you dodge-move on count three--too soon or late and you're dead.

    The concept of incorporating larger aspects of musical composition would apply well to bosses. For example, the song's structure could tell the player when they can attack or when they should be defensive--an ABA format song would dictate that the player can be aggressive for 4 measures, defensive for 4, the aggressive for another 4 before repeating the pattern. When the boss reaches a certain health level, the structure may move to the bridge, where it's CCCD--and D is when the player can attack.

    The main concept of this game would be: music non-stop and the player is just "sitting in". I feel that "being in the groove" is a powerful feeling and what's great about this concept is that it's not like Guitar Hero or Rock Band, where the player is marching along a set path. There's freedom of improvisation and the freedom to make your own mistakes. Playing along with the music would also add a pseudo 3rd dimension to the 2d game in that the player is constricted by sound, and not a Z axis.

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