Category Archives: Working Prototypes

Divine Beats – Night at the Monastery [Game Outline]

Stage Background
A group of people bands together to transverse an isolated mountain area, and decided to spend a night at an abandoned monastery. Amongst them, a young drummer and a Taoist monk shared a room, when suddenly they found themselves being assaulted by their fellow travelers. The monk pointed out that malicious spirits were dwelling near this area, and has now taken possession over most of the travelers. It might also have been their luck that the monk by then lacked the ingredients and tools to perform a proper exorcize ritual.

There is still a way, though. The monk currently has talismans that are meant to expel the spirits from their host but are functionally dormant. However, these talismans’ power can be reactivated with sonic energy, which is where the young drummer comes in.

The young drummer, however, is not completely unconcerned. The talismans can only be reactivated correctly by correctly drumming on this part. Last but not least, the monk appears to be perpetually drunk. Will this duo be able to save their fellow travelers and survive the night?

This is a music game where the stage last as long as the music duration. In this game, the player plays the drummer who works together with the monk to expel the evil spirits possessing the travelers. The goal of the game is to free as many travelers as possible until the music duration.

The core mechanic and gameplay involved includes:
Button 3 – Hit Drum

During the gameplay, the monk and drummer transverse the stage, where the monk runs in front with carefree attitude while the drummer tries to keep up with him. The enemies will appear on screen based on the music’s rhythm and charge towards the duo. The monk can dodge them with ease, but if the player fails to perform by the enemy’s associated beat mark (hitting the button in time), he will be injured by the enemy.

In order to save a possessed person:

  • The monk first places a talisman onto the possessed person that passes his way. A beat mark should then appear above the enemy.
  • The player activates the talisman by beating the drum as indicated by the beat mark when the possessed person comes into range.
  • If the player hits too early, the talisman is activated prematurely, fails to expel the evil spirit, and essentially becomes useless. That enemy will later on attack and injure the drummer.
  • On the other hand, if the player hits too late (or missed it all together), he also gets attacked.
  • Regardless of where a possessed person is successfully freed from possession or not, he/she exits the stage through the left.

Concept Sketch of Gameplay
The timing between possessed travelers being stuck with a talisman and when the drummer is suppose to hit the drum is meant to be setup in a call-and-response pattern; the call here is when the monk sticks a talisman onto an appearing enemy.

Health Bar
The drummer health bar is affected by the player’s performance during the gameplay. Hitting a beat mark/defeating an enemy increases the health bar while missing it decreases it.
If the health bar reaches 0, the game ends prematurely.

Beat Map Gauge
The beat map gauge is mainly there for debugging purpose for now, though it’s possible for it to be used in the future.
The gauges consists of a time bar that indicates and suggest when the drummer should be the drum in order to defeat the enemy associated with the gauge.

Current Status
Downloadable demo will be coming soon~

Kokoromi One-Button Game Contest

Marking this on my calender. The One-Button Game contest sponsored by Gamma.

So now I have to get a prototype done by Jan. 30. The joy~

We have to use an Xbox controller for this, though. Hope it’s as easy to hook up as the Universal USB controller.

Some references on using the Xbox Controllers on PC:

Cherry Chase – ver. 07

I’ve decided that to shift gears a bit and pick a temporary song that will at least help me demonstrate what I have in mind. I ended up picking an altered version of Ai Otsuka’s “Sakurabon”.

And with that, I scratched up some character designs and a storyboard for the narrative context.

Character Designs

The girl on top is Cherri. She looks like a sweet girl for the majority of the time, but can get scary when ticked.
The guy below is Chuck. To some his character up, he is a childish comic relief who enjoys annoying Cherri.

So the narrative of the story basically surrounds the chase between Cherri and Chuck. Very bare narrative, but has a lot of potential to play around with.

The game appears to be like Vib Ribbon, where the player has to avoid obstacles, which are arranged based on the background music. The call-and-response mechanism in the basketball drill stage still applies; while Chuck jumps in a certain pattern to avoid obstacles, Cherri has to repeat the jump pattern in order to avoid the same obstacles.

The Game

It’s a really ditry prototype where the character animations are yet done.
Press [Space] to start the game and jump.
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I actually have an alternative idea where the player plays as Chuck instead of Cherri.

Basketball Drill – ver. 1

We did a playtest session last Wendesday, and here are the 3 different prototypes I presented then.

You might want to turn on the volume to hear the sound effects.

Prototype 1
[swfobj src=”” alt=”Basket Ball Drill – played with keyboard” align=”center”]

Prototype 2
Same as Prototype 1, with variation on the rhythm.
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Prototype 3
Played with mouse instead of keyboard
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I tested these with 4 people during the playtest session, and 2 more outside of school.

Summing up of feedback I’ve got:

  • A tutorial mode – or simply clearer instructions – will help a lot, as many testers at first didn’t grasp the input action and the goal of the game.
  • While the sound and character animation are in-sync, the sound is lagging in relations with the key/mouse input. The delay appears to be worse with the mouse.
  • The two characters are too similar and needs distinction.
  • Some players rely on the audio to play, while others rely on the metronome graphics.
  • Most players prefer the keyboard over the mouse.

The lagging between the input and the audio will obviously be an ongoing techical issue I have to deal with. Also, I might need to consider

Divine Beats – Stage 1

Of the first stage of Divine Beats, where you play the drummer who’s to drive away the boar.

Press [H] to hit the drum. The gauge on the right will determine if you are pushing the beast away or withdrawing from it.

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This is actually a strip-down version for the web. The original version is played with a drum controller with a microphone embedded.