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Working concept: Two bro's start a garage band but get tired of being small-time. They want to break into the music scene and stumble upon a flyer advertising a contest called "Battle of the Bands". They start training promptly after a round of beers.

Do they have what it takes to stand up to the hardcore rockers and corporate bullies? Follow along in this episodic game about music and the power of true bros.

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CSS under construction.

The idea of the game is to infuse as much music theory into the RPG gameplay - with minigames! This is something fun I plan to do in my spare time.

The most obvious type of musical gameplay is Guitar Hero, which this game will have, but I intend to also add other kinds of gameplay. Not sure what that will be, since this idea is very new. The ideas keep growing every day.

All graphics will be custom. There will be some sounds from freesound.org and created by me. Some music will be created by me, but I might go for some pre-existing stuff in certain cases. We'll see!

I'm open to a collaboration if anyone wants to join me. We can discuss that in private.

Latest Blog

Update 5 - Chipping away

I have a new job(working from home, whoo!) but I'm still keeping at it.

I've been thinking of different groups of characters to form bands. So there will be a band of skeletons playing skeleton related instruments. This skeleton is playing a bone xylophone type dealy. The perspective is way off so I'll have to redraw it.

Then there's the Royals. I'll probably scrap the prince/princess and go for a court jester and soldier or chancellor maybe.



Just added a spaceship and satellite to this image. It's a pointless drawing and probably won't end up in the game at all hah



Getting ready to animate the drums. This will be my first test of matching up an animation with sounds, so it should be interesting and hopefully isn't too hard.



So here's a possible mockup of a scene in the intro. This would be the scene I posted in the previous blog. This is the overall scene followed by a few animations for that scene. The drone is typing and gets interrupted by the "hero" making noise so he turns to get up, but the animation isn't finished yet.







I've also been talking to a few different people about helping me with the game. It would be great to get some more artistic ideas in the mix, since I'm pretty limited in my knowledge and skill. Plus, like every one else, I have big ideas and a big scope for my game! Botb 2018
  • Production
  • Link_2112
  • Game Maker Studio
  • RPG
  • 11/16/2012 09:20 PM
  • 01/19/2017 12:13 AM
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Have you considered how you're actually going to handle the music sequencing? It's going to be a lot of work by hand if you do it with RM2k. You could make this in an evening with a different engine, but with RM2k you will spend 95% of your effort sequencing the note inputs and 5% on actual gameplay development. The best I can think of in my head is to slice up each section of beats out of a variable, where each digit represents a note, hold, or wait, but that still only covers a handful of notes before it would need to ingest a new variable, so that's still a lot of work to do by hand.
Actually, K-hos just came up with a way to do it. Your best bet is probably to use the maps themselves and have each tile on the map represent a beat of music. You'd need a terrain ID for each note and also terrain IDs for a note hold and for a null/rest beat. Then just have the game read each tile at a time to figure out what inputs it needs to display.

The track data would be hidden from view if you're just covering the screen with pictures anyway.
However, there are other obstacles I am curious about. How are you going to address synchronization issues? RM2k's timing mechanisms aren't very precise. The wait function only measures tenths of a second, and while it can wait 0.0s, the fraction of time that represents isn't predictable over a long stretch of time. You'll need to devise a method to resync the track periodically because it will undoubtedly skew over time (think of it like a keyframe, but for music). I have a lot of concerns on the feasibility of this in RM2k.

An alternative is to just ignore synchronization issues by building an actual synthesizer/sequencer in RM2k itself rather than playing back a complete MP3 file. If the timing reference for displaying what notes to input is the same timing reference that tells RPG Maker to play the SFX representing the "C" note or whatever, then the audio, input, and display will always be in synch. But building a music sequencer in RM2k is a whole separate challenge that I certainly wouldn't want to undertake.
I think the answer to all of the above is "DynRPG"
thanks for the subs, guys :)

author=Jude
Have you considered how you're actually going to handle the music sequencing?It's going to be a lot of work by hand if you do it with RM2k. You could make this in an evening with a different engine, but with RM2k you will spend 95% of your effort sequencing the note inputs and 5% on actual gameplay development. The best I can think of in my head is to slice up each section of beats out of a variable, where each digit represents a note, hold, or wait, but that still only covers a handful of notes before it would need to ingest a new variable, so that's still a lot of work to do by hand.


I'm still experimenting with techniques. I will be trying both the playing of a pre-sequenced song and single note wavs. both seem viable options, depending on the length of the song.

you see, the biggest issue with making this in another engine is that it would take weeks of learning to figure out how. not to mention the years of experience that help make good code and the understanding needed to fix any bugs or complication that arise. if I knew another engine as well as 2k3, I'd give it a go. although, this is turning out to be an RPG and 2k3 is probably more suited for that. plus I can work with single pixel graphics,as opposed to doubling everything to match a higher resolution. it's just easier to work in 2k3, even with the limits.

like I said, I'm playing around with different techniques. I actually have several in mind. what your describing is one of the more involved ways. I hoping it doesn't come to something like that. I have a few ideas that produce the same effect, but are much more basic and simplified.

author=Jude
Actually, K-hos just came up with a way to do it. Your best bet is probably to use the maps themselves and have each tile on the map represent a beat of music. You'd need a terrain ID for each note and also terrain IDs for a note hold and for a null/rest beat. Then just have the game read each tile at a time to figure out what inputs it needs to display.

The track data would be hidden from view if you're just covering the screen with pictures anyway.


that's an interesting way xD I never thought of that, but I think I'll try that as a last resort. only thing is that during battle the notes will be moving diagonally. but that will be a more simple kind of action with few notes.

btw, I didn't create this project in the hopes of making it like guitar hero. I attempted a system and it works fairly well so I'm going ahead with it. if I can't make something structured and "perfect", there is a system that works well enough. you can see it in the videos that will show up here soon.

author=Jude
However, there are other obstacles I am curious about. How are you going to address synchronization issues? RM2k's timing mechanisms aren't very precise. The wait function only measures tenths of a second, and while it can wait 0.0s, the fraction of time that represents isn't predictable over a long stretch of time. You'll need to devise a method to resync the track periodically because it will undoubtedly skew over time (think of it like a keyframe, but for music). I have a lot of concerns on the feasibility of this in RM2k.


yeah, that is a problem. the solution depends on which idea I'm working with.

with my first idea, I found the 0.1 wait didn't match the song. you see, the first idea involved show picture, move picture, and a variable tracking the X coordinate of each note. the picture is drawn off screen, and moved to a place on the opposite side, off screen. so the visual effect of a note moving across, at varying speeds, isn't a problem. when the picture starts moving, a parallel event subtracts from the X value of any moving notes(using a variable to track how many notes have been deployed and using the variable range operation). when the X value is between 60-50, and you are holding the corresponding button, it triggers it as a hit.

so with this idea, if a 0.1 wait isn't working I can change the wait of the move picture event or change the coordinates of them to change the proportion of that 0.1 wait. this actually worked in my first test. the speed of the picture would have a slight variation on the right side, but by the time it reaches the strum zone, it's synced with the song. the difference is so negligible that even as it's moving across, it stays in the right formation.

using math I came up with figures that make it easier to time everything. at first I put it 10 pixels off the right side and moved it to 10 pixels off the left side. but its hard to time, so I calculated that if I put it 10 pixels off the right side and move it 600 pixels to the left, increasing the move picture wait time, the 0.1 wait is easier to work with and everything in general is easier to time. I think I need to do more math, cause I still have to offset some notes to get them to sync.

I think the reason you are so concerned about the feasibility is that you are thinking too literally about a 2k3 guitar hero game. it's only LIKE guitar hero, in that patterns of notes will come at you and you have to play them. it's not going to mimic every minute detail about it. there will be no interruption of the track if you make a mistake. all I need to do is play a song and make sure that the note pictures moving across have the correct timing when they reach the strum zone.

but, I don't think I will be coding too many full length songs. I might try a portion of one, for fun. I had the idea to make this an RPG that mostly uses short patterns as attacks and skills.

An alternative is to just ignore synchronization issues by building an actual synthesizer/sequencer in RM2k itself rather than playing back a complete MP3 file. If the timing reference for displaying what notes to input is the same timing reference that tells RPG Maker to play the SFX representing the "C" note or whatever, then the audio, input, and display will always be in synch. But building a music sequencer in RM2k is a whole separate challenge that I certainly wouldn't want to undertake.


heh that actually sounds like fun to make. I enjoy trying to make such complicated things in 2k3. it's probably the same reason people try and program computer functions in minecraft. my next task is going to be creating a system with variables to make it easier to lay down note pattern and control the position of the show/move picture event. these kinds of things don't take me as long as you might think and I have fun doing it. 95% is a bit off the mark :P

I also want to try my other ideas, like using an event/charset for each note. it would simply use a move pattern to go across the screen and it's X,Y will be tracked. I've come to learn that the X,Y of a moving event does not go up by 16(per tile) but by 1 as it moves from one tile to the next. so it can be precisely tracked, making it easier to detect in the strum zone. the only issue there is the limited range of move speeds.
author=Link_2112
that's an interesting way xD I never thought of that, but I think I'll try that as a last resort. only thing is that during battle the notes will be moving diagonally. but that will be a more simple kind of action with few notes.


Direction doesn't matter. The map is just acting as a data file since RM2k is incapable of accessing and reading custom, external files. The map would never actually be shown and your event process would be 99% identical for horizontal versus vertical note motion. Basically, rather than manually sequencing the note inputs via event functions, you'd have an event process that scans the map one tile at a time and using the results to display the correct input sequences.

yeah, that is a problem. the solution depends on which idea I'm working with.

with my first idea, I found the 0.1 wait didn't match the song. you see, the first idea involved show picture, move picture, and a variable tracking the X coordinate of each note. the picture is drawn off screen, and moved to a place on the opposite side, off screen. so the visual effect of a note moving across, at varying speeds, isn't a problem. when the picture starts moving, a parallel event subtracts from the X value of any moving notes(using a variable to track how many notes have been deployed and using the variable range operation). when the X value is between 60-50, and you are holding the corresponding button, it triggers it as a hit.

so with this idea, if a 0.1 wait isn't working I can change the wait of the move picture event or change the coordinates of them to change the proportion of that 0.1 wait. this actually worked in my first test. the speed of the picture would have a slight variation on the right side, but by the time it reaches the strum zone, it's synced with the song. the difference is so negligible that even as it's moving across, it stays in the right formation.

using math I came up with figures that make it easier to time everything. at first I put it 10 pixels off the right side and moved it to 10 pixels off the left side. but its hard to time, so I calculated that if I put it 10 pixels off the right side and move it 600 pixels to the left, increasing the move picture wait time, the 0.1 wait is easier to work with and everything in general is easier to time. I think I need to do more math, cause I still have to offset some notes to get them to sync.

This isn't a solution. When I am talking about timing, I am not talking merely about motion. Motion is the easy part. The hard part is interpreting 180 BPM. One beat is 0.33 seconds, which is a fraction of time you can never represent consistently in RM2k.

all I need to do is play a song and make sure that the note pictures moving across have the correct timing when they reach the strum zone.

Right. Correct timing is the hard part, which you seem to be brushing off as simple. How will you maintain correct timing over a thirty second period, let alone a three minute one? RM2k's timing mechanisms don't have sufficient granularity to do so and wait 0.0s isn't consistent.

heh that actually sounds like fun to make. I enjoy trying to make such complicated things in 2k3.

It's not complicated. It's time consuming. There is a world of difference.
these kinds of things don't take me as long as you might think and I have fun doing it. 95% is a bit off the mark :P

It's 95% of your time if you are manually doing the input sequences via event functions. It's a much smaller fraction of effort if you use the map as a data file as suggested earlier, which I really suggest using. Then you only need to paint yellow, green, and whatever tiles and have a single (and small) process that interprets the map data.

I also want to try my other ideas, like using an event/charset for each note. it would simply use a move pattern to go across the screen and it's X,Y will be tracked. I've come to learn that the X,Y of a moving event does not go up by 16(per tile) but by 1 as it moves from one tile to the next. so it can be precisely tracked, making it easier to detect in the strum zone. the only issue there is the limited range of move speeds.

Precision tracking isn't the problem. You are focusing on motion too much and not timing--motion is the easy part. It's keeping your game's internal metronome on the same rate as the audio file.

There is an additional obstacle which you may or may not consider a big deal: Once RM2k begins to play an audio file it will continue to play that file even if RPG Maker is the inactive window. However, the engine ceases to interpret new lines of code while that audio is playing, which will cause de-syncs. Audio in general is difficult to work with because you can't pause, resume, or specify a precise starting point within the audio file. This is even more problematic if you are playing an entire MP3 back at once rather than splitting it (which isn't perfect but provides an opportunity to "keyframe" the music and re-sync periodically), and isn't really an issue at all if you build your own music sequencer.
ok, I see what you mean now about using terrain ID. that does sound good, I'll give it a try.

let me just reiterate this part

but, I don't think I will be coding too many full length songs. I might try a portion of one, for fun. I had the idea to make this an RPG that mostly uses short patterns as attacks and skills.


as for everything else, your getting ahead of me ^.^; I'm aware of all those issues but haven't gotten to the part where I put more thought into it and try stuff. I'll keep in mind what you're saying when I do. this is one time I'm not going to fight with the engine to do something so complicated. I'll settle with the illusion of an internal metronome.

this game isn't about creating a perfect replica of guitar hero anyways. it's more about the art and now, RPG battles. oh, and minigames for quests and stuff. there will be a story, too.
i like this, it has more soul
I could dig it. Subscribed~
I like everything about this game so far.
Thanks, I'm chipping away at it on a regular basis. Writing ideas, drawing random things, thinking up enemies and battle systems.

I just got VX Ace and I'm trying it out with a game called Survive!, which will show up as a game page eventually. I might port this game over, in fact, it's pretty likely.
author=Link_2112
I just got VX Ace and I'm trying it out with a game called Survive!, which will show up as a game page eventually. I might port this game over, in fact, it's pretty likely.


And that's when the likelihood of this game ever being finished starts getting slim... :(
But I have next to nothing programmed in 2k3. So far the majority of work on this game is in graphics, plus stuff I have written down in text files. There will be extreme planning and a large cache of graphics to use before I start to piece anything together. It should go faster that way.

The small game I'm making in Ace has a very similar graphic style, and so far the whole doubling graphics thing is a non-issue. There are few good features missing from Ace, like variable pointers!, but so far I seem to be able to do almost everything I could do in 2k3. I'm going to try and learn a little bit of scripting, and from what I've seen so far it looks complicated :/

So yeah, don't be too concerned about me not finishing this. I'd actually like to eventually make money off this game, either by just going commericial or through a kickstartr. I will release something for free, for sure, and take it from there. Maybe a free version that isn't too long, gauge the response and spread the word, then work on a longer version for a few bucks. I'm thinking that the game will start off "normal", close to real life, then something happens and it's like a different universe where battling is different.
Ok, ok. I believe you. Sounds amazing. Good luck!
The art is wonderful! Can't wait for more eye candy. Subscribed!
author=ZOUK
The art is wonderful! Can't wait for more eye candy. Subscribed!

Thanks, I hope to have much more art up very soon.
Cool cartoony graphics, and the plot reminds me of that guitar heroes South Park episode, heh.

Looking through the blog posts... this game looks really cool. I like the simplified pixel look, and the irreverent humour.

Subbbbed


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