Thursday, January 15, 2015

[TL] Game Idea: Music-Based Platforming

Hi everyone! My name is Tony Liu and I'm currently a junior. My game idea is to take the simple mechanics of an "infinite running" platformer and mesh it with music and rhythm. I envision platforms and obstacles appearing in the players way in time with the music. My main inspiration is this great little game called 140 created by some of the Limbo designers:

In 140, the gameplay has a puzzle-like feel, as the platforms shift and morph; the player has to not only get the feel of the tempo but also plan their jumps accordingly across the constantly changing platforms. I want my game to have more reactionary and reflex-based gameplay with simple controls. I really like the art style of 140, with solid colors and backgrounds pulsing to the beat, so I'll try to emulate these visuals to a degree.

In terms of technology, I'll be using codeheart.js, as well as some packages such as webaudiox that supports the HTML5 Web Audio API. Most of my prep has gone into understanding these packages as well as refreshing my memory on Javascript.

Friday: I'm pretty busy on Friday, so my goal is to have all the code for sound manipulation to be completed by end of day, leaving Saturday and Sunday for implementation of the actual game elements.

Saturday: By noon Saturday my goal is to have all basic gameplay elements implemented, including:
-rudimentary visuals
-collision detection and physics
-side scrolling

The rest of Saturday will be spent fine-tuning the platform generation, utilizing the sound processing/manipulation code that I completed on Friday.

Sunday: By Sunday, I hope to have a completed game, with only tweaking and polishing left. Some of my stretch goals are:
-allow players to upload their own songs to play to
-dynamic backgrounds
-variations in platform types based on the tempo of the song, pitch, etc.

That's all for now. I can't wait to see the progress and play everyone else's games!


  1. Wow, that's aggressive. I'm impressed and intimidated!

    Will you actually beat-analyze the song at runtime, or hard-code features to a specific audio track, like Guitar Hero?

  2. Is beat analysis easy? It seems like you'd have to run it through all sorts of analysis to separate the drums from the other parts of the song... (although I have zero knowledge of music analysis).

  3. The goal is to be able to beat analyze any song that it's given. I haven't gotten far enough along to see whether I'll be able do the analysis during runtime or whether I'll have to preprocess the music, but I'm trying to avoid as much hardcoding as possible.

    As for the beat analysis, the current API I'm using (webaudiox) has decent capability of filtering out beats...whether it provides a high enough level of precision to be useable remains to be seen. I'm cautiously optimistic given the early results I have though (which I'll hopefully show in a blog post later today!)