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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsRhythm Doctor - A Rhythm Heaven Style One-Button Hard-as-Nails Rhythm Game
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Author Topic: Rhythm Doctor - A Rhythm Heaven Style One-Button Hard-as-Nails Rhythm Game  (Read 7167 times)
fizzd
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« on: December 18, 2013, 01:17:51 PM »

Hi guys,




Builds
>>PLAY LATEST BUILD<<
Play prototype of latest level.

Current WIP level in second link: "Steinway" prototype 19/12/2013, an acoustic piano song recorded in the studio of Churchill College, Cambridge.

Fun stuff
Kanye - Power

Press & Feedback
Eurogamer
"a rad Rhythm Paradise-esque browser game (...) sadistically difficult."

Indiegames.com
"The base mechanic and premise of Rhythm Doctor are gold for me. (...) Rhythm is in everything, and I'm glad the developers found it in medicine."

Reddit thread
"You've really nailed that quirky Japanese game sort of personality, that often really quirky and surreal sense of humor with a gentle sort of grounding to it. It has a resonance to it that most flash games don't." - Clumpy



that brilliantly shows off the game. Made me smile all the way through! Thanks BluBerryGamer Smiley

Summary
Rhythm Doctor is a tough ONE-BUTTON rhythm game heavily inspired by Rhythm Heaven!

For those who haven't played Rhythm Heaven, the defining feature of the series is the extremely strict margin of error, compared to any other music game out there. This means many people don't even realise their rhythm is a little off until they play Rhythm Heaven. My game seeks to emulate that feeling Grin

I've been working on this on and off for two summers now. Most of the work believe it or not was making the engine precise enough to be playable. Many, many hours were spent making the engine accurate (Flash is not a good choice for millisecond accuracy.. but hey it was the most popular thing), testing it in different browsers and Flash versions, and I have come to the conclusion that the following is what you need so that the game registers a hit only when you are PRECISELY on time (within 0.02s):

Browser: Anything but Chrome
Flash Player: 11.4 or above

A lot of thought went on whether I should just make the margins wider to compensate for lag, but then that would just turn this game into just a typical Guitar Hero / Rock Band game which I don't want.

This DevLog
There is a topic in the Playtesting section already, but I thought it would be better to post the minor updates over here, and also we'd like to hopefully update more frequently on a weekly-ish basis. We'll also update the WIP link above with recent prototypes of gameplay ideas. You'll only get to play the level that is currently being worked on of course, so keep checking back here for new levels lest you miss out Tongue Come hang out!


And finally, Update Number One
This latest level serves to introduce swing beats. For those who play it, feedback on the following would be much appreciated!

1. are you a piano player, and as a player / non-player, do you feel the changing focus of rows managed to emphasise the dichotomy of treble and bass? when switching from the bottom row to playing the first four for example was it obvious that you were now following the bass melody?

2. were the swing rhythms (DUM daDUM daDUM daDUM) and inverse swing rhythms (daDUM daDUM daDUM da) intuitive enough to not require explanation?

3. difficulty: have you completed the previous demo, and how enjoyable was the difficulty on this one?

Thanks!
« Last Edit: April 18, 2014, 02:20:12 AM by fizzd » Logged
OnionBlaze
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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2013, 08:24:54 PM »

New level YESSS KEEP IT UP Hand Any KeyWaaagh!

1. I don't think I'll be able to play this level without looking at the screen since most, if not all of the switching doesn't have some sort of an audio cue.. maybe play a few bass notes while on the bottom row when switching from that to the first four or something like that? Oh, and I don't play piano. Sad

2. The swing beats are fine with me, I got them on my first try.

3. I finished the previous demo, and I think this level's as fun as that. The double speed version's SO HARD though, the girl's just too damn fast! (this sounded weird in my head but whatever)
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SoulSymph
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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2014, 05:04:03 PM »

Hey! Huge fan of the game so far, have been for the past few months. I literally registered this account just so I can follow this thread and give my feedback!

First of all, I just wanted you to know I absolutely love Rhythm Doctor so far. I love rhythm games and I have so much fun with it. I love the music, the visuals, the gameplay, everything. To be completely honest I'll load up Rhythm Doctor just to play it when I'm having a bad day. It always cheers me up. So thank you so much for making this. I think a lot of people will love it when it's done.

As for feedback on the latest demo:

1. First, I'm not a piano player [though I did play brass instruments for 8 years]. It was clear to me that the first four lines were bass and the last line was treble, especially because you used the different characters. Having the last line be the girl instead of the samurai helped, plus I usually associate the Samurai character with bass/bass drum in general.

2. Yeah, I thought the swing beats were inuitive enough to figure out, even probably for non-musicians. Especially if this level goes AFTER all the other ones so far.

3. Yes, I completed the previous demo, even unlocking the secret song via getting S rank on Tier 3 Hard. I loved the difficulty on this latest song, I thought it was really really fun and it really put me to the test after how much I've improved doing the other songs. I do think that this song should go AFTER Tier 3, because I think it takes for granted that you're a pro at multi-tasking the different lines. But I think it's a nice challenge and I don't think it's "too hard", not even the Hard mode version. I think it'd be perfect for halfway through the game, or the beginning of the second half.


Also, one more piece of small feedback: I like how you made it easier to understand which lines you didn't have to worry about. However......I just wonder if the average player will know what the word "desaturated" means intuitively. Not sure if you wanna use "gray", "grayed-out", or say to just handle the "bright lines" or something.


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Fervir
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« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2014, 10:21:39 PM »

This game is pretty sweet.
I love rhythm games and I want to make one one day.
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fizzd
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2014, 04:37:31 PM »

@Fervir Thank you!
--
Hey! Huge fan of the game so far, have been for the past few months. I literally registered this account just so I can follow this thread and give my feedback!

First of all, I just wanted you to know I absolutely love Rhythm Doctor so far. I love rhythm games and I have so much fun with it. I love the music, the visuals, the gameplay, everything. To be completely honest I'll load up Rhythm Doctor just to play it when I'm having a bad day. It always cheers me up. So thank you so much for making this. I think a lot of people will love it when it's done.

As for feedback on the latest demo:

1. First, I'm not a piano player [though I did play brass instruments for 8 years]. It was clear to me that the first four lines were bass and the last line was treble, especially because you used the different characters. Having the last line be the girl instead of the samurai helped, plus I usually associate the Samurai character with bass/bass drum in general.

2. Yeah, I thought the swing beats were inuitive enough to figure out, even probably for non-musicians. Especially if this level goes AFTER all the other ones so far.

3. Yes, I completed the previous demo, even unlocking the secret song via getting S rank on Tier 3 Hard. I loved the difficulty on this latest song, I thought it was really really fun and it really put me to the test after how much I've improved doing the other songs. I do think that this song should go AFTER Tier 3, because I think it takes for granted that you're a pro at multi-tasking the different lines. But I think it's a nice challenge and I don't think it's "too hard", not even the Hard mode version. I think it'd be perfect for halfway through the game, or the beginning of the second half.


Also, one more piece of small feedback: I like how you made it easier to understand which lines you didn't have to worry about. However......I just wonder if the average player will know what the word "desaturated" means intuitively. Not sure if you wanna use "gray", "grayed-out", or say to just handle the "bright lines" or something.




Hey, thanks so much for sharing your experience, you don't know how much it means to us. It's really incredible to find out that there are some people out there who have enjoyed the game enough to perfect the levels. I mean, really, reading that made my day, just to know that what we're doing is being followed by at least one person out there!

Thanks for the feedback too, it's really encouraging that you 'get' everything I was going for. Although of course as much as I would love it if everyone was at your skill level, you seem a bit unrepresentative of the player base, haha.

New level YESSS KEEP IT UP Hand Any KeyWaaagh!

1. I don't think I'll be able to play this level without looking at the screen since most, if not all of the switching doesn't have some sort of an audio cue.. maybe play a few bass notes while on the bottom row when switching from that to the first four or something like that? Oh, and I don't play piano. Sad

2. The swing beats are fine with me, I got them on my first try.

3. I finished the previous demo, and I think this level's as fun as that. The double speed version's SO HARD though, the girl's just too damn fast! (this sounded weird in my head but whatever)

HELLO THREE MONTH OLD ONIONBLAZE, how's it going in December?!! hehe thanks for the feedback as I think I tweeted awhile ago.

--

General update: yeah releasing one level every week or so my foot. We won the IGF Student Showcase thingy (thank you for your support!), since then it's been about visa visa visa and trying to get a build suitable for the exhibition. With physical buttons! And drop in two player mode for all the levels!

..But yeah that's not going especially well, seriously this degree is absolutely killing me, I mean it was before but now it's slaughtering me, deadline to deadline like really I would be a zombie if not for certain people, its just asdgasgdasgsfdgdsf KIDS DONT GO TO A PLACE LIKE CAMBRZZZ IF YOU WANT THE LUXURY OF SLEEP!! lab-report-latex time bye
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 03:22:32 AM by fizzd » Logged
fizzd
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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2014, 08:50:44 PM »

Post GDC - we added two-player functionality for the exhibition, it turned out pretty great Smiley

Every row in the game now has a 'single player' property and a 'multiplayer' property. Essentially the end effect is that the second player can drop in and out of the game at any time and not have the rows mess up or anything. Try it! Press CAPS LOCK to drop in or drop out the second player.

Here is the Booth version (the menu's are kinda scrummy, and I added the two-player mode for the boss level post GDC -- essentially the thing I added post GDC was for one row to split into two in two-player mode, needed for the boss level)

RHYTHM DOCTOR GDC VERSION

enjoy! P2 uses the L key. What I did for the booth was to carpenter (can it be used as a verb? hmm it sounds wonderfully spicy like that) a separate arcade controller controlled by an Arduino. It looks like this. Winston then took over with the decoration!

I'll add the 2P functionality into the main game soon ish. exams exams exams for now. Someone explain to me lagrangian mechanics pls
« Last Edit: March 29, 2014, 05:03:19 PM by fizzd » Logged
fizzd
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2014, 07:34:50 AM »

2P functionality added to the main game now over at rhythmdr.com !
Caps lock to enable/disable, and the L key controls p2. Still experimental, and the mechanics of it still need to be fine tuned for the boss level - I'm trying to figure out what a good way to do his would be. Hits that are in sync (not only both hitting correctly, but also within 0.02s of each other say) get extra damage or mend both patients hearts? After one patient faints, it sort of spreads so the other one goes down to one life? Just cause it's boring if you can't play and just have to watch the other player. So either make the player revivable, or make the other player have a higher chance of losing quicker. Hmmmmm
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SoulSymph
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« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2014, 08:14:19 AM »

I'd say try to come up with a revive mechanic simply because the core gameplay is hard enough as it is, but it's your call. That said, I'm not sure exactly sure how that revive mechanic would work.

Anyway, I played the 2P versions [by myself because I don't have anyone here with me, hahaha] and I think you pulled it off well! My only feedback would be that sometimes the Red and Blue bars switch and there's barely time to re-orient yourself before the notes start up again. That's not your fault, since these songs probably weren't composed with the co-op in mind, but going forward you might wanna think about having a measure of rest for when that switch can happen less stressfully.
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« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2014, 09:44:37 AM »

nice, like it!
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fizzd
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2014, 06:58:27 AM »

I'd say try to come up with a revive mechanic simply because the core gameplay is hard enough as it is, but it's your call. That said, I'm not sure exactly sure how that revive mechanic would work.

Anyway, I played the 2P versions [by myself because I don't have anyone here with me, hahaha] and I think you pulled it off well! My only feedback would be that sometimes the Red and Blue bars switch and there's barely time to re-orient yourself before the notes start up again. That's not your fault, since these songs probably weren't composed with the co-op in mind, but going forward you might wanna think about having a measure of rest for when that switch can happen less stressfully.

OHHHH you're the guy behind soulsymphonycomic.com ! Duhh i don't know why I didn't make the connection until now haha. It's an honour! Anyway thanks for the feedback. Yeah at first I was thinking the characters would stay in their place but their strips would just change colour, but I changed it cause I thought it would be hard to keep track of some rows on top and some rows on the bottom. Yeah a bar of rest would be a good idea for the big switches, I'll see if I can program the 2p mode to not play certain beats that would usually be played in the 1p mode. Thanks!

nice, like it!

thank you :D
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« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2014, 07:27:56 PM »

1. I am not a piano player, but the changing rows forced the player to compartmentalize, at least for myself, what the beat of each individual section would be and make them keep track of each aspect of the song,  (Again, at least for myself)and yes, the switch did make the obvious change to bass noticeable to the player.

2. They were

3. I have S'd each of the songs in the current build, And I personally like the track as it adds a bit more of a variety to the current song list. I had a lot of fun trying to adapt to the unique feel of this song, but there is one complaint that I feel needs mentioning. The main problem with the song is that when changing from bar to bar, audio cues are less effective at telling the player the proper timing. When focusing on the bottom bar without a partner, it's really up to muscle memory from previous attempts and sight-reading to get the beats of the difficult to hear 1-4 (Especially 4) rows. While this is not exactly TOO major, it's still a little bit of a contrast from the rest of the game with pretty obvious beats to follow. Or perhaps this whole spiel was all about your intention for the level, and in that case I have no comment Tongue

Also, I WILL S rank that damn prototype build on double speed, I swear it! Mock Anger I already got an A... somehow.


Edit: Finally done it, got an S rank after way too much time... Now how would I reward myself...?
« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 02:18:04 PM by Awkward » Logged
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