Indie game news, reviews, previews and everything else concerning indie game development.

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Update on Dyad for PSN: Gameplay Interacts with Music

Dyad is adding more to its psychedelic tube racer, but it’s not going to be anything like Frequency. Says developer Shawn McGrath, “The music doesn’t dictate play, nor does it judge you. Dyad’s music is reactive, meaning it’s mixed dynamically on the fly, based on the current game state and how you’re interacting with it.”

Built more as an evolution on Rez and Everyday Shooter in terms of its music system, “Each time you play a level, the music is different — playing Dyad can be viewed as a ‘performance’ in a sense.” Furthermore, “Interactions do more than simply play a musical event in the key or pulse of the background music. Different interactions change the mix of loops, play new loops, stop loops, change effects and filter parameters, change the tempo of the music and much more.”

The result is a bit of ear and eye euphoria:

If the video seems a bit complex, McGrath says not to worry. The levels that lead up to it will thoroughly prepare players.

Of course, players have to wait a little while to build their Dyad-ic skills. McGrath commented in the blog that he’s aiming to release Dyad early in 2012, with a demo on or around the game’s launch. For now, interested gamers can download three Dyad tracks to hear what’s in store.

Source: PlayStation blog


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Calling All Ravers and House Music Junkies… ReRave [Review]

If you’re looking to relive the intensity of the Electric Daisy Carnival, this probably won’t do it. I mean, chances are you were impaired in some way, sweating to the bone, and surrounded by tens of thousands of other house music and electro fans — that can get a person going. Instead, ReRave from Step Evolution aims to get you into a groove and doin’ some good-old reaction-based rhythm gaming. If it’s not your cup of tea, especially with the kind of music provided — which tends to be electro, house, euro dance, and so on — then you’re probably not going to enjoy the experience unless you absolutely love rhythm games and must own every single one.

But we all know that’s not how music games and its fans go. More likely than not, you had some reason to keep playing Guitar Hero, all 426941 of them; you either liked the music a lot, or you had a newfound love for rock-n’-roll, or whatever. If you dig electronic music, you’re probably going to like ReRave. It is indeed a challenging and worthwhile new venture into rhythm gaming on mobile and tablet platforms, and it looks pretty too.

So let me explain how this one works. The game uses a power button as your symbol for a note. The power button spins counter-clockwise and as it hits the 12 o’clock mark you must tap it. There are 4 kinds of notes that you’re going to have to track: Tap Notes, Omni Taps, Holds, and Follows. Tap notes are self explanatory… Omni taps are when you have to tap multiple notes at the same time … Holds require you to hold the power button to complete a full rotation… and follows simply have you follow along the power button tapping notes as it moves around the screen. I might just be terrible at explaining this, or maybe you understood what I said; either way, it’s going to take one or two songs to get used to, and it’s a good idea to take a look at the tutorial beforehand.

Once that’s over with, you can get to playing and it’s pretty much like any other rhythm game, but ReRave tries to integrate some social components. I don’t mean Facebook and Twitter, I mean you can create an account and thereby track your progress seeing how you stack up against friends and strangers. There’s leveling and a total of 118 awards — achievements, really — to unlock, so that’ll keep you going for a bit. Step Evolution has three songs you can start with and many more available to download in-app. There are 2 free song packs, but 9 others you’ll have to pay for ranging from $0.99 to $2.99 (usually 2 to 5 or 6 tracks). This is probably where most gamers will find they have a problem with ReRave. Again, though, you’re paying an initial $1.99 to download the app and it comes with 3 songs plus 2 free packs totaling 10 songs altogether. That’s not so bad and — assuming you like electronic music — you may even want to purchase some of the other packs.

I’ll outright say that I’m really not a fan of the music in this game. I do enjoy some electronica and house, but I did feel that some tunes were cheesy and even uninspired at times. Fortunately for house fans, I shouldn’t be the one judging this genre, so it is your opinion that counts here and your willingness to play ReRave to see whether it’s a good enough go-to rhythm game for electro fans. Step Evolution latched onto something smart: the popularity of this genre seems to be rising, but does this really mean ravers are also ReRavers? We’ll see!

[ReRave, Step Evolution]

[DIYGamer obtained a free copy of the game for review purposes. This in no way affected the outcome of the review. ReRave was reviewed on iPad, but is also available on Android.]


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Win $10,000 for Making an Awesome Music Game

Kongregate is sponsoring and Ubisoft is providing the prizes for The Kongregate Project Eden: Experience the Music Contest.  Developers must create “an original game where music is an integral element to the game play or game experience.” The top 25 entries will be judged by Child of Eden‘s creator Tetsuay Mizuguchi and GameSpot editor in chief Ricardo Torres. The contest ends June 21, 2011.

This contest seems perfect for the DIY community, despite all those forbidden AAA words I just typed. Kongregate has been seemingly impartial in the past for hosting indie titles on its site, Ubisoft is finally making the 2D Rayman Origins, and Rez and Space Channel 5 creator Testuya Mizuguchi is so cool he gets an honorary indie badge, no?

This contest at least starts out as a “by the people for the people” one. The eligible submissions will be posted on Kongregate for viewing and review. Registered users will rate the submissions. The twenty submissions that receive the highest average user-ranking results on June 24, 2011 will be selected as the potential prize winners.

Those prizes? $10,000 for first place; $3,000 for second; and $2,000 for third place. So, what are you guys waiting for? Go make us proud! Here’s the official rules. We’d be happy to see what you all make, so be sure to drop us a line.

 

Source Gamasutra


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Intense New Music Game Series for iPad, iPhone, and Android: ReRave

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Step Evolution announced the release of its first iOS and Android music game, ReRave. Players will touch and drag to the beat with a highly stylized interface on their iOS devices March 10, 2011. The Android release will come shortly after. The game will eventually be multi-platform, spanning beyond touch screen games.

The team has released a video of the iPad version:

The button cues are very bright and pretty easy to read. Players essentially tap the button when the inner hand rotates to the 12 o’clock position. For those buttons that require multiple taps, extra hands appear and are sufficiently spaced from the first tap-signaling hand. At times, the game also requires the player to drag the button along a designated line. From the option menu of this version, it appears that the team has implemented Leaderboards for the game and provided direct access to purchase the songs available for play.

The team has a video of the smaller iPod Touch version. The buttons seem at first to be a little too big and to crowd the screen. However, the visual representation becomes clear after a couple seconds of readjusting. Hopefully the harder songs won’t clutter the tinier screen.

Step Evolution continues to push the music game genre, as it showed last year a unique “dance pad” without any arrows.

There may be a private Beta next week for ReRave; interested persons should keep an eye on ReRave‘s twitter or facebook pages for a chance to participate.

ReRave [via Bemanistyle]


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Study In Japan AND Make A Hit Japanese iPhone Music Game? Daikonsoft’s Rhythm Control [Interview]

mzl.huzuhvno.320x480-75
mzl.huzuhvno.320x480-75What else can we know about Matt and Said? What can we know to connect you with readers/gamers? What brings you guys to Japan?
Said is from Sweden and used to work for an iPhone company in China.  He is a journalist and photographer.  Said came to Japan for language study after he left China.  I am an American and graduated several years ago at a university in Ohio.  I worked at a software company for a little over a year, saved up some money, and came to Japan to study.  Said and I met at our first class in Tokyo.  We found out we were both fans of music games, and became great friends.
It would be interesting to know why, when, and how you decided to make this game together.
When I first met Said, he told me about his experiences working on iPhone games in China.  Although Id had no experience working with iPhones, we thought it would be interesting to collaborate together on a game.  I had a good knowledge of game programming in Windows, but iOS was completely new to me.  After tossing around some ideas, we thought it would be interesting to do a music game.  The Japanese app store doesn’t have many games (at least those specifically catering towards the Japanese market) and the music game section is quite barren.  So after a lot of meetings, Rhythm Control was born.  Actually the title before it was “Rhythm Explorer”, but we had to change it for copy write reasons.
When will RC get more songs?
RC will be getting a new song as well as other additions in the coming update.  Should be out by the end of the week!
I know you commented about RC for Korea. Are there plans for anything after Rhythm control?
I cant say much at the moment, but we are planning future games for Rhythm Control.me: so is Rhythm Control intended as thumbs only?
Matt: well originally we intended for it to be that way
10:08 PM
therefore we avoided have 2 simultaneous button presses on the sides
but what we noticed from user videos on Nico Nico is that people ended up just playing it on a table
so yeah haha
10:09 PM
me: and there are no more than 2 simultaneous presses?
Matt: yeah 2 is the max right now. Not really any plans to make it more I think
we have kinda scrapped the idea of an ipad version
because of Jubeat plus
me: ah
so #1 in Japan and Sweden?
Matt: the original concept for the game was back in July and a few months later Jubeat was annouced
10:10 PM
Yeah its been #1 in Japan music games since a few days after its release. And was #1 in Sweden music games for a while. At its highest point it reached #19 in all paid apps and #6 in all games in Japan
10:11 PM
me: Congrats on that (personally I enjoyed the Jubeat free game, but hated that the Extreme songs felt unplayable unless almost memorized)
I worried that is how some of the super hard charts look on your game, is that why you added speed modifiers?
10:12 PM
Matt: yeah there some readability issues so we added speed modifiers and will be adding a handclap option (similar to Stepmania)
it takes some getting used to, but im able to read hard charts on random, so i dont think its memorization of note patterns as much as the rhythm of the song
but i think any game like this wont be as readable as say Beatmania
me: yeah
10:13 PM
is Daikonsoft in Sweden and Japan?
10:14 PM
Matt: currently Daikonsoft is a Swedish company owned by my Swedish friend who was the producer of the game. We are currently researching way to found something in Japan cause we want to continue making apps
10:15 PM
me: how do you research users’ impressions of the game (in japanese)?
it doesnt seem to be many people reviewing the game vs. the popularity of the product (in the US store at least)
Matt: well we actually did a bit of testing before the game came out at local game centers and asked people to play it. My Swedish friend (Said) girlfriend is Japanese and helps us with translation
10:16 PM
we have 39 reviews on Japanese app store so we have been translating those
about 95% of our downloads have been from Japan, so not much feedback elsewhere. But we are releasing in Korea soon through a publisher
10:17 PM
me: well that makes sense
the feedback ratio i mean
and releasing in Korea seems to make sense too… do they lack iOS music games?
10:19 PM
Matt: I think its a pretty open market but Im not positive. The Korean app store is very locked down, so releasing games required govt permission etc
they didnt even have a game section until last year sometime
me: ouch
10:20 PM
interesting though
Matt: yeah i dont understand all the details, but will be interesting to see how it works out
me: about the license songs: how did you get them on the game? was it a flat fee or do they get $$ from each app sold?
10:21 PM
some of the songs sound professional (but I don’t know the actual set list)
10:22 PM
Matt: well Said has a lot of connections in Sweden and I knew some Japanese music artists so we actually got all the music for free, provided we put links to itunes and websites in the game
10:23 PM
me: awesome!
what do you feel sets Rhythm control apart from its competition?
10:24 PM
Matt: We are a small team so I think its game that will likely shape based on user feedback. Song requests, feature requests etc
So the game will likely be a product of the community
10:25 PM
Its also very hardcore haha
I dont think many iOS music games have that high level of difficulty
well not many
me: care to define “hardcorde” (u mean difficult?)
Matt: Yeah purely based on the difficulty
10:26 PM
me: is there an easy mode or level
Matt: yeah there are 3 levels of difficulty to select from
and a level system based on 1-9
me: ok
any word on it working on 3G?
Matt: i think most people that jump in after a game or two can pass up to 4-5
10:27 PM
not entirely sure on the 3G. My friend said it worked but I cant confirm
do you have a 3G?
10:28 PM
me: yes sir
Matt: i can send you a promotion code
me: so what are fans saying about the game?
10:29 PM
(and non-fans)
Matt: we have had mostly positive feedback from the music selection
for a 230 yen game people are happy with the content
but we do have some negative feedback with the ring readability and the song select interface. We are trying to improve the ring readability by experimenting with diff shades of colors and adding hand clap
10:30 PM
we are also wanting to re-do the song select screen…as our artist kinda left the project half way through
10:31 PM
me: so pink haired girl is gone?
Matt: no she is still there
the Japanese people seem to like her haha
me: i imagine
:)
10:32 PM
does any of Daikonsoft have previous game development experience?
10:33 PM
Matt: I have some unfinished projects I took part in. A platformer on PC called Adrift and another project with a friend
and Said used to work at an iPhone company in China

mzl.ypwtjvpd.320x480-75

Daikonsoft is a Swedish company with its first iOS app, Rhythm Control, released in the U.S., Sweden, and Japan iTunes stores. Matt Scott and Said Karlsson collaborated on this fun and furious music game, and it paid off. Rhythm Control has been #1 in Japan music games since a few days after its January 11, 2011 release and was #1 in Sweden music games for a while. At its highest point, it reached #19 in all paid apps and #6 in all games in Japan.

Rhythm Control landed in Korean territory on February 3, 2011. Korea has a strong music game scene with such major series as PSP and arcade touch screen DJ Max and arcade dance game Pump It Up. To celebrate the new Korean release, Rhythm Control is on sale for only $0.99. A patch with a new song and Game Center support is pending, as well.

Currently the game has 12 licensed and custom made songs from Japan and Sweden. The game is designed in English, so worry not, Latin-based alphabetters! The game has three difficulty levels, with an easy mode for beginners. Speed modifiers were added to improve readability. The game plays on a 2×3 musical grid and feels like a Dance Dance Revolution pad for thumbs.

mzl.hdfaxxll.320x480-75

Look for a DIYGamer review soon! For now, learn more about Daikonsoft:

Who are the two guys behind Daikonsoft?

Said is from Sweden and used to work for an iPhone company in China. He is a journalist and photographer. Said came to Japan for language study after he left China. I, Matt Scott, am an American and graduated several years ago from a university in Ohio. I worked at a software company for a little over a year, saved up some money, and came to Japan to study. Said and I met at our first class in Tokyo. We found out we were both fans of music games, and became great friends.

Tell us why, when, and how you decided to make this game together.

When I first met Said, he told me about his experiences working on iPhone games. Although I’d had no experience working with iPhones, we thought it would be interesting to collaborate together on a game. I knew how to program games in Windows pretty well, but iOS was completely new to me. After tossing around some ideas, we thought it would be interesting to do a music game.

The Japanese app store doesn’t have many games (at least those specifically catering towards the Japanese market), and the music game section is quite barren. So after a lot of meetings, Rhythm Control was born. Actually, the title before it was Rhythm Explorer, but we had to change it for copyright reasons.

What  previous game development experience do you have?

I have some unfinished projects I took part in, along with a platformer on PC called Adrift and another project with a friend.

Was Rhythm Control intended as a thumbs only game?

Originally we intended for it to be that way. Therefore, we avoided having two simultaneous button presses on the sides. But what we noticed from user videos on Nico Nico is that people ended up just playing it on a table.

Are there more than 2 simultaneous presses?

Two is the max right now, with not really any plans to make it more.

How do you interpret users’ impressions of the game in Japanese?

We actually did a bit of testing before the game came out at local game centers and asked people to play it. Said’s girlfriend is Japanese and helps us with translation. We have 39 reviews on Japan’s app store, so we have been translating those. About 95% of our downloads have been from Japan.

About the license songs, how did you get them on the game?

Said has a lot of connections in Sweden, and I knew some Japanese music artists. We actually got all the music for free, provided we put links to iTunes and websites in the game.

mzl.huzuhvno.320x480-75

What do you feel sets Rhythm Control apart from its competition?

We are a small team, so I think it’s a game that will likely be shaped based on user feedback such as song and feature requests. It can be a very hardcore/difficult game. I don’t think many iOS music games have this high level of difficulty.

What are consumers’ reactions to the game so far?

We have had mostly positive feedback from the music selection. People are happy with the content for its price, but we do have some negative feedback with the ring readability and the song select interface. We are trying to improve the ring readability by experimenting with different shades of colors and adding hand clapping. We are also wanting to re-do the song select screen, as our artist left the project half way through.

Will pink-haired girl be no more?

No, she is still there. The Japanese people seem to like her.

Are there plans for anything after Rhythm Control?

I can’t say much at the moment, but we are planning future games for Rhythm Control.

[Buy Rhythm Control from Daikonsoft in English on sale for $0.99.]


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1… 2… 3… Kick It! 50% Off for Limited Time

Kick_It

Dejobaan Games has slipped us Fan Clubbas an email that we (and anyone who cares to become a member) can pre-order their upcoming music-powered title 1… 2… 3.. Kick It! (Drop That Beat Like An Ugly Baby) for just $7.50. That’s 50% off the $15 tag the game will carry upon release and it’ll get you instant access to the alpha.

Built on the AAAAA! framework, Kick It! runs off your MP3 library, creating worlds for you to fight your way through. Geoff previewed the game, and we had a chance to talk to the dev last month on our podcast. From what I gather, I’m in for some good fun with my music–especially my Sweating with the Oldies mix.

The sale only goes through tomorrow night, so get on signing-up and using your code if you want to save ze munnies.

[Dejobaan]


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Game Your Music in ‘Rhythm Zone’ on Steam

rhythmzoneIt’s pretty safe to say Beat Hazard is an awesome game. What makes it so awesome isn’t the fact that it’s a dual-stick rhythm shooter…it’s the fact that your library of music is playable throughout your entire experience with the game! Likewise, Sonic Boom’s Rhythm Zone has landed on Steam. Rhythm Zone isn’t a twin-stick shooter like Beat Hazard, but rather it centers itself more on the rhythmic aspect of the game. Supporting USB plug-and-play controllers, Rhythm Zone plays very much like the huge franchises of Guitar Hero and Rock Band (and even the mobile Tap Tap Revolution). But unlike Guitar Hero and Rock Band, Rhythm Zone doesn’t use conventional studio methods for its tracks. Instead, it features “algorithmically created game data using a player’s own music library plus stunning visuals linked to waveform analysis and player performance.”

“We know there are some amazing console based music games out there and we’re not trying to replicate that experience. At the same time, those games are expensive and feature a limited selection of artists and genres, thereby restricting their availability and appeal around the world. What we’re seeing with games like Audiosurf and now Rhythm Zone is the democratization of the music game genre; allowing players to use the music they already own.”

- Josh Grant, COO of Sonic Boom

If you’re looking to game your own music, Rhythm Zone looks like another option to do it! At the moment, Steam has it for a special introductory 10% off ($8.99). Check out this full list of features:

  • Game Your Music: Upload and play your favorite songs from every genre of music! From pop to rock to hip hop and more, Rhythm Zone supports a wide variety of music files and will identify most common songs against our database.
  • Online Leaderboards: Compare your scores to your friends and check out who is the best in the world.
  • Achievements: Earn over 50 Steam achievements by playing your music.
  • Visualizers: Dynamic background visualizers that are based on your music and performance; create a unique game experience each time you play!
  • Focus Power: Hit note streaks to earn score multipliers and the ability to unleash your inner rock star.
  • Updates: But wait – there’s more! Downloadable song packs and content updates on the horizon.

For more information and exclusive content, check out Sonic Boom’s official website for the game.

[Buy from Steam.]

[Source: GamesPress]


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Composition Piece

comp_game1Today Theta Games, of Ceramic Shooter – Electronic Poem fame, released another poetic, music-related take on a familiar genre. As you start Composition Piece a blocky, distinctly indie-game, protagonist sits down at a much higher-resolution piano and, well, resolves to write a piano piece for a certain Qing Ge. The platforming action that follows, as described on the Theta Games website, serves as a metaphor for the creative process. You move to the right, avoid obstacles, smash through barriers, and seek input from your musical peers.

The game is a brief meditation, and so not meant to be particularly difficult. You can play through in under five minutes, so you might as well give it a look and a think. The download link on Theta’s own website is a bit wonky, so go here to download.


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Beat Hazard PC Version Announced, Steambound

Beat_HazardCold Beam Games has revealed that their extremely well rated Xbox Live Indie title Beat Hazard is heading to PC via Steam.

Similar to Audiosurf in that it uses your own music collection to fuel the gameplay, the arcade sci-fi shooter puts your catalog to use by pacing the difficulty depending on the song, creating power ups for your ship and more. The Steam version will have some additional goodies including a new boss ship, Survival mode, a new rock album, Steam achievements and more.

Beat Hazard is available now on Xbox Live for 400 MS Points ($5) and will hit PC sometime next month, no pricing has been announced as of yet.

New features for the PC version include:

* New bad ass super boss.

* Survival mode! Can you last a whole album?

* New kick ass rock album.

* 25 Steam achievements to get your teeth into.

* Compete with the worlds best on Steam Leader Boards.