Team Size: 5 Members Role: Game Designer, Co-Producer, Artist Engine: Unity Platform: PC
Duration: 1 Month
Gang Beats was part of an ETC project called Jam Session, focused on exploring rhythm games.
Gang Beats is a 2-4 player fighting game where players hit each other on the beat in order to be the last one standing.
Led my team in brainstorming sessions
Worked with my team to develop ideas and mechanics for each of the individual prototypes
Implemented ideas in-engine
Playtested prototypes throughout lifespan of the game
Led daily Scrum meetings for the team
Worked with each member to ensure that they knew what work had to be done for the day
Kept track of what work had already been completed.
Wrote postmortems for the prototypes as well as keeping in touch with the many contacts important to the project.
Contributed models, textures, and particle effects for this game.
Prompt: Can we make a multiplayer game where a player’s rhythmic action directly affects other players?
We found that most multiplayer rhythm games simply had players competing in terms of score – there wasn’t much competition, as the two players would play as if it were single-player and have their scores compared at the end. We wanted to try a game where player’s rhythmic accuracy impacts other players in the game.
We also thought it could be very interesting to make a real-time fighting game using rhythmic accuracy as a method of combat.
In one of the earlier iterations, determining which player “won” a combat (e.g. if players hit each other on the same beat) was resolved on the beat itself, which meant that players that hit early would always have an advantage over those that hit late. We later realized that the only way we could resolve conflicts fairly was to wait for the next beat to decide. This, along with the playing of a sound effect to signify a successful hit, created a pretty cool off-beat rhythm that was surprisingly pleasant to hear.
While we designed the “clap” audio cue to be extremely prominent, it became clear during playtesting that players desired more visual feedback. We added the floor flashing effect in a later iteration, which players responded positively to.
Stalemates became very common once people were used to the beatmap. In order to accommodate more skilled players with a good understanding of the song, more mechanics would need to be implemented.
Discrete feedback is necessary for players to know how well they’re doing — accuracy had to be categorized into grades, we needed the colored rings to inform players which grade they were given
In a game as busy as this one, audio cues alone are not enough to get players’ attention, especially first-time players. Visual feedback is incredibly important.
Conflicts on a certain beat had to be resolved on the next beat in order to equally prioritize early and late hits
Should early and late hits be equally prioritized? We can investigate this in a different prototype.
Music needs to be less dense, “soundtrack like”, and more heavily focused on the cues (and cue leadup). Extraneous information that could be interpreted as a cue (i.e., the “cooler” drumline) should be minimized.