Sunday, September 1, 2013


I don't know how, but when I was all "post every day this month" it had somewhat slipped my mind that I'd  be starting off the month with my mate's bucks night. So, needless to say, I wasn't really in a right mindset to do anything today. However, I would hate to fail this early into a month so I've gotta do something...

When I was assessing SoundsLike I had this thought to make it a little more Pokemon-like, i.e. have a bunch of  "trainers" that you have to beat before you can get access to the "Gym :Leader" and claim the badge. The advantage with this approach is that it also allows players to focus on the music they actually know, varying the difficultly to a level they're more comfortable with, or allowing them to set their own goals (i.e. "I want to be the queen of pop"). I think that makes for a more interesting progression than just a linear or random "guess this song, now guess this song".

To that extent, I'll be splitting the game up twice. Firstly in terms of decade (i.e. 60's, 70's, 80's, etc) and then in terms of genre (i.e. Rock, Pop, Hip Hop, Disco, etc). Some genres will naturally transition well across time periods, but others (I'm looking at you Dubstep) will only be applicable to single time periods. It would also be cool to have some other categories that don't necessarily fit as well, like Classical, Jazz standards, TV and Movie Themes, but whether or not that actually happens will depend on time.

So players will need to beat say 10 trainers before they get a shot at the leader, but merely answering and reacting is not much of a battle. There's no back and forth there. The players really need some kind of method of attack. However, I don't really want to do a huge additional mechanic, plus I can't just reverse the main mechanic (I wouldn't even know how to start interpreting sound as a song, let alone cover every song that's ever been recorded). However, I think I have an easy option that will work here, by just drawing a little more from Pokemon, but also Secret of Monkey Island.

One of the more important key aspects of Pokemon is "Gotta catch 'em all". That kind of collection style gameplay is always great, and it can be used here as well. We can't get players just to add their own favorite bands when they begin, but we can take their correct answers as proof that they know the band. By playing the game, they can build a collection of bands that they can then use for their own attacks. Because really, when a hipster tells you that you wouldn't know their favorite band, the only way to counter that kind of attack on your personal taste is to call out their own lack of knowledge.

So every player will start with a stock of extremely known bands (The Beatles, ABBA, 26) that will obviously never be obscure enough to win a fight. Identifying songs will then unlock them as options for the player as well. When a fight starts, players will alternate defending (by identifying songs that the Trainers) and then attacking by picking a band from a group of three or four that the player thinks the Trainer won't know about. All bands will have some kind of recognition percentage, and that percentage will also be affected by the Trainers location (i.e. what decade/genre they're in). It also means that before players can really push through the game, they're going to need to try a couple of periods/genres so that they get some decent options for attack. 

No comments:

Post a Comment