“PopFly” Reactive Music Game Prototype

It’s been a busy past month just getting a new job and a new car – I felt like I didn’t have time for anything.  Well, it just the Friday after Thanksgiving today, and I feel like I have all the time in the world this coming weekend, so I’m starting to get excited about my latest pet project.

I’ve been busy early this fall with writing “reactive music games”.  If you read my blog, which you probably don’t, you’d know that I couldn’t shut up about music games all summer.  I even did a little research into the different types.  The reactive game, is where music affects the things that happens in your game environment – but you don’t have to play along to (like Guitar Hero or Rockband).

There’s actually no popular music games I can think of that ARE reactive.  But I like to think of reactive games really…. like an interactive music video.  I even watched a bunch of Spike Jonz videos before I started sketching.  I have 10-15 games to do in the short term, and most are designed to be pretty easy to develop and generic – ESPECIALLY since this summer I’ve been working on min-framework in Flash AS3 that listens to beats in music.

The first game, I’ve done is basically an alpha, and if the music doesn’t load, just hit refresh (sometimes my security sandbox seems to go a little wacky).  I’ve codenamed it “Popfly” in my sketches, cause the balls kinda pop and fly out with the beats.

I’ve tried to pay special attention to things that I’ve noticed I didn’t like in other games.  Specifically, trying to tie visual events to music better.  Balls pop out, and when they reach their peak, its not very tied to music because it’s a split second after the beat.  This is why I put a subtle glow burst at the bottom when the balls do pop out.  I also gave the side gutters some ambient glow – just to have something additional on-screen that’s tied to the music in the game.  I also made some bigger balls pop up when the volume gets high – and it nicely adds a little crazy mosh effect when the music goes crazy.

I can’t wait to get through some more games, and see where this takes me, and hopefully way down the line, do a nice in-depth game with some characters.

But for now – here’s the PopFly game