Monday, February 24, 2014

7:36 pm

Project Overview: B.E.A.T. GDD
Project InformationFeatures
Platform: Mobile• Gameplay-focused, requiring minimal hardware to run
Genre: Musical Rhythm• Gameplay UI doubles as content editor
Monetization: In-app• User-generated content extends life

B.E.A.T. Game Design Document


B.E.A.T. is a mobile musical rhythm game; coordination and accuracy is rewarded with extended combos and high scores. Players can even create their own gameplay from either bundled music or their own library!

The primary game mode has players tapping "pulses" in-time with the music; these move outward from the center of the screen. Scores obtained while playing in this mode can be uploaded to a leaderboard for others to see and compare against.

The second mode allows players to select a bundled song, or a song from their personal library, to which they tap their thumbs on each of the four buttons to the beat as the song plays. B.E.A.T. then takes the player's taps, quantizes them to their nearest tempo measurement, and saves them as a “tapnote” sequence, which can be shared or replayed by others online!

"Your music, your B.E.A.T."


One of the primary motivations for designing a mobile rhythm game is to facilitate and maintain a sense of tempo as a part of gameplay. Most rhythm games are based on striking a physical button with a hand or foot, making them appear to be excellent candidates for a mobile re-imagining. Non-physical input poses a problem however; little-to-no tactility, near-zero feedback, and arbitrary ergonomics.

"Arbitrary ergonomics" refers to placing virtual buttons to make use of "empty" screen space. Yet rhythm games are usually enjoyed because of the accuracy, rapidity, and establishment of a musical and gameplay tempo in order to play well. Too many buttons, having them move, or uncomfortable layouts force players to constantly break their own internal rhythm just to prevent failure. In those cases, the most efficient method of play is not the most fun.

Additionally, there are few, if any games in this genre that allow players to create their own gameplay without the use of a complicated editor. The goal of B.E.A.T.'s design is to merge creation and play into a singular, engaging activity. An activity that generates content for others to enjoy as well. This allows players to both consume and create content via the same inputs, opening the title to a wider audience.

Below is a download link to the PDF of the B.E.A.T. GDD, as well as a link to an interactive interface mockup for some of B.E.A.T.'s menus.

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