Bongo Machine is a a two-buttons rhythm game based on a mechanic that everyone knows: a rhythmic pattern is played, the player has to repeat it. Actually, it can be summarized better in a gif:
The game is composed of several songs, each with their own time signature and patterns. Songs are divided into several measures. that loop until the player play the correct pattern. Which means that to proceed through the song, players have to play correctly every single segments!
The game is thus mostly about learning (and rehearsing) different rhythms. Score are calculated by the number of repeated segments. Play all the song correctly in a row, and you get a perfect! If you have to do some parts several times, your grade won't be that good. But in the end, everyone will reach the end of the song, there's no fail state. And songs are designed to sound great even when looping!
I've been working on this project since mid-September. Its purpose is for me to learn how to use Unity, and to use music dynamically in games. My main inspiration here is Rhythm Heaven, a very basic rhythm game that can be really challenging, and actually teach some musical concepts!
I'm also learning music composing, which sure will be really handful!
So far I've been able to create a prototype that can track the rhythm of any song, as long as it knows its time signature. Then it can play a partition on it, and expect the player to play it back. There is even three difficulty modes
I've also very recently been working on the game's look! Previously, it was just an ugly prototype, and it is only since this month that I made my decision about how the art should be. I opted for a minimalist design, inspired by 140 and Jazzpunk's intro.
Finally, I've spent most of October composing the first song of the game! Here is a little preview:
What's next then?
First, it would be great if a level could actually be finished. Currently it just loops on itself. So next thing for me will be to give a score to the player, and redirect them to the track selection menu. Also, I need to save player's score, and lock/unlock levels, as well as some other unlockable bonus (more on that later).
The art is not done either! This needs some background, with a music visualiser and a fake scrolling to make it dynamic. Colors must also be configurable by song, so that each level has a different color set. Finally, I need to find a nice font to use in menus, and of course for the title.
The last big part is… Well, the songs. I have one so far, but I plan to have three levels. So I will probably spend most of my work on those last two songs! I already have some ideas for them. Oh, and let's not forget a little music for the game's menu.
My goal is to release an alpha version before the end of the year, with a single level. Then I hope being able to release the full game early in 2017.
Thanks for reading! Your thoughts on this are welcome.