getinthedamnbox

[RELEASE] Mad Skills

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[Edit: Download the finished game here!]

 

I'm making a two-player game that will, I hope, feel kind of like being a passenger in a car and having to give the driver directions. The worst version of that.

 

Audio Player™ wears stereo headphones and can't see the screen, and Video Player™ works the controls. Audio Player is responsible for parsing what they hear and translating it into directions for Video Player.

 

Here's a demo of what I've got so far:

 

 

When a defender at the bottom of the screen is selected, it plays two sounds, one in each L/R channel: (1) the sound associated with its current color and (2) the sound associated with the color of the attacker that will hit it once the timer runs out. Video Player cycles the colors, and Audio Player listens to determine when they're correct. The goal is to get the right lineup of color/sounds in the defenders before each wave of attackers hits.

 

The number of color/sound combinations goes up every few waves, and I'm thinking there may be some additional complications in later waves as well (like the sidesweepers you see in the video).

 

The color/sound combinations are randomized each game, but they don't change at all until a new game. So, theoretically, Player Two could tell Player One, "ok, whatever sound you just heard means 'red'"... and if Player One's synesthesia is strong, they might be able to use that info in future waves.

 

It's placeholders all the way down right now, so I'm going to spend most of my remaining time trying to make it look and sound pretty. I'm a Blender baby (oh my god I'm so proud of that name plate though), but with enough time I think I can make some passable models.

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Xeneth   

Blown away by how experimental/original this concept is, reads more like something we'd run into in a Maker Faire booth than a jam game, super interested to see where this goes...

 

I assume you have an SO/Child/Roommate on call for play testing?

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Thanks! Really hope I can make it fun. The main thing I'm thinking about now is how to produce sound effects that are distinct from each other (maybe to the point where Audio Player can mentally attach a word to each one: "scrape," "ring," etc.) but also consistent in theme. My brain ran away from me over the weekend with a whole cyberpunk-Indiana-Jones thing, so I'll probably steer toward that.

 

And yep, my girlfriend is helping me test. We also have two cats, but their idea of testing is sitting directly in front of my monitor and pawing at my face when I try to ignore them.

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Whew. Winding down here. Tomorrow is the last day I'll be able to work on this, so I'll probably release it in the evening.

 

 

There are a few more sounds I want to add (mostly impact sfx), but otherwise I'm pretty much ready to call this done. If you have any last-minute ideas for me to obsess over, let me know.

 

Music is by Mister Beep (http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Mister_Beep/). Way up on my favorite-chiptune list.

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phill   

This is so damn creative and interesting. I really want to play this with my partner and see how far we get. Great job!

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Thank you! I'd love it if you did! It's been tricky to find the right level of difficulty for it, but I'm hoping it's the kind of game that duos will enjoy getting better at together. (Or maybe they'll end up yelling at each other and then yelling at the game before quitting forever! That's an acceptable outcome, too.)

 

Should be posted soon!

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Dr Nick   

This is such a neat idea! It makes me wonder if it could be altered to help with aural skills for musicians (I am a musician and a big teaching nerd). I'm excited to check this out!

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ah, that's a cool idea! At one point I did consider using a glockenspiel for the sounds, but I was worried I'd commit some musical faux pas or make it too tough for players who don't have a great ear for pitch. If the point were to train their ears, though, that could be awesome.

 

Also, if the game were musical, you could introduce more decision making into the role of Audio Player. Right now, there are only two possible states for a pair of sounds: matching or not matching. But with musical notes, a pair could be a third apart, a fifth apart, an octave apart, etc. Each one of those states could, perhaps, have a different effect.

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All right! It's done! https://getinthedamnbox.itch.io/mad-skills

 

Dr Nick, I made the impact sounds a little bit musical, after being inspired by your idea. They're just decorative sounds, not ones that affect the game mechanics, but I think they're nice. Thanks for the suggestion!

 

Whew, photo finish for me. I'm pretty much gone for the rest of the jam, but I'll sneak back if something is totally dysfunctional. Good luck to everyone who's still going! Looking forward to playing your games!

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Xeneth   

Hooray for finishing before deadlines!

 

I have no idea if my SO will have any interest in trying this out with me, but I'll certainly ask at some point.

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Dr Nick   

I played around with the single player mode, and it seems really cool! I will have to try it out with a friend sometime.

 

I'm not sure exactly how, but maybe there is a fun way to make the audio player have to identify different musical intervals for the visual player to successfully repel the attack. Might give me an idea for a game for some of my students!

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Thanks for the really kind words, everyone! I've been hosting friends for the past couple of days, but I've been slipping away to check in on all your dev logs. I'm super impressed and can't wait to play your games! I might try to do an LP of each one as I do. Nothing beats watching someone play the thing you made, at least for me. Maybe it'll turn out lame, idk---I'll give it a shot and see how I feel.

 

My friends also blind-tested Mad Skills yesterday, and [huge sigh of relief] it worked! It was cool to listen to them develop #strats for how to communicate info quickly.

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phill   

As promised, played this with my partner and we did OK! Sort of! She was better at the audio part than me, though I was better at communicating (I think maybe because I've played a lot of eSports-like games with VOIP, etc.).

 

Hats off to you mate, this is a great concept to have come up with and delivered on in the time period. Really inspiring stuff!

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Cheers, thanks for taking the time to figure it out. It's probably best that you played it solo, since right now it's pretty confusing in co-op mode.

 

9,556 skills stolen---damn, well done. Glad that "Taunt Me" button is working. :)

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