Role: Game Designer / Programmer
Duration: 3 weeks
Platform: HTC Vive
- Designed game mechanics in a multi-disciplinary team
- Scripted rhythm game and tutorial system
- Conceptualized and scripted VR beatmap maker
- Conducted playtests
With this project, we set out to create a rhythm game along the lines of Beat Saber, but using punching and kicking as the core mechanic. We were also given a wireless HTC Vive headset that allowed us to create beat patterns that would let players rotate in 360 degrees.
This game made it to the BVW Festival!
We knew that creating beatmaps that were fun to play was the most important thing we needed for this project. I decided that we would need a quick way to prototype beatmaps, and thus devised a VR beatmap maker – a game mode which allowed us to punch/kick out beatmaps in VR along with the song, export them to a CSV file to adjust any timings that were off, and then re-import them into the game. This saved us a lot of time that would have been spent on manually placing notes, and allowed us to focus on developing fun patterns in the beatmaps instead.
Designing for 360-degree Rotation in VR
Most VR rhythm games only send notes at the player from one direction, for good reason – field of view in VR is pretty limited, and most players don’t have time to scan their surroundings when they’re focused on a task. We decided to use principles of indirect control, as well as beatmap design, to subtly induce turning in the player. For example, we had internal rules for creating beatmaps, such as not putting notes in non-adjacent lanes, and always making sure players had ample time to turn their body. We also made the notes spawn from a large, obvious portal that would close over time, signifying that a new one was opening and that the player should begin turning their body.