Death Metalé

Submitted by Wednesday on Tue, 10/02/2009 - 4:29pm.

Project Name: Death Metalé

High Concept: A frantic space shooter akin to the original Afterburner - but waves of opponents generated by player's own music files!

Player Motivation: A visual treat with special effect weapons blasting all over the place - and waves of opponents generated by your own music! Check what music your friends do, and suggest tracks of your own to compete!

Genre: Arcade action - vehicle based TPS.

Target Audience: Male audience – late 20’s to mid-30’s – former arcade junkies and twitch (ADHD) addicts

Competitor Analysis: Formerly - Afterburner/ Space Harrier/ R-Type. Currently – To be honest, I’m not too sure… Flight sims (although this is not a flight sim) and Guitar Hero, but interactive on more levels.

Design Goals: To create a (neon) visually spectacular, interactive accompaniment to allow the player to interact with their music in a new, innovative way.

Story/Setting: Far in the future, an ancient device called a techno-void ring has been awakened upon receiving radio-waves from Earth. This ring is hurtling towards the source of the soundwaves, like a moth to the flames.

Earth Defences were martialled to destroy this ring, but little did they know they audio waves were breaking the ‘tension’ within the ring, allowing fleets of alien craft to fly through, wiping out ED squadron after squadron.

Now you are Earth’s last hope, flying a prototype Hunter Seeker Craft. Armed with limited shield capabilities, and the ability to salvage weapon systems from other vehicles, your HSC must stop the tides of invasion and destroy its source.

Your ship is the ‘Death Metalé’!

Gameplay Overview: Camera is set behind the ship, slightly offset above to provide a clear view in front of the ship. Ahead of the ship a large ring/portal slowly flips as it hurtles towards a distant Earth.

The player selects, from their own music, a playlist of songs. Details from the music then determines the number and strength of the alien invaders that come out of the ring and attack.

You must defeat the waves of opponents, catch up to the ring, and destroy it!

Single/multiplayer: Single

Characters: Players can choose from 3 craft; light, medium, or heavy.

Weapons: The ship starts with standard forward lasers and two weak dual-firing homing missiles. Weapons can be upgrade in play by destroying enemies. Unlockable weapons include photon grenades; scatter shots; hornet nest rockets; twin laser gatlings; EMP bombs; triple blasters; and a massive lightning whip which beams out from you to the closest target, and on to the next target, and so on.

Defences: A temporary shield generator (tsg) which can only stay active for a few short seconds before requiring down-time (to help you through those really hectic times!)

Mission Types: Play through waves of opponents. At the end of each music clip is a mini-boss, and after each 5 clips are mega-bosses. At the end of the very last clip, you either destroy the ring, or it crashes into the Earth, destroying it.

Each music clip could have different models of alien craft as well (see Programming Considerations below).

The ring itself has a number of locks (one for each previously played clip), which open and close, and each must be destroyed while dodging fire from the ring’s defences.

Destroying all of the locks causes the ring to separate, effectively destroying it.

Scores are based on the number and size of opponents kills (obviously the longer the game, the more opponents killed, the higher the score, with bonus lives at milestone scores).

Key Selling Points: The chance to be the first to do something like this!
The convergence of game and music.
The novelty of player defined length and play.
The portability to popular platforms.
The marketability of follow-on licensing such as toys and cartoons.

Scalability: Definitely! Can reduce number of opponent ships, as well as their detail if necessary, and conversely expand them if the opportunity arises!

Programming Considerations: Oh boy. Hats off to Zoid and BattleElf for taking a look already at the audio side of things, and Jay for his keen interested. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it already!

I’m neither a programmer or a musician, so please take what I say with a grain of salt.

What I was thinking, as far as mechanics are concerned, is that we have a range of Hz categories. For example, if we had 12 ranges, going from the low end of the musical spectrum up to the higher end.

And for each of those Hz categories we measure their dB.

These form the basis of our alien ship designs.

So, we have 12 basic models of opponent ships (in this example, one for each category).

The rise and fall of the dB of that Hz range determines overall size (in X, Y dimensions), and the dB rise and fall *over time* determines length (Z dimension) of the ship.

So a loud, quick boom sound would generate one of the 12 ship models, large in size, but squat.

A long crescendo and diminuendo would create a longer, sleeker version of that model.

Soft, staccato sounds create lots of little, annoying craft.

Length and size also determine toughness and amount of weapons. A loud bang would create a tough ship and a couple of varied weapons. A long, drawn-out sound would create a ship with many weapons of the same type.

Animation Considerations: I’d imagined hi-tech sci-fi as far as artistic feel goes, with lots of flashy lighting effects (which I imagine could be difficult). Models would be 3-D, with the various weapons-fire being the visual star. Weapon-fire should be overblown and exaggerated, especially the more devastating weapons.

A small HUD system would be good, with lives, power, weapons, etc on the bottom left, and a small music visualiser (just bars, though) on the bottom right.

*edit updating Design Goals and camera angle


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