iPhone: Pocket God 1.45 - Dance Dance Execution

05-31-2012, 11:38 AM
#50
Pocket God 1.45 - Dance Dance Execution

Hey Guys,

The new update is out and introduces the dance chamber. mainly because I think that techno is one of the signs of the Apocalypse.

We really tried to get this update done in a week, because we need to focus on the runs badly, but it ended up taking about 2 and a half weeks instead. We started out by adding some simple animations, we wanted to add this Dance Dance Revolution style item in the room where the Pygmy would dance or maybe do a funny animation when placed in it. However, I thought it would be a bright idea to make it into a mini game instead. I mean, how hard would it be to have some random symbols fall from the top of the screen and detect when the user hits the button. I completely underestimated the work involved (like with most of our updates).

So, I'm going to start with some of the technical stuff first. When creating a music game, it turns out that being able to exactly sync code up to the beat of a music loop is actually pretty challenging. The first thing is being able to calculate the timing of the beats in the loop. and even though the timing of the beats might be one thing, the loop might be cropped in a way that isn't on the exact same timing as the beats. so if you sync the code up with the beats in the music, if you play for long enough, eventually the end of each loop will introduce a slight error and the timing will be completely off.

Then once you get that problem out of the way, you need to start a timer at the exact start of the loop. We have a short intro piece that starts before the game and loop takes over, so if there is even the slightest delay when you start the intro sound, or the loop at the end of the intro, the timing will again be off for the entire game. We ran into a lot of problems where the timing felt good 9 out of 10 times, but then that 10th time it would feel like crap.

Then once you get through those issues, just testing it is difficult because the only way you know if it feels like its on time or not is from playing it yourself. In the past I learned how to play guitar and the keyboard but I don't have great timing. Allan is actually more accomplished than I am in the music department, he actually played guitar in a band (and also recorded his own songs), but he even admits that his own timing isn't perfect. So our ability to tell if something is wrong is really only based on how good our own timing is. which is scary. I'm sure if there are any real musicians in this crowd, they will be able to tell us that the game is slightly ahead or behind the beat. We've been playing the game for a while, the game feels good to us, but this kind of nitpicking drives me crazy because I want things like this to be perfect.

But I do think the game feels good, and I would be interested in hearing what you all think about it. The game is harder than a tap tap revenge. not in terms of the speed of the symbols but in tap tap, you can still have sloppy timing and still do ok. In Dance Dance Execution, you have to be able to carry a beat to be able to last a long time, this might be a little frustrating at first if you have never played an instrument but keep at it and I think the way we did it, is much more satisfying once you get good at it. Also, it's an endless style rhythm game, once you miss 4 beats in a row the game ends but every time you get a correct beat, the health bar recharges.

One secret to doing well is that you shouldn't rely on sight to play the game. if you try to visually wait for the symbols to fall into their spots then you will probably hit the symbols way too early. You have to listen to the music and hit the symbols with the music. Only use the visuals to give you an idea of what kind of pattern is coming next.

Including the Mini Game should have been all we did with the update but we also added two new features. You can stick a Pygmy in the go go cage and he will sit there and do whatever the currently selected dance is. and we added helium balloons that you can give to the pygmies to inhale. We used audio from the David After Dentist Video to give the pygmies some cute sayings after they inhale their balloon.

the skin pack with this update is our third dance pack. We chose some pretty funny dances with this one. Allan helped to create a new Pygmies Theme song written by Parry Gripp (one of Allan's favorite musicians). We also added the Elaine dance from Seinfeld, the MC Hammer Dance, and we parodied the KONY 2012 guy's melt down in San Diego.

To give you guys an update for PG moving forward. We need to reshuffle again and focus on The Runs. We are basically working on two games at the same time and The Runs is turning out to be huge. I don't think we will be able to do the 8 updates this year for PG, we will probably do a few more updates between now and the end of the year, but we won't be able to all 8 apocalypse chambers between now and then. We think The Runs is going to be awesome, and we really want to put all our effort into making that a great game. We are still trying to figure out how to handle the rest of the Apocalypse Temple. Maybe we reduce the number of rooms so we can still do the final Apocalypse in December. Maybe we continue with all 7 rooms and just do the final Apocalypse in 2013. Let us know what you think.


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06-13-2012, 02:36 PM
#51
Joined: May 2011
Location: Italy
Posts: 509
The new Pygmy Peril is awesome! A GREAT return for "Chillin' with a Villain". Who could you call next? Maybe some zombies? Or the squid?
06-14-2012, 04:23 PM
#52
Joined: May 2011
Location: Italy
Posts: 509
Dave, I've just read that the Mayans made 7 prophecies. Is it for that reason that you would have made 7 Chambers? Or, did you just wanna make the Apocalypse as the 50th update? Also, how is all going with episode 46 (any hint?)? Thanks, and, have a good day!

06-14-2012, 10:59 PM
#53
Quote:
Originally Posted by drek95 View Post
Dave, I've just read that the Mayans made 7 prophecies. Is it for that reason that you would have made 7 Chambers? Or, did you just wanna make the Apocalypse as the 50th update? Also, how is all going with episode 46 (any hint?)? Thanks, and, have a good day!
it had something to do with it, also there are 7 seals in the bible. we basically took a bunch of the end-of-days mythologies and used that to inspire our stuff.

we aren't going to even think about ep 46 until after comic con.
06-15-2012, 05:11 AM
#54
Joined: May 2011
Location: Italy
Posts: 509
Quote:
Originally Posted by davecazz View Post
it had something to do with it, also there are 7 seals in the bible. we basically took a bunch of the end-of-days mythologies and used that to inspire our stuff.

we aren't going to even think about ep 46 until after comic con.
Ok, just for know. I read on the blog that you already started working on it, but never mind.
06-15-2012, 03:02 PM
#55
Quote:
Originally Posted by drek95 View Post
Ok, just for know. I read on the blog that you already started working on it, but never mind.
Yeah that article was confusing. It did say that, and it also said something about "people finding the clues" in Dance Dance Execution.... ???.... Then Allan's interview was all about delaying The Runs so that they can get 5 more PG updates out...
06-15-2012, 03:08 PM
#56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazzzed View Post
Yeah that article was confusing. It did say that, and it also said something about "people finding the clues" in Dance Dance Execution.... ???.... Then Allan's interview was all about delaying The Runs so that they can get 5 more PG updates out...
yea, that was an old article, that was right before we decided to put pg on hold, because we realized if we did all 50 episodes that the runs wouldn't come out until next year.
06-16-2012, 06:15 PM
#57
Quote:
Originally Posted by davecazz View Post
yea, that was an old article, that was right before we decided to put pg on hold, because we realized if we did all 50 episodes that the runs wouldn't come out until next year.
I was under the impression that The Runs was going to come out next year regardless of PG's schedule. Does the reshuffle mean that The Runs will likely be released this year?... Maybe in time for the Xmas holidays?
06-16-2012, 06:17 PM
#58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazzzed View Post
I was under the impression that The Runs was going to come out next year regardless of PG's schedule. Does the reshuffle mean that The Runs will likely be released this year?... Maybe in time for the Xmas holidays?
I hope it will come out this year. It's still unclear whether we can do it.
06-23-2012, 11:21 PM
#59
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Montclair, California
Posts: 473
Any news?

#1 apps: Pocket God and Pocket God: Journey To Uranus
Happily beta testing Pocket God and Pocket God: Journey to Uranus with Allan, Dave and other people of Bolt Creative.
06-23-2012, 11:24 PM
#60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockstar599 View Post
Any news?
no real news, just working on level design for the runs tonight. allan is working on textures for the level graphics.