It’s beginning to look like it's time for another post. This time we are going to talk about the combat block. When we design a feature for Musical Range our main focus is to make you feel part of the music. That’s why we developed the combat block, a percussion virtual instrument that depending on how you punch it you’ll get a different drum sound: a base kick, a snare, and a cymbal crash. This sound heavily depends on how you do it, the heavier and better the hit, the better the sound (and score points!)
An issue we found with the latest iteration of the combat blocks was their trajectory. They would come from a shallow angle, and the next block would be hidden by the one in front. Players would have to memorize the patterns, which is not our intention. For the next demo, the combat blocks will have a different trajectory. When they spawn, they are shot up high into the air, and then fall off to the final height, thus, it’s much easier to see the next punch.
We also expanded the particle effects from the combat blocks. The direction, color, and amount of particles represents how well you are performing during the song. We were careful not to obstruct the player's view. Speaking of player view, we expanded the system to allow the track designer to control where the Core and the combat blocks are in the game. So, if a section of a song takes palace in the bass section, and soon after we’ll be increasing in pitch, the combat block can slowly guide the player up in the scale in a natural way.
Finally, we have to talk about lasers. The main issue at the moment is the information overload they give. We still think that adding a dodge element will benefit the game greatly, so our current experiment is to have another type of combat block, a “Laser Block”. This laser block will spawn together with combat blocks, and as soon as they get close, they will spew out damaging laser beams which you must dodge, either to the sides, or duck down.
This is just a small tease of what we are working on. Right now we are working on new songs, quality of life elements, and more tools to enable you to play Musical Range in whichever way you want to. Our next goal is to re-enable the Steam Demo in January. Be sure to follow us everywhere so you don’t miss out on the exact dates!
Thank you all for reading and playing!