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Composition Piece


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#1 thetagames

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 02:55 AM

Composition Piece


Download from Mediafire

Download from Box.net

YoYo Games

EDIT: I have uploaded a new, easier version (v1.1), with better controls.


Overview:

Composition Piece is a short game I built around a piano piece (kind of like with Ceramic Shooter: Electronic Poem). In the game, you play as a young composer who is writing a piece for a girl whom he likes. The game itself is a scrolling platformer; this gameplay type is meant to be a metaphor for the composer's creative process (among other things). You control the composer as he runs and jumps through a world of classical composers, creative roadblocks, and talking metronomes.

The piece has to be perfect, though - so no mistakes! These include falling out of the scrolling view or hitting spikes.

Talk to the NPC's to get points, but you don't have to get 10/10 to get through to the end.


Screenshots:

Posted Image

Posted Image


Controls:

Arrow Keys: Move
<UP> or <X>: Jump
<SPACE> or <C>: Use hammer (to break walls - this is explained in-game)
<ENTER>: Advance text


Specifications:

Title: Composition Piece
Download Size: 6.26 MB zipped
File Type: A '.zip' archive that contains the main executable, README.txt, a folder containing the game music, and two DLL's used to play the Ogg Vorbis music.
Version: 1.0
Written In: GM8 Registered

Edited by thetagames, 09 June 2010 - 01:59 AM.

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#2 2Dcube

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 03:25 PM

I played some but didn't get very far yet. What I learned so far: Composing is difficult and frustrating! I thought composing would be more fun...

There could be checkpoints actually, which would represents parts of your composition that you've finished. Or the game should be somewhat easier. Part of the problem for me was the floaty controls.

I like the explanations for the mess ups, although spikes feel a bit out of place in this game. I suppose the other composers are your inspirations?

I think the idea is very cool and I want to see the ending so I'll try again soon.
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#3 thetagames

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 04:44 PM

I played some but didn't get very far yet. What I learned so far: Composing is difficult and frustrating! I thought composing would be more fun...

There could be checkpoints actually, which would represents parts of your composition that you've finished. Or the game should be somewhat easier. Part of the problem for me was the floaty controls.

I like the explanations for the mess ups, although spikes feel a bit out of place in this game. I suppose the other composers are your inspirations?

I think the idea is very cool and I want to see the ending so I'll try again soon.

The game is not supposed to be too hard. I want it to be beaten on the second or third try. I really want people to see the ending, so I have uploaded a new version, which is easier (I also fixed the controls). Adding checkpoints might be hard, considering how the music is played, and how the game is synchronized to it. I apologize for the first version being so hard - but it was tested by only one other person before its release, who must have been really good :).

Thanks for your reply, 2DCube - it was really helpful. About the composers, the ones I put in are some of my favorites (especially Erik Satie).

To all: If you downloaded the old version and thought it was too hard, please try this version. Thanks,

~ Theta

Edited by thetagames, 08 June 2010 - 05:09 PM.

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#4 2Dcube

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 05:26 PM

Thanks for the update, it was much more enjoyable for me now. I managed 10/10, the ending was cute. I also noticed this time that the music often corresponds with the level design.

What I liked too were the walls. It felt challenging to manage the platforming while also taking note of the timer but when you pull it off it feels good. I can imagine playing a piano is similar where you need to keep playing with your hands but also use the pedal at the right times, except on a piano maybe it feels more natural.

You speak of "composing", but isn't it more about "playing"?
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#5 thetagames

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 05:46 PM

Thanks for the update, it was much more enjoyable for me now. I managed 10/10, the ending was cute. I also noticed this time that the music often corresponds with the level design.

What I liked too were the walls. It felt challenging to manage the platforming while also taking note of the timer but when you pull it off it feels good. I can imagine playing a piano is similar where you need to keep playing with your hands but also use the pedal at the right times, except on a piano maybe it feels more natural.

You speak of "composing", but isn't it more about "playing"?

Thank you for your comments. It is indeed also about playing (he can't compose something that he couldn't eventually play for her); in fact, it is also about trying to woo the girl - going too slow/too fast, making mistakes, etc. Also, about the ending - I'll accept any interpretations, but my intention was that
Spoiler


I agree, there is something about those hammers that is very satisfying. Almost as satisfying as hitting such a bass note on the piano :). And, the level design indeed is meant to follow the music - this is why synchronization was so important (and checkpoints wouldn't really work).

Glad you liked it,

~ Theta

Also, to all: If you downloaded the old version, please try the new version!
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#6 Kapser

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 08:51 PM

This game is very frustrating. I didn't figure out how to break the walls on the first try (I waited to see it on screen and tought the second hammer would break the first wall) and every mistake brings you back to the begginning.

However, at least the game is easy. The lack of challenge kinda makes it boring and slow on replayability but it's giving me a little bit of courage to try again. The game story made me want to finish it and the ending was satisfying enough. Well done!
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#7 thetagames

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 10:17 PM

This game is very frustrating. I didn't figure out how to break the walls on the first try (I waited to see it on screen and tought the second hammer would break the first wall) and every mistake brings you back to the begginning.

In the instructions (by TiK ToK the metronome), it says to wait until the timer reaches zero. This is about when the wall appears on screen, but if you wait until you actually see it, you might be a bit too delayed.

However, at least the game is easy. The lack of challenge kinda makes it boring and slow on replayability but it's giving me a little bit of courage to try again. The game story made me want to finish it and the ending was satisfying enough. Well done!

Actually, it was a lot harder before, but I didn't want the game to be frustrating, so I lowered the difficulty. Once you get the message of the game, it isn't really meant to be replayed many times, unless you want to try to talk to all ten NPC's.

Anyway, thanks for trying it!

~ Theta

Edited by thetagames, 08 June 2010 - 11:20 PM.

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#8 Konochi

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 07:08 PM

Error defining an external function...o.o
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#9 thetagames

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 09:14 PM

Error defining an external function...o.o

Did you extract? This almost always happens if you don't extract the '.zip' directory.
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#10 Konochi

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 05:25 AM

EDIT

Nevermind, it works XP

Edited by Konochi, 28 June 2010 - 07:02 PM.

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#11 skunkchop

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 01:23 PM

Very beautiful. It was short, but fun. The hammer idea was awesome and could be used more expansively in a different game, but this game used it the perfect amount. Not too repetitive.
I should say that I HAAATE art games. They aren't games, they're INTERACTIVE POEMS. However, this is one of the really fun ones that actually make a good game too.
I didn't like the need to restart after every mess-up, but that's completely justified by how easy and short the game is. What the game tries to be, it is perfect.
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#12 thetagames

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 04:01 PM

Thank you for your comments!

The hammer idea was awesome and could be used more expansively in a different game, but this game used it the perfect amount.

I like the hammer, too - I feel as though it added something to the game that was more than just adding a timing element.

I should say that I HAAATE art games. They aren't games, they're INTERACTIVE POEMS. However, this is one of the really fun ones that actually make a good game too.

I see where you are coming from. I enjoy this genre which you are talking about, and I think they can be called "games," as long as there is some element of interactivity. I'm glad, though, that this game is seen differently. I intended it to be artistic, but I also did not wish to sacrifice good gameplay for the artistic message (in fact, my take on art games is that the two are not mutually exclusive; one can have an artistic game with good gameplay. I feel that good gameplay enhances a game's artistic message).
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#13 ecrgclimb95

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 05:26 PM

A few days ago I tried this game a few times and failed (missed a platform) around the 8th NPC... I was very discouraged and gave up... I am happy to say, however, that today I replayed and finished, and found just as much enjoyment in the game as I did on my previous efforts.

What I really enjoy about the game is that everything seems to be a vital part, nothing is extraneous, and everything from the hammer to the NPC's to the music to the simple graphics interacts seamlessly, I cannot imagine the game without any of the things you have included.


The difficulty was just enough to keep it exciting, but not so hard as to ruin replayability.

And to top it off, the ending and the overall theme of the game is incredibly powerful.

Thanks for that Theta,
-ECRG
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#14 thetagames

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 02:08 PM

Thank you for your kind comments, ecrgclimb95. I'm glad you liked the game and its themes; a lot of thought went into this.

A few days ago I tried this game a few times and failed (missed a platform) around the 8th NPC...

You don't have to talk to all ten NPC's to get to the end of the game. In fact, unless someone is very, very good at these types of games, I think it requires at least one playthrough before trying this, so that the player knows the paths he/she has to take to get them all.

Spoiler


The difficulty was just enough to keep it exciting, but not so hard as to ruin replayability.

I'm glad you feel this way; I had to tweak the difficulty a bit from the original version.
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#15 thetagames

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 03:17 AM

A little bit ago, this was featured on IndieGames.com, as well as the DIYGamer Blog. :)
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#16 skunkchop

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 12:15 AM

Congrats!
Spoiler


I agree with your comment on art games. They could be artistic AND fun too. That's exactly what your game accomplished. I hope it garners a great deal of attention.
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#17 thetagames

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 11:46 PM

Congrats!

Spoiler


I agree with your comment on art games. They could be artistic AND fun too. That's exactly what your game accomplished. I hope it garners a great deal of attention.

Thanks a lot - glad you liked it!

~ Theta Games
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