[PICO-8/LUA/chiptunes] Making a procedural-generated DDR game via PICO-8??

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Post #1 · Posted at 2018-03-12 01:15:46pm 1.8 years ago

Offline Nightime
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Last updated: 2018-03-12 01:15pm
The very convoluted concept:

(tl;dr at the bottom)

Make a PICO-8 version of DDR with a different set of instrumentation SFX/BGMs based on 15 hot song properties in the game; and then have the game "generate" remixes, arrangements, similar compositions, and charts from the embedded data in a seed-oriented format that allows recalling favorite versions/charts.

For instance, the "MAX 300" cart contains data (if it fits) for UNLIMITED, Legend, (period), etc.; maybe even SAKURA, If You Were Here, and Across the nightmare. From there, tempo, key, pitch shifts can be applied to the tune, making new variants of the phrases; and the phrases can be mix-matched. Finally, charts tie into the phrases directly, maybe as many as 16 chart-chunks per difficulty, but "soft shuffle" filters can be applied to them for interesting patternwork. Pop in a seed, and you can recall the exact compositions/charts featured.

So even though each cart primarily features one "song," it's like a somethingEVOLVED version of that song's potential, along with other related/familiar tracks. You can see why this isn't happening in StepMania, btw. PICO-8 lets you link 16 carts; so 15 "song carts" and a control cart should do it, right?

Maybe in true Feature Creep fashion; overlap this with a select screen that generates a new trackset per instance (or maybe embed the seed there, to make consistent "versions" of the game itself instead of the songs individually?); and maybe even wrap it all up with a dynamically-generated Dance Master Mode (but with color/speed/reverse mods enabled)? 45's a solid "old version" number, so maybe about 3 arrangements per song cart* - but not necessarily distributed evenly... just making sure to feature each one at least twice? And a course mode that lumps together stuff like a "Boss Rush" or themed courses like "Skip Master" or songs of a certain key/tempo or something - but drops the intros/outros and medleys the songs together seamlessly, like Universe 3 tried to do.

But like the loser I am, and am finally coming to terms with being... I think I just like the *idea* and talking about it more than I like actually making this for whatever reason. And that doesn't "feel like me." That "me" is still waking up. He still exists. (I hope.) He also has no effing clue what he's doing with composition; apart from very basic shit like scales/majors/minors (and not necessarily in 8-bit, although it shouldn't be THAT different, but it kind of is).

And is afraid that even if I do pick up ~some~ steam, I've already got a billion unfinished projects, and the looming terror that holiday season will kill me again.

Proposed "song cart list"

1. Butterfly/Smile.DK cart
2. Boom Boom Dollar cart
4. PARANOiA cart
6. MAX 300 cart
7. CANDY* cart
9. Fascination cart
10. Pluto cart
11. SABER WING cart
12. on the bounce/POSSESSION cart
13. 888 cart
14. ???
15. ???

Things I'm considering:

- nc feat. something cart (generally fun, complex 140 bpm stuff - but this may ALSO be possible with pitch/instrument shifting on the Smile.DK cart anyhow?)
- jun Boss Songs cart (not sure if love or hate inspiring; but there's certainly a "thing" about them)
- Spin the disc/Kind Lady/Kyun Kyun Bakkyun cart (simple, fun streamy stuff)
- Accelerado/Decelerado cart (think WILD RUSH, Alphabet Aerobics, deltaMAX)
- a 130/260-esque cart along the lines of AM-3P, DROP OUT, NGO, etc.
- a Xepher/DoLL/ZERO etc. cart
- a Healing Vision/A/era (nostalmix) cart

Things you may not see, but are in consideration:

- Valkyrie Dimension, sans opening, can literally be done with the PARANOiA cart
- New Decade and CHAOS totally work with TRIP MACHINE cart
- EGOISM440 is literally just "happy hardcore 888"
- Endymion would be cool but I have no idea how the feck I'd make *that* any more interesting than it already is
- I like the *idea* of a Burning Heat!/Stella Sinestra/VANESSA kind of cart - but the composer IDE and tile-size/proportion is very "16" oriented, and I think this will only ever turn out awful in execution
- I also like the idea of making a "KOGG 3 style Mix" of *anything* possible, but that's part of the arrangement potential, isn't it?

Further thoughts:

Innocence cart could also be the A/Healing Vision/era cart, the pacing is what's different.

Also, a fun streamy house chart cart could also be the jun Boss cart, for pretty much the same reason, huh?

That really just leaves the Xepher/DoLL/ZERO stuff... would the Boom Boom Dollar charts work with that kind of stuff? The AM-3P/DROP OUT/NGO stuff could go there, for sure.

No, Xepher etc. should be speed versions of the Dynamite Rave/Celebrate Nite cart.

Also... given tempo, pitch, etc. change... it's entirely feasible to use 5-6 variants per cart, for tracklists like 75-90 songs big! Maybe 75, plus 15 hidden/extra stage songs?

This might be a more cohesive idea than anticipated... Neutral

tl;dr - I like the idea of an 8-bit, fantasy DDR with proc-gen remixed tracks and charts, and dynamic stuff like medley courses and Dance Master Mode; but have no fucking idea what I'm really doing anymore.


More PICO-8 DDR ramble:

So, sound processes on PICO as processing-steps-per-frame (at 30 fps*); so the sound variable in the SFX generator is stuck with some limited ranges.

*note, that processing and graphics *can* be updated at 60 fps, but I don't think the sound works like that.

frames = tempo conversions

2:4:8:16 = 900:450:225:112.5 bpm (I doubt 900 is useful)
3:6:12:24 = 600:300:150:75 bpm
5:10:20 = 360:180:90 bpm
7:14:28 = ~260:130:65 bpm (it's actually 259, inconsequential)
9:18:36 = 200:100:50 (**so 400 bpm can be kind of a sticking point?)
11:22 = 164:82 bpm (closest to both the 160 *and* the 170)
13:26 = 138:69 bpm (probably where the poppy/135~140 bpm stuff goes)
15 = 120
17 = 105

**now, there IS a "double-tap" musical function, but both notes have to be the same instrument/pitch for this, which may be tricky to use on non-percussion stuff

I'm also noticing the complete lack of anything in the 190 bpm and 145 bpm ranges; and that 240s are basically gonna have the same thing as the 400s, but with speed 15. Hmmm...

Still, 9 compositional groups isn't shoddy, right? And it mostly fits the cart motif, give or take that 400 bpm hiccup (unless Fascination/Pluto/Trigger/Elemental Creation can work at 200?)...
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