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Serious feedback to devs RE: BYM mode

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  • Serious feedback to devs RE: BYM mode

    First off, let me say I'm enjoying the heck out of your game (Steam version, for whatever it means to you). I've been playing music games pretty much since they've been a thing, and I think you've created something great. The story mode really shines...well, let me rephrase that a little. The story itself (and cutscenes) are pretty awful, but I could care less about that since it's all skippable. The songs and enemy patterns (I'll call it charting from here out, clinging to DDR terminology) are great, and work really well with the theme of the game.

    My main concern is the BYM mode. The charting generated from BYM always feels pretty arbitrary and random. Granted, I'm only regularly playing on hard with some expert thrown in, but just from my tests comparing the Story charted version of Last Resort with the BYM version, it's a pretty stark contrast. The variance slider helps a bit, but it never lives up to the excellence of the charting in the story mode songs.

    Now, this is to be expected; there's no way we're going to come up with an algorithm that can beat the human thought process for this situation, at least not in this lifetime, and especially not within a small game studio. So don't think that that's what I'm suggesting. I'm also not complaining that BYM isn't enough like Audiosurf or Beat Hazard, because frankly, they haven't nailed it either.

    My idea is this: a manual charting tool, a way to go through a song and manually plan where enemies show up, slow-mo cinematic breaks, and so on. The current BYM mode doesn't even have to disappear, just split it into "Automatic" and "Manual" options. I imagine this would pair very well with the Steam workshop as well. Granted, you can't share the music files in there because of copyright issues, but you could keep the charting file separate from the .mp3. Let people put the charting files on the workshop, and leave the .mp3 acquisition out of the picture.

    More time consuming to create per song? Definitely. But that doesn't mean that it wouldn't be used. Take a look at the amount of content generated for just about any game with Workshop support; there's plenty of content available that is far more complex and time consuming to create than this would be. Just thinking about some of the fantastic content I saw during my time playing Stepmania so many years ago and factoring the benefit of a centralized distribution system like the Steam Workshop, I feel like this would be a huge boon to your game.

    In closing, you've made a great game, with potential to be an excellent arena for user-created content. And if you continue to make your own charted songs of the same quality as you've already shown, it will be no brainer DLC purchases for me. Thanks for reading.

  • #2
    This is exactly what we talked about doing before I left Zen, but we concluded that it would take too long to create this tool and the Workshop support for it.

    Hopefully the game does well enough that they'll revisit that decision.


    • #3
      I came in here to post exactly this suggestion. I bought Kickbeat because the gameplay looked (and turned out to be) stellar, even though my music tastes don't skew anywhere near as intense as the soundtrack is. If you guys added custom charting tools, this game could easily become my favorite of 2014.


      • #4
        Even if there was no editor but it was possible to hack custom tracks into the game I would be so happy...

        MyAnimeList / My LBPV level: "Netwalk"