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Thread: Proper Beat Detecion?

  1. #1
    Junior Member WonderGamer's Avatar
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    Default Proper Beat Detecion?

    So I just purchased the PC version on Steam & have to say I'm impressed with the game so far; there was one thing that kind of was a letdown, however... My first attempt to import my own music into the game, I realized that the game does not have proper beat detection. Considering I purchased the game for this feature, I was sorely disappointed that my reason for purchasing it turned out to be what I would call an incomplete feature. Is there any intentions in adding proper beat detection so the fight is actually designed based on the song? Or is this feature going to just stay as the music is simply something to listen to during a fight with specified parameters? The only thing that the imported song seems to determine in the game so far is fight length. On that note, the 6 minute limitation was a bit of a let down also, but I can look past this if proper beat detection is added.
    Last edited by WonderGamer; 01-22-2014 at 09:34 AM.
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    "Proper beat detection" is impossible and has never been done in any beat-matching game or any pro audio software ever. The most accurate beat detection algorithm ever made will not be any better than 65%. In a beat-matching game (as opposed to other music games with import functions, which do not require you to press buttons on the beat), that's a problem. And it's why the game provides a way for users to find and set the BPM themselves. Automating the process would result, as often as not, in you having to press buttons off the beat in order to succeed -and, as I said, that kind of ruins the whole core mechanic of beat-matching.

    If you have a problem finding beat numbers, ask the community, get accurate numbers from them, and plug them into the game manually.

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    Junior Member WonderGamer's Avatar
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    I wouldn't exactly say that it's impossible. AudioSurf can do it; Symphony can do it. I haven't tried Beat Hazard yet (even though I own it), but I understand it can as well. Why not this game? How can indie developers with minimal games under their belt have better luck with this than a developer that has put out as many games as Zen has? If Zen is going to claim it's impossible when it's been proven otherwise in a number of other games from other developers (indie developers no less), I have to wonder what else Zen is incapable of where other companies have succeeded in those tasks. Technically speaking, AudioSurf wasn't even created by a company, it was created by an individual. If Zen is unable to do what a single individual can do, this only adds insult to injury.
    Last edited by WonderGamer; 01-26-2014 at 02:03 PM.
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    No, they can't. No program, game or otherwise, is accurate enough to automatically detect BPM at an accuracy rate needed for a beat matching game.

    All those games you listed just use various filters to generate enemies based on general energy and musical patterns. Sometimes they coincide with the beat, sometimes not. "Sometimes not" is not acceptable in a precision beat-matching game, although it's perfectly acceptable in a game like Audiosurf, which does not require pressing a single button on a single beat for success.

    Zen's actually made the first ever beat-matching game with a working import function. (See Dance Factory, which actually "patents the problem" of fully automated import of music into a rhythm action game, for an example of one that doesn't work well.) It's not perfect, but it avoids the problem of inaccurate beats (in songs with consistent BPM) that no other game has been able to solve.
    Last edited by Solitude; 01-26-2014 at 11:46 AM.

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    Junior Member WonderGamer's Avatar
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    I'm going to have to assume you have not played any of these games if the argument is that their generation methods are bogus. I have played both AudioSurf & Symphony & both are accurate enough that I'm not arguing with their methods. But in the case of this game, a number of people are already stating the problem with the method it's using. Songs do not follow static BPM, so expecting it to do so I have to say is an ignorance of an understanding on how music is produced. AudioSurf in particular is able to adapt to rate changes in music; it gives more challenge to the song granted, but it has more accuracy than a game that expects there's going to be a static BPM throughout the entire song. Considering the argument here is that "it's not possible" & if this is the standpoint of Zen to the point that they're not even going to attempt it, then I will be sure to avoid such games put out by Zen in the future as anything even close to a claim of music importation is a bogus statement (granted the store page does not specifically say "song importation", but it's close enough to the statement that people are going to expect it when others have been able to do what apparently wasn't even attempted here). You said you were no longer Zen staff in the other thread (which means your statement is not official); perhaps that is a good thing because if you were, I would probably never purchase from Zen again as you have only given proof that this feature is a farce. I can only hope that people will see this thread & take this into consideration in the future when purchasing rhythm games from Zen as any such features is apparently a half-assed attempt.

    I am going to add a link to this thread in my review for verification of what you are stating & be creating a backup of it should it be deleted. I have my own site, so regardless of whether my review gets removed from Steam or not, I can just republish it on a site that cannot claim that my review is stating false information. Let's just say I've learned what companies are capable of when it comes to public censorship & after the situation with Might & Magic X: Legacy with Ubisoft providing Standard keys to 3rd-party retailers in the place of Digital Deluxe versions, I also know that companies will try to pull the wool over your eyes & put the blame on other companies for their fault (there are enough statements in this thread just from your two posts alone that give the impression that other companies are providing a feature that is not possible simply because Zen didn't even want to attempt what other companies have at least been able to provide a comparable solution to). Should I be banned for stating the facts based on your own statements, that will also be going into the review & Zen will be losing a customer in the process (as well possibly numerous others who do happen to see my review should they decide for themselves that the information provided has been justified). People who have played the other games I have mentioned in this thread should have enough experience that what I say rings true (or they will anyways when they purchase KickBeat, resulting in more reviews stating the same thing; boby123 has already made the same exact claim without going into as much detail as I have), so I'm sure my review will make an impact at least to those users. I can only hope that this feature is corrected in the future & I can change my review to remove that section from it so it does not tarnish Zen's reputation indefinitely.

    In short, this was a suggestion thread that turned into an argument & ultimately a rather ugly situation because the simple excuse was to say it wasn't possible. I don't buy it, I don't believe others will either if they have played games that have at least had satisfying results in other games they have played. I didn't come here looking for an argument, but the results is that we now have a rather ugly situation that I hope can be cleared up in the future if Zen is willing to listen to their customers. WonderGamer out!
    Last edited by WonderGamer; 01-26-2014 at 03:28 PM.
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    Well, I did spend 4 years with the game, pouring over state-of-the-art research and patents, trying out every beat detection software out there, and we did actually try a fully automated version using industry standard beat detection methods that provided unsatisfactory results and prompted us to use the current method.

    So it is not without significant expertise when I say: you're wrong.
    Last edited by Solitude; 01-26-2014 at 09:56 PM.

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    Hmm, the experienced, well researched DEVELOPER or the person whose only given resume is that they have PLAYED a few games relevant to the discussed topic. Who should I believe?

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    I agree with wondergamer to a degree; although kickbeat is far from perfect its heading in the right direction with a fresh look on rhythm games, so I'd at least cut the developers some slack. Yeah, so far from what I've seen, the importation system does seem flawed (that or perhaps I just haven't mastered it yet), but with games like the aforementioned audiosurf or Stepmania, songs could support bpm changes and adjust the stage based on the change. From what I've read on other sites, kickbeat cannot adjust to bpm changes and can only be played using songs with a somewhat constant bpm... Is this true? If so, are there any plans in the future to release a patch that would allow for songs with bpm changes or more accurate beat detection?

    As stated before, as the community grows I'm sure the want will be there... Especially if players would like to play songs like Skrillex's "Cinema" http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QQcQDbpDH_o or Venitian Snare's "szamar Madar" http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpZY5g_9acU

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    Junior Member WonderGamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waffles View Post
    From what I've read on other sites, kickbeat cannot adjust to bpm changes and can only be played using songs with a somewhat constant bpm... Is this true?
    The feature doesn't even have beat detection, you have to set the parameters manually. The closest thing you get to beat detection is a tool where you're hitting a button to beats for the first 15 seconds:

    https://www.twitch.tv/wondergamer/v/46363099

    EDIT: Seems like an inaccurate video somehow got in my post. Video URL has been corrected.

    URL updated 8/28/2016; seems Twitch did an update to their site that changed URL structure on videos that broke the previous link...
    Last edited by WonderGamer; 08-28-2016 at 07:33 PM.
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