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Symphonic Strife (Zach Baharov)

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Symphonic Strife is a 2-D action platformer in which you control a classical composer creating his latest symphony. Imagine a ninja Beethoven doing parkour and dispatching scores of enemies in tempo to the music he is inventing. You have a set of free-running moves and musical attacks at your disposal. Each level features a unique composer and is set to a piece of music of his or her creation. You must climb, jump, slide, vault, roll, and fight your way through a dark environment full of obstacles and Insecurity Guards. You’re guided around the darkness only by Muses - glowing fairy-like creatures. You have a choice of path to take, but executing your moves in tempo to the music is crucial to making it through the level and its obstacles. Fight to bring your symphonic masterpiece to life!

Vote for this to be one of the prototypes we make over on Humble.com

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I really like the idea for this game. I imagine playing through the music like the dude in Comix Zone played through comics.

Also the soundtrack would be great right away.

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Hey, I'm glad you like it! And Comix Zone is a good reference!

Yes, I was thinking the level would start as sheet music and the notes, symbols, and the whole score would quickly transform into the obstacles in the level itself - a bit like what they did in Beatles Rock Band when the guys start and end playing in the studio but most of the song takes place in a wild imaginary world.

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Oooo the level transforming into what the composer is imagining is a super cool idea. Kinda like a playable Fantasia, playing through your interpretation of the music.

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I'm getting an almost side scrolling version of DPad Studio's Savant Ascent meets an updated version of the original Prince of Persia here.  Which could be interesting.

I'm curious how with such a limited move set as suggested the player progression would exist to be compelled to continue past each continuing level.  What would be that element to keep going?

(I'm presenting questions to each pitch of what I feel I need to know more about to make a better informed decision before actually voting)

Edited by Reid_Harris_Cooper

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@EricMahler Playable Fantasia is a perfect way to describe it! I want a character being a total free-running badass in sync with an epic piece of music.

@Reid_Harris_Cooper Good questions. The original Prince of Persia, and that series in general are some of my favorite games. I love the smooth, flowing motion and acrobatic combat, and I want to try and have the player move that way in time with the music.

I imagined something like the Rayman Legends music levels, but a little grittier and snappier, like Shank. The move set I describe in the pitch is just a sample. Much like Guitar Hero, I imagine the goal of ultimate virtuosity is what keeps you playing. Being able to play the levels/pieces on different difficulty settings where your character "participates" in more of the piece and handles more challenging obstacles on the higher difficulty modes (hitting more notes in Guitar Hero/Rock Band). Apart from rewards like bonuses and power-ups, the satisfaction comes from the audio-visual piece you're creating - your character looking ever cooler as you make him/her flow from move to move with the right timing.

Even though this may change to a certain extent during production, this is my current vision.

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20 hours ago, Zach Baharov said:

I imagined something like the Rayman Legends music levels, but a little grittier and snappier, like Shank. The move set I describe in the pitch is just a sample. Much like Guitar Hero, I imagine the goal of ultimate virtuosity is what keeps you playing. Being able to play the levels/pieces on different difficulty settings where your character "participates" in more of the piece and handles more challenging obstacles on the higher difficulty modes (hitting more notes in Guitar Hero/Rock Band).

I was totally imagining the Rayman Legends music levels during the pitch video and, sure enough, I scrolled down and you mention it. There is something so amazing when timing actions to music in games and I wish it were done more often.

I really, really like the sound (pun?) of this game because it has so many great elements from games I love but also has the potential to be much more.

Good luck, Zach!

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Thinking it over, what excites me about this is that it's 2D, so it's not just Beatmania meats Assassin's Creed.

I'm curious, would the backgrounds be detailed, real-world locations, or is it inside the composer's mind, or on blank sheet music, or... Just, what are the environments? It could go so many different directions, it's awesome.

What's the 2D platformer where the character turns down side passages that lead away from the camera, so the level rotates to make the Z axis into the X axis? Does that make sense? Anyway, with all the fluidity this game seems like it could have, it would be neat to see dynamic levels in that, or in other, styles.

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So... I will sound old and out of touch, but when I think of *Symphony* or *Beethoven*, I think of structure.

Music education + Bach + math + early life visits to the Opera (not the web browser company), made me learn to appreciate music on an intellectual level.

When I listen to a Symphony (Beethoven, Haydn, Mahler, Bruckner...), I stop doing everything else. I am paralized(!), inclined to *just listen*. Not move. Not dance. Not 'play' - which would be distracting. A different part of the brain?

Maybe it's a generational thing. Certainly, I am not the target audience. 

:)

 

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1 hour ago, AdamBeckett said:

When I listen to a Symphony (Beethoven, Haydn, Mahler, Bruckner...), I stop doing everything else. I am paralized(!), inclined to *just listen*. Not move. Not dance. Not 'play' - which would be distracting. A different part of the brain?

I can totally see where you are coming from. The math and structure behind music is truly mind-blowing (especially to me who didn't really grow up with any music education). However, when I hear classical music I generally think of movement and flow. This pitch makes me think of an orchestra composer's wand moving during a performance. The way it commands the music from the orchestra by moving through space and time is how I see the character in this game idea moving around to avoid obstacles and defeat enemies. 

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On 4/4/2017 at 8:27 PM, Reid_Harris_Cooper said:

You evoked Shank... this made me smile!  I was thinking along those lines for possibilities.

Excellent! I'm glad you had a similar idea.

On 4/5/2017 at 10:11 AM, rheberling said:

There is something so amazing when timing actions to music in games and I wish it were done more often.

YES! This is exactly what the core idea of this game is based around. At its best, it should be action tightly synchronized to music, almost like an action movie and its score.

22 hours ago, maxbz said:

what are the environments?

I was envisioning a semi-abstract environment which would probably contain elements of the time period. It could be a locale in Vienna in Beethoven's case, the city streets or the palace of his patron. This is something I am still fleshing out.

On 4/5/2017 at 2:38 PM, AdamBeckett said:

I stop doing everything else. I am paralized(!), inclined to *just listen*. Not move. Not dance. Not 'play' - which would be distracting.

I appreciate this feeling, Adam. Maybe because I am an artist with a background in orchestral music performance, I approach the listening experience differently than you. Rather than marveling at its structure, to me listening to or playing this type of music inspires pure emotion that can only be augmented by visuals that complement the music, similar to what Fantasia tries to do. Symphonic Strife is an attempt to give you the role of the creator of the visual performance that goes along with the music.

23 hours ago, rheberling said:

when I hear classical music I generally think of movement and flow. This pitch makes me think of an orchestra composer's wand moving during a performance

Very well said. This is more in line with what I think of as well.

Thank you all for your comments! 

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