Dance Collider at Myriad Festival
Thanks to our mate Sam at TechVisa we were lucky enough to share a booth at the latest Myriad Festival here in Brisbane. We previewed our virtual reality game Dance Collider for the first time at the festival and all sorts of people gave it a go over the two days.
We had everyone from investors, to engineers, to programmers, to creators and even some kids jumping in and dancing like no-one was watching. It was a great opportunity to observe how new people reacted to the game and get some solid play testing under our belt. Our team has played the game a hell of lot, so for us the experience is totally different to witness someone new playing it.
Overall we were surprised with how people, who hadn't even tried virtual reality before, could pick up the gameplay in a relatively short amount of time. That was encouraging, because Dance Collider is an arcade game that we want everyone to just know how to play the first time they put the headset on. We want to avoid any long tutorials showing the player how the game works, that slows down just getting stuck in and having a fun.
The game is made up of green and purple nodes that are created to notes in the music. The player must hit the nodes with the the corresponding coloured hand. Yellow nodes are a double hit, so two hands together. We vary up the gameplay by having characters that can throw down taunts / special moves. The player gets extra points for dancing, and the game measures how much style they have.
Our goal while making Dance Collider was to create a game that can be enjoyed by everyone. I am happy to say that we have achieved this. Hardcore gamers can master the hard difficulty mode, while people that just want to have fun can take the easy option.
There were definitely elements we took out of the play testing that we should improve upon. We need to design nodes with a greater understanding about how to get people moving and dancing. We noticed a few people started to punch the nodes, which is fine but we want this to be a dancing game. We had always planned to motion capture professional dancers and put their performances in the game. This will help guide the player as to what moves they should be doing in time with the beat. So we are looking forward to getting these performances in over the next few months and making Dance Collider even more fun.
Player feedback is also so important in these games. Our version at Myriad was a little light on with this feedback. So we have cranked it up with more indication on scores, perfect hits, and sound fx's. We have also added in character dialogue to add to the feedback. If the player is not doing so great the character will let them know.
We had so much fun demoing the game and can't wait to show it again with all the improvements we are making. The development continues but at least we are on the right track!!