Astrobeat

A rhythm space game that brings players unexplainable feeling of satisfaction 

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Graphic Designer, 3D Modeler, Animator

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January 2020 - May 2020

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4 programmers, 4 designers, 1 project manager 

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Blender, Photoshop, Illustrator

 

Background

Astrobeat was developed by eight Cornell undergraduate student in four months. The team includes four programmers and four designers. We developed this game from vague concept, paper prototype to alpha release, beta release and final delivery. We experienced lots of challenges during the whole process since it's our first time doing game design (but we definitely did a great job!) For example, we changed free movement into discrete movement, replaced fuel bar as lives etc. We also learned a lot for both technical skills and soft skills, such as communication, working with people in different disciplines and project management. This game won GDIAC Showcase 2020 Best Audience Choice and was accepted to BostonFig 2020! (We are ready to launch in Steam!) 

Core Vision 

With only a love of music to comfort her, Aria lived alone in space for as long as she could remember, until she heard melodies sweeter than honey coming from afar. Players will navigate through the universe by moving her spaceship in time with the music’s beat and additional rhythms in search of new musical friends and their respective tunes.

Design Philosophy 

As a rhythm space game, the primary design goal of Astrobeat is to give players a satisfying feeling when playing the game. Even though movement is restricted to being on a beat, we want the game’s music and rhythm to sync up with players’ inputs in a satisfying way. There will be variety in rhythm patterns to allow players to feel as if they are the ones playing the song. It is essential that this design goal is met in order to avoid any monotonous feelings while traversing through levels.

 

A secondary game design goal is to give the players a sense of progression and desire to advance through the game. This is done in two ways. As the players advance through the levels, the music will add more instruments and become more robust. This increases enjoyment even as levels get progressively more difficult. Additionally, as the players complete each level, they can collect stamps, further adding to the sense of progression. This goal is something that can be lessened and dropped if necessary.

Objectives

The primary objective of each level is to discover where the music is coming from and to pick up the stranded musician. Before reaching the stranded musician, multiple checkpoint planets throughout the level must first be reached and their rhythmic patterns completed. After reaching the musician, the player unlocks the next level where another song is heard, which means there is another friend to be made. 

Dependency Diagram 

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Level Design

The main goal of level design in Astrobeat is to reward players for optimal gameplay by providing a smooth and satisfying experience. When done perfectly, all movement will align with the background music. Movement is intended to feel much more intuitive than intentionally planned out. The core style of Astrobeat is relatively fast-paced gameplay with limited opportunity to strategize and plan for upcoming obstacles. While the players are able to complete levels without moving perfectly, making fewer mistakes gives a significantly more gratifying experience.

 

The first few levels are designed to focus specifically on teaching the fundamentals of movement and core challenges, such as rhythmic movement, found in Astrobeat. From there, the difficulty of levels gradually increases via the addition of new challenges, more difficult rhythm patterns, faster background music, etc. However, it is essential for levels to be relatively concise to avoid too much frustration. As it is almost necessary for  players to repeat a level multiple times in order to perfect movement through the level, longer, more drawn out levels would detract from the intended style of gameplay. The objective is for players to repeat levels in quick succession in order to perfect level completion. Much of the satisfaction arises from success after repeated failures.

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Paper prototype 

 

 

Initial Sketch

 

 

JSON Levels in Photoshop

 

 

Final Screenshots

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Design Collections

Astrobeat is a visually appealing game with low-poly style assets mainly built in Blender. As a designer for this game, I did various design jobs such as logo design, level design, modeling and animation. Here are some final assets in our game. 

Biome Themed Planets

Our planet biomes are inspired by real climate on Earth. To match our overall theme of finding life in great universe, we make reference on some similar climate. Desert, for example, may seem lifeless at first, contains stunning drought tolerant plants.

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Logos

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                                                     Game logo                                                                                                  Team logo

Animations

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             laser shooting                                     asteroid rotating                                    asteroid moving                                asteroid colliding 

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          rocket bouncing 1                                  rocket bouncing 2                                  rocket crashing                       jumping into end goal portal

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User Interface 

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Game Trailer

This trailer goes over easy, medium and hard levels and explains basic gameplays and design ideations of the game. 

 

sound on :)

🚀 Download Astrobeat 🚀

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