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#1131981 - 11/15/17 11:26 AM EvilCoGames Studio game projects
EvilCoGames Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 10/25/17
Posts: 16
Hi everybody!
As this is our first post here, so let us to introduce:
We are an indie studio, which was founded in 2016. In April 2017 our first game project - Star Story: The Horizon Escape (a text turn-based adventure with 24+ alternative endings) was released on Steam. We are currently working on our next game - TERRORHYTHM. That will be rhythm + beat'em up action in the style of cyberpunk.

First post we would like to dedicate to our first project call "Star Story: The Horizon Escape".
It was released on Steam 05.09.2017 Star Story: The Horizon Escape - Steam Webpage , then it was published on itch.io, g2a.com and gamersgate.com. Was a work experience with chrono.gg. Soon Star Story will be available on kinguin.net and greenmangaming.com also.
It’s a text turn-based adventure game with elements of RPG. The plot is developing in accordance with the actions of the player; there are 24+ alternative endings of an exciting adventure.

Release Trailer - Star Story: The Horizon Escape

A spaceship of archeologist Van Click crashes, and he finds himself on the last unexplored planet in the whole galaxy called “Horizon”. As the Hero is trying to get out from this planet, he meets various inhabitants of unknown locations; he has to struggle for life encountering extremely aggressive species of Fauna and resolving various puzzles. The end of this eventful flee from the Horizon planet depends only on the player’ choice.
In this game we have mixed the mechanics of dialogues, choices, turn-based battles, puzzles, crafting and technology researches.
Work on this game lasted 1 year. And before an official release Star Story took the first prize in the nomination «Best PC game» according to Indie Cup 2017 and got the first place in the Deconstruction Workshop at the White Nights St. Petersburg 2017 conference.

As it our first post, in honor of it we would like to share 3 STEAM keys to Star Story for our very first readers and friends here:

R5MT0-GILQ8-PH33V
4G8GX-JBV3R-WTCWH
HG945-RAMDM-WJKYI


Edited by Trail_Mystic (11/27/17 08:11 PM)
Edit Reason: Links Modified

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#1131986 - 11/15/17 11:41 AM Re: EvilCoGames Studio game projects [Re: EvilCoGames]
BrownEyedTigre Online   happy
The Sassy Administrator PR Liaison
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 01/04/04
Posts: 75661
Loc: In the Naughty Corner
All the best to you and thanks for sharing!

Ana wave
_________________________
Don't feed the Trolls

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#1131995 - 11/15/17 01:02 PM Re: EvilCoGames Studio game projects [Re: EvilCoGames]
looney4labs Offline
Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 47672
Loc: Alabama
Thanks, and luck It looks like fun! wavegirl
_________________________
"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole."
-Roger Caras

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#1132005 - 11/15/17 02:16 PM Re: EvilCoGames Studio game projects [Re: EvilCoGames]
Trail_Mystic Offline
Dragon Breath - Darkside Moderator
BAAG Specialist

Registered: 02/12/04
Posts: 6165
Loc: Wisconsin
Great first posting EvilCoGames team - Thanks for all the information and keys!

Please feel free to PM or email me when you have press releases or dev updates. Always glad to see indie studios fighting the good fight thumbsup


TM wave
_________________________
"L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux."

What is essential is invisible to the eyes.

The Foxes Secret from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry




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#1132077 - 11/16/17 03:24 AM Re: EvilCoGames Studio game projects [Re: EvilCoGames]
EvilCoGames Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 10/25/17
Posts: 16
Thank you for a warm welcome!
Very soon we'll post some materials about the game on which we're working now, and it's very important to us to have a feedbacks during the prototyping and pre-alpha period.

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#1133246 - 11/27/17 03:53 AM Re: EvilCoGames Studio game projects [Re: EvilCoGames]
EvilCoGames Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 10/25/17
Posts: 16
Hi everybody!

We are currently working on our next game – TERRORhythm - See the Steam coming-soon-page here: Steam: TERRORhythm

Our idea is to create mix of two genres: beat’em up and rhythm game in the dark cyberpunk world. Stylish level and character design, spectacular FX and hardcore rhythm-based gameplay; this is our recipe for a good game.

The core gameplay is a classic beat’em up battle with numerous enemies attacking the main character from both sides. The success of the battle session depends on how you can catch the rhythm of the background musical track and kick the enemies to the beat. The duration of one game session determined by the duration of the musical track playing on the background. One of the most important features we are going to provide is the possibility to upload your own music in game and play to it.

Game Prototype Video

Game Image 1

Game Image 2

Our team was inspired by such games as «One finger Death punch», «Crypt of the necrodancer», «KickBeat», «Guitar Hero» and «Audio Surf 2». But we are trying not only to make a mixture of existing mechanics but also to give some unique features like music-driven level difficulty and scene feedback. We also decided to make a comics to allow you to explore a silent dark city where the game plot takes place. We will post comics regularly on our community pages and blogs.

As the game development is in progress now, we are hungry for any feedback, advice and opinions. First project experience of working with the community was so fruitful, so we have no doubt left about power and benefit of feedback. Hope that with your help we will make TERRORhythm the best it can be. Current tasks we are working on right now includes custom music support, equalized scenes, light reaction the beat, major gameplay improvements and balancing, normal and hardcore game modes, more miss.
So, follow our news and add it to your steam wishlist! wink


Edited by Trail_Mystic (11/27/17 08:12 PM)
Edit Reason: HTML tag revisions and pics to links

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#1134255 - 12/06/17 11:10 AM Re: EvilCoGames Studio game projects [Re: EvilCoGames]
EvilCoGames Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 10/25/17
Posts: 16
That was the TERRORHYTHM game logo research by our artists! Which do you like best?


Dev Blog with TERRORHYTHM Logo Examples

Link to the Steam page


Edited by Trail_Mystic (12/06/17 08:58 PM)
Edit Reason: Changed HTML image tags to URL links

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#1134819 - 12/11/17 07:02 PM Re: EvilCoGames Studio game projects [Re: EvilCoGames]
Marian Offline
Global Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 07/04/00
Posts: 34142
Loc: near Yosemite in California
There are several logos I like, but I like the one in the top right-hand corner the best. wave12

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#1135160 - 12/14/17 06:18 AM Re: EvilCoGames Studio game projects [Re: Marian]
EvilCoGames Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 10/25/17
Posts: 16
Originally Posted By: Marian
There are several logos I like, but I like the one in the top right-hand corner the best. wave12

Thank you! That was one of the very leaders from all the logos presented!

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#1135161 - 12/14/17 06:27 AM Re: EvilCoGames Studio game projects [Re: EvilCoGames]
EvilCoGames Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 10/25/17
Posts: 16
Hey guys!
Work on #TERRORHYTHM is in full swing. Over the past week, we have managed to develop and add animation to the main character and the enemy. We also tweaked the location environment. Check out the difference between BEFORE and NOW:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLcTdAyf3Mg

Ohh... just because of good mood ;)
XHP0-E20JV-D0499
7YZI2-TED88-ABT8M

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#1135240 - 12/14/17 07:14 PM Re: EvilCoGames Studio game projects [Re: EvilCoGames]
Marian Offline
Global Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 07/04/00
Posts: 34142
Loc: near Yosemite in California
Thank you for the link, and also for your generosity. bravo12

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#1135705 - 12/19/17 10:32 AM Re: EvilCoGames Studio game projects [Re: EvilCoGames]
EvilCoGames Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 10/25/17
Posts: 16
Hi there!
We have another one animation artwork:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hx1Cj70hqEc

And also we have 51 free steam keys to our first project: Star Story: The Horizon Escape.
Take a chance!)))

https://gleam.io/w4Xer/star-story-by-evilcogames-for-free

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#1135897 - 12/20/17 06:41 PM Re: EvilCoGames Studio game projects [Re: EvilCoGames]
looney4labs Offline
Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 47672
Loc: Alabama
Thanks, EvilCoGames wave12
_________________________
"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole."
-Roger Caras

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#1135952 - 12/21/17 08:24 AM Re: EvilCoGames Studio game projects [Re: EvilCoGames]
EvilCoGames Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 10/25/17
Posts: 16
Working with sound when creating rhythm games

The first question every rhythm-game developer asks himself: “Should my gameplay actually be powered by music?” If the answer is yes and it’s not enough for the developer to have just visual scene feedback to playing music, the second question appears: “Should I give the player possibility to upload his own track to play”? Sure, you can have the same question in the first case too, but only if your gameplay is really affected by music the answer is crucial for you. Because giving player ability to upload his music means to spend resources on developing custom music analyzer and level generator and also on wide genre testing and tuning. Delegate-level creation to Steam Workshop community doesn’t seem like a good idea till you don’t have the community itself.

We understood that program sound analyzer is a rather popular task, though still not trivial and trying to solve it with our small studio is the responsible decision. And we still could not resist adding this killer-feature, allow a player to crush souls to the rhythm of his favorite song.

Rhythm is center of our gameplay. So-called BPM(beats per minute) with its frequency you move your head to cool track. But if you want to build your game around the rhythm you should get it first. Music for the game engine is only set of samples he can play and some information about them.

BPM extraction is not a new task - even if you ignore rhythm games, DJ equipment manufacturers and digital audio workstations developers have done a great job in this area. And still after all these achievements they often delegate rhythm detection to human.

We reviewed a lot of materials before came up with the solution that worked for us.
Music is complex soundwave, the vibration of air in your room, in the club or between your headphones membrane and eardrum. Transformation of these vibrations to something melodic and rhythmic (what our brain does automatically) requires some calculations. Most part of these calculations is Fast Fourier Transform that converts the complex sound signal to the sum of sinusoids with certain frequencies and amplitudes. For those who can’t understand in what way curve from school connected to sound we will explain: the sound wave of sinusoidal form is the simplest timbre familiar to anyone. Phone line ringing for example. The frequency of this sine is sound pitch and amplitude is volume. Here are some FFT for different sound waveforms for illustrative purposes:

Of course for music resulting frequency spectrum will be much more complex - all over the range it will have some frequencies. If you remember any music spectrum analyzer (people often call it wrong: equalizer) you will understand what we are talking about. This is the clear picture of what sound look after Fast Fourier Transform.

Thanks to the game engine that made this transform for us we can work with music like with the array of samples (number of these samples per second depends on quality and compression) that gives us information about all the sounding frequencies at every moment of the record.

So we have several tasks to solve with help of this data.

First and main task - BPM extraction. Almost every in-game parameters and values are linked to the rhythm - from enemies spawn and move speed to animations playback speed and combo behavior.

To extract rhythm we should first understand what it is. Usually, by beat we mean start point of the short repeated musical piece. Looping of this piece determines main song tempo. Classic rhythm-section consists of drums and bass (whether it rock or jazz, metal or dance music). This knowledge gives us approximate borders of the frequency range that we will scout for volume peaks. Our main goal is under 120Hz range, but besides it, we will also scan additional narrow range around 1kHz where often rhythm-section-supporters sit.

First, we should understand loudness range for these frequencies along all the song. These values are needed to make relative decisions. When we got minimum and maximum volume we can start the analysis. In short, this analysis is a iterating over samples from song beginning to its end and comparison of needed frequencies amplitude with min and max values and with siblings. By making kind of “low-frequency volume jumps map” we are trying to find periodical sequences - peaks, repeating with the same time period (luckily for music lovers and unluckily for music analyzers, bass and drum parts can be complex and different).
Most frequent value of this time period we are using as beat duration, which is used to calculate BPM.

Analyzer reacts different to various genres - of course, house music, where the clean beat is marked by kickdrum, is the simplest one to analyze. Dealing with aggressive metal genres, where the drummer can do incredibly fast and furious things, is much harder. In that case, we can ask additional frequency range for help. Searching for snare and electric guitar drops can help in beat determination. We should also remember about music genres with floating bar size, where musical phrases can be different size and duration - jazz, math rock and others.

Sound compression is one more thing that can hinder analysis. This way of post-processing music is used by many producers nowadays. Compression is all about narrowing difference between the loudest and the quietest frequencies (so-called “dynamic range”) through the song to make it sound louder without quality loss and extreme peaks. Obviously, extreme compression (which can often be heard in dance music) can be a barrier to drawing proper “low-frequency volume jumps map” and make analysis results wrong.


Bad overall record quality can be the problem too - big amount of noises at the wide range or bad mixing can cause frequency conflicts (garbage side frequencies emergence).

To provide some support for beat extraction algorithm we add sync during the playback. The pre-analyzed track gives us average BPM value. According to this value, we set beat duration and run main game timer. Then during song playback, we periodically synchronizing this timer to our “map of peaks”. If deviation is big, next synchronization is set to the short period of time and gameplay in this period gets softer to protect the player from system errors.

Add some small features to this analysis and we get working version of the beat-sync mechanism. Now we can concentrate on interactive levels - spawn more difficult enemies sequences when music is intense, visual scene feedback, etc.

Anyway, to avoid the bad experience for a player who wants to play the game to old grandpa vinyl or arrhythmic metal of his friends' band, we honestly say after the attempt to upload song - sorry we failed to get this track tempo, please find something else.


Edited by EvilCoGames (12/21/17 08:25 AM)

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#1135968 - 12/21/17 10:11 AM Re: EvilCoGames Studio game projects [Re: EvilCoGames]
looney4labs Offline
Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 47672
Loc: Alabama
That's an amazing behind-the-scenes look wavegirl
_________________________
"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole."
-Roger Caras

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