Rhythmic combat game – Nintendo DS – 2006

What I did.

  • Game concept from the client's proposal.
  • Game design around a hypothetical peripherals sold with the game (which turned out to be a simple latex sheet to put on the bottom screen…). That’s what guided the whole concept of the game.
  • Characters abilities and universe design with the character designer.
  • Design of rhythmic patterns for the dance part of the game, combos and life system.
  • Mentoring an intern.

What I learned.

  • Team communication, expressing ideas in an efficient way.

  • Fitting my ideas into guidelines and marketing decisions.

  • How to work in no-optimal conditions.

Dancefloor was my first project as a game designer. It’s a rhythm game on Nintendo DS, close to the Dance Dance Revolution series with a test of Bust-A-Groove. The game was meant to be played with a proprietary peripheral device, that the publisher wanted to sell with the game. This drove the whole game’s conception.

From this concept, I wanted to modify the classical rules coming from Dance Dance Revolution, in order to use the Nintendo DS’s touchscreen in the best way possible and added some principles we found generally in beat’em up games. That’s why the player character dance against an IA character and can perform combos. Those combos are to be performed during free sequences, but hard defined in the timeline of a song, and allowed the player to trigger a fury move.

However, the absence of any prototype for the peripheral device or any documentation about how it will interact with the hardware, forced me to « blind designed » the game, which quickly lead us to face some technical constraints inherent to the hardware.
We had to build our own tools to enable the creation of rhythm pattern, based on a playlist of songs provided by the publisher.
I was also in charge of one intern’s formation.