Rockster a rhythm game for meta -- By archonik

Rockster -- a rhythm game for Meta!

Author :  archonik

News: v0.2 is out now!

v0.2 Includes many bug fixes, improved color palette, better chord visibility and support for unlimited song length!

When I saw that Gamebuino Meta includes flashing LEDs I KNEW I had to make a music game for it!

This is a simple proof-of-concept for a music game similar to Guitar Hero or Rock Band but with a twist!

In Rockster you can upload your own tracks to the SD card to rock out! And it uses the LEDs to "simulate" concert lighting! It looks amazing!

Cover art and music previews are supported as well!

AND included with the game are 13 great commercial indie tracks used with permission from the authors! Give them a listen, they rock!

Unfortunately, due to lack of sound support, the game does not currently work on emulators. If you know how to compile it for Windows so people can enjoy it locally with emulated SD support, please get in touch!

A simple HTML track editor is included and full instructions are provided in the game's Github.

Please note that the game is currently just proof-of-concept with a lot of bugs and missing features. It will be improved upon and fixed-up soon, for instance Rockster is currently impossible to finish as tracks cut-off around 2:13 due to memory issues. (fixed!)

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Author :  archonik

Oh, and please note that the game (tracks included) weighs a hefty 128MB (!), so a big memory card is recommended, but you can just remove the songs you don't like by deleting them from the music/ directory to save up on storage. Make sure you remove all the extra files (.bmp, .txt, .cre) or the game might get confused and crash.

Author :  Sorunome

Wow, you are shooting out games fast currently!

The game is looking pretty cool, looking at the assets and in conjunction with your ram issue topic I think I have some ideas on how to improve, I'll reply over there.

I also noticed that the binary provides still has the old home menu, which hints that you are using a rather old version of the library. i'd recommend you to update!

As for the game itself, daaaamn it's so hard to hit the arrows just right! Then again, I wasn't ever so good at rythm games, so maybe it's that? Maybe some easy mode or something would also be good?

Author :  archonik

Ouch, sorry! I just realised that I uploaded a super-old version of the binary. Dating back from March (!). I just updated the binary to the latest version, with all the features missing and hit detection improved. Thanks for pointing that out!

Feel free to redownload the binary now. it should be much better. :D

I also have a few ideas on how to improve the game memory-wise -- including changing the way some of the assets are loaded. And as for the notes, I will have them loaded dynamically chunk by chunk instead of all at the same time to guarantee that the game doesn't run out of memory, well, ever. :)

Author :  jicehel

I only post on this as i don't have test yet but these games seems beautiful. I'll post next when i'll have test them  ;)

Thanks for both. I hope you'll continue to have great ideas.

Author :  Sorunome

Heh, updated it and tried it!

I have to say, it is still pretty hard, however, practice will probably change that.

I am quite amazed as to how things can look like on this console when in fullres mode ^^

That being said, i would recommend to use gb.display.setFontSize(2); in fullres mode so that it is easier readable ^^

You might also want to look into config-gamebuino.h to be able to set some compiling settings and don't have to re-init as fullres indexed yourself

Author :  archonik

Yeah, the people who charted the songs have a lot of experience in rhythm games so they kind of overdone it in places. This said, you can press "left" on the d-pad to hit both simultaneous notes easier (they are quite hard to see right now, will change them to be more visible in the next update).
Also there are a few tracks that are much easier. I'll work on adding difficulty indicators in the future. Thanks for all the help!

Author :  Sorunome

Oh, also, i forgot to say, the song selection screen isn't rendering - at least in the binary you provided, i didn't try to self-compile. Like, it all works with using left/right and stuff, but nothing is shown on the screen

EDIT: it seems to happen if you exit a game and then pick a new one the title screens don't show

Author :  jicehel

I propose you a titlescreen and a icon for your package. If you don't have time to do better, it's a start but you seems to be an artist (a i saw in your game's pictures so you'll be able to do better as soon as you will have time to do it  ;) )

Author :  archonik

Thanks for the icons, I'll gladly use them for the game, they look great!

As for the song selection screen -- that's weird. I can't seem to reproduce that problem. If I were to guess, it's probably something to do with, perhaps, the file extensions not being recognised properly. I'll try to look into this closer.

Deleting the .GMV files from the music directory might help? I suppose, they shouldn't have been a part of the repo in the first place.

Author :  Sorunome

The issue may be memory fragmentation. I just noticed that you re-create the cover image in the showCover() function, which creates a large internal buffer. If you did stuff via gb.display.init() it'd prevent that fragmentation and thus allows the covers to always show

Author :  archonik

I'll rewrite it via gb.display.init() for the next version.

Thanks for the pointers!

Author :  JulienGio


First of all: Wow, very well made ?

Fixing the memory limit so you can complete a song will probably mean that you can get this game the Seal of Quality!

I too get the song selection screen bug btw

Author :  archonik

I'll do my best to have these issues fixed as soon as possible. Thank you for your input!

Author :  jicehel

Good news because if you fix the bugs, it's will be one amazing game (and the only one atm in this categoy). The music is good, gfx are good (except the already bug said before by others) but i like it ;)

Author :  Aurélien Rodot

We discovered it at the office this afternoon and love it ! It sounds fantastic, I'm impressed.

PS: we were being recorded by French TV News while discovering it, players incoming ! ?

Author :  archonik

That's great news! Glad you like it. I'm currently testing out a patch that works around the memory limit for the note highway so that songs can be unlimited length and not run out of memory. Should still be able to post it with a bunch of other fixes today! Thanks for all the positive comments!

Author :  archonik

Phew. After a LOT of trying to figure out some maths I finally managed to push v0.2 of the game. And it's a biggie!

  • fixed the color palette for the gameplay screen, it somehow got messed up in conversion
  • added preliminary support for unlimited song length Now song data is streamed to the game in chunks, meaning running out of memory should no longer be an option. This is still currently a bit glitchy (chunk loading is noticable and introduces visual glitches for a duration of a single frame), but at least songs can be played to completion now!
  • improved the gameplay experience by including a more visible chord indicator. Chords can be activated by pressing the left D-pad button.
  • memory optimizations for a better experience
  • fixed the cover art glitch

Thanks for all your great comments and ideas. I'll try to implement as many as I can as soon as I am happy with the core experience!

Author :  jicehel

Great, works fine  ;)

Author :  Nux

Great game! :)