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Designing the Basics of the Beat

Hello, everyone! I'm the Lead Programmer for Project Pulse, Alexander Croom. This means that I work with all other teams to integrate the work we do into the project, making it playable and interactive (although we all do a little bit of everything).

When designing Project Pulse, we knew already that we were creating a rhythm game, and the rhythm was going to need to feel right or everything else was ultimately going to feel wrong. Knowing that this rhythm system was essentially a core part of our gameplay, getting it right was a priority. Funnily enough, this took quite a bit of trial and error, and even changed further on into the project.

The most important part of developing this system was ensuring that the player could consistently hit the attack or dash buttons on the beat. Even if you aren't the best at keeping time in music, games need to be forgiving and allow the majority of players to at least have a shot at playing the game the way it was intended to be played. To remedy this issue, we created a "beat deadzone".

The beat deadzone is essentially a time before and after the beat when the player can successfully hit the attack button and be considered as "on-beat". This allowed us to adjust and tweak when the player could hit the beat successfully, and how easy it was to do so. Essentially, we're just trying to make sure the game doesn't outplay the player!

- Alexander "Hawkins" Croom

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