Firebolt is based on Harry Potter and uses the framework of an endless runner game except that in this case the game goes on only till the end of the song. Instead of a runner, the player manipulates the position of Harry’s broom as he flies along the path by avoiding the obstacle pillars. The piano notes are mapped to the score, so as a new coin is collected, a note is played chronologically till the entire song plays out.
Classroom Project developed for Playful Prototypes at ParsonsProject Duration: 1 week (Feb 2022)
Developed using Unity
Credit: This game is inspired by The Wizarding World of Harry Potte, based on the novels by J.K. Rowling. Fonts were downloaded from dafonts.com and material textures were sourced from the Unity Asset Store.
I had a couple of ideas related to music and dance but none of them seemed to click. Some of them were:
- Inspired by the Beatles cover, the white lines of the zebra crossing could be manipulated like keyboard keys as a person tried to cross the road and avoid vehicles.
- Using Indian classical dance and music (thaalams meaning beats) to control a puppet or dancer.
- Visualizing a sound wave as a mountain range that a player has to move along.
The player dies and the game restarts in two scenarios: player collides with an obstacle, and if the player goes off-path. With the large number of coins getting spawned on the path, the biggest constraint is collecting or colliding with a coin at a particular instant, keeping in mind the pace of the song. So the player cannot simply collide with a bunch of coins to increase the score and must be strategic about this.
This meant I needed to pick a popular song so people would be familiar with its tempo. This worked well in my case since I made a Harry Potter themed game (What could be more famous?). The song that plays out in Firebolt is Hedwig’s Theme, one of the most recognisable musical themes in probably all of cinematic history. It was composed by John a Williams for the film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I named the game after Harry’s broom.
I played the different notes using the Classical Piano on GarageBand and exported them into Unity. It was fun making my own audio assets!
What I liked about this prototype is that it can work for any instrumental/ theme song. I’m thinking about making a Game of Thrones game with this same structure with a White Walker marching on ice while avoiding flying shards of dragonglass, all while playing the notes of The Long Night by Ramin Djawadi (one of my all time favourites).