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Dylan Blanko

Roguelike deckbuilder about rap battles, what could go wrong?

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Hi everybody and thank you for having me here with you guys.

This is my first post, hopefully in the right section :)

I want to create a roguelike / deckbuilding game a la Slay the Spire (and Dicey Dungeons), but with real time and music games combat elements.

This is the first draft of the idea: (bare with my non native level of English)


It will be a game about Hip Hop, specifically for now I’m thinking about Rap Battles.


The player will be a rapper, and instead of cards/weapons he will have rhymes. He will gain more "rhyme capacity" leveling up with experience, more slots to play them, and more unique rhymes (like weapons/bullets) by performing cool activities like hanging out with his homies or listening to old records and such.

I am also thinking about making other classes, one for every discipline of Hip Hop namely:

The DJ
The B-Boy
The Writer

Every of those guys / classes being probably the equivalent of a "character" in the actual roguelike game.

Battles will play out with a mixed turn based and real time mechanic. Much like a rhythm game, with every turn being the beats of the "2 bars” (or 4, or 60 seconds), like in rap contests. Durning your 2 bars, you’ll have your slots (based on your Flow stat) and you will be allowed to place your rhymes (bullets) in those slots in real time. You will be then valued at the end of the “combat”, based on time precision, power of the rhymes (they will sum into the total “damage” of the line, plus bonuses for the punchline), and of course all the possible synergies and modifiers that may occur

The rhymes/card system will be a simplified version of rapping, with various types / colours, defensive and offensive and punchlines combos.

I’m thinking about a fixed combat area on which the player can also move freely with the arrows, “attacking” the enemy facing towards him, or maybe even “pumping” the audience by pointing his energy towards the people around him / under the stage.

A simple exploration area, with bonuses to choose and collect (maybe some minigames). Here I could implement some cultural elements / jokes, maybe items like the “dry herb vaporizer” or the “green cig”, the latter having a heavier burden on your Lungs stat, which allows you to spit more rhymebullets, and of course both temporarily promoting your Creativity stat (incremented pool of rhymes? or other effects).

This is what's been going on in my mind so far.

 

Please let me know anything constructive, thoughts, suggestions, similar games, book recommendations, podcasts, other resources... Just throw it at me, and I will make good use of it :)

Thanks

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I would be wary of a game that promotes drug use so hard, apart from other troublesome rap music subculture stereotypes.Setting aside the theme, I think that if words are so important you should show them, with readable logs of the character's song and of the whole show, rap battle, etc. without inappropriate abstractions like "bullets" and colors. I suppose "slots" in the performance in progress can be filled by clicking or dragging boxes containing lines and verses.

Edited by LorenzoGatti

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10 hours ago, Dylan Blanko said:

Did I really give out this impression?

I'm afraid you should examine your game concept with a more critical attitude.

Quote

Here I could implement some cultural elements / jokes, maybe items like the “dry herb vaporizer” or the “green cig”, the latter having a heavier burden on your Lungs stat, which allows you to spit more rhymebullets, and of course both temporarily promoting your Creativity stat (incremented pool of rhymes? or other effects).

This is explicitly roleplaying drug use and acquisition, with the insult of presenting it as normal and realistic added to the injury of rewarding it with a major in-game strategic advantage, Such a game would teach that weed is the natural fuel of creativity, and represent rappers as a bunch of drug addicts.

I can see how you could regard this kind of game element as a joke, but it's a very tasteless one.

Edited by LorenzoGatti

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1 hour ago, LorenzoGatti said:

I'm afraid you should examine your game concept with a more critical attitude.

This is explicitly roleplaying drug use and acquisition, with the insult of presenting it as normal and realistic added to the injury of rewarding it with a major in-game strategic advantage, Such a game would teach that weed is the natural fuel of creativity, and represent rappers as a bunch of drug addicts.

I can see how you could regard this kind of game element as a joke, but it's a very tasteless one.

To each his own I guess, but personally I get rather tired of the idea that games have to be socially acceptable and considered 'good taste' by some majority. For me, shooting someone in the head with an AR-15 is equally offensive, must we ban those games too? Stomping on a defenseless turtle, is that acceptable? It's a sliding slope and if we keep succumbing to everyone's personal grievances we end up with diluted games that appeal to nobody.

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4 hours ago, LorenzoGatti said:

This is explicitly roleplaying drug use and acquisition, with the insult of presenting it as normal and realistic added to the injury of rewarding it with a major in-game strategic advantage, Such a game would teach that weed is the natural fuel of creativity, and represent rappers as a bunch of drug addicts.

I can see how you could regard this kind of game element as a joke, but it's a very tasteless one.

You know what? I'll corrupt Pegi as the NBA 2k20 guys did, then.

 

On a more grounded note... Of course rhymes will have words representing them, but still I have to simplify for the sake of playability (I cannot give out all the words in the world, even though I could technically use a "procedurally generated" system for words, that would be interesting). I was thinking about using blurried sounds and a made up alphabet.

Maybe I didn't specify this, but I want to give the game a very arcade-y feeling, so definitely nothing like GTA or similar. I'm thinking something more like Golf Story, just to give the idea.

Funny story: I wanted to make the combat system with every word category assigned to a button, and this is extremely similar to the latest Town game by GameFreak, that was presented yesterday on the Nintendo Direct, in which you fight using "ideas". Mind reading is real :D

Edited by Dylan Blanko

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Interesting concept, that could be pretty cool if you can execute it well!  The rap battle seems to be the core mechanic of the game, I would probably try to prototype that and see if you can "find the fun" before sinking effort into supporting mechanics like leveling up by hanging with buddies, etc.

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To stay on topic, I think rap culture - as widespread as it is - lends itself quite well for a current-day RPG. It has a very distinct set of behaviours and particularities with which you could make great stories. This doesn't even necessarily have to include drugs or illegal activity (however this would probably be expected).

One thing that's always important is that you have a solid grasp of the subject yourself, or have people involved that actually know the scene. Your audience will be hardcore and easily know when you're bullshitting. Little hints of inside information and other references to actual events will help grounding your game. BTW San Andreas did a magnificent job on this.

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4 minutes ago, jbadams said:

Interesting concept, that could be pretty cool if you can execute it well!

Thanks!

 

4 minutes ago, jbadams said:

I would probably try to prototype that

Great idea! Any suggestions about it? I'm thinking of making another simpler game just to try out the various mechanics and gain skills

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7 minutes ago, Dylan Blanko said:

Any suggestions about it?

I would do it as a physical card game.  Get some blank index cards and a sharpie to make cards, and some big sheets of paper you can draw on to make a play mat, and try it out.  With this setup you can create or edit cards on the fly, add or remove featured from the play mat, etc. and very quickly try out different ideas.

If you can find the fun of your core mechanic with simple index cards, you know it's definitely worth the time and effort to create your real game with fancy artwork, etc.

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