"Bardcore! is a two-player, top-down, rhythm-action game. The titular bards use their music to defeat hordes of angry goblins,
in hopes of saving the kingdom (or at least their own necks). Designed to create a unique cooperative experience, players use the rhythm of the music to coordinate their attacks." (Source)
Bardcore! is the IMGD thesis project of designer James Hughes. My role as composer for this game was to help create an interactive music system that would allow players to trade off pieces of music with their attacks to form a larger composition. Working together with James and the programmer, Thomas Lu, we designed a tempo based attack mechanic that allowed players to create the music with their participation in the game.
The challenges of creating music for this type of system mainly centered around having some aspect of flexibility within the groove of the music and the melodic parts the players were triggering. I circumnavigated this issue by creating various looping drum tracks with no clear indication of meter along with individual player attack pieces of music that could be played at any point in the drum loop. During the actual writing of the song, I took advantage of traditional behaviors within music such as call and response and recognizable chord patterns, to create clear signals of when players should attack.
Bardcore! is a WIP game.
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