Hey everyone! I’m Blake Gross, co-founder and technical director at DB Creations, a VR game studio in Bellevue, Washington. We’re super excited to announce that our game, Rhythm ‘n Bullets, is coming to PlayStation VR very soon.
In the game, you will travel across the virtual zone and defend the core by guiding a pair of starfighters through multiple modes of shoot ’em up action. Enemies fly in from all sides, diving towards the core in time with the music. Time your shots to the beat for maximum effect, and grab awesome power-ups to clear each stage. Keep the core safe from danger in the multi-level campaign, and then try to top the leaderboards in endless mode, where the enemies never stop! If you just want to jive to the music, hop into relax mode and practice your skills on any of the levels – spawn any enemies you want and change the beat to fit the mood.
Rhythm ‘n Bullets is inspired by classic retro shooters with its wireframe aesthetic, bullet color change mechanic, and music infused gameplay. We wanted to recapture the magic of those arcade games that many of us played when we were younger, while making an awesome and immersive experience for the latest generation of VR technology. Rhythm ‘n Bullets takes those classic ideas and makes them fresh and new all over again by putting you right at the center of the arcade action.
The music was composed in-house by Jesse Holt, our amazing composer and audio director. The soundtrack, like the gameplay, blends the classic with the new, infusing retro motifs with modern electronic music. Each level has a custom track composed for the environment – we built the levels and the soundtrack hand in hand, so that they would blend together harmoniously. The levels also react to the music as you progress in them – a spectrogram guides your path in the Japanese Garden, constellations light the sky to prominent notes in the Galaxy Zone, and the whole world pulses to the beat in Tech City. The music blends into the gameplay, reflecting how well you play – as your combo multiplier increases, the music builds to match it. When you’re playing your best, you’ll feel maximum presence as the music, environment, and gameplay all seamlessly blend and draw you into the action.
For the PS VR release, we’ve added a bunch of awesome enhancements to the game, ensuring this truly is the definitive Rhythm ‘n Bullets experience.
Firstly, we added a new challenge system that rewards you for exploring all the game has to offer. We wanted to ensure that anyone who plays the game gets rewarded, while also giving completionists even more things to hunt down (besides that top slot on the leaderboards). From campaign clears to endless mode runs, there’s something for everyone to chase and complete. And what do you get for finishing these challenging new objectives? Ships skins! These skins allow you to customize how your ships look when you play, across any mode. Each one is a brand new look that really stands out, with a unique paint job and color scheme. Collect them all, if you can.
We also made big improvements to the music generation system, which dynamically adjusts the sound effects that are played based on the music. Our generative notes now better match the track playing in the level, which greatly enhances the audio experience on each and every level.
This release also includes full localization for French, Italian, German, and Spanish, so more of our friends around the world can play.
Finally, we added a brand new level theme Retro, which includes brand new music and an abstract environment that feels straight from the 2000s era of gaming. The Retro theme is inspired by classic games from our lives, and is designed as a nostalgic trip back into the games we loved in the past. With a rockin’ chiptune inspired soundtrack, we thought there was no better way to make this the true definitive version of the game.
We’re so excited to be bringing the awesome retro arcade action of Rhythm ‘n Bullets to PlayStation, and can’t wait to see you all climbing the leaderboards this July.
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