One Button Game – Zhen Geng & Ziyun Peng

We’re making a runner music game where the player hits objects to trigger musical sounds. The cool part of the runner game is that it’s very time based as music is essentially the art of time. The platform is moving according to the tempo of the composed music, objects are placed at musical beats.

It has 3 states:



Power Jump (you can only hit musical objects in this mode)

Download [here].

  1. When you press “space” a second time while you’re in “jump,” do you stay in power mode as long as you hold “space”? I feel that you should only be able to become power mode the moment you press “space” to be more of a rhythm/time game.
    For example, you jump up, and when you’re right about to hit the enemy, you press “space,” which kills the enemy, and maybe gives you an extra jump from where you hit the enemy.
    This mechanic would work well if there was a way to determine how close the player was when they hit “space” near an enemy and give points or a notification (by color or text). Like in Paper Mario, how the player can press A at the right time to do more damage etc (
    This is a one button game, so because the Player can only “jump” or “power mode” and not decide when to move forward, a long game of this could possibly be an addictive “high score rhythm game” or a level by level puzzle game. You could introduce the idea of being able to reach higher platforms or lower platforms by jumping up on multiple enemies to go above, or falling down to go below. And I think you’re doing this, but have the enemies make different instrumental sounds when they get hit.
    I like the line in the middle that vibrates when the player jumps (is it actually a visualizer for the bass kick?), and the black and white minimal design is nice, but maybe having a mode (like, after killing a number of enemies in a row, or getting an item) where the visuals go CRAZY and have vibrant colors and background elements and other cool stuff (but still in the style of the minimal design) would be nice. Of course, this “mode” would have to give the player bonus points or something while in it.
    Again, check out other music-themed games! Paolo already showed this but look at it again (
    Bit Trip Runner is a game that you can’t win without listening to the music (well, kind of). It also starts as a one button game (to jump):
    Geometry Dash is a one button rhythm platformer, heavily based on the impossible game but more into the “beat”:
    I’m definitely not saying to copy the way these games work, but it’s important to see what people have done. Keep up the good work!

  2. I really like the look and feel of this game. I think the visuals work well with the sound. I am a little curious as to how the power mode will work, but it seems like an interesting idea. I can’t remember if this was explained in class, but does power mode only allow you to hit the square-outlined boxes? I think it would be potentially interesting if there was another mechanic involved, such as hovering a short distance when you enter power mode, or falling slower when in power mode, or something like that.

    Another idea would be to give the player an option of what mode to be in when hitting the outlined boxes. So, there is one outline to hit, and you get to choose what mode to be in when you hit it. For example, being in circle mode when you hit an outline shoots you higher into the air, while being in power mode shoots you forwards. Overall, I like what you have now.

  3. I think this game has a lot of potential. I would like for the wave that moves when the player jumps to be somehow related to the bass sound that plays. It would be neat for it to be a representation of the actual waveform. Also, the idea of having the levels be influenced by a midi music file is cool. It would be even cooler if it were multiplayer and another player could use a midi instrument input to change the layout and contents of the level. Of course if you were to incorporate that, it would no longer be a single button game, but I think it is interesting to consider.

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