Rhyse McLean – Final Project – Phase Diver

For my final project, I made a bullet-hell game called Phase Diver, inspired by the Touhou bullet-hell games. In this game, you start off as a blue spaceship at phase 0. As you shoot and kill enemies on the screen, your phase goes up. What this means is your ship changes color, gets stronger, more enemies start to appear, and your score multiplier goes up. So it’s mostly a good thing, if you can dodge all the enemies. Once you reach phase 4, you have the option to Phase Dive!!!. This causes you to fly through hyperspace while your phase meter slowly decreases back down to zero. The purple enemies that show up will also decrease your phase meter if they hit you. However, you can collect the P-blocks that show up to try and keep your phase meter from reaching zero for as long as possible. While Phase Diving!!!, your score multiplier is tripled and you earn more points than ever.

I was originally planning on having a boss fight instead of a Phase Dive!!!, but the boss sprite wasn’t working, and making it shoot back was a hassle. Plus, I think Phase Diving!!! is cooler (also, every time I say Phase Dive!!! I get to bold the word Phase Dive!!!.)

Here’s some early Phase Diver concept art:

A screenshot of the final product (Phase Diver):

Game (In case you forgot the name, it’s Phase Diver):

For some reason, the captions in CamStudio didn’t copy over.

Rhyse McLean – Looking Outwards-11

The first project that is similar to my project is the classic video game Space Invaders. It was made by Taito Corporation and released in 1978. Although technology was limited ~40 years ago, Taito managed to make a video game that is remembered (and even remade) to this day. The similarities between Space Invaders and my final project are pretty apparent. In Space Invaders, you are a lone spaceship whose job it is to shoot and kill the aliens falling from the top of the screen. If you are shot, or if the aliens make it to the bottom row where you are, you lose. This is also the core concept of my final project; shoot to kill and earn points.

Here’s some Space Invaders gameplay:

The second project similar to my own is known as the Touhou Project, a series of top-down Japanese bullet-hell shooter games made by a single developer known as ZUN. A bullet-hell is a type of shooting game where the player is expected, or rather, forced to dodge a vast amount of projectiles with a small margin for error. What I really admire about this project is that all of the graphics, music, and most of the programming was done entirely by ZUN, whereas most games nowadays are made by big development companies. Touhou itself is notorious for having extremely catchy music, to the point where there are music bands in Japan that make a living from covering the game’s music in a multitude of styles. My final project is a lot like the games in the Touhou series. The whole concept of shooting enemies and collecting their drops in order to power yourself up is one of the main staples of the Touhou series. The other is how notoriously challenging the games tend to be, what with the screen being literally FILLED with bullets at times.

And here’s somebody (inhumanly) playing a level in Touhou 11:

Both Space Invaders and Touhou are top down arcade-style shooters. I really admire how simple the graphics and concepts of the game are, yet how complex and challenging the gameplay can be. My goal with this final project is to make a functioning, and somewhat challenging bullet-hell shooter that people will enjoy playing.

Rhyse McLean – Final Project Proposal

For my final project, I would like to make a Touhou-style bullet-hell game. I’ve provided a sketch of what I envision the game screen to look like. The player controls a triangular spaceship. This spaceship can fly anywhere in the bolded box that is the game-area. By holding a key (most likely “Z”), the spaceship shoots out bullets. From the top of the screen, enemies (square shapes) come down and attempt to kill the player. They do this by either running straight into the spaceship, or by shooting their own bullets towards the player. Since this is a bullet-hell game, expect a lot of bullets to be on the screen at once. Lose all lives and it’s game over.

To the right of the game-area is the HUD (Heads-Up Display). This area displays the score. Players earn points by destroying enemy ships and collecting blocks (explained later). The amount of lives the player has is also shown. The Phase meter describes your spaceship’s current phase. As you collect Phase blocks, this meter slowly fills up. When you go up a phase, you shoot out more bullets and the game/music becomes more energetic (i.e. faster), Phase 3 being the highest you can go.

If an enemy or its bullet hits the player ship, the player loses a life. However, when the player destroys an enemy ship, the enemy explodes into a mass of Phase and Score blocks. Phase blocks (Red with the letter P on them) increase your ships phase and Score blocks (Green with nothing written on them) just add more points to your score.


Looking Outwards 10 – Manami Matsumae

Manami Matsumae is a Japanese video game music composer for Capcom. She has worked on the soundtracks for quite few classic video games. The one I want to talk about is Mega Man. Mega Man is known for having (probably) the best 8-bit NES music ever. I’ve linked a video to Air Man’s theme, one of the most memorable (and catchy) tunes from Mega Man II. She has also composed for other games such as Shovel Knight and the upcoming Mighty No. 9. I really like her composing style since she seems to capture the atmosphere of whatever level she’s composing for with such a limited range of sounds to choose from. She is currently working on her first solo album, which will most likely contain some original 8-bit compositions.

Rhyse McLean – Project 09 – Geometric Serendipity

The name of this program is inspired by the fact that everything you see here happened by accident. My original plan was to have 99 turtles (33 red, 33 blue, 33 green) who all scurried around the canvas, being attracted to similar colors. There was supposed to be one larger, white turtle that would meander around the canvas randomly, repelling any turtles it got close to. However, between the turtles not cooperating and the physics not working out, I ended up with this.

Basically, all of the turtles are attracted to the mouse. However, the interesting part is their left turning. It’s governed by the seconds, becoming more and more hectic as the minute goes on. At the end of every minute, the shapes reset and start drawing again. No matter where the mouse is, you can always make out distinct geometrical shapes (squares, hexagons, pentagons, etc.) If the canvas gets too messy, click inside to clear everything.


Rhyse McLean – Looking Outwards 08

For this Looking Outwards, I decided to look at Josh’s Looking Outwards 01 post. He reported on Incredibox, an online music sequencer made by “So Far So Good Studios, a trio of French multimedia artists. Incredibox uses pre recorded voice samples and plays them in time in order to make unique music samples. The cool thing about Incredibox is that no matter when you add the samples or when you click play, they will always play in time with each other. And like Josh said, the sounds really are individualistic. Though there are only a set number of samples available for use, it isn’t hard to try out new combinations and end up with completely different music as a result.

You can check out Incredibox here
And check out Josh’s blog post as well:

Rhyse McLean – Project-07-Landscape

So technically, this is more of a Seascape than a Landscape, but who cares about technicalities. I started this program by making a blank Canvas and coloring it blue. I then added an array of 100 bubble objects that looped across the entire canvas diagonally. Using some of the sample code provided to us, I made the generative sandy landscape at the bottom. Then I made objects to represent the 3 Tuna, 7 Minnows, and 8 rejected laffy taffy pieces Coral and gave them all specific move functions to create the illusion of movement through the watery depths. The Minnows are smaller and faster than the Tuna, and they both (including the Coral) loop back to the beginning of the canvas. Finally, the best part of this program is what happens when you click inside of the canvas (yum yum).

(Note: the fish have found the cure to world hunger, so they’ll never actually eat the food.)


Rhyse McLean – LookingOutwards-05

Carolina is an Android application created by Jono Brandel. It was made in collaboration with Kimbra’s new album release, The Golden Echo. This application creates a visual landscape that draws itself as the music plays. The various information of the song (vocals, guitars, bass, etc.) are represented by shapes that appear on screen with their musical cues, i.e. to the beat of the music. For example, the drums can be represented by green squares while the vocals may be snowflakes. The program is designed to look like you’re moving through a landscape that is created while the music plays.
This program is really cool to me because i’m a huge fan of rhythm games and applications.