Published: April 18, 2023
Despite not having a lot of time/energy to throw around this month, I somehow managed to finish working on level 5-5, tentatively titled "Brilliant Boulevard":
As is usual with the last level in each world, there are no new mechanics here, so it's just combining everything from the previous levels and amping up the difficulty. The tempo is significantly faster than the slower-paced level 5-4, which makes the chart a lot more dense in terms of inputs.
For visuals, I experimented somewhat aimlessly with different shapes until I settled on this sort of "spiked" design, mirroring the top and bottom so it kind of feels like stalactites and stalagmites. It's reminiscent of the design from level 5-1, just with different shapes. Again my lack of visual "complexity" is showing here with the simplistic shapes -- the visual detail really lies in the layering (translucency!) and parallax scrolling.
I also experimented with having syncopated / offbeat spike enemies in the tail end of this level (so far they've only been on downbeats). Normally this is a little hard to read, but adding the green enemies actually makes it fine since it gives you a static marker to read the rhythm (even if the spike enemies were invisible you could still play this section fine):
This is one of those curious instances where adding additional obstacles (having green enemies, instead of just rolling spike enemies) actually makes the chart easier, not harder. There are many types of possible difficulty in Rhythm Quest charting ("random" notes that lack patterns would be incredibly awkward and difficult to read), but I'm following rather specific charting philosophies in order to feature difficulty in the "right" ways -- at least, for the main campaign.
That wraps up the entirety of world 5, which means next up I'll have to find some sort of musical and visual identity for world 6, where I'm supposed to introduce triplet-based speed zones!
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