Try it out at https://pianosu.netlify.app/
Pitch: A web-based virtual instrument AND rhythm game
People can spend hundreds of hours playing rhythm games. Let's turn that into something that creates music too!
- Teach people how to play music, directly from the browser
- As you get better, you start competing for fun!
- Compose songs in-app, and publish for others to play
- Upload a Youtube URL to get a background track
- Export to piano sheet music as well
- Import from staff notation
- Easily share and upload recordings, integrate with Youtube/Twitch
- Playable on mobile too?
- Play collaboratively with friends, like being in a band???
- Also: self collab, harmonize/layering
1. Virtual Piano
Pretty cool way of playing piano online, on a QWERTY keyboard.
- Purely online, no install needed
- Really easy to get started
- Ties into existing muscle memory (QWERTY typing)
- Crowdsourced? sheet music
- Ability to record songs
- Some gamified features (leaderboard, ranking)
- Doesn't show how to play the tempo!
- Maybe because they couldn't solve the latency problem online?
- Music seems to be locked to quarter-notes
- Tutorial for new players
- Keyboard shortcuts for restarting
- Also: going one bar back
- Easier/harder versions of the same song (like Osu)
- Collaborative playing
- Mobile playing
2. osu and osu!mania
The most popular rhythm game in the world, with various game modes including the keyboard-based osu!mania.
Demo: Playing this osu!mania map just feels like playing piano:
- Killer execution, the game just feels fun
- Super low latency
- Great VFX and SFX
- Great community around the game
- Community creates beatmaps, but also reviews songs, uploads themes, fanart
- Excellent gamified features (obviously)
- Scores that correlate to how well you played
- Replays recorded automatically
- Leaderboard (mostly you compete against yourself)
- Social chat
- Just a rhythm game, not an instrument
- "Games" need to be difficult, but instruments should be easy
- "Games" don't produce anything long-term
- Scoring is more about keeping up combo than playing well
- Might be better in osu!mania
- Not that fun to watch streams because the streamer can't talk while playing
- Not sure how to solve. Maybe would be fun to watch mapping
- Mobile play (for now)
- Audience skews young, J-pop
- Steep learning curve
3. Friday Night Funkin
Web-based DDR clone with a great story and teaching mechanism.
- Plays through the song once so you know what to expect. Nice for newbies!
- Osu instead uses repeated playthroughs/existing music/sight reading
- Great resonance: You're repeating it back because it's a RAP BATTLE
- Also, you get to take breaks (improvement over osu)
- Also, the song feels collaborative, like singing in rounds
- Great visuals: Pretty, retro, but also a lot of skins
- Great audio: This one is maybe needed for rhythm games
- Great feedback
- It feels like each avatar is actually singing the notes
- Combos, Sick/Good/Bad instant feedback
- Easy/Normal/Hard difficulty and progress through 3 stages
- Awkward ergonomics
- Slow initial load (cuz Haxe, I guess)
- No level editor or beatmap submission ⇒ no user generated content
Risk #1: Unlike most web apps, music is highly sensitive to latency, so scoring accurately may be hard
- Especially worse with eg bluetooth latency,
Alternative: Instead of building on web, use osu's open source C# framework
- Pros: Super powerful, lots of latency problems solved, leverage osu community
- Cons: Have to learn C# and a new framework, not web-native, less creative control
MVP to derisk #1: Reimplement an online piano-like keyboard with a scrolling song (maybe just copy Virtual Piano to see how hard it'd be)
- Hopefully buildable in a day or two
- Try starting on Phaser: http://phaser.io/examples/v3/view/input/multitouch/multi-touch-test
- Phaser 3 or 4? 4 isn't out yet, so I guess 3.
- Alternatives considered: Pixi
Risk #2: The fun parts of a rhythm game may not map well to creating music with a virtual instrument?
MVP to derisk #2: Hm, just try building it and see?