AmaDeus Ex Mashina

Hey guys!

I want to share my very first development experiments with the Playdate console. Usually, when I start learning a new game engine or SDK, I create a Pong game to grasp the basics of controls, collision systems, and more. For me, Pong is like a "hello world" for game developers.

But instead of making just another Pong game (which can be a bit boring), I decided to mix it with the Musikalisches Würfelspiel, or "Musical Dice Game." This game is attributed to Mozart, and the core concept is that a musical composition is divided into 16 parts, each with 11 variations. Players roll two dice 16 times, and the resulting numbers (ranging from 2 to 12) determine which variation the musician should play for each part. It's essentially a random music generator from the 18th century! So, what happens when classical music meets classic Pong?

The idea is simple: I replaced the dice with a paddle. Each time the paddle collides with the ball, it triggers an audio sample, with the variation defined by the Y-position of the paddle. Additionally, each audio part lasts exactly one second, so the ball's speed is adjusted based on its trajectory to ensure an uninterrupted audio experience.


The game focuses more on the flow rather than score challenges. To add some drama, each time you complete the composition, random elements such as texts, poems, and annoying messages appear on the screen. These distractions symbolize spontaneous thoughts that arise during routine tasks. I aim to create an absurdist scroll feed controlled with a crank, challenging players to keep the paddle in the right position while managing these distractions.


The only thing I'm currently unsure about is using Mozart. Hearing the C-major scale repeatedly can be a bit grating, despite the many variations. "Canto Ostinato" by Simeon ten Holt might work better, as it offers a different kind of repetitive yet harmonious experience.


Cool idea! I like the smooth ball trails. What irritated me at first is that the player paddle is on the left – I would have expected it on the right, near the crank that controls it.

Thank you! For a smooth tail effect, I simply translated Unity's Vector3.SmoothDamp method implementation to lua. Surprisingly, it works well for an array of images with up to 30-35 items.

The right paddle is always a bot for now, maybe I will add an option to choose the side, or maybe convert the bot-paddle into something else (just a wall maybe?)

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