Play as Max the Sax and keep your solo alive for as long as you can against an unending barrage of trumpets in a cutthroat underground jazz club.
This is the first full game I've made in PICO-8, and really my first completed game period. It's an arcade game that procedurally generates music based on how you play. There's a blues mode and a bebop mode (bebop mode let's you play faster but it's also more difficult). High scores and unlocks are saved if you download the cartridge. Instructions are in game!
Also for anyone interested, the source code with version history is up on my github page here.
Edit: the music desyncs really badly on the web player, so I'd recommend downloading the cartridge to play it!
Thanks for the feedback! Holding down the button is intentional, it's equivalent to "blowing" into the horn. The notes only come out with the beat (plus on swing eighths), so tapping can cause you to miss notes if you're not on the beat. Holding uses up breath faster though, so there are some tradeoffs.
I may clarify the instructions to make it more clear that it's supposed to be "hold x to play notes".
this is amazing!
i love the jazz humor (i am a big fan of jazz)
i am just blown away at how cool of an idea this is
the people in the background are great
lady bassist yesss
this has to be the most accurate digital simulation of being an underground jazz saxophonist ever created
Synth_dfr: the notes are randomly selected from the scale, but they're biased towards either chord tones or passing tones, with a slight penalty for any big jumps. The biasing happens for a few different cases. For example, anything on the beat gets a larger bias towards a chord tone, triplets get more bias for passing tones, and pickup notes are uniformly random. That's about as far as I got. Anything beyond linking to the previous note gets a bit tricky since you don't know when the player is going to stop, but I'm open to ideas!
kittenm4ster: the bassist is my favorite! If you look closely, she moves her hand up and down the strings with the flow of the bassline.
This game brings me so much joy and it is my favorite Pico 8 cart yet for so many reasons. I'm thankful for your brain and the delight that you have created with it. I've been playing it for 15 minutes straight just cracking up and taking it all in.
Thank you for this awesome game example! This was my first Pico-8 game I played after buying it and i was literally laughing out loud with delight when I realized what was going on. Great job! I love the music programming (very inspiring) and the animations are nice too.
I have begun working on a music game myself, but i'm getting stuck on the sound sync issue. i'm trying to do rhythm matching and its got to match the beat!
gcentauri: it's always nice to see more music games! I found that syncing sound can be pretty unforgiving in Pico-8. In my case the gameplay causes the sounds and so the player doesn't have to perform any inputs with the rhythm. I got kind of lucky because if the sound comes out a bit late then the sax player is just playing laid-back blues or bebop :)
The best I could do to resync the music was to break the song up into small pieces and call each piece based on a counter in the update loop. I'm not sure it'd be enough for matching input to the rhythm. I remember a few carts that read the memory to find out what sounds are currently playing, which might be the key to really accurate sound syncing.
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