UBUQ: Guitar Hero meets RPG

Posted by
August 28th, 2016 11:15 am

We are The Barberians Game Studio composed by Jose Barberà and me, Toni Barberà, working together with Pablo Martín as composer and Alfonso Miguel Sánchez into the #GameBossJAM event, located in Zaragoza (Spain). More info at:


Still working on gameplay mechanic, buy I’d like to explain you our game concept. Of course, a lot of things are thought, but only few of them will be finished.

Main concept
“Ubuq” is a 2D action video game in pseudo-aerial view (side). The music is the main driver for the combat system, similar to Guitar Hero style, and it has few components of Shoot’Em Up and RPG.

The ancient civilization of Ubuq already used advanced technology from 6.000 years ago, and nowadays they evolved until dominate the world. In order to try change that situation, the rebel group Glitch has sent a time traveler to the past. His name is Swap and he uses a timeless music machine, by which he can control the sounds of the future in order to neutralize the ancient technology and so disassemble the Ubuq civilization.

Game target
The player moves the main character inside a limited plane map, into which there are some enemies moving and attacking, by melee or/and ranged. The game target is to kill the boss of the map. Along the map exploration, the player neutralizes enemies and collects loot, which can be money, healing or “musical samples”. They are special devices to improve the attack power.

Combat mechanic
The “attack” consists into play a musical build-up, i.e. music fragment of limited duration, at which the intensity, tone and then number of composition channels are increasing. To do that, the player uses the following gameplay mechanic:

  • An infinite and cyclic rhythmic base is sounding continuously, without any stop. It is ancient/tribal style.
  • The player holds down the “trigger” button to show the “playing guide”. This guide shows the correct order and timing for the buttons to be pressed by the player.
  • If he presses correctly that buttons string the build-up sounds right and a “potential damage accumulator” is increased. That damage is released against the enemy when the player release the trigger button or when he finish correctly the full build-up.
  • Otherwise, if the player fails only one button timing, the build-up is cancelled and the accumulated potential damage is lost. However, the rhythmic base continues sounding.
  • The playing guide also shows a circular impact area, centered on the main character position. It means, when the accumulated potential damage is released, all enemies inside the area receive that damage.


  • Melee standard: attack is melee type; poor damage power and resistance. When they are neutralized, their loot only can be money or health.
  • Ranged standard: the only difference from melee standard is the attack type.
  • Badass: they are bigger than standard enemies, and their damage power and resistance are higher. When they are neutralized, their loot can be money, healing and a new “musical sample”. It is a special device that unlocks a new channel for the build-up, unless it already is at maximum level.
  • Boss: it is the biggest enemy of the map. When it is neutralized, the game is completed.

Gameplay dynamic
At the beginning of the gameplay, the build-up is simple and it only has with 1 o 2 channels and poor musical content. The maximum potential damage is low.
The game target is to defeat the boss, but it is too much powerful. For this reason the played must explore the map, look for badass enemies. The special loot they drop will upgrade the build-up.

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