“Beats, Advance Rhythm Game for Android” is a Google Android game/engine for playing user-generated stepfiles that follow the StepMania 3.9 .sm file format. Beats is written by University of Pennsylvania undergrads Philip Peng, Matthew Croop and Yui Suveepattananont (Team Notes). PennApps is an annual hackathon hosted by UPenn in which students compete/write a web/mobile app within a 48 hr (weekend) timespan.
Beats first started off as an entry to University of Pennsylvania’s PennApps 2010 programming competition/hackathon, during which teams were to write a web or mobile app within a 48hr (weekend) timespan. As “Team Notes”, Philip Peng (Keripo) worked on the game engine while Matthew Croop worked on the graphical interface and animations, and Yui Suveepattanont sorted out the menus and designed all the graphics. Everything was written/designed from scratch through reading through the online Google API, random code snippets posted on various blogs, and observation of StepMania 3.9 gameplay behaviour. The original alpha build was quite buggy and crashed often, but worked; the results could be seen in this video.
Keripo continued on the project, hunting down bugs and adding numerous more features until it was in an acceptable state for more public testing. With the help of a number of StepMania forum-goers and various other friends, the majority of bugs were ironed out and tons of new features added on based on recommendations. The resulting 1.0b can be seen in this video. During this time, Keripo was also fortunate to meet Eric Tse (Sashi) who graciously lent the webspace for this website (http://www.beatsiidx.com) and is our current webmaster.
Beats has gone a long way since its initial alpha build and will continue being developed in response to the feedback from Android users. As his first Android app, Keripo will continue working on Beats as a free, ad-supported game/application until he is familiar enough with Android programming to take on the task of starting on Beats’ future successor, tentatively named “Beats IIDX”. Beats IIDX will be a complete open-source rewrite/port of the actual StepMania 4.0/SVN engine, optimized of course for touch-screen Android phones. While Beats currently supports 1.5/Cupcake up to 2.2/Froyo and targetting 2.1/Eclair (since Keripo owns a Samsung Captivate), Beats IIDX will be targetting the upcoming 3.0/Gingerbread Android OS.
Beats 1.0a Features
– .sm files support
– synchronized audio
– landscape mode
– beat colours
– combo records
– scores/accuracy stats
– arrow speeds
– difficulty levels
– lots more coming!
A playable beta is currently being worked on and will be available in the near future via the Market for Eclair/2.1 phones (Froyo/2.2 support may come later). Screenshots of the current work can be found here.
Vote for us at PennApps 2010 website: http://www.pennapps.com/vote/
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