I'm currently making a theme for StepMania, a popular Dance Dance Revolution emulator. It will be PW!-themed.
I already have a few graphics set up. Click here to check out some screenshots. (That reminds me. Amber, I'd like your permission to use one of your old Amber pictures in that caution screen, and maybe the Music Scroll screen.)
I could use some extra help on graphics. Anyone who wishes to make some art for this IM me (Azure Haights) and I'll tell you what kind of pictures I need. If anyone's good with 3D modelling, especially Milkshape 3D, talk with me. You might be able to help me get some characters into the game.
I would also like an announcer sound pack to go with this theme. Originally, I was going to ask Rob to do it, since he does so many PW sounds already. Then I was going to try it myself. Then I discussed it with Dreadite, and he said "we all should" do it.
Unfortunately, we don't all have microphones. So instead, I propose this -- we come up with the announcer-isms now, and later on, we see who (other than me, and Rob if he wishes to) would like to be part of this pack.
The necessary categories are as follows. "Max" refers to the announcer for DDRMAX, DDRMAX2 and DDR Extreme. 5th refers to the announcer for the first 5 mixes of DDR. DJDH refers to DJ DraftHorse, the announcer for Dance With Intensity, another popular DDR emulator.
There is no program-imposed limit (or if there is, it's high) on how many sounds can be included -- when a sound event is triggered, one of the sounds from that directory is chosen at random.
This sound plays when the caution/disclaimer screen displays. The official announcers, as seen below, say something to the effect of "We're ready to play!", while DJDH actually tells the player to be careful.
"Let's Max!", "Let's DDR!" (MAX announcer)
"Be careful!" (DJDH)
"Everybody's waiting for you!" (5th Mix announcer)
This sound plays when a player scores a AAA on a song. A player scores AAA when they hit every step perfectly, and holds every freeze arrow. In other words, absolute perfection. You should be almost speechless.
"Incredible! I can't wait to see your next moves!" (5th)
"Who are you, are you a legend?" (5th)
"Here we have...the ki-i-i-ing of dance!" (MAX)
"How the heck did you do that, wow!" (DJDH)
This sound plays when a player scores a AA. A full combo (all perfect or nearly perfect steps) will sometimes score a AA, especially if most (at least 4/5) of the steps are perfect. Still a good achievement, but not as impressive, especially when people play on keyboards, where stamina isn't a factor.
This sound plays when a player scores an A. A full combo will always score at least an A. Some missed steps should still garner an A, as long as the rest of the steps are perfect. The line between A and AA is quite high; unless your timing is perfect, you can be slightly off on about 50 steps in a song with 300 steps and only get an A.
This sound plays when a player scores a B. Some missed steps, a broken combo or 2, or mostly Great (one step down from Perfect) steps here.
This sound plays when yadda yadda C. The player has either been freestyling and therefore missing quite a few arrows, or is juuuuuuuust out of their league. Cs are where announcers start acknowledging that yes, the player is fallible. Not that they suck, yet. But there's definitely room for improvement.
A D is just barely passing. The player does indeed suck, but they did pass. Whether you're sympathetic to the player or merciless, remember that fact.
As opposed to F. Remember, the japanese end their grades with E. An E means the player FAILED. THEY DID NOT WIN. THEY SUCK. Again, you may be sympathetic, but they still suck.
\evaluation final _grade_\:
The same as evaluation AAA through evaluation E, but displayed after the player has played all the songs alotted to him. Whereas \evaluation _grade_\ stresses how you did on that song, \evaluation final _grade_\ mentions more how you did on the set, and how you are in general.
AA: "You showed us...your ULTIMATE dance! I can't stop crying...BUCKETS of tears!... *sob sob*" (MAX)
\evaluation new record\:
This sound plays when the player has a high score on that song, or in the category that set of songs is in. (DDR 5th Mix took the songs you chose, found the average difficulty, and compared your score to the score in one of 3 categories based on that average. SM does this too.)
"It's a new record!"
This sound plays when "Game Over" shows up on the screen. When a player fails, they get two screens -- a stage failed, and a game over. Well, actually, the screen fades out with the FAILED notice on screen, then they get a separate GAME OVER screen.
\gameplay N combo\:
These sounds play every 100 steps in a combo. (A combo is two or more steps in a row that are either perfect or near perfect.) There are 10 categories, from 100 to 1000. Usually, the phrase is just "_X_hundred combo!", although the announcer(s) should be more and more incredulous as the combo climbs.
"_ONE_ _THOUSAND_ _COMBO!!!!_"
This sound plays when the player clears a song. A screen that says CLEARED shows up before the grade screen. In every other sound pack, this is a cheer from a small crowd; if anyone can find a good original cheering sound, by all means lead the way; otherwise, this is just listed for completion.
\gameplay combo stopped\:
This sound plays when the player has just broken his/her combo by getting a step just on the wrong side of close enough. It's usually just "(oh no,) combo stopped!"
\gameplay comment danger\:
A short and sweet sound played during the song when the player is doing badly.
\gameplay comment good\:
During the song, while the player is keeping a good pace, but not necessarily perfect. Or, doing perfectly, but just after a bunch of missed arrows; they have some catching up to do.
\gameplay comment hot\:
During the song, when the player is going near-perfect. (A little note on game mechanics -- there's a lifebar up on the top of the screen. It goes down when you miss arrows, and up when you get them (near-)perfect. Any time it's around the bottom half, it's DANGER. Near the top half, it's GOOD, and filled up (and staying there), it's HOT.
\gameplay comment oni\:
Oni is a special mode of play, in which you're given 4 lives at the beginning of a set of pre-chosen songs. You break your combo, you lose a life. You lose all your lives, it's game over. This is similar to good or hot, but played during an oni course.
Again, after failing a song, the screen says FAILED and then GAME OVER. This plays during the former. There's more variation in what you say here.
Just as the song is starting, this category and one of the next 3 plays. The two should be somewhat in similar mood; together, they should sorta sound like "Ready? Here we go!" However, there is variation in what can be said.
"Are you ready?" (MAX, 5th)
\gameplay here we go normal\:
This sound plays after \gameplay ready\, in general circumstances.
"Show me your hottest moves!" (5th)
"Let's see your energy!" (5th)
"Give it your best shot!" (5th)
"OK! Let's start!" (MAX)
"Let's step, step!" (MAX)
\gameplay here we go final\:
Same as normal, but specifically for the final (normally final) song. If there's a lack of this, some from normal can be used.
"This is the last one, keep going!" (5th)
\gameplay here we go extra\:
Same as normal, but played before any bonus songs earned through excellent play in the final song. (specifically, if you AA your final song, and it's on the hardest difficulty, you get a bonus. If you AA that, you get an extra extra stage, aka OMES (One More Extra Stage).)
"Here comes the secret tune!" (MAX)
"Go toward the full combo!" (MAX) (Note: this is in \g h w g extra\ because the bonus songs are very stringent -- you lose life more easily in the first bonus stage, and can't get it back; the OMES is sudden death.)
This sound plays when the menu timer (on any menu) is about 5 seconds away.
After playing, and entering your name in if necessary, a screen comes up showing a list of all the songs in that mix/collection. Here, the announcer thanks the user for playing or invites them back later.
"Thank you for playing!" (MAX, 5th)
"Thank you for playing, stay cool!" (DJDH)
\player options intro\:
This sound plays when the user enters the song options menu. This screen can be selected by holding down (rather than just pressing) the Start button when choosing a song, and it gives the opportunity to apply modifiers to the screen that make it harder or easier to play.
\select course intro\:
This sound plays when entering the screen to select a Nonstop, Oni or Endless song course.
\select course comment general\:
Here, the announcer makes a comment on the course chosen.
\select difficulty intro\:
This sound plays when the Select Difficulty screen comes up. Usually just "Select difficulty".
\select difficulty challenge\:
The Select Difficulty screen has two halves. The user first sees the Beginner-Easy-Medium-Hard difficulties. If he moves past Hard, he gets the special modes: Nonstop, Challenge (Oni), Endless, and Magic Dance (a battle-like game in which doing well on your side affects the opponent's side of the screen, by adding modifiers.)
This plays when entering the half of the screen holding the harder 4 modes.
"Are you sure?" (5th)
"There are no easy choices in this mode!" (5th)
"Wow, are you crazy?" (5th)
"This mode is difficult!" (MAX)
\select difficulty comment X\:
Some (possibly all) of the 8 modes on the Select Difficulty screen can have specific comments associated with them when chosen.
The following is a list of names given to the different difficulties.
Beginner: usually called "Beginner", but not commented on by the announcer.
Easy: Called "Basic" in 5th Mix and "Light" in MAX. Sometimes the MAX announcer says it in japanese -- "Raku".
Medium: "Another" in the very first machine and many European releases, "Trick" in 5th and "Standard" in MAX. "Yo" ("yoh"?) might be japanese for it, or it may just be the announcer saying "yo" for the hell of it.
Hard: "Maniac" in 5th, "Heavy" in MAX, "Geki" in japanese.
Note: if we wish, we can come up with our own triplet of names (Basic-Trick-Maniac, Basic-Another-Maniac, Light-Standard-Heavy) for this theme.
\select group intro\:
The user, if enabled, can choose either all the music in StepMania's song folder, or just the songs in one subfolder. This sound plays at the onset of this screen.
\select group comment all music\:
This sound plays when the user selects ALL MUSIC. Duh. No real standard on what's said here. Most sound packs fudge this, using original arcade sounds out of context.
\select group comment general\:
This sound plays when the user selects one folder.
\select music intro\:
This sound plays when the music selection screen (teh music wheel!!!111) comes up. Usually just "Select music", "Select song", "Select a song", you get the idea.
\select music comment general\:
The user has selected a song that does not fall under the other two categories, as follows:
\select music comment hard\:
The user's choice is known to be hard, as given by it's difficulty rating.
\select music comment new\:
Songs can be coded to always be considered new. For example, if emulating a certain DDR machine, the songs that were new to that machine would be coded "new" while any songs that came from older machines would not. Also, any newly-added songs are considered new. This plays when a new song is chosen.
\select style intro\:
This sound plays on the onset of the Select Style screen, a screen where the user chooses what part of the pad he/she wants to use.
\select style comment couple\
The players have chosed couple: each player takes one side, and the steps given are specially made for this mode. They tend to trade off -- while one person does simple, beat-keeping steps, the other side does something technically fancy, then the roles are reversed.
\select style comment double\
The player has chosen double: he/she will have to handle sets of arrows meant for both the P1 and P2 halves of the pad/stage.
\select style comment single\:
The player has chosen single: he/she will play only on the half he/she has chosen.
\select style comment solo\:
The player has chosen solo: Using a special one-player-sized pad with 6 arrows instead of the normal 4, the player will get a special set of arrows using the 2 new arrows.
\select style comment versus\:
The players have chosen versus: each player takes one side, and chooses from the single-style steps for each song they chose.
Most of the above are just announced as "_style_" or "_style_ mode"; for example, "Versus mode!" or "Double!"
After a song/course is chosen, but before the beginning of the song, a screen shows giving the number that identifies which song is about to be played.
The sound for the numbered stages is usually just "1st stage", "2nd stage", etc. to "Final stage"; 5 stages are specifically named by number.
MAX's announcer calls oni "challenging mode". Other than this exception, most stages are simply called _whatever_ stage.
Therefore, the list of \stage _x_\ directories and what will usually be said in them is:
\stage 1\: "First stage."
\stage 2\: "Second stage."
\stage 3\: "Third stage."
\stage 4\: "Fourth stage."
\stage 5\: "Fifth stage."
\stage final\: "Final Stage."
\stage oni\: "Challenging mode."
\stage endless\: "Endless mode."
\stage extra1\: "Extra stage!"
\stage extra2\: "One More Extra Stage!"
\title menu game name\:
Every sound file for the name of the game is placed here. In our case, the sounds will probably say:
\title menu attract\:
Various phrases inviting players to try playing go here.
This is a game where you use your feet!
Come here and play!
Check it out!
Come here and play!
This is Konami's famous BEMANI series!
1, 2, step!
The title screen.
The new and improved Title Menu. Now with 100% more runic symbol.
The caution/liability disclaimer screen.
The first half of the Difficulty screen. Present-day Trent Retwin WILL be removed from Master/Heavy/Maniac. Probably will be replaced with Robert.
The second half of the Difficulty screen. I'm planning on putting Marvin the Magnificent in Luxury Battle/Magic Dance.
The music select screen. You can see the beginning of the Songdex.
More of the music select screen. You can see how the pokeball in the background moves. It doesn't move once per "click" of the music wheel; AFAIK, that's not possible. But I do have it set to spin indefinitely.
The gameplay screen. You can see the in-battle-HUD-inspired header, the HP gauges, and the "Hit N times!" combo meter. You can also see the title.
The new and improved Evaluation screen! I'll need to move those Personal and Machine Record icons. And the big white area graphs should be a red-white gradient, I don't know what's happening here.
The highschore initials screen.
The music scroll screen. Song titles in RuSa menu font.