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DDR Arena

DDR goes multiplayer!
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If you are not aware, Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) is a cultish Japanese arcade game in which the player must step on one of four arrow buttons in time to the music. It has varying degrees of difficulty, and advanced players can pull off crazy combination moves, and look damn cool doing it.

My suggestion is for a DDR Arena consisting of hundreds of pads connected to each other. The effect would look sort of like a giant board game. The chosen song is blasted throughout the arena on giant speakers, so all players can get their groove on. In the center, are four pads that function normally with giant video screens. On the outside are several starting pads in which X number of players (depending on how big the arena is) start. The goal is to be one of the "final 4" to make it to the center for a traditional DDR showdown.

Instead of video screens that tell the players where to step, the buttons on the pads light up to show the player which step is next. In basic play, a lit arrow is the next step; flashing arrows will show the next possible steps. There are variances that are discussed later.

The original point system is used, in which each step is judged either "poor," "O.K.," "good," or "perfect" based on whether or not it is in time with the music. This will discourage people from just hitting the buttons as quick as they see them light up. Scores are counted throughout the song, and are used to make a "decision" if 2 or more players are not eliminated by the end.

As in the standard game, a "Dance Meter" is given to each player. Correct steps with good rhythm keep the meter full, while missed steps decrease the meter. Elimination occurs when a player's meter is empty.

Dance-step Variations:

As in the regular arcade games, there will be more difficult steps that increase the player's score. "Jump steps" can be shown when two arrows light up at the same time. "Freeze arrows" will light up green, and the player must remain standing on them until they go off. "Half- time" arrows will light up blue at the same time as the regular arrow, and must be hit in rhythm within one beat of the song.

Multiplayer Variations:

This is where DDRA heats up! Number arrows light up red, and are generally out of the path of the normal steps. If a player can hit the number arrow the given number of times while maintaining their regular dance pattern, they will unleash an "attack" on a nearby opponent. The attacks that I have come up with consist of:

Laser - A burst in the form of a straight line is sent across the arena from the attack square. All arrow buttons in the path of the laser are temporarily de-activated, and combinations requiring those arrows are rendered useless, breaking the opponents' chains and lowering their scores. The effect only lasts for a few seconds.

Bomb - Similar to the laser, but the burst is sent out in all directions. All arrows in the general vicinity of the player are de-activated for a second or two.

Atomic - finds the nearest player and increases the difficulty and speed of his dance pattern, making him more susceptible to elimination.

(Other variations could easily be developed. Of course, in all cases, the "attacking" player is immune to the negative effects.)

Number arrows can also benefit the player who uses them. Purple number arrows have positive effects on the player who opens them by hitting them the given number of times. Such effects can include (but are not limited to): double score (doubles the players score for a given period of time), invincibility (makes the player invincible to enemy attacks), "cool down" (makes the arrows light up at half the speed of the song, making them easier to predict and hit correctly)

Showdown zones are located throughout the arena, and consist of two opposing pads that are painted or otherwise decorated so they stand out. Showdown zones also have a video screen in the middle. If a player's path brings him near a showdown zone, all four arrows of the showdown zone will light up. By hitting one of them in rhythm, the player locks himself into the showdown zone and invites all nearby players to a one-on-one DDR showdown. Once another player accepts by touching an arrow on the opposing side, the two players are locked in the showdown. The video screen displays the moves, as in traditional DDR, and the speed and difficulty continues to increase until one of the players is eliminated. The winner of the showdown gains all of the opponent's points. Normal scoring is shut off during the showdown.

If you have any other ideas for "variances, " please let me know!

xer0negative, Jun 27 2004




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