Dynamic game levels

Way back when I was still in college, my roommate Michiel introduced me to a video game called “Vib-Ribbon“. It was quite a unique Playstation game and at the time very popular in Japan. It was really fun to play and I especially remember the sound track blasting through our living room (It worked excellent as an alarm clock).

Vib Ribbon

Anyway, the concept of the game is really simple. Your character (a bunny) walks over a timeline and every time you see an obstacle, you have to press the corresponding button on your controller. There are four different types of obstacles and, to make it even more challenging, these obstacles can be combined making you press two buttons at once. The obstacles are generated by the music you hear, so the timing has to be spot-on. The basic idea of the game is very similar to the guitar-hero-type games released 5 years later, only the controller and the graphics are different. Alle the elements are scribbled in white lines and the background is black, The timeline is plotted into 3d space while your cameraview is circling around you character.

The instructions in the manual give you an idea about the 10 triggers you need to use in the game:


The really cool thing about the Vib Ribbon game is that the levels in the game are generated real time based on a music CD that is inserted. When you start to play, you insert the disc and after the game has loaded you have the option to insert your own music disc. The game does come with a couple of songs from the Japanese group Laugh and Peace, but the action really start when you insert another audio CD. The brilliance of this concept is that it allows an infinite amount of levels to play and let’s you relive your own favorite music. It’s dynamic and it’ makes the game more personal! You can play along with all the tracks from your own music collection! Maybe, not all the hits from your memories, are suited as a playable level, but the concept is really great.

Phil Sykes’ (Rogultgot) has a cool review of the game up on Youtube:

The rumour goes that Sony is planning to revive the game for it’s current consoles; Dynamic gaming: I can’t wait!