Releases

Beats2 Prototypes

It’s done! For those who haven’t read the last post, “Beats2 Prototypes” is pretty much a series of demos/prototypes designed for the purpose of quantitatively comparing different user interfaces for large touch-screen devices – in this case, 7″ or larger Android tablets (you can still run it on your Android phone, but that’s not the target of the study).

It’s also my senior design research project (i.e. not a polished final product) and an important precursor to Beats2, which will target BOTH small touch-screens (i.e. Android phones, iPhones, etc.) AND large touch-screens (i.e. Android tablets, iPads, Windows 8 slates, etc.).

Report: PDF
Poster: PDF (JPG)
Code: Google Code

Here’s the Google Play blurb:

NOTE: This is designed to be run on wide-screen TABLETS (i.e. 7″ across or larger) – the interface may not be easily to use on smaller screens such as phones.

This is a demo app created as part of an academic research project focus on developing various touch-based user interfaces for rhythm games. This app features numerous prototype interface designs with the intention of being tested by users and compared in their effectiveness.

This app collects usage data that will be used in the future for designing better touch-based UIs for rhythm games, specifically Beats2. Please try to test out all the different game “modes” and submit feedback via the built-in tracker. Keep in mind that these demos are only prototypes made for testing purposes and are not final products (hence the lack of fancy graphics and only one test song).

Beats2 Prototypes:

Data from it will be used for developing Beats2, so please try it out and submit feedback!

~Keripo

Beats 1.6b

After many weeks of inactivity, I finally got a chance to sit down and crank out code for a while. As a result, there have been tons of MAJOR changes/features added in Beats 1.6b. Here’s just half of the changes:

  • full .dwi support
  • experimental .osu support
  • save local high scores
  • use Immersion’s Universal Haptic Layer (UHL) for vibration control
  • translation project public at http://crowdin.net/project/beats
  • added Screenshot Mode setting
  • see the changelog for more

The long promised .dwi support is finally here and complete (as far as my testing has gone at least). SM->osu! Mod has been done back in 1.5b, but now real .osu files can be used as input with osu!->SM pretty much complete (sliders and spinners aren’t yet added though and direct beatmap downloading support from http://osu.ppy.sh will require some peppy poking). High scores are saved locally per stepfile and difficulty level, and screenshots can be taken by pausing the game while having the Screenshot Mode setting enabled. As well, thanks to the hard work of all the volunteer translators at crowdin, Beats is now officially available in 12 different languages (but of course, you can make that grow)!

There’s only been a few minor graphical changes, but here’s a few random 1.6b screenshots for eyecandy:
LOVE & ROLL – generated osu!->SM || Bad Apple – real osu! data || Bad Apple – high score!

Whats next? If you haven’t heard already, I am planning on doing a COMPLETE REWRITE of Beats over the summer/fall, tentatively called Beats2. Not only will it be OPEN SOURCE (modified BSD license) and rewritten with many of the wanted features on the ToDo list but it will be designed with customization and game mode flexibility in mind. New to the rhythm game scene and only know Guitar Hero? Beats2 will have it – guitar mode. Old-school and just want to Beatmania IIDX it up? No problem – beats mode. Prefer imported games? Lucky for you, I’m a fan of Project Diva and Jubeat! A side/parallel project that I’m very interested in is attempting my hands at an actual rhythm analyzer library for helping generate stepfiles directly from music in your library (think DancingMonkey, cept for more than just StepMania).

Beats2 is a distant long-term project at the moment, so what about Beats? Following Beats 1.6b, I will probably be experimenting with adding various features here and there listed in the “Experimenting with Beats 1.7b” section of the ToDo list.

Obligatory URLS:
Download
Facebook
Google group
Translations
Beats2
Donate

Enjoy the release!

~Keripo

Post your comments and feedback in the forum thread here!

Beats 1.5.4b

Due to a busy school and job-finding schedule, I haven’t had much time to work on any of the stuff in my huge To-Do List. The Beats user-base, however, has proven to be very eager in seeing the progress of this project and many individuals have actually helped me with translating Beats into other languages. Turns out, for example, the top four countries in terms of user base are USA (34%), South Korea (22%), China (21%), and Japan (6%) despite having no official Android Market in either China or Korea and no translations for any of the latter three.

In addition to various minor fixes as listed in the Changelog, thanks to the following users for helping localize Beats:

  • Russian: burdik
  • Italian: disaster.ita
  • Dutch: XWing Ace
  • German: pluri
  • Chinese: arthur020
  • Finnish: Patrik Selin
  • Spanish: Glas
  • Korean: bunny1

Apart from localizations, I am currently working on integrating Immersion’s new MOTIV haptic feedback technology, meaning you will literally feel the rhythm of your music in Beats 1.6b (or at least feel more engaged in the gameplay with new vibration effects). If you are interested in following the development of Beats and/or helping with translating Beats into your native language (日本は、私はあなたで探しています!), please join the Google group. As well, make sure to Like the new Beats facebook page (also on the website’s side bar to the right)!

For those unable to access the Android Market or wish to install Beats manually, you can download the latest version via the revamped Download page (use the last link on the page).

~Keripo

Post your comments and feedback in the forum thread here!

Beats 1.5.2b – URGENT UPDATE!

Due to some Google policies, Beats has been re-released under a new package name (now ‘com.beatsportable.beats‘ – its the same app, just a different Market download).


(or manually download the .apk from the Release page)

Please uninstall previous versions of Beats (aka 1.5b or earlier) and install the new package (just search for “keripo”, “advanced rhythm game”, “stepmania”, “ddr”, or “osu”). The donate version has also been removed – please use the Donate page if you wish to express thanks and help keep development rolling!

Because the Android Market will treat 1.5.2b as a new app, all previous ratings and comments will have been wiped, so go ahead and 5-star the new Beats and don’t forget to tell your friends to update! If you’re interested in helping with development testing or would like to help with translations (looking for Korean/Japanese/Chinese translators specifically), check out the Google group!

~Keripo

Post your comments and feedback in the forum thread here!

Beats 1.5b

After tons of work into adding new features and optimizing to reduce/remove lag and increase framerate, Beats 1.5b is finally ready!

Beats 1.5b has TONS of new features, as described in the Changelog. Some of the most important features include:

  • osu! Mod and scroll up game modes
  • various new tapbox layouts
  • much, MUCH faster now and with less lag (even faster than 1.3b!)
  • lots of nifty shortcut buttons on the main menu
  • Russian, Dutch, and Italian translations (looking for translators, see here)

Not sure what this new “osu! Mod” game mode is all about? Check it out in the new gameplay video below:
Beats, Advanced Rhythm Game – 1.5b osu! Mod Gameplay [Android]

Over the next few weeks, Matt and I will be working on setting up a song posting bot for the forums (please contact me if you are familiar with phpbb3 forum scripting), so expect to see a lot of new song downloads from various song packs – I have tons of Vocaloid, VGMP, StepMix, and Otaku’s Dream song packs ready for posting. In addition, I’ve created a new Beats Portable Google group where I will be releasing periodic development builds for testing/feedback and translations. Already planned for the next major Beats 1.6b update is Scoreloop integration, .dwi support (yes, I slack), .osu support (if peppy responds), and possibly even a sneak peak into new haptic feedback technology!

To keep things short (i.e. to prevent myself from ranting), hope you all enjoy the major update!

~Keripo

Post your comments and feedback in the forum thread here!

Beats 1.4.2b

Small update with a fix for the rotate-reset issue as well as a link to the new gameplay video:

Beats 1.4.2bChangeset [237]

  • fixed a rotation-restart issue
  • gameplay video link in Info settings category

And here’s the new gameplay video!
(The Demo page now links to this video while the Tutorial page links to the old tutorial video.)

As always, if you find any other pressing/immediate bugs or would like to help out with testing (particularly the lag and touch-screen issues some users are reporting), please PLEASE contact me (Keripo) via IRC or MSN (see the About page). The developers of Beats (myself and Matt) only own one physical Android device to test things on (my Samsung Captivate), so testers would be greatly appreciated (so will Donations to buy an old Android phone off eBay)!

Enjoy the quick update!

~Keripo

Direct .apk dowload of Beats 1.4.2b here! Post your comments and feedback in the forum thread here!

Beats 1.4.1b

There were tons of positive feedback on Beats 1.4b as well as numerous requests and suggestions for a new release. While we are already working on the next major release (Beats 1.5b), here’s a small update with a few minor fixes and tweaks that were most demanded based on Beats 1.4b feedback:

Beats 1.4.1bChangeset [233]

  • orientation-based main menu layout
  • re-added adjustable Accuracy Level setting
  • reverted accuracy weightings to 1.3b’s scheme
  • fixed multi-touch install restriction?
  • fixed minor notetype parsing issue
  • fixed a few odd crashes

With Beats 1.4.1b, the installation/disappearing-from-the-Market issue some users were reporting should be fixed now and the old 1.3b accuracy level setting is back, allowing you to tweak accuracy difficulty to your heart’s desire once more!

Oh, and for those who didn’t notice, the new demo video is finally up!


(I will probably post a video of me trying to full-combo “Blood Lullaby” on Medium/Hard later)

As always, if you find any other pressing/immediate bugs or would like to help out with testing (particularly the lag and touch-screen issues some users are reporting), please PLEASE contact me (Keripo) via IRC or MSN (see the About page). The developers of Beats (myself and Matt) only own one physical Android device to test things on (my Samsung Captivate), so testers would be greatly appreciated (so will Donations to buy an old Android phone off eBay)!

Enjoy the quick update!

~Keripo

Direct .apk dowload of Beats 1.4.1b here! Post your comments and feedback in the forum thread here!

Beats 1.4b

After almost two months of development, Beats 1.4b is finally released! There has been MANY improvements and changes, based on your feedback, and plenty of new features to check out as well!

Main focuses of this update was new songs, easy song downloading, improved .sm file support, stability, and a much, MUCH nicer UI. Much of the ToDo List items were complete, but as the Changelog will indicate, much more was done beyond just those. The only thing on there that isn’t yet in this major update is .dwi support – we wanted to make sure the new .sm parser and other stuff was nice and stable first so the .dwi parser will be just as good (if you do find bugs or .sm files causing problems, PLEASE let me know via the Support forums! Oh, and of course, this is the first update that actually uses the website (for song downloading that is), so I definitely hope to see the BeatsPortable forums active and kicking!

With the new website, however, comes the hosting costs. At the moment, I’ve uploaded a ton of songs in the Download forum section (from which you can download and install songs directly from your phone now). I don’t know how much these cheap servers can handle but I won’t be surprised if the website does not last to the end of next month. Upgrading the servers costs money, which we, the dev team of poor univ students, would greatly appreciate help with. If you want to help support the development of Beats and its website, please check out the Donate page or just buy the “Beats (Donate)” app, which is exactly the same as the normal free version.

All in all, I hope you enjoy the new Beats 1.4b and BeatsPortable.com website and forums. I will later be recording and uploading a demo video showing off the features of Beats 1.4b once I am done with the upcoming PennApps Mobile 2011 competition, as well as actually writing up the FAQ page. In the meanwhile, here’s the obligatory screenshots of the newest updates to “Beats, Advanced Rhythm Game”:

Beats 1.4b Screens

So what can you look forward to in 1.5b? .dwi support, mines, “reverse” scrolling, and hopefully Scoreloop integration (aka online scoreboards for boasting to your friends about your high scores!)

~Keripo

Post your comments and feedback in the forum thread here!

Beats 1.3b

(copy-pasted from old website)

An update based on some user suggestions. And before you ask, no .dwi support isn’t here yet, but its being worked on and definitely will appear soon. And no reverse play, leaders board, or any of those other major things on my To-Do list. Good news though is I figured out what was causing all those crashes with certain .sm files and have put up a preliminary warning about them. When .dwi support is added, the .sm parser will also be rewritten, so hopefully Beats will be able to support 90%+ of those StepMania/Dance With Intensity stepfiles out there! I’ve also figured out whats causing those lags that prevent you from doing trills/rapidly-alternating-arrows and am working on hacking a way around it…

Read the complete post and leave comments/feedback on the forums here.

Beats 1.2b

(copy-pasted from old website)

A quick update with a few changes that’ll hopefully fix a lot of crashes and make your gameplay experience a lot better ; 3

Going through the crash reports, I quickly realized that there were a lot of bugs that involved simple fixes, or, in the case of .sm file parsing, simple error catches. I admit, the current .sm compatibility of Beats isn’t so great. After all, I wrote the parser (alongside the rest of the alpha build of the app) in under 48hrs (sleep, or rather lack thereof, included), so things are very, VERY buggy. I will be completely rewriting it when I add in .dwi support in the next major release, and that’ll solve all the incompatibility issues. See the middle of this post for an example of what I mean…

Read the complete post and leave comments/feedback on the forums here.

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