How Rush Bros. creates levels based on your own music

XYLA Entertainment has put their latest release, Rush Bros., up on Steam Greenlight. The game crosses platforming and competitive racing and puts it in a one-on-one forum. Players race to the end using either the techno-heavy soundtrack or any MP3 from their own personal music library--with each of the game's levels reacting to the background beats.


"Rush Bros. isn't procedurally generated from your music," explains Rush Bros. creative lead Ian Boswell. "We chose to take a more real-time analytical route with the game by adding in elements to the levels which are influenced by the beat of any song used--spike traps on pistons, saw blades, shock waves, moving platforms, lasers, electric fields, and hovering platforms will move, deploy, fire, and perform actions to the beat of whatever song is playing. If you change songs mid-game they will adjust to meet the new song's beat. This allowed our levels to follow a flow of difficulty, as well as have themes, tell stories, involve puzzles, and have a deeper level of play afforded to standard platforming games."

Players of all skill levels will be able to jump right into Rush Bros., as the game uses standard platforming mechanics that are easily accessible to anyone. Evoking an arcade atmosphere, the game uses a classic control scheme with modern maneuvers, like wall jumping and power sliding. The idea is simply to reach the finish line before your buddy does. Solo players can practice taking on their friends through the single-player time trial mode.

Rush Bros. features 30 levels, each of which are shaped slightly differently depending on the music track chosen. Puzzles, obstacles, and traps will either display noticeable differences or activate at different paces, depending on the current track's beat and tempo. Death lasers and falling spike traps, for example, will activate at different times when using a fast-paced techno track compared to when using a slower love ballad. Random item pick-ups, like Speed Up and Double Jump, don't adhere to these beat-laden rules as much, but will help gain the advantage over opponents. These elements serve to make each race unpredictable, as well as fun to watch.

XYLA hopes to encourage multiple replays of Rush Bros. by using the variety presented in its level design and the multiple exits available. Competition is the name of the game in Rush Bros. with two DJ's entering and only one leaving the winner. "There's a lot of trash-talking and open communication amongst players of the game, which we cannot stress enough should absolutely be played in split-screen mode online or on the couch," added Boswell. "Players who want to play the game full-screen online can do so, of course, but the game is best enjoyed when you are able to keep an eye on your opponent whether they are behind or in front of you."

Rush Bros. is up on Steam Greenlight and is currently on sale through GameFly.

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