Super Nova Introduction

A Narrative-Driven VR Rhythm Game

There are few games on market like Rhythm Heaven where the player must take down enemies and keep distance through rhythm, the problem is you do not feel connected to the experience. Therein lies the opportunity for an innovative musical rhythm game. Super Nova is a first-person virtual reality (VR) experience that puts the player in their own music video, that also has mixed RPG elements like a health bar and an energy bar. The game aims to combine all of this with a fun and fast-paced psychological thriller narrative game.

Why do we spell the game Super Nova and not Supernova? Well, that’s because the player will play J. Solomon, a normal, everyday marketing specialist being chased by an evil sentient being in the form of a Super Sport (SS) ‘69 Chevy Nova. The gameplay will take the player through a chaotic musical landscape with a sense of paranoia and dream-like states—always having to look over your shoulder because the Chevy Nova villain wants to kill you with their evil raps.

The game demo for Super Nova features a Hip-Hop rap battle level with two games modes. The first mode will consist of the player blocking incoming notes from materializing from the non-playable characters (NPC) mad rap skills. The player can lose their health if enough notes gets through the player’s shield. The second mode, which is meant to be the spiritual successor to PaRappa the Rapper, will have the player play a VR rhythm lane. This interface will be styled to fit lyrics, percussion sounds, and guitar/keyboard sounds into the song. When the player hits the notes on time, they will explode into notes and move towards the NPC. This game mode will have four verses to the hip-hop song. The first verse will feature a tutorial rap that will lead to the first chorus. The second through fourth verses will have regular song lyrics that fit the game narrative. The last verse (the fourth) will feature a boss mode where the ‘69 Chevy Nova will be the main boss that the player raps against.

There are more musical game modes planned that go along with the game narrative, but for the scope of the prototype, we are starting with the rap battle game mode first.

Narrative and Gameplay

Story Summary

Super Nova is a story about a man being chased by drones, police, military personnel, U.S. Marshals, and agents from the CIA, FBI, and Homeland Security. Is the player being chased by an evil antagonist who drives a black ’69 Chevy Nova SS, or is the car itself alive, killing anyone and destroying anything in its path to find the protagonist? This is a story of a man to find out the truth behind the musical distortions that permeate reality.

At the end of the narrative, we find out that it is thousands of years in the future and the protagonist is an alien pilot lost in a holographic trance state in which he is exploring Earth’s history as J. Solomon, our protagonist. While deep in a holographic exploration of the information his probe is sending back, our sun goes critical and is about to explode in one titanic explosion— a supernova! The massive radiation emanating from the dying star has made the ship’s computer malfunction, turning off the autopilot and losing direct communication with the pilot on the holodeck. In an attempt to reach Solomon and make him aware of reality, the ship has inserted a murderous sentient Chevy Nova to chase after him to represent the inevitable supernova explosion of the sun.

He then uses clues from his ship’s computer to finally wake up from his semi—dream state and escape the supernova.

VR Battle Rap Gameplay

Super Nova is a mashup of different time periods to lend to a dream like state and has a stylistic, cartoonish style mixed with Art Deco. It is meant to be a musical exploration of human history and mash-up of a few different time periods based upon the story above. Below are the three key features for the game demo of Super Nova:

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1. VR Music Video Experience

What would movies like Grease or Inception be without music? Music helps tell the story. It helps us feel like a part of the world we are watching or playing in. Have you ever wished that your life was like a musical or music video? This desire is what makes games like Dance, Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero so iconic.

Super Nova combines that world of music with that of a music video, a musical game narrative, and RPG game elements for a truly cohesive musical experience. Super Nova is a game where you are both DJ and action hero.

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2. Hip-Hop VR Rap Battle

The rap battle mode will start with the player hanging out on a street corner with his friends before his walk to work. Experience a fun rap battle with your NPC friend in front of a corner barbershop.

Since Super Nova has both a defense and an offense game mode, with RPG elements such as a health bar added, this opens the possibility of a multiplayer VR experience in the future. Once the game bugs and art are in the final stages, we will consider this possibility of a multiplayer mode.

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3. RPG Elements

  • Health bar
    • During the rap battle, the player must block the opposing NPC’s raps (represented as musical notes flying at the player). If they get past the player’s shield, they will lower the health.
    • If the player’s health reaches zero, the character dies and must start over.
  • Energy bar
    • The energy bar represents the power of the player’s offensive raps.
    • It is charged up when the player blocks incoming raps effectively.

Super Nova Alpha v2.1

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