BCM278 - Goldie fireworks, rhythmic cascades

(7:09) Level 4 ('The Silent Cartographer') on Easy. My previous goldie fireworks movie BCM213 ended with a spectacular cascade recipe, but I knew there was a lot of potential for creating more refined effects. Now at last, I've designed three recipes in which plasma bangs work with needle bangs to create rhythmic cascades - and in which the launches start with a needle bang (because I like that). This is for PAL Xbox, which runs at 25 fps. I can't vouch for NTSC/PC; I suspect you'd need some alteration. Three rockets are used for boost, but using two would be another good choice.

Released March 19th 2018, gameplay recorded March 12th-18th 2018.


00:02 (Recipe 1) Encoded, this recipe is 22-p-22-p-22-p-5, meaning that you first apply 22 needles, then a plasma, then 22 needles, and so on. It gives a nice even sequence of blasts over the first 7 - after which there are 4 trailing needle blasts. There's a plasma blast approximately midway between successive needle blasts, over the first 4 needle blasts.

The initial blast intervals (measured in frames, which on PAL Xbox represent 1/25 of a second) are normally 11 12 11 12 11 12. Minor timing anomalies are possible, though not usually very noticeable. I suspect such anomalies arise from the game coming under processing strain. The third launch has such an anomaly: the blast intervals start with 10 12 instead of the usual 11 12.

When working on the Elite, you can see me carefully backing off (to avoid blast damage) at times when a pre-launch blast is about to occur. I'm also being careful not to continue needling as a blast goes off, because a blast can actually deflect incoming needles, which would mess up your needle count. Ditto in the rest of the movie. In learning an application sequence, you get to learn when such blasts occur. You can also get to be pretty fast in doing the application, as you get used to it and establish handy ways of needle counting.

02:01 (Recipe 2) This recipe is 41-p-8-p-13-p-8-p-13-p-8-p. It gives a faster rhythm than the first recipe; 3-beat instead of 2-beat. There are two approximately evenly spaced plasma bangs between successive needle bangs, over the first 4 needle bangs - after which there are 6 trailing needle bangs (though if you wanted 3 fewer trailing bangs, you could get that by using 23 fewer needles at the start).

The initial blast intervals are normally 7 8 8 7 8 8 7 7 9, but minor timing anomalies are possible. There are no such anomalies in the five launches shown here, but there's a perceptible bang delay on the fourth launch, arising (somehow) from the Elite going up the cliff face. When I say bang delay I'm alluding to the audio for the blast (the blasts themselves - visible explosions - are correctly spaced). I made lots of tries at that launch, and very often got either bang delays or missing bangs.

For the first launch I get a bit elaborate with the plasmas, tagging his feet and hands. That can give an appealing effect because when he flies through the air, the plasmas wave around.

04:19 (Recipe 3) This recipe is 16-p-5-p-5-p-12-p-8-p-16-p-6. Initially you get fast bangs, then they slow. Roughly it's 4-beat then 3-beat then 2-beat. The initial blast intervals are normally 5 5 6 7 7 8 8 10 13.

There's a bit of a tendency for the fifth plasma bang to be muted somewhat. Among the five launches here, it's only really distinctly heard on the the second, where the Elite is relatively close.

06:09 (Rhythmic montage) To end, here's a montage of clips joined in rhythmic fashion, with four clips for each of my three recipes. It gives a nice way of comparing the recipes, and it's fun too! There's a period of 92 frames per launch; 92 being four times 23, the normal delay between needle bangs. Three of the launches have minor detonation timing anomalies (the first three), but it doesn't really notice.

For the first launch you'll notice that I rocketed the Elite directly, rather than rocketing a nearby surface. That lets you give him a nice low trajectory, in cases where there's no handy surface nearby.

In the fourth launch you can see that I've unusually tagged the Elite on the back, with some of the 6 plasmas. That helps keep his trajectory from rising much - as do needles in his back instead of his front.

Closing remarks This movie took quite a bit longer than expected, as there was a lot of experimenting needed and a whole lot of gameplay (using the same six set-ups as in BCM213). But along the way I obtained other nice recipes too, and hopefully I'll be showing those in a later movie.

With these cascades I wouldn't recommend using more than three rockets for boost. When using four, I found that the rhythm tended to get broken, because the Elite soon gets so far away that there's a significant delay to the bangs.

I must say, I found the rhythmic montage pretty darned satisfying. Maybe one day I'll take things a step further and produce a movie-length rhythmic montage, using a wider variety of launch recipes. Could be nice!