Once upon a time, deep within the forest, a man was setting up his firecamp like he had been every day for a while now. All of a sudden, a cross-shaped blaze tore apart the sky and the warrior’s heart. An irrational strength pulled him into the woods and compelled him to seek where the light stroke. And there he saw a young magician, tied up to a holy altar. She was wrathful and struggled wildly as an illuminated priest intoned a dismal chant. And their eyes met. And as time froze, the warrior’s heart filled with dauntless courage and the mage’s anger vanished as serenity whelmed her mind.
And thus began their story...
Albert+Zoe is a rhythm game in which the narration is part of the core gameplay. It tells the journey of two lovers in a fantasy universe where magic has spawned an ideological conflict. Dialogue phases between our two heroes and the inhabitants of this world are interspersed with action phases involving rhythm game mechanics. Each one of the player’s decisions will take them to different parts of the world and confront them with various characters, while weaving a bond between the two protagonists the way the player chooses.
Sometimes speech won’t be enough to keep the journey going and you will have to fight powerful enemies in a rhythm game. Albert & Zoe is a 2-button game and the player has to understand his foes’ patterns to defeat them. The player will have to pay attention to 3 main elements :
- Albert’s gameplay : one input is controlling him. Press it on the beat to attack. Long press to charge a stronger attack. Release to guard.
- Zoe’s gameplay : the other input is controlling her. In the manner of a rhythmic Morse code, the player has to press and long press according to the music to make sequences which cast various spells in order to help Albert or damage the enemy.
- Bosses and minions : enemies have different patterns of attack, stances and skills. The player has to understand them and determine the best response with Albert and Zoe.
Our primary intention with Albert+Zoé is to make the player live a love story and to approach, sometimes metaphorically, the key stages of a couple, from encounter to romance to break-up... Or perhaps everlasting love? We also wanted to fit this storytelling with rhythm/musical game mechanics, which can imitate the ebb and flow of romance, and tell a story alongside the narrative ; thus, during combat sequences, every single event and feedback is part of the music.