Rhythm Quest Devlog 65 — More Bonus Levels, Readability Mods

6 min readApr 15, 2024


It’s been a while, so I definitely have some cool stuff to show off from this past month of work! Let’s start with everyone’s favorite, looking at some more new levels…

More Bonus Levels

Last time around I showed off some new bonus levels that I had written for Rhythm Quest. I’ve actually switched gears a bit for bonus levels and instead ended up making charts for a bunch of existing songs from my past releases. Here’s a video sampler showcasing these:

Super Mega Zero is a fast-paced song from the Super Mega Zero OST. Nothing too fancy here, just the standard charting that you’d come to expect by now, just at a high tempo. This one will really get your blood pumping!

Standing Here Alone (Expert Mix) is from the Melody Muncher Deluxe OST. The Melody Muncher songs are naturally pretty easy to translate over to Rhythm Quest as Melody Muncher was already based on 8th-note rhythms to begin with. This one is the “Expert Mix” version of the song, which works better for formulating a harder chart.

As the Cherry Blossom Falls is from Volume 2 of the Samurai Shaver OST. This one is a much slower song, so it’s definitely on the easier side. As such, I made sure that it didn’t feature any obstacles from worlds 3 onwards, so that it can be enjoyed pretty early on.

Let’s Have an Adventure! is from my older album, The Ecstasy of Life. It’s fast and upbeat, featuring dotted eighth-note ghost patterns that go right along with the melody (really glad that I decided to introduce this as a mechanic!). Some of the rhythms in this one are a little tricky, which led me to implement some readability mods that I’ll talk about later in this post.

There are also some 4-note dotted eighth patterns here that I had to chart with one basic enemy plus a yellow ghost. Because of this, I briefly contemplated what it would be like if I had designed the ghost enemies with variable counts, so for example with some sort of counter, that way you could have 4-hit ghosts, or 5-hit ghosts, etc. In the end, though, I think I like the simplicity of the ghosts as is. There is something to be said about trying to make the most of a limited toolset!

What Lies Beneath is from the Ripple Runner Deluxe OST and is the oldest of these songs (released 10 years ago, wow!). Because this one has a low tempo, I experimented with using some more complicated 16th note patterns. Like I’ve mentioned before, I want to be sparing with my use of these since they’re not as easy to read, but with slower tempos I think it’s okay.

Enemy Spacing Adjustment

This was a minor quality-of-life tweak/setting that was on my backlog — you can now adjust the horizontal offset placement of enemies, in case the default (around 30 pixels) feels off to you. This comes with its own fancy little live simulated preview:

Color/Beat Mapping

This one was a pretty big undertaking that I only recently wrapped up. You can now modify the colors of obstacles and beat grid markers to help decipher rhythms, a la DDR noteskins. Here’s an example of that in action during gameplay:

I don’t know how popular this kind of thing will be, but as I started to experiment (carefully!) with more complicated rhythms, I didn’t like the fact that some of them can be a little ambiguous to sightread on the fly, so I wanted to at least provide some sort of nod toward players who want things to be a little more readable.

Floor beat grid markers (and flight path markers) can be colored according to their beat offset (red = downbeat, blue = offbeat, yellow = 16th rhythms), or according to the action on that beat (red = attack, blue = jump, green = both). This coloration will override the default color specified by the level palette.

Enemies can likewise be colored according to beat (probably most useful) or according to action type:

There are some separate settings for wings and spiked enemies, as well as an option to use a different shade of green in case you find that better (I can put more color variations here in the future if needed):

Overall one nice thing about Rhythm Quest is that color isn’t actually necessary to differentiate anything, so all of this coloration stuff is hopefully just for people who want to tweak their experience or are having trouble with songs that use weird rhythms. Either way, I’m glad to have this feature finally complete, as it took a good deal of work. The preview UI for this was also perhaps more of a pain to put together than the actual feature itself! It’s not even perfect (ideally it would display an actual level section being played in realtime), but this was what I came up with when I was balancing my effort/benefit ratio.

Other Odds and Ends

Previously checkpoints could only ever be placed on solid ground, and I made it a point to always chart all of my levels to accomodate that. I still think that’s best practice, but for situations where that isn’t a good option, I’ve added a little floating cloud platform for the checkpoint flag to sit on:

Finally, per a community request from a while ago, I’ve added the option for timing windows to scale in size based on the music speed multiplier:

While I’m personally not a huge fan of this, I also understand the rationale behind it, and it wasn’t too difficult to implement. It doesn’t apply neatly to all obstacles (rolling spikes…) and it might possibly cause some weird behavior since the collision boxes are so unexpectedly large, but in most cases it should (?) work okay. Note that this doesn’t fix the duration of timing windows across different song sections, so faster-scrolling sections will still have (slightly) tighter timing like normal.

I think that covers all the stuff I’ve been working on lately, minus one other thing which won’t be ready to show for quiiiiteee some time. It certainly *feels* like I’m putting together a lot because of all the bonus levels, but that’s mostly because charting existing songs (and not having to draw additional backdrops) is very easy. At some point I’ll have to get back to actually finishing out world 6, but maybe after having made so many other charts I’ll have a little more confidence in doing so…

Wishlist Rhythm Quest on Steam today at https://store.steampowered.com/app/1635640/Rhythm_Quest/