Bongo Fever

The band “Bongo Fever” is late for their big performance after their last rehearsal. Now they have to hurry. The player has to guide them by hitting the drums on their Bongo, avoid obstacles and collect other bongos to reach the stage with as many band members as possible!

Bongo Fever was the second of two three week game jam projects of the 5th term. Each team, consisting of 3 students, was randomly assigned one of three themes: ‘Product Game’, ‘Interface Game’ and ‘Brand Game’. Our team got ‘Product Game’ and our task was to design a game that comes with a specific product and can’t be played without it.
We wanted to try to create a game that responded to audio input. The input, the sounds itself, s be part of the game so we decided to create a music game that is controlled with Bongos.

Game Concept

As a group we sat together and quickly decided to experiment with audio input. Because of the short amount of time we wanted to explore ways to utilize rhythm and volume but leave things like tone pitch aside. So drums, bongo drums to be precise, suggested themselves early on.

We chose to have multiple characters instead of just one. The player would control two groups of characters which by default would run on the bottom left and bottom right edge of the screen. The faster the player plays on the bongo the more the two groups move towards the middle. Initially we controlled this movement with the average beats per second as well but decided to change it because of the interplay of the rhythm of the player and the rhythm of the music which had to be composed. The two groups of characters have a constant movement towards the left and right edge of the screen, but with each bang on the Bongos they move a little closer to the middle.


During this project I wanted to do something different to my usual scope of tasks and I did. In hindsight I should have focused on the concept and the programming since three weeks and one programmer did not leave much room for trying something new.

I also think we should have more experimented with the basic idea and should not have dropped the movement control via the beats per minute so quick. It might have been better to train the players sense of rhythm. I like the overall idea of a music game where the player actually plays a real instrument. With more time at hand I am sure we would have come up with a better execution of our vision.