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Soundodger 2 » Hearts Will Be Broken: The Shatter FAQ

Howdy Dodgerinos!

Our latest update certainly packed a doozy of a changelog, but there’s one aspect I felt needed its own space to breathe. Of course I’m talking about everyone’s favorite mechanic to have feelings about – shattering.

What is shattering?

First off, you now take damage when getting hit. This appears in the game as cracks in the player. The cracks heal over time, and getting a heart instantly heals fully. If you get hit too often in too short a time, you will shatter. When you shatter, the song ends and you’re kicked out. From there, you can either play again or go back to the menu.

How can I improve in a level if I keep shattering before seeing it all?

Luckily for you, we’ve added a handy heatmap of your gameplay, including marks to indicate every time you got hit. Simply hover over the heatmap and click to jump into practice mode from that point. You even get to hear an audio preview of the song to know roughly where it is. (This heatmap has also been added to the results screen in the bottom left, so you can still see your damage and jump in to practice even if you finish a level)

Why add it to the game?

This is something I’ve wanted not only in this game, but in Soundodger+ and even Overpass. Rhythm games, music games, and generally every video game has a fail state built in to give you an out if you’re not ready yet. The first Soundodger used to have a fast-forward as a punishment for getting hit, which was odd, yes, but served this purpose. Once I added smooth listening mode and almost every player used it, that punishment was gone. Any player, regardless of their skill level, would always make it to the end. Sometimes a good score, sometimes bad. It’s generally not good game design to rely on players to self-motivate themselves.

This also creates a new milestone for players to work towards – simply finishing a level. Before, you’d always make it through, get your grade, and move on. Now, a player can feel the pressure of having to perform well, celebrate making it through alive, then worry about their score another time. It’s also a lovely indicator that you just might not be ready for this level right now. And that’s okay! I’d much rather be kicked out of a super difficult level early rather than get an F and feel empty inside. (There are mods to allow you to play through an entire level, see below)

Why add it now?

Hey, this is still Early Access! Anything can happen at any time. And for your information, an early version of shattering has been in the game files since day 1, albeit disabled. It was a lives system. It was not good. Anyway, I really felt this needed to be added to the game before 1.0 and make it a better product because of it.

What if I don’t like it?

Well, the good news is, once you get better at dodging stuff, this won’t really be an issue. You can always practice as much as you want. We added a few collision mods to help as well. Zen mod of course lets you play without any score penalty when hit. There’s also shatterproof mod, which still takes score away, but you’ll never shatter. This is essentially how the game used to be. This is ideal for nearly impossible levels no one will ever beat, so you can brag about your score and share your results screen. Keep in mind this is a mod, so your score isn’t saved. Lastly, there’s fragile mod, which is just a 1-hit shatter for the masochists out there.

So that’s that! We hope you enjoy the new shatter system and learn to love it as much as we do.

Happy Dodging,