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DJMAX Technika Tune: Turning PS Vita Into a Rhythm Game Machine

Eddie Lehecka's Avatar + Posted by Eddie Lehecka on Dec 03, 2012 // Product Manager, Pentavision Global

Making the decision to develop an entry of the DJMAX TECHNIKA franchise for PlayStation Vita was something of a no-brainer. The arcade game is known for its stylish cabinet, high-definition background videos, and innovative touch-screen game play. PS Vita is known for its stylish design, high-definition graphics, and innovative dual touch control scheme. Everything seems to line up, until you realize that the gameplay experience on a 22” touch screen has to be re-created for a handheld platform.

If you’re not familiar with the DJMAX TECHNIKA arcade franchise, at its core it plays like most other arcade music games. It has a dedicated control interface used to activate “notes” in as accurate timing with the music as possible. In TECHNIKA’s case the game uses two sets of four horizontal lanes with a timing line that scrolls clockwise on the screen. Even on the 22” arcade monitor, the play field takes up nearly all of the real estate out of necessity.

DJMAX Technika Tune on PS VitaDJMAX Technika Tune on PS Vita

Our solution was to cut two of the rows to make the interface on TECHNIKA TUNE separate into two, three lane sections instead. The first time many high-level players heard this, it became a concern. “Wouldn’t the game become too easy at that point?” or “The charts won’t feel complete with less note lanes.” We considered this from the get-go and made new charts for every song featured in the game. This allowed us to properly tailor the most important aspect of the gameplay specifically for PS Vita and create a faithful, yet unique, version of the existing game.

Another challenge we faced was the five different types of notes featured in the game. The most basic notes were pretty simple. Standard notes (you tap once to activate), drag notes (you follow along with your finger), and chain notes (kind of like connect the dots) were all easy enough to fit intuitively on the touch screen for the Vita. Hold notes and repeat notes (both of which require you to tap in one stationary spot even when the timeline moves) needed to be reworked to keep the game portable. We couldn’t remove or change them too drastically because they really round out the game play, but there’s no comfortable way to carry the system and use two hands on the touch screen.

DJMAX Technika Tune on PS Vita

DJMAX Technika Tune on PS VitaDJMAX Technika Tune on PS Vita

Enter PS Vita’s rear touch panel. Having a second surface to activate the notes with allowed us to include their mechanic in a new way, while staying true to the core functionality of each note. Now when activating a repeater note, you just tap the rear touch panel in time with the on-screen indicators. Likewise, with hold notes you just tap once and don’t break contact through the length of the note. Using the rear panel makes it comfortable to play the game on the go and still play expert level songs (arcade purists will be happy to know they can turn the rear panel off in the options menu)!

All in all, we’re sure existing fans of the DJMAX franchise will be pleased with the way the game turned out. The transition from a dedicated arcade cabinet to a handheld console doesn’t seem like the most natural one, but the end result with Tune is all about keeping true to the core game play while expanding on the idea to deliver an easy to grasp and fun to play concept using the PS Vita system. If you’re an existing fan of TECHNIKA, we hope we’ve shed some light on the transition to the new platform, but if you still have unanswered questions feel free to ask! You can find us on Twitter, and I’ll be hanging out here to field questions and chat it up.

//Add Your Own

64 Comments   17 Replies

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51

+ yabayayee on December 4th, 2012 at 12:35 am said:

does anyone knows when this is coming out today.. I am in EU but I got US psn account and wanted to know when should I power on my dusted vita… any answer will be most appreciated :)


52

+ ytl1986 on December 4th, 2012 at 1:08 am said:

Can’t wait. Too bad there’s not enough kpop songs.


53

+ SKYJIN-BR on December 4th, 2012 at 2:33 am said:

Has any chance of DJMAX Technika Tune be launched in Brazil / BR PS store


54

+ Monkey_KING678 on December 4th, 2012 at 2:59 am said:

DJMAX Portable 2 was my favorite game on the PSP. I got to level 99 and finished all the crazy-hard missions. So pumped for more DJMAX, FINALLY!!!!!!!


55

+ ImprisonedTitan on December 4th, 2012 at 5:51 am said:

Looks like a lot of fun, Vita definitely needs some rhythm games.


56

+ JKwon34 on December 4th, 2012 at 9:59 am said:

Yes around what time today will Technika Tune be released on the PSN?


57

+ NewOzkar on December 4th, 2012 at 8:44 pm said:

Why some people think this is an iOS game? This is an Arcade game brought to the power of Vita. You gotta check the long history of DJMAX portable games and the awesome games they are. And the price is fair and just. Imagine how much someone had to pay to IMPORT: DJ MAX portable 1, portable 2, clazziquai ED and Black Square. Thanks for bringing this game! This is the ONE game I will undoubtedly get a 32GB memory for, I got many retail games but this, I wanna just open without taking the card out or changing. Plus, other freebies with Plus.


58

+ KainDrake on December 5th, 2012 at 1:45 am said:

Is the limited edition sold out already? I only just found out about this game and the limited edition looks nice, but I can’t find it on the game website. :(


59

+ KainDrake on December 5th, 2012 at 1:48 am said:

Also sucks I missed out on the sweepstakes because I hadn’t known about this until today. :’(


60

+ DEVIL-TAKOYAKI on December 7th, 2012 at 11:08 am said:

May I ask you a questions?
1. If I purchase the DJ Max Tech TUNE game from Hongkong (Asia z3) or Japan (JP z2) and I’m using the PSN z1 (USA). Is that possible to download the DLC from PSN US and using it with the game disc from Hongkong and Japan?

2. I bought the DJ Max Tech TUNE game from Hongkong (Asia w/eng ver.) and earned the throply from the game. And later If I buy the US ver. of this game. The throply will be the new one or the same throply list as the Asia w/eng ver.?

Please answer me
I just about to buy the game from PSN If it’s can not share the DLC between game with a different region.
Thank you so MUCH!!


61

+ KyoAsakura on December 8th, 2012 at 6:59 pm said:

My friend and I are big fans of this game and we would like to know if there are any multiplayer/adhoc modes.


62

+ rone23 on December 9th, 2012 at 2:36 pm said:

Sweet! Thanks for the reply RE: Clazziquai

What about where to buy DLC when it’s released?

Will the game have it’s own in game store? Or will we have to purchase the DLC via PSN?


63

+ Hiddenknife7 on December 12th, 2012 at 9:26 am said:

Im really looking forward to playing the game it looks fantastic great graphic from what i’ve seen. Does anyone know what the difference are from the US, Jap and Korean version *not limited edition*. Whens is the US physical release date :D


64

+ Gamerboy_15 on December 14th, 2012 at 7:47 pm said:

Sweet! I didn’t know that this was out on PS Vita. There’s one question I wanna ask ya: is there going to be any DLC songs we can download in the future?


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