Games with the best combat mechanics tend to have pacing. When a player parries, dodges, and swings their sword, it’s easy to get into a rhythm that matches the opponents you’re facing. The RPG symphony sword takes this to the next level by adding classic beats to oh-so-smooth sword swings, as you battle enemies inspired by musical notation.
We have music battles and more in Cool WIP, Polygon’s weekly roundup of eye-catching clips and work-in-progress screenshots. Every week, the Polygon team scours the internet for the coolest games still in the works, to give you a sample of the coolest projects to come.
Read on to experience a charming diorama game with stunning environments and the most excited zombie you’ve ever seen. There are also a few other goodies, like an in-depth thread about how a developer created the silliest ragdoll physics and a really neat bridge-building tool.
The sweetest melody you’ll ever see
If you like video game content on TikTok, you might have seen the musical RPG, symphony sword. Developer Stephen Ddungu posted a clip showing a “resting variant” foe based on musical notation Friday. The video shows what appears to be a perfect composition, which marries gameplay and concept. While it sounds like a particularly fun piece for a musician, its smooth, rhythmic combat paired with a unique soundtrack puts it at the top of my list of anticipated releases. You can follow the game updates on Ddungu’s Twitter account as well as on the game site.
I’m ready to pack it all up and travel to this fictional town
Sometimes I see a game environment that stops my scrolling and lets me enjoy the scene. This Nick Carver scene is from a WIP called Spy-O-Ramas which, according to Carver, will be an “exploratory game set in a series of interactive dioramas”. Sculptor posted one of his vibrant scenes, and it did not disappoint. The curvy lines of the building and the pink color scheme give a touch of whimsy and charm to this town that made me want to sit down and drink a cup of coffee there. There is no release date, but you can receive updates on Carver’s Twitter account.
This zombie is just happy to see you
I usually associate zombies with slow, mindless movement, but this animation from the independent developer Vin Hill breathes new life into the monsters. In the clip, a pixelated zombie can be seen trying to break through a fence and get to another character. The contrast between the crisp pixels and the smooth background creates an eye-catching visual style. The clip is for a WIP called Long gone and you can receive updates on Hill’s Twitter page.
Rag-doll physics unboxed
A developer who goes by Wabbaboy has posted an in-depth tutorial on how he approached creating physics in his game, Witch. Although there are details on the nuts and bolts for developers, the the video is just a fantastic compilation showing off physics in a big supercup of wacky shenanigans from test dummies. As Wabbaboy explains, the characters’ bones stay in place but react using animations creating a fun effect. You can check out the yarn and Wabbaboy’s other work on their Twitter account.
Build and fold bridges to your heart’s content
We love a good game development tool here at Cool WIP. In this clip, developer Joyen shows a procedural bridge building tool. Not only can it be used to pave a bridge, but you can also curve it. As they demonstrate it, you can see the bricks and the architecture adapt perfectly to the new shape. It’s a small thing, but it’s all in the details.