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Rhythm + Blues

Rhythm + Blues

Ravi Nkengfack
by RENArt on 9 May 2021 for Rookie Awards 2021

'Rhythm + Blues' is my final major project for my final year in university. It focuses on a diverse cast of characters that are inspired by musical genres and this includes their weapons too! This is a glimpse at some of the work I've been able to produce.

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This game concept is the result of my work through my final major project for university, featuring characters designed after musical genres! I hope you enjoy the process as much as I have forming this idea. And without further ado...

Rhythm + Blues’ is a hybrid action-RPG/card battle system. As new prison breakers, you must fight your way to find the reason music and sound is disappearing around the galaxy, gain life-time allies and find a way to sever the chain that binds you two!


Rhythm is a hothead, quite abrasive and quite immature even though he is the older brother to Blues. 

Here is the initial character design for Rhythm and the few design variations I went through.

Rhythm's weapon: Saxophone Shoutgun

Here is the general process for the gun's design, beginning with futuristic gun designs and evolving it from there.


Blues, unlike her older brother, is always prepared and ready for action! Her calm cool attitude breathes through her attack moves being clean slashes to defeat her enemies.

And here are the varying designs from Blues and the initial design I had in the beginning.

Blues's weapon: The Double Bass

These are the design process for both Double Bass great sword and the bow dagger that accompanies the massive weapon.


The design for Zero was a lot harder to pin down because they're supposed to be a character that symbolises the absence of music. A character so mysterious and lacking in speech, they could be called a silent antagonist, it meant I had to find other ways to show the personality of this enigmatic character. These being the 'SHHH' graphic on the arm, the no sign on the side of the hood and even a quirky nature to them only being able to manoeuvre using roller skates.

Ally Characters

As I've mentioned, in this game you can befriend allies that will help you on your journey! And all of these characters are heavily inspired by musical genres and the musical genres I designed in particular are punk rock, country and hip-hop!

The varying designs for each ally character

And the varying designs for each ally's weapon

Move sets

The exciting prospect of move sets for the characters is that the weapons they use can both be used as the weapon they're based on and the instrument!

Here are some of the ally character move sets


Full environment piece and the thumbnails that were created to form an idea of this futuristic and sci-fi world. I used Google Sketch Up to frame my environment illustration.

Game Mechanics

This was quite a difficult task to carry out. I intended to keep my game concept within the parameters of a Nintendo Switch game, which meant I had to keep in mind the button inputs that comes along with forming a 'game' such as this.

In game dialogue

I formed the idea to use a record player needle to be the skip button icon, this keeps the overall design of the dialogue to be stylish and slick!

Cover Art Illustration

Last but not lest, here is my final illustration that serves as the game's cover art.

I wanted to say this work is primarily aimed at character work but the extra content that I decided to include is something I felt essential to make this game concept and world feel alive and personal. In the end, I hope you've enjoyed this little journey and I'm really grateful you looked through this project all the way till the end! 

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