The BPM Game

Here’s a causal game inspired by playing in a band, listening to a click-track. The tempo and beats per minute are the heart of a song, in the sense that it breathes and pumps blood at a certain rate, in order to sustain it. (The obvious comparison is The Bee Gees live-saving song “Staying Alive”.

While hopefully playable to some degree in its current state, this mostly serves as reference to an app or full feature implementation in the future.

BPM Game Objective:

The goal is to be able to correctly identify or articulate how many beats per minute a song plays at. The player (or team) with the most points at the end of the second round wins.

Song collection: 500 most listened to songs on Spotify during 2016.

Round one: Guess that BPM range

During the first round, a randomly selected song (out of the collection) will play and the player or team whose turn it is must guess the range at which the song falls–within a range of 10.

You have 16 seconds to make a guess. If the song’s BPM is within the range guessed, the player is awarded 1 point. If the song’s BPM is within the range guess the player can make a second guess to identify the exact BPM. If the exact guess is correct, the player is awarded 1 additional point. No points are deducted if the exact BPM guess is incorrect.

Example one: your guess must be within a range of 10 beats or fewer. That means an acceptable guess would be 70-80BPM, 105-115BPM, or 100-105BPM.

Example two: * U2’s “With or without you” is playing * a player might guess 103-113 BPM. Since they are correct in the range they get 1 point and could guess again for the exact number. They guess 110 BPM and are correct so they get a second point.

Once a player has finished their turn, it’s the next person or team’s turn. During round one, each player or team takes two turns before moving to round two.

That means that each player has the opportunity to receive up to 4 points during round one.

Round two: Tell a song’s BPM

Song collection: the 200 most popular songs of all time. (Determined by Wikipedia or definitive source.)

Similar to round one, the player whose turn it is must identify a song’s BPM. Instead of listening to the song, however, the player will select a card from the deck of song cards and need to guess the BPM strictly from memory, only seeing the song name, without listening to it.

The player to the left of whose turn it is will select a song for them to guess. The player selecting the song reads them the artist and song name. The player guessing has 16 seconds to correctly guess the BPM within a range of 5.

If the player correctly guesses within 5 BPM, they are awarded 2 points.

There are no additional chances to guess the exact BPM if the player guesses within 5 correctly.

Each player or team takes two turns during round two.

Winning and other stipulations:

The player or team with the most points at the end of round two wins. If there is a tie, there are a few ways to break it.

While not necessary for the game to be played, one of the side goals of the game should be to expose people to new music. If everyone has heard all the songs at the end of the game, that objective failed.

These rules are only binding in the sense that there be a baseline in order to introduce new players and have an agreeable set of standards. Which means that these rules and standards can be altered and built upon as long as all those players currently involved in the game agree ahead of time on the stated “house rules”.

An example of future rounds and additional rules could include the bonus round of: Tap the BPM.

Tap the BPM might include each player or representative from a team taking turns selecting a card with a BPM written on it and then correctly tapping that BPM. The problem with this type of round shows a clear lack of needed tools in order to correctly lock in a BPM before the answer is shown. If you can solve this, please feel free to introduce this round into the game, or use as a tie breaker.

If additional rules can not be agreed on ahead of time, the default rules and regulations stated here are the ones which will determine the winner. If a situation or circumstance arises which is not part of these rules, the players are encouraged to come to a consensus–preferably one in the spirit of these existing rules.

That may include, but is not limited to, defaulting to the person with the most unique artists in their music library. Consulting the person currently paying for the most amount of legal music streaming services. Writing down the multiple preferred rules on a piece of paper and having a third party pick one out of a bowl.

Beyond anything, have fun.


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