Harmonix has officially released tools and documentation that will help users modify beat maps for Audica (2019), the studio’s recently released futuristic ‘rhythm shooter’.

The new system was created to allow players to re-use Audica’s existent soundtrack, and while the studio calls it “the first step” in creating a more streamlined ‘Audica Creator Initiative’, it’s unlikely we’ll ever see official support for custom tracks. A more laissez faire mod system, tantamount to how Beat Saber (2018) allows mods on PC, could land the studio in some unwanted trouble, the studio says.

“We strive to provide you with the best licensed music in our games, and we cannot jeopardize our partnership with the music industry by supporting or condoning IP infringement of any kind, including mods or customs that use and distribute copyrighted music without the proper licenses,” a Harmonix Discord mod says.

The studio says their long-term goal is to make Community Maps easier to access from within the game itself, possibly by letting users download and rate maps without leaving the headset.

“How far we go in developing this feature will depend on your feedback, so tell us what you think and let’s make something awesome!” the studio says in a blog post.

How to Download & Play Community Maps

Harmonix plans on streamlining this process in the future. With its most recent update though, Audica now features a folder in its game files where users can drop downloaded Community Maps; you’ll also find the tools and instructions for authoring maps there too.

Here’s the default folder location for both the Steam and Oculus Store versions:

  • Steam: /steamapps/common/Audica/community_maps
  • Oculus Store: /Software/Software/harmonix-project-k/community_maps
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Community Maps for Audica’s OST can be found in the #audica-community-maps channel of the official Discord server (invite).

Simply download whatever Community Map you want to play and drag into the game folder community_maps/maps/. Make sure the file name follows the format [short songname]_[map name].[filetype] in order for the map to be read by the game. Eg: destiny_awwbees – Hyper Mode.mid.

Start up the game, and you should see the new map has been added automatically.

Harmonix has also posted a basic guide on how to create custom maps on the Audica website, however the studio maintains users unfamiliar beat map creation “may find the process has a steep learning curve.”

If you’re looking for more help outside of the included instructional file, the company’s Discord server is a good place to start (invite above). Mods aren’t allowing talk about custom tracks though, so you may need to look elsewhere if you’re dead set on blasting away to your favorite songs.

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  • Baldrickk

    hmm… obvious solution for more playability would be to allow the game to play local tracks and beat maps, then set up a beat map site.
    Sure, someone could pirate the track they then use, but the track wouldn’t be shared with the beat-map as part of the mod…

    • Gamer1st

      More than likely they’ll have to be hacked into and used like the custom tracks in Rockband were. H can’t risk anything that pisses the industry off. Even stepping up to that line would probably make them nervous.

  • Michael Slesinski

    it’s unlikely we’ll ever see official support for custom tracks.” well then who the fuck cares?

    • jj

      Another reason why beatsaber did so well was cause of the mod community. This highlights the exact situation beatsaber benefited off of.

      • MosBen

        Yes, but custom songs is a legal minefield for a small game company. Uploading songs without any money being paid to the rights holders is at least a bit of a gray area, and I keep expecting that at some point Beat Saber is going to have to do an update that kills custom tracks entirely. Allowing players to do custom maps for songs that have been cleared fixes that problem.

        • jj

          yeah I agree with all of what you said, aside from it fixing the problem. remapping a few songs over and over is the polar opposite of custom songs.

          • MosBen

            Fair enough. “Solves the problem” is perhaps too strong, or at least it should be limited to mean “solves the legal problem of custom tracks”. Obviously everyone wants more content for a game that they enjoy. The legal options are mostly just 1) paid dlc, 2) occasional free songs created by the developer as they have time, or 3) allowing players to create custom maps for already-cleared songs. The third option doesn’t help with players getting tired of listening to the same collection of songs over and over, but at least it provides some variety in gameplay, and is free.

          • jj

            yupp i think you explained it pretty well!

            in addition or like you said, Beat saber “allowing” the third party mod has always been kinda fishy and will lead to trouble for them in the future. if they can have mods that allow it why cant the rest, kind of situations.

  • HybridEnergy

    This is an awesome game though, it’s too bad the custom editor isn’t somehow integrated into it. It’s hard mastering the standard tracks as it is though.

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