Hey everyone! Sound Shapes has been out for a few weeks now, and we continue to be blown away by the response to the game. If you’ve been following our official Sound Shapes Twitter (and we hope so!) you’ve probably been kept up-to-date with our news, but just last week we hit over 10,000 community-generated levels (if you’re interested, our ten-thousandth level was ‘Out of the Rain‘ by sunpsyche.)
With so many levels, we’ve been working very hard behind the scenes to make sure that players are able to find the cream of the crop. For example, we’ve been iterating on our search algorithms to ensure that not only is the section of our community that shows you which levels are currently hottest (the star tab, also known as “Greatest Hits” on the website) kept up-to-date and with only the best levels, we also try and make sure if you search you get useful results. Oh, and if you missed it, you can search on the website now too!
However, we would like to ensure we’re interacting with our community and not just setting up SOULESS SEARCH ROBOTS to do that job for us – so we’re going to try and regularly share with you the community levels that pique our interest. Starting… now.
As Queasy Games‘ resident Scottish bloke, it feels particularly exciting to be writing a launch blog post for all my European chums, even though, er, I don’t know you all personally or anything. Yes, Sound Shapes is launching in Europe (oh, and Australia and New Zealand – can’t forget them), and there’s a big benefit for everyone who chooses to pick up Sound Shapes on PS3 or Vita today (15th August) for the asking price of €12.99/£9.99 (20% off for PS Plus members, and remember the title is cross play, so you get both copies for one price!). You see, there are already THOUSANDS of community levels available for you to play. It’s blowing our mind.
True story: we had no idea how the response would be when we released Sound Shapes in North America last week. In fact, when we discovered that a thousand levels had been created within the first day, Jon (Mak, the fine captain who helps steer the good ship Queasy with Shaw-Han Liem) revealed he didn’t think anyone was going to make ANY levels until well into the second week! The response has been not merely surprising but overwhelming. The quality of the levels we’ve seen is incredible, and they are all out there for you to play now.
Sound Shapes is out on PSN next week! It’s the culmination of a long journey for our boss-men Jonathan Mak and Shaw-Han Liem, who worked on the concept for… more years than they probably want me to say before the reveal at E3 2011. Having worked on the game for a year myself, now I think I can speak for the whole team when I say we just want you to play it. Like… we don’t want you to even watch the launch trailer we made. We made Sound Shapes for you to play!
Fellows! We are absolutely gagging to get Sound Shapes into your hands. Gagging! We wish it could be with you now, but unfortunately that can’t be the case. We will be bringing it to Europe as soon as we can, and all being well, this will be on 15th August.
But enough of that waffle. Because we’re so excited to get Sound Shapes to you, we thought we’d help kick start your creative imaginations by having one of our studio founders, Jonathan Mak, walk you through creating a level using our level tools. And if you’re the kind of player who is more excited to *play* than create (and that’s fine too) we’re revealing our Trophy mode. Yes, there is a platinum.
So, until this point we’ve been showing you lots of different parts of our campaign mode. Just to recap: we’re providing five different albums with several tracks each, with each album including art and music from a different pair of artists, such as Deadmau5 and Pixeljam; Pyramid Attack and Beck. Beating these levels will unlock their components, and then you’ll be able to mix and match them in your own levels!
In the following video, for example, Jon quickly puts together a level that (among other things) includes Deadmau5 loops paired with Jim Guthrie/Superbrothers hazards, and he throws in some vocals that you might remember from our recent reveal of the Beck album Cities. He even shows off the player’s ability to record timings and change beats-per-minute…and it all sounds (and plays!) pretty good:
We’ve tried to make it not only as fun for you to make songs and levels as possible, but as effortless to upload and share them. We’ve said this before, but seeing what players do with our tools is one of the things we’re all most looking forward to, and we’re certain that you’re going to blow away what Jon did there within a matter of days.
Something that we think (hope?) is going to take more than a matter of days, however, is players claiming our platinum trophy. If you’re a trophy hunter, you’re probably well aware of the pain and glory of trying to beat our pal Shawn McGrath’sDyad with its intense trophy levels. Here at Queasy Games, we didn’t want players to be distracted by playing albums in a certain way for trophies, or trying to “game” our community. Instead we created two things: Death Mode and Beat School.
Death Mode is an unusual twist in our campaign mode. Once you’ve beaten our albums, you can flip each album over to a b-side and experience intense, single-screen timed challenges to collect notes without dying based on signature moments from each of the album’s tracks. Each win unlocks a trophy, and we hope these will test the skills players have learned in our levels, making each trophy not merely hard-fought, but deeply rewarding.
Beat School is a different sort of challenge: here we challenge all players, even those who consider themselves non-musical, to create beats on a single screen by listening and matching to a rhythm we have created. With luck, these levels will challenge and inspire you to go into the editor and make your own beats – if Jon’s video above hasn’t already convinced you.
Don’t forget: Sound Shapes hits PS3 and PS Vita as a cross-play title on 15th August, and remember, you get both versions for one price! It’s €12.99/£9.99 (20% off for a limited time for PS Plus members) and the trophies are shared between versions too. Did we mention there’s a platinum?
There’s just under three weeks until the release of Sound Shapes on PS Vita and PS3 on August 8th, and it’s time we sat down and had a serious chat with you. You see, we’ve been keeping a secret from you. Yes, here in Queasy Towers, our glittering skyscraper in downtown Toronto, so beloved by the city that they’re building us a moat (they claim they’re upgrading streetcar lines, but we know what they’re really doing), we have been hiding someone from you.