Hey PlayStation fans! You may know me from the Game Industry Rumble or my appearances on Giant Bomb. I’m an indie developer based in Seattle, and for the past two years I’ve been working on a new kind of music game called Sentris.
When I say “a new kind of music game,” what I mean is that Sentris is very different from the rhythm games you already know. I’ll tell you more in a moment, but first I want to share the exciting news that Sentris is coming to PS4!
As a life-long gamer but relatively new game developer, it’s a major personal milestone to bring Sentris to PS4. I’ve played countless rhythm games, and the ones that have been most inspiring to me were ones I played on PlayStation. Rez, Parappa the Rapper, Gitaroo Man, Beatmania, Um Jammer Lammy, Bust-a-Groove, Beatmania, Guitar Hero, Vib Ribbon, the list goes on. Playing these games inspired me to become a musician, and then a music game developer. I’m extremely honoured for Sentris to join this legacy of music games on PlayStation. I sincerely hope it will inspire many (or all) of you to spend more time playing and creating music.
Now, what exactly is so new about Sentris? It’s a great question! All the music games I’ve played have shared one thing in common: you are recreating a song that someone else composed. As a player, I’ve been wanting a game where I get to make my own music with a high degree of control. Sentris is that game. To play, you drop curved blocks called “Sound Blocks” into a spinning loop. As you do, they play their contained sound, and they play once more with each full rotation of the loop.
What’s more is that you can push Sound Blocks toward the center of the loop by dropping one on top of another. The way you drop the Blocks builds a song that is distinctive to your play session. Your choice of order, your choice of instruments, and your decisions around how to stack Blocks inside the loop all come together to make the songs uniquely yours.
In short, Sentris is both a musical instrument that allows you to express yourself musically (and build real musical skills), as well as a puzzle game that enables your creativity. What’s the puzzle part of it? The loop is always filled with some puzzle objects called Gems. Gems light up when you drop a correct Sound Block onto them. Some Gems need to be matched with a specific instrument (represented by color), or they need to match a specific pitch (represented by a symbol).
The challenge emerges when you try to match all the Gems using the Sound Blocks you have available. It’s harder than it sounds! Puzzle game fans should really enjoy focusing on the challenge of matching all the gems and enjoying their own emerging music.
Some of you out there may be more interested in the musical instrument properties of Sentris. For all of you, I’m happy to share that Sentris includes what I call “Performance Mode.” This is the way to play Sentris with total musical control, choosing any sound or instrument you want at every moment. It’s the closest thing to actually standing on a concert stage with a guitar or keyboard. If the idea of making your own music with a controller sounds more fun than playing a puzzle game, I made Performance Mode with you in mind.
There’s also an in-between mode, called “Remix Mode”. This is halfway between Puzzle and Performance mode, and acts as a bridge between the two ways of thinking about playing music.
And of course, music wouldn’t be special without someone to listen to it! So I’m happy to take advantage of the streaming and video recording capabilities of PS4 to help all you budding musicians build your own fan followings. This may be a little bit of a tease, but I’m working hard to enable players to share their music in other ways that I’m not quite ready to talk yet. Please keep an eye on the Sentris Development Blog for future updates of the game’s progress.
So what do you think? Does Sentris sound like a game you’d like to play on PS4? Do you find yourself more interested in the puzzles or the performance aspects of Sentris? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!