Isometric sci-fi adventure Divide announced for PS4

Your first look at Exploding Tuba Studio’s ambitious action game

When my friend JD and I first came to California, we had a dream of one day making video games together. Nearly 15 years later, our separate careers in music and video game development converged when I asked him to leave his current studio position and help me start Exploding Tuba Studios. Today, we are excited to announce to the world our new character-driven, science fiction action adventure game, Divide, launching on PlayStation 4 later this year.

Making a game we wanted to play

From the outset, my goal was to make a game that told a compelling story about an ordinary person thrust into extraordinary circumstances. This is the foundation of Divide. But we also wanted Divide to be an action story, and that meant combat – mechanics to play and master with risk and reward.

Divide
Divide

We knew we wanted the game to call back to isometric adventure games, and the controls to borrow from dual-stick shooters. It was important for the controls to be concise and anchor your fingers to the buttons to keep every action – from shooting, to sprinting, to interfacing with an augmented reality world – available without multitasking any given finger or thumb.

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Something we really enjoy about Divide is the process of discovering the story through an atmospheric dungeon crawl. Opening locked doors, breaking into long abandoned computer systems, and rummaging through dimly lit complexes makes up the bulk of the experience.

Divide
Divide

The main character, David, voiced by Tom Everett Scott (That Thing You Do, Southland), comes from our world, and when he is swept into the momentum of the story, he knows as much as the player. New bits of story come with the shade of perspective. Is the information true? A conspiracy? Uncovering clues and revelations in the world expands the dialogue options with other characters, helping the player to reach his own conclusions.

Trespassing on the secrets of a powerful mega-corporation comes with serious risks. Mere exploration is often impeded by armed agents sent to investigate and apprehend the player. Given this, we still wanted to free the player from mandatory gunplay. Overrun areas can be cleared by blasting enemies with a powerful E-Laser (a high-tech standard sidearm,) but they can also be circumvented with stealth and subterfuge.

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Divide
Divide

 

So… I guess I’ll do the music?

Everyone I’ve talked to about creating this game always remarked, “So, I assume you’ll be doing the music.” I knew I was going to. It’s a savvy business decision – after all, I’m the cheapest, as I don’t have to pay myself anything. Of course, I wanted to write the music, but when it came down to actually composing the score, it was a little daunting. I was constantly questioning if I was too close to the project to do all the music on my own.

Early on, I wrote a lot of atmospheric electronic music, reminiscent of Vangelis (a favourite of mine). Quite a bit of that flavour stuck around, but in the end, I tried to approach it like any other project, and just give it the music I felt it needed.

Divide is very special me and everyone else on the team at Exploding Tuba. We look forward to sharing more with you all in the future!

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12 Comments
0 Author replies
ummagummachild 09 March, 2016 @ 18:34
1

The first thing i noticed in trailer was the backhround music and other noises like closing of door, footsteps etc, and the thought to myself that music sound impressive here, and honestly i read the article later to realize that music is somethibg that you guys really worked hard on.
Apart from that, gameplay looks nice, graphics nicer and yes, any game with conspiracy rhing in it is always a sweet dish for me. Looking forward….

frimo_online 09 March, 2016 @ 19:42
2

Colour me intrigued. Looks good – both gameplay and graphically.I’m a sucker for a good, layered story and it looks like I won’t be disappointed. I’d be surprised if I wasn’t playing this Day 1. Keep up the good work!

Sounds very promising, I’ll be keeping an eye on this.

Looks really, really good to me too

5

Colour me intrigued. ‘The Isometric Era’ of gaming was where I really cut my teeth. While 3D gaming had been around for a while, graphics were always a bit awkward as developers struggles to find the processing power to render the required polygons to make games look really good. Then the ISO games made a comeback as they harnessed the power the 3D guys were pushing to make silky smooth games with sprites and wonderfully hand-painted backgrounds the quality of which 3D games just couldn’t provide.

This culminated in the pinnacle of ISO RPGs, Baldur’s Gate, but there were plenty of adventure, RTS and shooters that used hand painted backgrounds. More recently Shadowrun Returns brought some ISO goodness back in-vogue, along with twin-stick shooters like Dead Nation.

Divide looks like it will add another quality feather to the ISO cap. I really liked the trailer. It was highly reminiscent in style to the trailers/promos of many great ISO games of the past. While watching I did notice th...

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Colour me intrigued. ‘The Isometric Era’ of gaming was where I really cut my teeth. While 3D gaming had been around for a while, graphics were always a bit awkward as developers struggles to find the processing power to render the required polygons to make games look really good. Then the ISO games made a comeback as they harnessed the power the 3D guys were pushing to make silky smooth games with sprites and wonderfully hand-painted backgrounds the quality of which 3D games just couldn’t provide.

This culminated in the pinnacle of ISO RPGs, Baldur’s Gate, but there were plenty of adventure, RTS and shooters that used hand painted backgrounds. More recently Shadowrun Returns brought some ISO goodness back in-vogue, along with twin-stick shooters like Dead Nation.

Divide looks like it will add another quality feather to the ISO cap. I really liked the trailer. It was highly reminiscent in style to the trailers/promos of many great ISO games of the past. While watching I did notice the influence of Vangelis in the music, as it did give off a very Blade Runner vibe, so I was not surprised at all to read that in the article. I look forward to this release.

(P.S. Somebody at Sony get Shadowrun Returns ported to console. It’s already on Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS)

CluckNuggets 10 March, 2016 @ 00:33
6

It looks like Stasis on PC but with a far more professional polish. Looks excellent, I’ll buy this.

WitheredBlossom 10 March, 2016 @ 06:04
7

This looks really, really good, the trailer caught me by surprise and really reminded me about the isometric games of yore. I will definitely be buying this. Keep up the good work, it is really appreciated.

Such-A-Goonie 10 March, 2016 @ 10:18
8

This is going straight to my wishlist. :-)

Seems very nice, I will keep my eyes on this :)

Seems very nice

11

Day one purchase for me! Looks amazing!

AmorousBadger1 11 March, 2016 @ 07:20
12

Looks a bit like ‘Syndicate’ does this.

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