Monday, 21 May 2012

Sound Shapes

Soundshapes is an upcoming game for the PS Vita that focuses on music and sound. I find this to be a very interesting concept after playing the iOS game 'Super Brothers: Sword & Sworcery'. The developer demonstrating in the video explains that items in the game are responsible for creating the music. There is no actual background music in the game, instead the player's interaction with the game space generates an immersive soundscape. This works similarly to the 'Sylvan Sprites' sequences in Sword & Sworcery, where the player looks for triggers inside the environment which are layered to create a moving stereo experience. The developer of 'Sound Shapes' also explains that the aim of the game is not to challenge and frustrate the player, but to allow them to experience the musical world. Immersion in gaming is a sort of suspended reality, where the player looses their grasp of time and gets lost in a game world. This is often achieved by making the player concentrate and persist with a challenge for a long period of time. A few smaller developers appear to be taking a different approach to immersion through rich audiovisual experiences. This particular game doesn't demand the players intense concentration, instead it aims to make them become absorbed in this dynamic virtual music world. Music is something that is very universal. It doesn't have to be strictly pinned down to fit one genre, certain sounds provoke certain emotional responses meaning the scope for a game like this is far from niche and restricted. sound is a form of narrative that we can all relate to on a subconscious level, making titles like this along with the Super Brothers' approach highly engaging.

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