SUBSTREAM is a third-person shmup that's choreographed to music. Substream is an abstract aerial shooter where you battle the waves of attacking enemies. But it's not that simple, because space is wrapped. Enemies appear in multiple positions ahead of you, and your lone fighter ship is a squadron stretching off to infinity. Expect to be flanked by enemies that are right in front of you. Every level in the game has been animated with a different musical genre and the entire environment is dynamic. Terrain and scenery morphs and pulses with the rhythms, melodies and themes of the soundtrack. Substream is being developed for Windows PC.

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Substream Screenshot - "Dual Identity" Substream GIF - "Messi's" Environment Substream Screenshot - Alpha - October 2014
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0 comments by benbradley on Oct 17th, 2014

This week I've finished working on the environment for what will probably be level two of Substream. This is a game where the environment animates to music, so I'm designing dynamic levels rather than fixed geometry. The final third of this came together in about two days, most of the end sequence was a repeat or reworking of former melodies, which meant animations could be copied and tweaked which speeds up the process nicely.

In a recent PC Gamer preview, it was mentioned that the gameplay feels slow. I've heard this from a few people in the past, some think it's ok, but most want it "faster" or "punchier". You have to be careful in game design, when someone says "faster" I don't think they necessarily want the ship to move or fire more quickly. There are a lot of things you can do to make the gameplay busier, or alter the camera or sounds to make the gameplay feel like it has more impact. It's this, and more group-based enemies that I want to focus on next.

A new trailer was uploaded recently. There's a shot from each of the five levels I've been developing so far, and the trailer is mostly gameplay footage...

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anthony865 Jul 29 2014, 7:56pm says:

This game looks amazing mainly because of the music and how smooth everything goes. Although there is already a game where the music syncs to the game, but that is in 2d and this is taking it to a whole new level. (I guess you could say a new dimension XD) But anyways, I am really looking forward for this game to come out!

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cruciFICTION Jan 20 2011, 1:50pm says:

The music in that video is absolutely lovely. I look forward to the OST. =D

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benbradley Creator
benbradley Jan 22 2011, 5:56am replied:

@Cruciform Thanks! I'm really pleased with the way the soundtrack is coming together. It's a wide variety, every track's by a different artist. :o)

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OrangeNero Jan 19 2011, 6:37pm says:

looks very promising, i really love the idea to make the game sync to the music. will we be able to choose our own music?

tracking :-)

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benbradley Creator
benbradley Jan 22 2011, 5:56am replied:

@Orange131326 Hey thanks! It's not my aim to allow music to be imported, because I wanted Substream's animations tied much more closely with the audio's mood and melody. If you're interested I wrote more about this here:

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EmanueleParis Sep 18 2010, 3:50pm says:

Love it. Hope you'll be able to make a OSX release, looking forward to it.

+2 votes     reply to comment
benbradley Creator
benbradley Jan 22 2011, 5:57am replied:

@EmanueleParis Yes I would love to do an OSX version! It may be that a PC version comes out first and then an OSX version would follow, but it's definitely in consideration.

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