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.
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...
Latest tweets from @_benbradley
Dec 25 2014, 7:08am
Dec 24 2014, 9:44am
Luckily the owner turned up. I attempted to walk confidently towards the horse with "Hello! How are you? I'm Ben!" but it just ran.
Dec 24 2014, 7:14am
In Cornwall. No signal. No wifi. Slow internet. Been out this morning trying to cajole some escaped horses off a road!
Dec 24 2014, 7:12am
Dec 19 2014, 4:44pm
Dec 15 2014, 2:32pm
“Dolores In A Shoestand” by Esbjorn Svensson Trio is my new jam. Listen: T.co
Dec 13 2014, 4:00pm
@SomeAlexKelly awww shame. What are you doing with them?
Dec 13 2014, 2:01pm
@SomeAlexKelly whoa these are cool!
Dec 13 2014, 1:59pm
@OllyOllyBennett It is a trap. It's actually Monday.
Dec 13 2014, 7:08am