The developers behind Sound Shapes — the PlayStation-exclusive side-scrolling platformer that merges music with platforming — reveal how they turned music by Beck into game levels in a new interview with The Creator's Project.
In the interview, Jonathan Mak, the founder of Queasy Games, and musician Shaw-Han Liem, share their experience deconstructing Beck's music and creating game elements around it. Liem says that a big part of the design consideration is introducing ideas that are digestible and convincing people they want to compose music, as this gives them the impetus to continue playing through a level.
"They didn't necessarily buy the video game because they wanted to compose music, but part of what we tried to do is create those connections and introduce those ideas in way that will encourage people to explore that side of it," he says.
Liem explains that in a song like 'Cities', they tried to create musical and gameplay connections, so the bassline is represented by missiles and the shaker becomes flickering fire and the kick and snare becomes collectible notes.
"In 'Cities' the intro to the song had this kick and snare pattern, this shaking percussion and then a bassline that comes in, so basically the main riff of that song is the bassline that comes in and determines the whole structure of it," he says. "So we'd take those four things — the kick and snare pattern, something shaking around and the bassline — and they need to be introduced in this sequence to create that musical idea."
To read the full interview with Liem and Mak where they talk about their process with all of Beck's songs, head over to The Creator's Project.