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soundStrider v0.14.0

Urban palette and beta announcement

The latest soundStrider alpha adds a dynamic traffic system and a new palette to support it. In the Urban palette, players will navigate streets of various layouts bustling with motorized traffic. This update also includes a metaprogression system which tracks metrics across play sessions to drive some secrets coming in its full release. Continue reading to find the patch notes and learn more about its upcoming beta.

Introducing the Urban palette

Check both ways before crossing the street in the excerpt below:

The sounds in this palette are generally an experiment with coupling synthesizer parameters to position and velocity. Each prop has a simple aerodynamic model that controls filtered pink noise. Individually they follow several archetypes ranging from public transit to emergency vehicles.

A helpful side effect of soundStrider’s binaural modeling was that moving objects exhibit the Doppler effect by default. By simulating the interaural arrival time of sounds at high velocities, their pitches bend as they travel toward and away from the player. This allowed me to focus on creating simple patches that work with fixed frequencies.

Under the hood

For this week’s #WIPWednesday I also created a video demonstrating an early build of soundStrider’s traffic system:

Essentially the traffic system is responsible for generating a grid of roads and managing the states of the traffic lights at their intersections. Traffic props leverage a movement behavior to traverse these roads, obey red lights, avoid (and honk at) obstacles, and respawn when they drive out of range. Reusing them this way gives each scene a consistently unique character when revisited via bookmark.

Something interesting about this clip is that it reveals a debugging UI that I use for evaluating world generation and prop behaviors. The rectangles onscreen represent the collision areas of intersections and the stopping distances ahead of props. Whenever a possible collision is predicted they respond accordingly.

The result is a dynamic city environment that gives playing in traffic a fun and entirely new meaning.

Alpha 7 changes

  • Added palettes
    • Urban
  • Added footsteps
    • Solid
  • Added game systems
    • Metaprogression
    • Traffic
  • Miscellaneous
    • Added overall step counter

Beta announcement

After six months of development I’m excited to announce that soundStrider’s next update will be its first beta release! This update will include its final palette (for a total of sixteen) and mark a shift in focus for its remaining development. Subsequent updates will add new quests to its Adventure mode and begin work on some secret features that should surprise and delight.

For now I’m remaining secretive about them until they’re ready. Ideally I’d like for them to be organically discovered by players at release. What I can say is that one involves collectibles and the other is poison!

Until then, I hope you enjoy this update. Be sure to share your favorite bookmarks below and wishlist soundStrider on Steam.