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soundStrider Beta

Mountain palette, mouse controls, and more

After six months and over 650 hours of development I’m excited to announce that the soundStrider beta—its largest update yet—has arrived!

In the Mountain palette, players will ascend to treacherous heights to enjoy chance music produced by standing bells and wind chimes. With its new mouse controls its procedurally generated worlds can be traversed in entirely new ways. And a remix of every sound ensures they can be enjoyed across a variety of audio setups.

Continue reading to find the patch notes, launch trailer, and learn more.

Beta launch trailer

A new trailer was created to celebrate the graduation to beta:

My primary goal with this trailer was to showcase more content in less time. Whereas the first trailer presented an immersive gameplay experience, this trailer is specifically for the attention economy. Across thirteen scenes it weaves together a buffet of aural and visual candy to demonstrate what soundStrider is all about: imaginative worlds and infinite possibilities.

There is always room for improvement, so in time I’d like to iterate on this trailer for the full launch. Importantly I’d like to align the breathing animation between scenes so the visualizer bins maintain consistent heights. Other changes might include scene selection and adhering to a chord progression rather than the circle of fifths. What do you think?

Introducing the Mountain palette

Ascend a mountain and enjoy the view in the excerpt below:

Like the Aquatic palette, this palette received several design revisions. On one hand, it wasn’t feasible for me to create an entire library of animal sounds in a week. On the other, its theme clashed with the surrounding urban and desert areas such that smooth transitions between them would feel incongruous.

The resulting Mountain palette is equal parts high altitude and meditative retreat. As the winds pick up and geological sounds signal a change in scenery, standing bells bellow the harmonic series and wind chimes churn aleatoric melodies. Just beware of the mountain goats!

Beta 1 changes

  • Added palettes
    • Mountain
  • Added mouse controls
    • Locked pointer while in-game
    • Added turning via mouse x-axis
    • Move forward with Mouse 1 (e.g. left click)
    • Move backward with Mouse 3 (e.g. right click)
    • Toggle auto move with Mouse 2 (e.g. mouse wheel)
    • Open game menu with Mouse 4 (e.g. back button)
    • Updated game manual with mouse controls
  • Compass system improvements
    • Added slight dissonance to destination
    • Added slight vibrato to breadcrumb directional cues
    • Added triad to notifications
    • Improved note selection
    • Reduced brightness of compass sounds
  • Dynamic range improvements
    • Remixed breadcrumbs
    • Remixed compass
    • Remixed footsteps
    • Remixed props
    • Remixed wind
  • World generation improvements
    • Adjusted chunk size
    • Adjusted prop densities
    • Adjusted prop frequencies
    • Reworked Elemental palette
    • Reworked Pulse palette
    • Reworked Storm palette
    • Reworked Trance palette
    • Bookmarks are affected by this update
  • Miscellaneous
    • Added idle behaviors to props in inventory
    • Added roll-off to acoustic shadow modeling
    • Added Start Adventure option for first-time players
    • Removed watermark from game screen
    • Various performance optimizations

Continuing the journey

Graduating to beta is only the first step toward realizing the soundStrider experience. The main objective of its alpha was to finish its environmental sounds and lay a foundation for Adventure mode. Leading up to its late-June release will be a handful of beta updates that implement new quests, enhance existing ones, and prepare its remaining launch features.

One new quest type will be repeatable variations of Soundsearcher’s main quest, tasking players with collecting components to forge them into arpeggiators. In another, players will discover winding keys that activate unique music boxes. Additionally, escort quests will gain additional legs that involve multiple props. My hope is for this variety to fill Adventure mode with fun and emergent challenges.

In the meantime, please leave your favorite bookmarks below and wishlist soundStrider on Steam. Thanks for playing!