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soundStrider v0.16.0

Revisiting Soundsearcher with Synthesis quests

The latest soundStrider beta adds a new quest type and a variety of enhancements. In its Synthesis quests, adventurers search for musical components to repair broken chords. And improvements to world generation and the exploration system send adventurers deeper into uncharted lands. Continue reading to find the patch notes and learn more.

Introducing Synthesis quests

In soundStrider’s game design document, my primary objective was to build a successor to the Soundsearcher prototype. After two months of meticulously building a proper engine, the first playable version had ported its footsteps and environmental sounds into a more sophisticated reality. Since then I have furthered my goals to expand upon it with additional palettes, footsteps, quests, various systems, and a distinct graphical style. With the addition of Synthesis quests in this update I’m delighted to have finally met that initial objective.

Folks who have played Soundsearcher should be familiar with its basic premise: you start with nothing, acquire the tools to navigate its world, locate synthesizers that form a triad, and return them to camp for a surprise that encourages exploration and makes old areas feel new again.

Synthesis quests are soundStrider’s repeatable and randomized analog. Players will occasionally encounter objects that sound like broken machines. Further exploration uncovers scattered musical components that react to the world and each other. Collecting them all and returning to the machine activates a delightful melody.

Future updates may rescale their difficulty, distance traveled, and introduce blue notes for further randomization. But the current implementation is definitely a welcome return to form.

Beta 2 changes

  • Added props
    • Arpeggiator
    • Resonator
  • Added Synthesis quests
    • Some quests spawn broken arpeggiators
    • Collect nearby resonators and return them to the arpeggiator
    • Repaired arpeggiators persist after completed quests
  • Quest improvements
    • Added waypoints to expedition stops
    • Ensured quests start in unexplored areas
    • Ensured quests lead to unexplored areas
  • World generation improvements
    • Rescaled palettes and fields for an average play session
    • Bookmarks are affected by this update
  • Miscellaneous
    • Added interstitial screen to the demo version
    • Added Load Bookmark option to Free Roam menu
    • Added support for Steam Overlay
    • Fixed escorted Storm props not always sounding
    • Fixed escorted Urban props not always following
    • Improved the Exploration system
    • Optimized reverb send for performance
    • Prevented pause on window losing focus
    • Track completed quests across play sessions

Approaching the end

From here it’s embellishment. The remaining beta updates will add a final quest type and make improvements to escort quests. Leading up to its gold release will be my first and only crunch time as I implement some secrets, assess performance, and tackle outstanding tasks. After that I intend to take a step back, explore other projects, and assess how to support soundStrider post-release. Hotfixes are inevitable, small point releases with new content are likely, but paid DLC or expansions are not.

Expect announcements for all that soon. Until then, I hope you enjoy this update. Please leave your favorite bookmarks below and wishlist soundStrider on Steam. Thanks for playing!