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Tuesday, 8 December 2015

ShapeWay

Jump, move, die, dodge, die, speed and die your way through
ShapeWay. You die a lot.
ShapeWay! A game about shapes and, erm, way?

ShapeWay is a puzzle platformer developed by Paperbox Studios, with a focus on two components; building a solution and then playing it. The game has been in development for a while, but is now released on mobile platforms!

Following the launch of the mobile versions, the game was submitted to Steam Greenlight where its campaign was successful. Shapeway will launch on Steam in 2016!

Play it now!
Steam 
(coming 2016)



ShapeWay on display at PAX Australia.
No headphones though, tut tut!
This was the first game I worked on with Paperbox, which started way back in 2014. My role was to compose background music and create sound design that would compliment the games visuals and gameplay, including all of the dying. As everything tries to kill you in the game, it was important for the sound to not demean or insult the player. Every mode of death has its own unique sound, from being squished by a crusher to breaking on the spikes.

Every sound was designed to feel 'real', yet downgraded. The seemingly simple pixel-art visual style lent itself well to 8-bit sound effects, however from fear of being too predictable, I thought it was best to stay away from this. Instead, real world sounds were used and distorted to give a downgraded impression; to provide extra depth to the world while being in tune with the visuals. For example the real-world boots for the footsteps, or an angle grinder for the saw blade, and the smashing glass for the poor character getting spiked.

You solve the puzzle, and then platform
your way out!
On the other hand, the soundtrack is almost entirely reliant on an 8-bit sound. Initially the four worlds were to be named after shapes - circle, square, triangle and pentagon. It was my intention to therefore have a different tune for each world, based on the relating audio waves - sine, square and triangle, with pentagon involving a combination of all three. This gave each world a distinct musical sound, while remaining in the 8-bit realm. The menu music was the exception, and includes bells with additional percussion to make it just that little bit different, and hopefully not too annoying!



It has been great to see this game finally release, and I look forward to seeing it on Steam in the future. There is room for expansion, so I'm sure this isn't the last we'll see of Mister BlueCube.