Qbeh-1 Release!

Hey Everyone,

We know we’ve been neglecting this blog a little (ok a lot), but we’ve been using pretty much all of our time to work on the game! The moment is finally here though, and Qbeh-1: The Atlas Cube will be released on Steam this thursday, May 15th! The price is set at 9.99 dollars, but we’ll launch with a nice 25% discount =)

go check out the store page on Steam http://store.steampowered.com/app/252550?beta=1
And have a look at the new trailer! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THPCiyDx9nU

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Qbeh-1: The Atlas Cube on Steam in April!

We are happy to announce that Qbeh-1: The Atlas Cube will be released on Steam in April 2014. We have released a tiny teaser video on our youtube channel:

Also, we have a new website for the game, check it out!

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Sampled instruments

So i set myself a goal.

This project has gone through numerous changes throughout its lifetime. And every time the feel of the game changed, this brought with it a change in style for the soundtrack. At some point there were even some attempts to sneak some chiptune elements into the music, a style I must admit i’m not too proficient with, having never really attempted it.

In any case, the project eventually got back to its Qbeh roots, but as we’ve been going through some of these redesigns I noticed I was using fewer and fewer instruments and synthesizers. Instead, I was using my own samples, manipulating them with software samplers and effects until they turned into instruments. Using software instruments made me more and more uncomfortable. What if someone recognized the instruments I was using?

I realize it’s slightly ridiculous. I recognize software instruments in music all the time, and it doesn’t make me think any less of the song or the artist. Still, using ‘home-made’ instruments felt nice in some ways: I knew no one else could get the sounds i’m getting, simply because no one else has the samples i have. For better or worse.

Now, i’ve liked the idea of using samples to create instruments for a long time now, especially when it concerns recordings of things that don’t really want to be instruments, such as beer bottles, kitchen drawers, or my voice. One of my inspirations for this is the album Lover, The Lord Has Left Us by The Sound of Animals Fighting. If you don’t know them, check out this song in particular:

I just loved the way they used what sounds like kitchen appliances to create a weird, otherwordly rythm. So, for pretty much as long as i’ve been making music as Launchable Socks, I’ve attempted to use my own samples. I’ve only once before, however, succeeded at making a song purely out of self-recorded samples.

Most of the samples in this song are guitar, with some additional samples such as icecubes in water

Suddenly though, while working on the Qbeh-1 soundtrack, this feeling caught up with me, and I found myself with numerous songs containing only my own samples. There’s just nothing like taking some mundane objects and using the sounds they make in music. It gives those objects new life that I usually couldn’t have imagined myself. Sometimes the strangest objects or sounds end up providing the most useful samples in my samplebank.

http://launchablesocks.com/dump/samples.ogg%20

The “synth” in this song is actually an old sample of an electric guitar

The way things are now, almost all the songs I intend to use for the soundtrack of Qbeh-1 use only my own samples. There are some exceptions in a song or two, but I’m pretty confident that in the end, i’ll be able to write the entire soundtrack using only my own samples. If nothing else, it makes for interesting stories when people try to guess which sound comes from what.

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Checkpoint candy

To  make the game more enjoyable we saw that check points would be a nice feature to implement in to the  new version. The check points in the final game will function as a beacon for the player to return to when he dies, only passing by the statue will activate the trigger. I found this task very interesting since there was clearly 2 states to the functionality of the object.

First there was the inactive state, the world itself has relaxing- and subtle atmosphere so I wanted to make the inactive state blend in with the world and only stand out by its unique silhouette.

In contrast I wanted to give the active state lively and clearly standing out- kind of look but I still wanted to keep the way it blends in to the world. The best option for feedback and the differentiation between the looks seemed that by adding motion and light, animation to catch the attention and on the same time the statue would light up. ( Also of course the audio would give its own feedback during the activation. )

From there the design work begun, a standing statue was chosen to be the best option for the checkpoint. I began working with several quick pieces from where we could go and develop the design further.

Bird

From the design phase I took the work to 3d where I had to take a note to how to build the wings for animating the statue. Most important thing when creating the check point was that the statue should look very subtle when inactive.

Check point sculpting

Eventually when the low poly version was done with all the maps baked on top, the final result needed only fine refining to take it to the game engine.

FinishedCheckpoint

I’m happy with the final result, in an atmospheric world with slow -paced gameplay the object fits in nicely. The thing what I had difficulties was to balance how much light and motion you’re going to give an object which only needs a short time of your attention but still rather essential part of your play.

– Mika

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Remixing Qbeh

So I guess I get to kick off the blog, and what better way to do it than to contrast the old with the new. For Qbeh-1, we’ve gotten a number of the old levels from Qbeh and “remixed” them, as it were. They look and play differently, but those who have played Qbeh will (hopefully) get a sense of familiarity when playing them, as if they’re revisiting an old place. So I decided to try the same for the soundtrack: take the old songs and remix them, using different instruments to get a different sound, while at the same time trying to evoke the atmosphere of Qbeh. Rather than building the remix up from scratch, I retained the melody from the original files so I could mess with different instruments and settings, and add and remove parts until I got an atmosphere that I liked.

No more talk. Compare!

 

Qbeh (original):

http://launchablesocks.com/dump/exploring.ogg%20

Qbeh-1 (remix):

http://launchablesocks.com/dump/exploringremix.ogg%20

 

The challenge here is to change the songs enough to reflect the ‘newness’ of the levels, but not so much that it loses all connection with the original. Some more of these remixes will follow, so if you’ve played Qbeh I wouldn’t mind hearing what you think of the new sounds!

– Joost

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Qbeh-1

qbeh-1logo

Hey everyone!

As Aetheris was beginning to take shape, we felt that the title could be more connected to the original Qbeh. After thinking about it for a while and considering a number of different titles, Qbeh-1 is the one that stuck. We thought it both reflected the game’s simple style and aesthetic, as well as the fact that it’s a prequel (rather than a sequel) to Qbeh. We’ve already started to implement a lot of the things we originally wanted to do for Qbeh, and we’ve expanded on the gameplay in a lot of cool ways.

Through this blog we want to share some of what goes on behind the scenes and we’re really excited to share the process of development with everyone!

– Liquid Flower Team

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