Dyad for PSN: Music and Gameplay Fusion

28 5
Dyad for PSN: Music and Gameplay Fusion

Hi everyone! Shawn here again, and I brought along Dyad‘s composer, David Kanaga. We’re going to talk a bit about Dyad’s interactive music system, how it works and what makes it unique. We’re also treating you to a free three-song EP consisting of linear mixes of Dyad’s interactive music and some new screenshots!

Below is a new gameplay video showcasing one of the later levels in Dyad. Don’t worry if it looks too complex! It’ll make perfect sense once you’ve completed the earlier levels.

When you hear the term “interactive music” you might think of “rhythm games” such as Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Frequency, or others of that nature. Dyad’s music system is very different from those games. There’s no beat matching or imposed rhythm in the game. The music doesn’t dictate play, nor does it judge you. Dyad’s music is reactive, meaning it’s mixed dynamically on the fly, based on the current game state and how you’re interacting with it. Each time you play a level, the music is different — playing Dyad can be viewed as a “performance” in a sense.


There is a tremendous amount of variety in Dyad’s rules and mechanics and the music is equally varied. Each level is treated as a unique piece of music and is composed to match the structure of the level. Certain levels challenge you to race as quickly as possible, and the music intensifies, matching your speed. In other levels you collect objects or perform certain actions quickly, and, likewise, the music becomes richer with the fulfillment of these goals. Levels have many sub-goals, sometimes only a second or two long, and even here the music shifts and reacts accordingly.


An individual level consists of up to 300 different loops and scale notes. Dozens of loops play simultaneously and are mixed dynamically based on your interactions; loops are also swapped in and out constantly to match the continually changing game state. Dyad’s music system is built on the foundations laid out by some of our favorite games such as Rez and Everyday Shooter but we’ve taken it to a whole new level. Interactions do more than simply play a musical event in the key or pulse of the background music. Different interactions change the mix of loops, play new loops, stop loops, change effects and filter parameters, change the tempo of the music and much more.

Track #1

[audio:https://blog.us.playstation.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/1-trailer1.mp3|titles=1 trailer]

Track #2
[audio:https://blog.us.playstation.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/2-vanrave.mp3|titles=2 vanrave]
Track #3
[audio:https://blog.us.playstation.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/3-orol.mp3|titles=3 orol]


Download the three songs for free from David Kanaga’s Bandcamp page here.

Follow Dyad Game on Twitter, and Facebook.

Comments are closed.


5 Author Replies

  • Looks interesting

  • Will it be in 3D :p

  • Any possible release date yet for this one? :)

  • Looks good to me.

  • This looks fun, I’ll have to look into more details about the game.

    Is this what Aphex Twin remembering something looks and sounds like?

  • another one of these? the reason rock band is successful is because it’s gameplay is actually the music. games like auditorium, super chime deluxe and this only go so far because the gameplay is not directly controlling the music, it’s only adding tracks. this however doesnt seem to be manipulating the music at all, it just seems to be making random beeping noises. If you want to know what a real music game is, search mad maestro on youtube. Thats straight up tempo/volume manipulation!

    • Dyad’s not a music game. It has generative interactive music that reacts to how you play. It’s kind of a complex thing to try to communicate through a video. I did the best I could, but it’s definitely something that you feel while playing… hopefully playing the demo will convince you that the music is manipulated by the gameplay.

  • the music is good though….

  • Viddler “HD” video quality is awful, can PS.Blog switch to something better?

    • Thanks for this — the game moves so quickly it’s not getting a great encode from Viddler. Swapped it out for a YouTube, which looks a good bit better.

  • Looks pretty sweet. Haven’t heard of this before — is it close to release, are there any dates/details (demo, etc), or this still a way off?

    • Cool thanks! I’m aiming to release it early in 2012. A demo will be released on or around the launch of the game.

  • THIS should be on PSV…. #sorry4caps

  • Looks like a cross between Tempest and Lumines… which is great.

  • Reminds me of Audio Surf a game I played on Steam which is kinda the same thing go through stages collecting beams of light and they make music.
    I like it.
    I’ll check it out if there’s a demo.

  • what is that thing…… a pink octupus lol

  • Cool can’t wait!!!!

    Do you have and exact date of release!!!

    • No exact date yet. It’s “done” in that you can play through the whole game and every level is reasonably polished. I’m going to spend as much time as necessary to make it perfect ;)

  • Looks and sounds great! Cant wait to try it out!

  • Love the Tempest 2000/Rez look to it. Would’ve been nice to have Rez HD on PSN, but this will do.

    Since it leverages music so heavily, will the assets be HD-quality (24-bit and/or lossless)? or at least 320kbit/sec Ogg? Is there anything besides download size considerations preventing the use of 24-bit FLAC?

    I’m super happy to see that the screenshots are 1080p; I assume that’s the native rendering resolution?

    Really exciting to see experimental games like this; reminds me of the “golden age” of PSN’s early days :)

    • Cool thanks! It’s definitely 1080p, and the audio is 320kbit ogg. No texture compression either for extra crisp visuals! The FLAC audio is over 22gb right now, so we definitely have to use compressed audio =)

    • I forgot to mention it’s 60fps too!

  • Looks pretty cool and I hope Sony promote it. This has Move implementation right?

  • i played Rez HD on the xbox i flyed to nowhere absolutely buying this so i can keep flying

  • Looks great. Can’t wait for this to come. Every game that has great music is a must buy for me. And this game is already on my wishlist. I just wonder if Shawn and Cole are related. XD

  • Is this a PlayStation Network exclusive by chance? and is there anyway to share the music we create?

  • I like the 3 free song downloads to this game.

  • Sounds like a noisy Japanese pachinko parlor, to be hones.

  • This looks amaaaazing~! I didn’t really care for Everyday Shooter, but I absolutely ADORED Rez (and very much looking forward to Child of Eden) and this looks pretty similar. This will most likely be a Day 1 buy for me.

    And…. @7, Mad Maestro was vaguely interesting/quirky, but overall, was a pretty medicore music game. If you liked Rock Band so much, you should check out Daigasso! Band Brothers, the original rock band for the DS. Now, THAT is an entertaining game if you can get several other people to play with!

    But those games and this game are not the same type of game, so just chill out and try to enjoy something different.

    I’m really looking forward to this!!! =)

Please enter your date of birth.