Musical Performance Puzzler Sentris is Coming to PS4

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Musical Performance Puzzler Sentris is Coming to PS4

Hey PlayStation fans! You may know me from the Game Industry Rumble or my appearances on Giant Bomb. I’m an indie developer based in Seattle, and for the past two years I’ve been working on a new kind of music game called Sentris.

Sentris

When I say “a new kind of music game,” what I mean is that Sentris is very different from the rhythm games you already know. I’ll tell you more in a moment, but first I want to share the exciting news that Sentris is coming to PS4!

As a life-long gamer but relatively new game developer, it’s a major personal milestone to bring Sentris to PS4. I’ve played countless rhythm games, and the ones that have been most inspiring to me were ones I played on PlayStation. Rez, Parappa the Rapper, Gitaroo Man, Beatmania, Um Jammer Lammy, Bust-a-Groove, Beatmania, Guitar Hero, Vib Ribbon, the list goes on. Playing these games inspired me to become a musician, and then a music game developer. I’m extremely honored for Sentris to join this legacy of music games on PlayStation. I sincerely hope it will inspire many (or all) of you to spend more time playing and creating music.

Now, what exactly is so new about Sentris? It’s a great question! All the music games I’ve played have shared one thing in common: you are recreating a song that someone else composed. As a player, I’ve been wanting a game where I get to make my own music with a high degree of control. Sentris is that game. To play, you drop curved blocks called “Sound Blocks” into a spinning loop. As you do, they play their contained sound, and they play once more with each full rotation of the loop.

Sentris

What’s more is that you can push Sound Blocks toward the center of the loop by dropping one on top of another. The way you drop the Blocks builds a song that is distinctive to your play session. Your choice of order, your choice of instruments, and your decisions around how to stack Blocks inside the loop all come together to make the songs uniquely yours.

In short, Sentris is both a musical instrument that allows you to express yourself musically (and build real musical skills), as well as a puzzle game that enables your creativity. What’s the puzzle part of it? The loop is always filled with some puzzle objects called Gems. Gems light up when you drop a correct Sound Block onto them. Some Gems need to be matched with a specific instrument (represented by color), or they need to match a specific pitch (represented by a symbol).

The challenge emerges when you try to match all the Gems using the Sound Blocks you have available. It’s harder than it sounds! Puzzle game fans should really enjoy focusing on the challenge of matching all the gems and enjoying their own emerging music.

Sentris

Some of you out there may be more interested in the musical instrument properties of Sentris. For all of you, I’m happy to share that Sentris includes what I call “Performance Mode.” This is the way to play Sentris with total musical control, choosing any sound or instrument you want at every moment. It’s the closest thing to actually standing on a concert stage with a guitar or keyboard. If the idea of making your own music with a controller sounds more fun than playing a puzzle game, I made Performance Mode with you in mind.

There’s also an in-between mode, called “Remix Mode”. This is halfway between Puzzle and Performance mode, and acts as a bridge between the two ways of thinking about playing music.

Sentris

And of course, music wouldn’t be special without someone to listen to it! So I’m happy to take advantage of the streaming and video recording capabilities of PS4 to help all you budding musicians build your own fan followings. This may be a little bit of a tease, but I’m working hard to enable players to share their music in other ways that I’m not quite ready to talk yet. Please keep an eye on the Sentris Development Blog for future updates of the game’s progress.

So what do you think? Does Sentris sound like a game you’d like to play on PS4? Do you find yourself more interested in the puzzles or the performance aspects of Sentris? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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21 Comments

3 Author Replies

  • Nice! Glad to hear your game is coming to a console as well, can’t wait to check it out.

  • I came here to watch a musical trailer, and just when I was about to feel dissapointed I decided to enter the dev’s blog and found what I was looking for. Interesting stuff here guys and gals.

  • Saw this at Pax east 2014. Looks dope!!!

  • Congrats on getting to bring this to PS4 Ms. Kalman! I was interested in checking it out after hearing you talking about it on one of your Bombcast appearances but I think at the time it was only coming to the Ouya? Needless to say, looking forward to checking it out when it launches on PS4 =)

  • Looks great, Samantha! I love the visual style, and the goal to allow people to treat the game as an instrument is a great idea. As a big user of Ableton and their Push device, this looks like it is right up my alley.

    Both modes seem intriguing to me. The performance mode having staying power is dependent on the breadth of sounds and dynamics. Are dynamics such as volume controllable? Having a background of studying music theory, I’m curious how hard or easy puzzle mode will be for me.

    Good luck on the road at GDC and PAX! I can’t wait to get my hands on the game!

  • This sounds amazing. I’ve always wished for more control over the music in rhythm games, and this seems like this will provide that experience. I’m thrilled at the recording and broadcasting possibilities, as it would be really fun to share a particularly good piece i may come up with in the game. I believe the more creative tools we have, and the easier it is to make music and share i with an audience, the better off we are. Thanks for this. It sounds like it will be great fun.

  • Thanks everyone! This is so exciting! I’m still finalizing the full extent of musical control over things like pan and volume and fx wet/dry mix. There will be some control over these things but I don’t have final specifics yet. I hope to share more as soon as I can!

  • Sounds and looks awesome.

    Most likely i’ll instant buy on release day… but no release date yet? :/

  • awesome! samantha you rule. love whenever you’re on giant bomb :)

  • Like Rhythm/Music game. Easy time sink and refreshing from long bouts of Action oriented games.

    If possible, please consider porting over to Vita as well.

  • Wow, I have been waiting for a game like this for a very long time. As a hobby, I love to create music using a program called FL Studio, and I also have a deep passion for (unique) video games as well, so when you meld the two ideas together, for me that’s just pure euphoria. You don’t see “Too” many music based games around, especially something like this. It’s a great thing to see the outcome of a finished product from someone who isn’t afraid to get creative, take risks, and steer away from what is cliché in the gaming world, as well as hand that kind of creativity over to the players. With that said, just looking at the pictures and reading about it, this game looks and sounds Amazing already. I can assure you this will be a day 1 purchase from me.

  • I love music, tetris, and trippy visuals. I can’t wait to try it out. I can see myself losing myself and time becoming one with the Sentris. Please port to Vita as well!

    Any chance of you putting Windjammers on Unity ;)

  • Yes, I’m still trying to figure out the release date. I’ll share that as soon as I have it!

    I’d really like to do a vita version, but I’m just one programmer so I want to be careful about spreading myself too thin. Please know that I love the vita, and I’m going to do my best to make a vita version! Just not ready to announce that at this time.

    I also really appreciate the interest from musicians. I want Sentris to be instrument-like as a song creation tool without all the complications of typical audio editing software.

  • This is the best news I have heard all day! I have had my eye on this game for a while and I am delighted to hear that it’s coming to Playstation Nation! This will make a great addition to everyone’s PS4 library. Great job Samantha!

  • Being a musician myself i can’t wait for this. I love the idea of making my own music while i can still enjoy a good puzzle game. Thanks for this great addition to ps4

  • saw this at gaymerX last year and it was a really cool concept. I can’t wait to see it on a more powerful platform like PS4: HD audio, surround sound, 1080p + great antialiasing, touchpad

    since it was already on hardware similar to the Vita (ARM + deferred tile GPU), will it be coming to Vita as well?

  • I’m glad I backed this game and have been really enjoying playing it with my kids. I’m stoked that i’ll be able to play it on the couch as well! Great game!

  • The game’s always seemed interesting to me from what I’ve heard at GiantBomb and it’s nice that it’s coming to a platform I might actually be able to play it on. Thanks for doing this so more people get a chance to try this game out.

  • Hey Sam, I’ve *HEARD* great things about this game and I’m so excited to *HEAR* it is coming to PS4! Love you on Giant Bomb too!

    –Max Pun-intended

  • Samantha needs a nice red box for her comments! Oh and looking forward to this as well! :)

  • I haven’t enjoyed any rhythm games in a long while but this looks uniquely promising!

  • Saw the honeycomb video. Yep, I’m sold. Just got a ps4 few days ago, that decision is looking better and better

  • I was there when you brought up a prototype of this to the Harmonix booth @ PAX a couple years ago. Congratulations on your game getting released Samantha!

  • Wow, Gordon! I remember that! So cool you were there :D

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