Five days until the long-awaited launch of our cyber-noir puzzle platformer, Shift Quantum – the dystopian brainchild of us folks at Fishing Cactus and Red Panda Interactive.
Last month we gave PS Blog readers a taste of the gameplay action. But today we wanted to delve a little deeper into its design, and show you how the game’s sharply considered soundtrack is as significant as its distinctive visuals.
At its core, Shift Quantum creates perspective duality by inverting the world between black and white. But we wanted to deliver this conflicting two-sided existence beyond more than just the aesthetics. We wanted to surge the narrative to life from the moment you switch on your sound.
Volkor X and Simon Felix were the composers behind our contrasting soundtrack – each creating a score to challenge what the other had written. Drastically different yet undeniably compatible, the two music styles symbolise the clash between worlds, immersing gamers even deeper into Shift Quantum’s dystopian duality.
Here’s what the guys had to say about it.
How did the soundtrack fit with your differing musical styles?
Volkor X: The Sci-Fi/cyberpunk universe of Shift Quantum is very close to what I’m trying to express in my music, which meant I could continue to build on my synth wave, retrofuturistic sound without having to drastically change.
Simon Felix: I always want to capture the essence of the game that I’m composing for, and every project is different. Shift Quantum fits my music style and approach perfectly, so it was really fun to work on.
Let’s talk about the composing process. How was it working with each other separately in a ‘battle’ approach track by track?
Volkor X: We took turns writing the tracks, and each song we produced was an ‘answer’ to the previous song made by the other composer. This was very gratifying to do, and it helps the soundtrack remain consistent, despite the fact that Simon and I both have a unique sound.
Track battle preview
- Simon Felix – The Simulation (4:56)
- Volkor X – Debug Mode (4:29)
Simon Felix: Volkor X and I worked together on the soundtrack in a ‘question-and-answer’ process. We composed the soundtrack gradually, each being inspired by the other’s work. Being a fan of Volkor’s music, this process allowed me to explore musical directions I hadn’t before: it was a great experience.
Track battle preview
- Simon Felix – True Happiness (4:07)
- Volkor X – Memory Leak (4:41)
You’ve been involved with the game from the beginning. Now that you’ve played the finished version, complete with music, how would you sum up Shift Quantum?
Volkor X: Haha, playing the game without music was strange, it’s much better now. The game has a fantastic cyberpunk atmosphere, a deep story and a superb black and white look. Some puzzles are mind bending and ask you to think beyond the box, which I love. Playing Shift Quantum is an absolutely mesmerising experience.
Simon Felix: It’s true, playing in silence knowing I had to make the music for this was funny. Shift Quantum is dark, mysterious and full of challenging puzzles. At the same time, the gameplay is fast and engaging, something a lot of other puzzle-games fail to do. To top it off, the game has visuals that feel incredibly deep for a platformer.
Shift Quantum and the complete soundtrack will be available May 30th on the PlayStation Store.
Pre-order the Cyber-Noire Edition on the PlayStation Store now to receive the game, soundtrack and some PS4 shifting themes and avatars.
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