Squarewave Maker is a new take on the rhythm game genre, bringing the maker vibe to music games.
Rhythm ninja or synth master, there is a place for you. Squarewave Maker is the missing link between gamers and musicians.
Join the community and be part of this unique mix of game, music, and fun!
Squarewave Maker’s motto is “Perform, Create, and Share.”
Perform first of all because one of the Squarewave Maker's game design goals is to make the player feel like they are a musical performer. The music you hear is performed live by you when you play the game. The better you play, the higher the score but also the better the music will be.
Squarewave Maker transmutes your actions into music!
Creation is the heart of Squarewave Maker. We're providing you with music and level design tools to unleash your creativity in this sandbox of a new genre. But don't be afraid, no prior musical or level design knowledge needed. Thanks to our creative missions, you will learn to build awesome levels and music.
The sharing capabilities will be the backbone of the Squarewave Maker's community. Through the Steam Workshop, you'll get access to levels, songs, and even synthesizer presets created by the other Squarewavers.
The challenges you encounter in Squarewave Maker are based on rhythmic precision and velocity. Every block, trap or trigger is bound to the quantized musical grid, so each action you take when playing is precisely scored regarding your rhythmic performance.
Choose your level, master it, and climb the leaderboard to become the next rhythm virtuoso!
Squarewave Maker is blurring the frontier between game and music by interconnecting them. Squarewave Maker works as a modular system where audio elements (synthesizers, audio FXs, mixer...) and game elements can be linked together.
Squarewave Maker allows you to play and build levels that are deeply synchronized with the music and that can evolve with it, giving birth to the concept of "playable music".
In Squarewave Maker, your actions generate the music you hear, this means that through your play of the game you can start note sequences or individual notes, change the sound of the synthesizer, modify filters when jumping, etc...
Play the music as you play the game!
The Right Feel
In order to minimize the latency between input actions and the game sonic response, we built an entirely new kind of engine where all the game systems live within the audio engine.
This was an important milestone in the development of Squarewave Maker because latency had to be taken care of to get a rhythm game that feels right.
Playing the game with your gamepad or keyboard will feel as good and satisfying as playing music with a real-life instrument!
Ready to take on other players? A lower latency also means a higher skill ceiling, which is important if you want to play competitively.
In Squarewave Maker's creative missions, you will be asked to solve creative problems mixing level design and music composition.
Creative missions will act as a tutorial for presenting you all the Squarewave Maker's creative tools.
With the creative missions, we will also introduce you to musical knowledge (chords, arpeggios, rhythm patterns...) and synthesizer programming to make it possible for you to create crazy tones.
Creative missions will teach you all the basics you need to know to experiment and implement your own rhythmic challenge ideas!
Squarewave Maker comes with a complete audio toolbox for creating playable music.
- Note sequencer: It's the standard piano roll you get in music software like Ableton Live or FL Studio. Use it to create your music tracks or import midi files if you don't want to start from scratch.
- Audio Mixer: Choose the instruments and the effects your tune will use and mix them. The audio mixer has 8 instrument tracks, 6 groups, and a master. Each of these channels has 4 effect inserts.
- Synthesizers: The base game will have one virtual analog (VA) synthesizer (4 oscillators, 1 filter, DCA, 1 LFO, 1 EG). More will be added if we reach the specific stretch goals (8-bit synth, FM).
- Effects: The base game will include the following standard audio FXs: chorus, delay, reverb, parametric EQ, compressor (with sidechain).
The Squarewave Maker's game editors are used to creating rhythmic playgrounds and putting life and music into them.
- The level editor is used to place and configure gameplay blocks, decorative elements, music triggers, camera knot points, lights, etc.
- The patcher is used to define the dynamic behavior of the game elements and how you link them with synthesizer or mixing parameters.
To build the visual aspect of levels in Squarewave Maker, you'll use block themes and playground environments.
The creation had to be modular enough to fit a lot of different level ideas, that's why we choose to go with block themes.
Blocky art is great because it fulfills the modularity constraints and also because it fits nicely with the in-game grid representing the music quantization.
To build a level, you first choose one of the available playground environments and then spawn blocks coming from block themes.
A playground environment is used to root the level in a specific visual style.
It's composed of things such as the surrounding of the level map, its skybox, the global lighting parameters, etc.
Each one of them come with its associated block theme, but don't worry, you will be able to mix themes at the same level without any restriction.
We currently have 3 playground environments/block themes:
- The Dark Castle and its hellish lights.
- The Northern Winter and its frozen landscape.
- The Pirate Bay and its deadly waters.
The character set of Squarewave Maker we have created so far is spanning a wide range of character archetypes from badass pirate to grooving zombie.
We currently have more than 24 characters you will be able to play with and more to come through the character designer tier.
The game will be released for Windows on Steam. Check out our Steam coming soon page and after you back us, feel free to add us to your wishlist.
Olivier Veneri - Co-founder, Programmer, Game Designer, Composer
Joranne Reysz - Co-founder, Programmer
Eric Marciano - Designer, Artist
Moshing Cat Studio was founded in 2016 by Olivier Veneri and Joranne Reysz after Olivier left his audio programmer job at Ubisoft Montréal where he worked on Far Cry 4 / Primal. They started to work on Squarewave Maker in July 2016. In January 2017, they teamed up with Eric Marciano, a talented childhood friend of theirs to work on the game as the graphic guy. The project builds on their mutual enthusiasm for rhythm games and electronic music and on Olivier's long-time passion for audio and game technologies.
Find all information concerning Squarewave Maker on our website.
- January 2019 - Closed Alpha
- October 2019 - Steam Early Access
We have self-financed Squarewave Maker for the last two years with our savings and by doing some contract works.
What we need now is to secure funding to reach early access in October 2019.
Kickstarter is the way for us to stay focus 100% on Squarewave Maker, to keep creative control, and to open development with the Squarewave Maker's community.
Risks and challenges
All major technological challenges were tackled during our first 2 years working on the project.
Most of our core systems are now reaching the stabilization phase, the only area that is still in an early development phase is the creative missions.
We have also validated all our asset's workflows and pipelines during the last year and started to create music and levels meaning that production wise we know how much time it takes to deliver content for Squarewave Maker.
The challenges that are ahead of us are related to the integration of the Squarewave Maker's community in the development process of the game (feedback gathering, reporting, quality assurance...).
We plan to address them as soon as the closed alpha starts.
- (35 days)