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Sep 14

PixelJunk Lifelike Becomes PixelJunk 4am

Dylan Cuthbert's Avatar Posted by on Sep 14, 2011 // President and Executive Producer, Q-Games Ltd.

PixelJunk 4am for PS3 (PSN)

So here we are creeping up onto yet another Tokyo Game Show and we have a big announcement to make… and an unusual one at that! We are announcing a name change – I’m sure many of you have seen information about PixelJunk Lifelike over the past year or so, including some live demo performances we did during E3, and a few of you might have noticed how much the core concept of Lifelike expanded and shifted since it was first announced as we explored more and more ideas. Well, after long deliberation we are changing the name to “PixelJunk 4am” to better match the atmosphere we are trying to create. And for more information about that, I have asked some questions and translated Baiyon‘s answers for you:

Why the name change?

Baiyon: PixelJunk Lifelike was originally conceived as an extension of the PixelJunk Eden world. Our idea was to create a kind of living speaker for people to play their music through, using natural imagery and taking strong visual cues from Eden. There wasn’t even the concept of a “player.” We’ve since moved far beyond that simple idea to new and uncharted waters, both visually and musically. The style has evolved now into something that is really quite different from anything we’ve ever made before. It was only natural that we’d want to chase this new concept and capture it with a new title.

Why 4am?

Baiyon: 4am represents the exact mood and feeling we’ve captured. 4am is that deep night hour. In clubs, the music drifts to a new level entering a deepened state that often seems removed from reality. Whether you’re in a club or not, 4am always feels like the night has gone on forever, where there’s still a little time left before dawn. This late night feel better represents our current visual and musical style.

So what can we expect now?

Baiyon: PixelJunk 4am is something unique that has never been tried before, so we’re treading in new territory. We’re using the PlayStation Move in truly experimental ways to give people control of making their own style of music. Being able to stream your music live on PSN also gives people the chance to broadcast a new kind of online performance. We can’t wait to see people playing 4am deep into the early morning hours.

So there you have it, from the horse’s mouth so to speak. To get an even better sense of this “4am” atmosphere Baiyon is talking about, check out the completely new trailer we made above and see Baiyon himself creating an awesome track.

//Add Your Own

45 Comments   5 Replies


+ darthmilo77 on September 14th, 2011 at 8:25 am said:

Cool, thanks for the update! Will this require the Move controller to play?


+ Permafry_42 on September 14th, 2011 at 8:26 am said:

I’ll admit i still prefer the name lifelike since it feels like it flows off the tongue, but what I care about most is learning more about how the game with play and what will make it unique from player to player.


+ Lambrick on September 14th, 2011 at 8:32 am said:

i LOVE the presence of live streaming your music. adds a whole other world to the game.

    Dylan Cuthbert's Avatar


    + Ariel Angelotti on September 14th, 2011 at 7:59 pm said:

    We’re really pushing the hardware in unique ways to make this a reality. We think people are really going to dig it!


+ Kirkpad on September 14th, 2011 at 8:39 am said:

Great news. Glad it’s still coming and as unique as ever.


+ hush404 on September 14th, 2011 at 8:40 am said:

I’ve enjoyed many a PJ game, so I’ll at least give this one a fair run (hopefully a demo is in the works).


+ Elvick_ on September 14th, 2011 at 8:41 am said:

I still do like Lifelike more as a name, but I’m just used to it. Still looking forward to this.


+ AguilarX on September 14th, 2011 at 8:43 am said:

i have every pj game except for the racers series (not my taste). this looks weird, worth a try though.


+ rockinjs864 on September 14th, 2011 at 8:51 am said:

I must say you have my interest if it have a good demo I will be sold


+ xoiea on September 14th, 2011 at 8:56 am said:

hmmm weird and mesmerizing… sold


+ ynp7 on September 14th, 2011 at 9:02 am said:

But what is it?


+ TheTwelve on September 14th, 2011 at 9:08 am said:

I’ll pretty much buy whatever you guys make, so….


+ ElektroDragon on September 14th, 2011 at 9:23 am said:

I hope there isn’t a Trophy: Play at 4AM.


+ Ethereal on September 14th, 2011 at 9:27 am said:

This is very interesting and innovative. I say bring it!


+ TopherQuin on September 14th, 2011 at 9:37 am said:

So excited for this and 4AM is definitely a better title.


+ KazeEternal on September 14th, 2011 at 9:44 am said:

This is one of those cases in our industry where having absolutely no clue what we’re looking at or what it is the player is doing can actually HURT a game. No clue what this is, I have no definition for it….. I don’t know what to think about it.


+ octus on September 14th, 2011 at 9:50 am said:

@ kazeeternal he is making music. and it looks really fun.


+ JaY_Ci_415 on September 14th, 2011 at 9:56 am said:

Sounds like someone’s a little too used to pulling all nighters! ;-) Being up at 4 am still partying brings back memories of how I would notice it’d be that time then realizing that I was going to pay for it for the next day or so trying to recuperate.

I like the name though. I see where you guys are going with it.


+ polo155 on September 14th, 2011 at 9:57 am said:

Very interesting, I make music in my productions so I can hear what he was changing very simply, I heard a flange effect then the wobble with compression, interesting indeed.

I like the feel and vibe the video gave me… NYC Afterhours good name too! :)

    Dylan Cuthbert's Avatar


    + Ariel Angelotti on September 14th, 2011 at 6:30 pm said:

    Yeah, it really sounds like you’re into music production! You’ve got good ears. It’s amazing how precisely you can control the music with the Move. I have a feeling you’re going to absolutely love PixelJunk 4am!

    You should check out our 4am teaser site to play along with the music:


+ tonydamiani on September 14th, 2011 at 10:05 am said:



+ favian on September 14th, 2011 at 10:13 am said:

Fantastic. This one begs for a trophy received if you play at 4am

    Dylan Cuthbert's Avatar


    + Ariel Angelotti on September 14th, 2011 at 6:43 pm said:

    I can’t make any promises, but DONE!


+ VixDiesel on September 14th, 2011 at 10:28 am said:

Do you have to use Move? If so, this will be the first PixelJunk game I don’t get.


+ boxmyth on September 14th, 2011 at 10:28 am said:

Can it just be used as a music visualizer too? I’m kinda tired of the default PS3 visualizers, so I’d pick it up if that were the case.


+ fathead170 on September 14th, 2011 at 10:33 am said:

well first gonna start off an say this ISNT A GAME. second good marketing, probably good product even. just there is no market despite how great baiyons tunes are. hate to say it as a once pixel junk fan but you guys been dropping the ball since u decided to release pixel junk monsters with exclusive psp content. that extra content should of been rushed to ps3 for dlc to continue making bucko. instead of capitalizeing on that franchise and expanding eden. we get shooter and shooter 2 an now a new shooter rip off game REALLY this music simulator better be dirt cheap an have a platinum otherwise gonna have to pay me to buy this one harsh i know but trying to wake u guys up. baiyons good lets just not forget we r making games not music although music is a intrigal part it should be used to get people to use more emotion such as thatgamecompany does with flow an flower an soon journey. as a company once at the forefront of digital gameing it saddens me to see u take a back seat like this


+ JAMKOR on September 14th, 2011 at 12:14 pm said:

I really like PJ games, but after following Cuthbert on Twitter, I don’t like him (his politics, really) much at all. Kind of a whiny little guy. Won’t stop me from playing the crap out of this though! :-)


+ WelmoscaBR on September 14th, 2011 at 12:22 pm said:

@ ElektroDragon – haha very fun…

I love the idea…please release a demo.


+ ZeroSection on September 14th, 2011 at 12:26 pm said:

So with the music we create with this game will we be able to upload that to Youtube? Possibly turn it into MP3s and play it on the go? or just download it to our PS3s? Games got my interest for sure. I love artistic games.

On a lighter note where’s the TGS coverage? Are we just not doing that this year on the PS blog? The Sony press conference was yesterday and we’ve seen not one iota of info. I’ve even seen PS vita specs and a release date. We’ve seen none of that >.>

    Dylan Cuthbert's Avatar


    + Ariel Angelotti on September 14th, 2011 at 7:03 pm said:

    One of the really awesome things about 4am is that you’ll be able to broadcast your DJ set to an audience via the PSN. We think it’s a really innovative way to share your unique music creation to the world.


+ ItsNymo on September 14th, 2011 at 12:30 pm said:

Dear PlayStation: You probably won’t believe this, but I once had a music-blog idea that I was going to call “4 AM” featuring pretty much similar music and almost entirely sharing the same philosophy: It’s a time when everyone else is fast asleep, and the night has just gone on for too long.

I think the name is greatly appropriate, even more so than Lifelike. It matches the feel for the experience, and it just kinda makes sense when you think about it.

I’ve been in the mood recently for experimental music ‘games’ recently (finally took out my old DS for Electroplankton a few days ago), and I’m definitely looking forward to 4am.


+ plaztiksyke on September 14th, 2011 at 1:25 pm said:

Ha! one of my favorite remixes of Duran Duran’s song “Too Much Information” was the 4:30am Twirl mix!

really excited for this, as I have been jonesing for an abstract HD music experience on the PS3. I have high hopes for Child of Eden (which is similarly trippy) as well. Just remember, doing a music-focused game is awesome only if it takes full advantage of the PS3’s HD audio capabilities!

I’m also curious if this will render in 1080p native (as opposed to upscale) like the other PixelJunk titles.

Any guestimates on what quarter it will release in?

    Dylan Cuthbert's Avatar


    + Ariel Angelotti on September 14th, 2011 at 7:24 pm said:

    Yes, 4am will be in full-on, glorious 1080p native in 60fps. How do ya like them apples?

    We don’t have an “official” guesstimate about the release date yet, but you’ll hear it here first!


+ AJBS0NIC on September 14th, 2011 at 2:44 pm said:

I’m not gonna lie, although I initially read the new title as “four-A-M” I thought you guys were going to say it’s supposed to be pronounced like “form”, as that kinda ties in with the visuals. Either way I think the premise is great.


+ lyfestory on September 14th, 2011 at 3:22 pm said:

sounds interesting… ill keep an eye out on this one… music is probably the one thing that is more important to me than gaming, so, it has my attention…


+ rapture22 on September 14th, 2011 at 4:55 pm said:

It’s Pixeljunk and innovative so it will be a day one purchase for me. Looks really interesting.


+ MarkakaJin on September 14th, 2011 at 4:57 pm said:

Never bought a PixelJunk game for a long time. Last time I did it was Pixeljunk Eden with Encore add-on. So, I’m looking forward to get this. I love making music and the features that 4am has is awesome. Will pick this up when it finally comes out!


+ Hooligantuan on September 14th, 2011 at 6:09 pm said:



+ KazeEternal on September 14th, 2011 at 7:19 pm said:

@ octus

Thats all well and good that you like it and he’s “making music”, but between everything I see and read hear I barely get an inclining of just how involved this game is. How is he making the music? Is this the next Pa-rappa? Is it a painful arduous process like RB3 Pro Mode on Guitar?

Swinging your arms around as light is being projected all over the room really doesn’t accentuate anything I just asked about.

I like PJ games, but this has to be the least informative thing they’ve ever pointed out and it looks dumb from where I’m sitting. I’d like to see what is fun about this and why I should drop cash on it.


+ sciteach on September 14th, 2011 at 8:09 pm said:

looks like a trip! i didnt get any sense of a feel for this, though. i heard the music, but i couldnt tell what was being controlled from the Move. I’d like to see something else more informative


+ octus on September 14th, 2011 at 10:03 pm said:

@kazeeternal it seems to me from the video, that he is tuning the sounds and adding new sounds by the motion controller. slight movements are adding new beats, or new synthetic sounds. i have some musical instruments that are similar in sound to this, so im excited.
i can see how this video is hard to understand though. im sure they will have more info for everyone in the coming weeks or months til its release.


+ TigerLust on September 15th, 2011 at 12:22 am said:

Have you considered “PixelJunk After Hours”? Anyhow, you do a good job of displaying the late late night DJ vibe you are going for. Like many have mentioned, those of us not in the music industry don’t understand what Baiyon’s movements are effecting, meaning we don’t don’t get the connection between the motion controller and the sound/visual… You guys really need to find a way to get that across. Looking forward to yet another title from you guys, played them all so far.


+ barnaclejoe on September 15th, 2011 at 2:04 am said:

reallly like the new name. awesome.


+ Akxent on September 15th, 2011 at 2:47 am said:


Inspiration is a good thing :)


+ ein_nineteenth on September 15th, 2011 at 6:26 am said:

I kinda liked the original name, the new name reminds me of that Making Chocolate Pudding at 4am Youtube video.

“Stu, Why are you playing PixelJunk at 4am?”


+ Dkeat on September 15th, 2011 at 6:28 am said:

This would be awesome if I could upload my original tunes and add effects with this. Would be an interesting way of sharing original music.


+ Falaut on September 15th, 2011 at 9:02 am said:

As a person that mixes music as another hobby, I’m really looking forward to this. Very nice.


+ JimmyChaos on September 15th, 2011 at 2:18 pm said:

A Pixel Junk game that needs the Move? Now I have to buy the Move….


+ Hooligantuan on September 15th, 2011 at 5:05 pm said:

I love PixelJunk junk, but it’d be nice if Sidescroller and a Monsters follow-up were getting your development attention rather than some more loopy Baiyon experiments passed off as games.

A Shooter 2 expansion would be nice, too. Heck, it’d be great if the sooper seekrit end stage on Shooter 2 would record a score or something.

I dunno. Eden was neat but I can’t believe you guys are going back for more soundscape gaming. :/


+ DwayneW1987 on October 7th, 2011 at 12:37 pm said:

I was apparently the first non-developer person to play this game in the world! I played it at Fantastic Fest.
Basically the premise is you have a 3d space in front of you where you “pull” sounds from. You got a kick, rhythm button, synth and something else I can’t remember. Once you pull in a sound, it’s kinda looped but you can distort it by holding the move button and moving up, down, left, right, IN or OUT! Then do it again and keep adding layers and distorting things. You can also just pick a button, (X,Square,Triangle,O) which are tied to individual sounds and just throw in sounds that don’t loop at will.

COOLEST THING EVER! – Tilt the move controller up to ur mouth and it turns white. At this point, you can talk into your mic and lay down a sort of auto-tuned version of ANYTHING you want to say. This has to be hell for the legal department, but I’m sure it’ll be a lot of fun broadcasting anything you make and say LIVE to the PSN…

Give it a chance guys. The devs have been working with Baiyon for over a year trying to get this right and I think they’ve come a long way.


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