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Sound Shapes: Special Guests in the Milkcrate, Baiyon Interview

Mark Rabo's Avatar + Posted by Mark Rabo on May 28, 2013 // Sound Shapes Team

Everyone has the friends who know all the new bands and all the cool music, who make the mixtapes and the killer roadtrip soundtracks, the friends who you always ask, “What are you listening to?”

We made some good friends creating Sound Shapes, the kind of friends that are deep into games and music. So with Sound Shapes being all about games and music too, we just had to ask them, “So what are you playing?”

Our first Milkcrate release was March 12th and featured six albums we chose here at Queasy. For our second release we’ve asked our friends at The Verge, Gamespot, and Ghostly International to create Milkcrate albums with their favorite community-made levels.

Also invited was Japanese multimedia artist, Art and Music Director on PixelJunk 4AM, Baiyon.

Here’s our interview with him about his experience curating the Milkcrate.

Sound Shapes: Picture Book

Sound Shapes: What excited you about the Sound Shapes Milkcrate?

Baiyon: For starters, being able to work again with Shaw-han Liem was definitely one of the most exciting things about Sound Shapes. Shaw-Han and I have worked together on some musical projects before and it was such an amazing experience. It’s been a great honor to be part of this exciting project, which involved many artists and from Canada whom I’ve collaborated with, including Jim Guthrie, Superbrothers from Sword & Sworcery. It’s also gave me a great chance to play numerous levels that other users have created.

SS: What was your reaction to some of the Community-made levels you played?

Baiyon: I was simply amazed at how much tweaking is done to the levels, and which can only be done when one goes through the level so many times to test it out.

SS: What was the inspiration for the “Picture Book” theme and cover art in your Milkcrate album.


The Milkcrate

The Community Milkcrate came together shortly after Sound Shapes was released last August. We were so impressed by the amazing level creations of our community that we had to find a way to highlight and share them with people. We came up with the concept of creating playlists of levels and releasing them as albums similar to the campaign and complete with liner notes and custom album art. Our first release was in March 2013 and featured six albums of curated community levels. Future albums will feature special guest curators.

Baiyon: As I went through the variety of levels that the community offered, I found a lot of “picture book” – like levels that cleverly used the tools in order to draw their original pictures and writings. I was also impressed at this particular level where the colors and the feel of the level was so soft and delicate. That’s when the concept for the theme came to mind. I am hoping that the players could feel like they are playing in the world of my artwork with the pattern series “Bug-Check” and the creatures I created which, so to speak, have come to be my signature.

The artwork for the cover is my signature pattern, blended with the Sound Shape character.

SS: Have you experimented with the game editor, creating music or levels yourself? What are your thoughts from a musician’s perspective?

Baiyon: Yes, I tried several times. If I focus too much on the music, the level becomes boring. If I focus too much on the level design, then I lose the musical freedom. So I have to make a lot of compromises, and that process is just like game design itself.

I always think this, but the best game is to make games.

If you’re someone who’s made a game before, then you’re more likely to enjoy playing games. Sound Shapes is definitely one of those games, that features the joy of game making.

SS: What have you been working on lately? Anything you can share?

Baiyon: I’ve been working on a few game remixes recently.
First is a game called FEZ.

I was also involved with the Street Fighter II remix CD, that comes with the special edition of High Score Girl (4), which is a popular manga comic about Japan in the 90s. Check out how I remixed Blanka’s sound.

One more thing. For the people who may not be familiar with my works, I wish to introduce one of my recent projects. I have once collaborated with Shaw-Han Liem who is co-creator in Sound Shapes, on the benefit compilation album called “Vibes against Vibesvol.1 & 2“. This album is dedicated to the sufferers from the monstrous earthquakes that hit East Japan 2 years ago. Please check out our collaborative tracks if you would like to know more about Shaw-Han Liem works.

For the latest news, check my Twitter and Official Website.

In addition to Baiyon, you’ll find albums from Ghostly International, The Verge, and Gamespot. Each comes with liner notes and custom album art and is available today as a free update. Hope you enjoy it.

Sound Shapes: Ghostly Selects

Ghostly International Records

Ghostly International is a multi-platform cultural curator, a tightly knit aesthetic universe fulfilling the roles of art gallery, design house, clothing designer, technology innovator, music-publishing company—and, yes, record label—in one.

“Since we’re a group of musicians ourselves, it was pretty great to be able to select a few of these levels for our Milkcrate album. There are some amazingly difficult, and at the same time, wonderful sounding levels in there, and from the standpoint of being a creative company we love that these were created by the folks playing the game. We’ve both played with making levels, and haven’t come up with anything even close to the inspiring ones they’ve picked. Although we listen to music all day at work, it is fun to come home and use your mind and ears in a different way for a few hours. We hope you enjoy playing these as much as we did playing thru and picking them.”

Sound Shapes: On The Verge

The Verge

A media network focused on covering the digital trends around tech, gadgets, games, and more.

“The Milkcrate project feels a lot like a mixtape… only for a video game. Only instead of painstakingly recording your favorite songs on a cassette, you’re digging through the heaps of user-generated Sound Shapes levels in order to find the ones that speak to you. But the result is the same: you get to share cool things with people, in a satisfyingly personal way.”

Sound Shapes: Gamespot Grooves

Gamespot

Gamespot is one of the original gaming websites and has been providing the news, reviews, and features about video games since 1996.

“Almost a year after GameSpot reviewed Sound Shapes it was great to see that the game’s community is not only still active but also very creative. If I ever finish creating my second LittleBigPlanet Vita project I’ll be sure to have another go at making a Sound Shapes level.”

Sound Shapes: Hard Drivin

Queasy Games

We couldn’t resist curating one ourselves featuring levels made with our Car DLC Pack.

//Add Your Own

20 Comments

1

+ LensXD on May 28th, 2013 at 1:08 pm said:

First


2

+ PrimeroIncognito on May 28th, 2013 at 1:44 pm said:

@ LensXD

You’re totally rad.


3

+ CatatonicAlex on May 28th, 2013 at 1:52 pm said:

Will we ever get new levels created by pros as DLC, or are we just going to get new instruments?
…I’ve been waiting for more non-community levels since release but….yeah…


4

+ Sharingan_itachi on May 28th, 2013 at 2:08 pm said:

Free update :)


5

+ passivefamiliar on May 28th, 2013 at 2:15 pm said:

just venting.

does anyone at sony listen? im excited for ps4, but one major flaw still is that a preorder of a digital copy on the psn store cost the same as a physical copy WITH bonus content for preordering….wtf sony. make digital games cheaper, even by just $5, but more wouldnt hurt. or give us preorder incentive, not themes….great machine you got, but need better pricing on your digital store. im wanting remember me. and the last of us. but i have NO REASON to buy it off the playstation network.


6

+ YorlecmNwahs on May 28th, 2013 at 2:17 pm said:

Go to Google

Search “Let’s Get FlatOut Head On PS Vita Compatible”

Click on the first result.

Sign the petition please.

Thank you


7

+ Ryumoau on May 28th, 2013 at 2:21 pm said:

@5 agreed. Sony needs to be more competitive when it comes to digital pricing. Steam does it all the time, so no excuse for a big company like Sony to not offer better deals.


8

+ PrimeroIncognito on May 28th, 2013 at 2:46 pm said:

@ passivefamiliar

Digital IS cheaper already – No tax.

There’s your $5.

Conversation over.


9

+ ItaChu on May 28th, 2013 at 2:50 pm said:

I get an error when i try to load City Gearz …. :(


10

+ ItaChu on May 28th, 2013 at 2:51 pm said:

correction …wont load anything …. keep getting error on these new stages


11

+ dragoonlegend13 on May 28th, 2013 at 3:01 pm said:

So uhhhhhhhh were you guys gonna tell us about the free Soul Sacrifice DLC?? Or were you just going to give up on that game too??


12

+ Elvick_ on May 28th, 2013 at 3:22 pm said:

@5: Sony does make their games cheaper. They can’t force 3rd party publishers to do it. Some do, most don’t. So go talk to those publishers about it. It’s their pricing choice.

Why people blame Sony for the actions of others is beyond me. It’s not hard to understand who’s fault it is when an Activision game is overpriced. *SPOILER* It’s not McDonald’s, it’s probably Activision! :D


13

+ passivefamiliar on May 28th, 2013 at 3:30 pm said:

#7 sees where im coming from. the saved money from taxes is there, sure…but thats not really the point. the fact that its not sonys fault…maybe, but explain the steam sales then? im not pulling for free games here like most of the children who post wish lists on here do, im not trying to be greedy. i just want to know, what incentive is there for me to buy a digital game from sony if i can get it cheaper elsewhere and/or have bonus content of some kind thrown in for the same price as the digital copy.

its just bad for sony really. they lose sales due to lack of promotions. when they have sales, i buy. but…with the lackof warning when they will…i usually buy elsewherre. chances are ‘the last of us’ will have some special deal on digital too. but i’ve not seen heads or tales of it, so my money goes to a company thats telling me what im getting before its 3 days past to late.


14

+ someone1589 on May 28th, 2013 at 3:45 pm said:

Is the psn update going to be today or tommorow….


15

+ punkmusic2009 on May 28th, 2013 at 3:58 pm said:

that blaze game takes forever to download 3.99 gb that’s half of my 8gb memory stick I might have to upgrade 1 up in memory again


16

+ ItaChu on May 28th, 2013 at 4:00 pm said:

uh HELLOOOOO OUT THERE!! lol PS Store post please where are you?! stores been updated for a while now but theres no post lol ….wtf


17

+ ItaChu on May 28th, 2013 at 4:00 pm said:

#14 the store is already updated they just havent posted the PS Store update post….


18

+ BushLovesOsama on May 29th, 2013 at 2:11 am said:

You know who I’d like to have guesting on Sound Shapes. Daft Punk. Those guys with SS tools would make great music focused levels.


19

+ Stranger_Eddie on May 29th, 2013 at 6:34 am said:

Mark Rabo, I´m very happy with Sound Shapes! =D

>> Suggestion to “The Milkcrate” in Off-line mode!

Please create a way of letting the covers albums and songs structures in off-line mode, with the same characteristics when playing on-line.

After downloaded in off-line mode, the songs appears scattered in your list without the covers of albums!


20

+ tusunami on May 29th, 2013 at 4:36 pm said:

Can’t wait to see this, I like anything from theses guys. The game is awesome for those that haven’t still played it.


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