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Splice on PS: An Artistic, Experimental Puzzler

Nikkolai Davenport's Avatar + Posted by Nikkolai Davenport on Jun 12, 2013 // Developer, Cipher Prime Studios

Hey, PlayStation gamers! Nikko from Cipher Prime here. We’re super excited and honored to announce that Splice­­, our award-winning, experimental and artistic puzzler is making its way to PSN for PS3! Splice has been showcased in the 2012 PAX 10 Selection and was a Finalist at IndieCade 2012. This year, Splice is part of the PlayStation booth at E3!

Splice was born in a fever dream that designer Dain Saint had on a flight back from a previous IndieCade. The goal of Splice is to rearrange binary branchings of cells to match the target outline of each puzzle (or “strand”) within a limited number of moves (called “splices”). You’re able to reverse time and scrub forward again to step through your simulations. The game consists of more than seventy puzzles, introducing special types of nodes and new mechanics over the course of the game. Keep in mind, the key to success is exploration and experimentation.

Splice on PS3

Splice on PS3Splice on PS3

Splice has a very “sciency” and biological feel to it. No matter where you are in the game, it seems as though you’re looking through a microscope at microbes and particles suspended in fluid. This was the inspiration for much of the design for the game. We decided to keep the interface simple, minimalistic, and in most cases limited to iconography. When text is used, it’s highly stylized and integrated into the game environment.

These sorts of visuals are very characteristic of the design stylings of our creative director, Will Stallwood. We initially mocked up a ton of ideas for the interface, and then one by one removed elements that weren’t absolutely necessary for the gameplay. If it didn’t add to the theme or support functionality in some fundamental way, it was out. We use this same process of design by subtraction for most of our games. We end up with a more elegant product and a more usable interface; one that doesn’t distract the user from the gaming experience. The HUD interface in Splice, for instance, disappears from the edges of perception. This allows the player to focus on the strand being solved, drawing the player further into the gameplay.

Splice on PS3Splice on PS3

The soundtrack to Splice, composed by Dain Saint, is also a key part of the immersion. For a long time we tested the gameplay without it, and as a result fumbled with the design a bit. As soon as we added in the initial track, there was an immediate tonal shift to the game. The tranquil music becomes a welcome break from the challenge of some of the more difficult puzzles. It also brought harmony and helped serve as another guiding line for the game’s look and feel. There are eleven tracks in total, one for each sequence of strands.

If you like puzzles, and are intrigued by games that deviate from the norm, Splice might be the game for you. We’re aiming for a late summer to early fall release on the PSN. The game is single ­player, and might even feature PlayStation Move support. We hope you’re as excited as we are to see Splice on the PS3. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions or comments you have about the game!

//Add Your Own

15 Comments   4 Replies

1

+ bball230 on June 12th, 2013 at 7:54 am said:

What is wrong with Developers and their thinking in which platforms to develop for. There have been numerous PSN/PS3 Games that have really NEED to be developed for the PS Vita first and foremost.

I have no interest in playing these smaller games on my couch which big TV compared to playing on my Vita first.
I welcome the ability to play on PS3 as a second experience but come on. How the hell are these games not vita focused.. my goodness.


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    + Nikkolai Davenport on June 12th, 2013 at 8:11 pm said:

    I can appreciate your frustration, too, even though it may be a little misdirected. I love my PS Vita, too, and am always excited to see when great new games are made available for it on the PSN and PS Mobile stores. I also think Splice would totally feel at home on the PS Vita. Unfortunately, we’re not able to build to the device just yet.

    Splice was built using the Unity engine. For the moment, there’s no support for porting the game directly to the PS Vita platform. The good folks at Unity are working hard on making such support available, though. The best we can do for now is bring it to you via the PS3, which is pretty exciting in its own right. Especially with the potential for PlayStation Move support.

    So hang in there. We appreciate you being patient with us. You can be sure there are plenty more devs just like us out there that believe in the platform, and are just waiting for the right opportunity to make games for it.


2

+ bball230 on June 12th, 2013 at 7:55 am said:

^That said. Good looking game. Looks interesting to me, Props to the Developers for their time and efforts.


3

+ Enforcer_X on June 12th, 2013 at 8:00 am said:

I think this should be a crossbuy on PS3/Vita. But I am looking forward to playing this, in hopefully 1080p, on PS3!


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    + Nikkolai Davenport on June 12th, 2013 at 8:15 pm said:

    Yep! It is in 1080p. We haven’t decided yet whether it’ll be cross-buy yet or not. We’ll have to see later on down the road. I am a big fan of it, though. We’ll keep you posted for sure.


4

+ Bicgoozgetten-69 on June 12th, 2013 at 8:14 am said:

E3 was great even though i had to work, but this game looks amazing I would love to play it on my vita.


5

+ ROLO_ONFIRE on June 12th, 2013 at 8:19 am said:

I have this on PC and it’s a great game, also it has really good music. Hopefully you’ll add move support as I believe it would be great to play this game, and I agree with others that this would be an ideal Vita game.


6

+ guitarded77 on June 12th, 2013 at 9:09 am said:

PlayStation Move support please.


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    + Nikkolai Davenport on June 12th, 2013 at 7:43 pm said:

    Yes! In full agreement with you there.


7

+ redknight4 on June 12th, 2013 at 9:40 am said:

the pc version on steam was very good. also the steam version had a achievement/trophy set for it so the ps3 version could be the same.


8

+ GhostMachine1 on June 12th, 2013 at 10:29 am said:

I’ll feel like a scientist playing this game. :)


9

+ YorlecmNwahs on June 12th, 2013 at 11:14 am 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


10

+ Aces73High on June 12th, 2013 at 1:41 pm said:

Despite already owning the rather excellent iPad version of Splice, I’d have been more than happy to grab it again for my Vita. But PS3? Nah, sorry Cipher. Shame though.


11

+ plaztiksyke on June 12th, 2013 at 2:38 pm said:

We loved playing Auditorium on our HDTV, and this looks similarly great. A great, chill puzzler.

Is it 1080p native and have HD (24-bit/lossless) audio assets? this would really help differentiate it from the mobile/tablet version.


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    + Nikkolai Davenport on June 13th, 2013 at 1:35 am said:

    Splice does support 1080p native. The audio assets are also lossless, which is why the game file is as large as it is (~500MB). The assets needed to be in that format in order to get the reversed audio effect heard when rewinding through strand simulations. I believe for the tablet version, compressed assets were used and the audio is slowed down instead to get a similar effect. The game sounds and looks great on the large HDTVs here in the booth at E3.


12

+ tusunami on June 12th, 2013 at 3:21 pm said:

This would have been another perfect fit for cross save, cross-buy not sure why this is not.


13

+ BlueBl1zzard on June 14th, 2013 at 9:22 pm said:

+1 for move support and hopefully vita support done the line


14

+ BlueBl1zzard on June 14th, 2013 at 9:23 pm said:

*down


15

+ Dc_cOdEC on June 16th, 2013 at 9:56 pm said:

Awesome, this reminds me of Auditorium, loved playing through that. Definitely keeping an eye on this.


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