Mar 09

Sci-fi Adventure Divide Launching on PS4 This Year

Chris Tilton's Avatar Posted by on Mar 09, 2016 // Founder, Exploding Tuba Studios

When my friend JD and I first came to California, we had a dream of one day making video games together. Nearly 15 years later, our separate careers in music and video game development converged when I asked him to leave his current studio position and help me start Exploding Tuba Studios.

Finally, we are excited to announce to the world our new character-driven, sci-fi action adventure game, Divide, launching on PS4 later this year.

Making a Game We Wanted to Play

From the outset, my goal was to make a game that told a compelling story about an ordinary person thrust into extraordinary circumstances. This is the foundation of Divide. But we also wanted Divide to be an action story, and that meant combat; mechanics to play and master with risk and reward. We knew we wanted the game to call back to isometric adventure games, and the controls to borrow from dual-stick shooters.

It was important for the controls to be concise and anchor your fingers to the buttons to keep every action, from shooting to interfacing with an augmented reality world, available without multitasking any given finger or thumb.

Something we really enjoy about Divide is the process of discovering the story through an atmospheric dungeon crawl. Opening locked doors, breaking into long-abandoned computer systems, and rummaging through dimly lit complexes make up the bulk of the experience. The main character, David, voiced by Tom Everett Scott (That Thing You Do, Southland), comes from our world, and when he is swept into the momentum of the story, he knows as much as the player.

Divide on PS4Divide on PS4

New bits of story come with the shade of perspective. Is the information true? A conspiracy? Uncovering clues and revelations in the world expands the dialog options with other characters, helping the player to reach his own conclusions.

Trespassing on the secrets of a powerful mega-corporation comes with serious risks. Mere exploration is often impeded by armed agents sent to investigate and apprehend the player. Given this, we still wanted to free the player from mandatory gunplay. Overrun areas can be cleared by blasting enemies with a powerful E-Laser (a high-tech standard sidearm), but they can also be circumvented with stealth and subterfuge.

So… I Guess I’ll Do the Music?

Everyone I’ve talked to about creating this game always remarked “So, I assume you’ll be doing the music.” I knew I was going to. It’s a savvy business decision after all, I’m the cheapest, as I don’t have to pay myself anything. Of course, I wanted to write the music, but when it came down to actually composing the score, it was a little daunting.

Divide on PS4

I was constantly questioning if I was too close to the project to do all the music on my own. Early on, I wrote a lot of atmospheric electronic music, reminiscent of Vangelis (a favorite of mine). Quite a bit of that flavor stuck around, but in the end, I tried to approach it like any other project, and just give it the music I felt it needed.

Divide is very special to me and everyone else on the team at Exploding Tuba. We look forward to sharing more with you all in the future!

//Add Your Own

33 Comments   4 Replies


+ akibake on March 9th, 2016 at 10:10 am said:

Looks pretty good, so far. Good luck.


+ SaviorMachine on March 9th, 2016 at 10:21 am said:

This triggers my nostalgia pretty hardcore, I’m seeing shades of that Blade Runner game for PC from many years ago

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    + Chris Tilton on March 9th, 2016 at 11:00 am said:

    Blade Runner, both the film and the music, is very influential for me. There’s definitely shades of that in this game. I really do want to play the PC game someday, though. The closest I’ve come is watching Giant Bomb play it!


+ SLOPPY_BOX on March 9th, 2016 at 10:36 am said:

Game looks amazing to be honest I think I will enjoy this better that the division


+ Ricen-Beans on March 9th, 2016 at 10:55 am said:

Awesome music!
Would love to see more of the gameplay.


+ sethisthegoat on March 9th, 2016 at 10:55 am said:

This looks really cool. Love “realistic” sci-fi.


+ KidGreengene on March 9th, 2016 at 11:02 am said:

I have that triple moon tattoo on my forearm. Might have to look into it just for the :)


+ LeMatster on March 9th, 2016 at 11:26 am said:

Wow, it looks amazing. It gives me a cool Shadowrun SNES vibe. I feel old.


    + BigSting23 on March 12th, 2016 at 1:36 pm said:

    1st thing I thought of was shadowrun as I watched this. Definitely think i’m gonna pick this one up. Loved that game.


+ shadysaiyanz on March 9th, 2016 at 11:42 am said:

Definitly looks interesting. I am a fan of games with this type of overhead view too.


+ viceforce on March 9th, 2016 at 12:14 pm said:

Game looks interesting but the only thing I didn’t like is the whole Top-Down view. Y put it at that perspective.


+ CabeoC on March 9th, 2016 at 1:07 pm said:

Cool! It would be a lot cooler if it was in first person, though, instead of a aerial view. Still pretty cool looking, though!


+ kactuso on March 9th, 2016 at 1:17 pm said:

Looks great!! Can’t wait to play it.


+ Hayades on March 9th, 2016 at 1:26 pm said:

Well this looks promising. Hopefully there is a platinum trophy in it.


+ dhunter_12 on March 9th, 2016 at 1:46 pm said:

I’m HYPED! I liked EVERYTHING from that trailer.


+ yentair on March 9th, 2016 at 1:46 pm said:

I had to login just to say this game looks awesome, right up my alley.
@LeMatster – I was thinking the same thing, definitely Shadowrun inspired. And yes I feel old too.
It also reminds me of the Alien Breed and Shadowgrounds games, only less run and gun, a little more slow-paced.
@viceforce and @CabeoC – if it was a 1st person or 3rd person view, everything would have to be 3D polygons. This view allows for pre-rendered, hand-drawn backgrounds (like Final Fantasy 7). A small indie studio isn’t going to make the next Deus Ex game, if that’s what you want.
I’m looking forward to seeing more of this game. Keep up the nice work, gentlemen.

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    + Jonathan Straw on March 9th, 2016 at 2:21 pm said:

    Hi, I’m JD the lead designer at Exploding Tuba. We know we can’t please everyone with the isometric view, but we love it. I wanted to let you and everyone else know that the isometric view is a hybrid combination of 3D and 2D that we call “detail mapped” 3D. Our environment geometry may only be a dozen polygons for a piece of wall or column, but will contain perspective-correct texture info of a piece of source art that could be upwards of 8000 and often more polygons. This allows our simple and flat level art to accept dynamic light and shadows as though it had thousands more polygons than it actually has.

    I’m really proud of the technology we put into Divide, and I hope I get to talk about it more with our audience in the future.

    And thank you!


+ Kid_Loser on March 9th, 2016 at 2:08 pm said:

Really reminds me of that game Stasis. This looks fantastic though. It just has the atmosphere that I really love.


+ John-117 on March 9th, 2016 at 2:31 pm said:

Looks and sounds great! The style is super appealing, would love to see more of the gameplay.

Can’t wait to hear and see more!


+ Amnalehu on March 9th, 2016 at 3:28 pm said:

I love the style and the view of the game. I see some unique story-telling opportunities! I can’t wait to learn more about Divide. The trailer is great by the way!


+ SureBigBuster on March 9th, 2016 at 3:35 pm said:

WOWZERS this looks sooo rad!! Day one for me for sure. Best of luck to the team on the launch and thank you for making this beauty. Can’t wait!


    + donut_plz on March 9th, 2016 at 3:45 pm said:

    First post ever on the blog.
    Had to login to say i am super excited about this game now. Ive always had a fondness for aerial view games and the art style is amazing. Definitely a day one pickup for me and cant wait to hear more from you guys.
    So many Indie Studios killing it with fantastic games this gen!!



+ nenous on March 9th, 2016 at 3:50 pm said:

It just can’t get any better, AlieNation and Divide, both coming out this year…


+ Ghostwize on March 9th, 2016 at 4:10 pm said:

Day one buy for me!! This looks amaze balls. So many kickass indie games. Salt and Sanctuary next week woot.


+ Kardis_J on March 9th, 2016 at 4:26 pm said:

This is also my first time posting on the Blog. I have to say, it has been an extremely long time since a video clip preview hit so many notes right for me. I had no knowledge of Divide before seeing this; all I want now is a release date. It can’t come soon enough.


+ paulogy on March 9th, 2016 at 6:43 pm said:

I really like the look and feel of this world! Not sure if it’s the setting, or the shield/gun combo, but it reminds me a bit of Another World + Flashback, two of my favorite games :-)


+ MarthaStewart187 on March 9th, 2016 at 10:51 pm said:

Oh boy that looks very interesting and new!


+ IcedDice777 on March 10th, 2016 at 2:53 am said:

I like what i see. Will support this. Day 1 purchase :)


+ Tokyo_GorillaZ on March 10th, 2016 at 3:06 am said:

Well, you have my attention. Soon, much of my time. Looks outstanding.


+ anydoubleyou on March 10th, 2016 at 3:20 pm said:

Looks so dope!! And congrats on your long-awaited dream! :D


+ GABEv01 on March 11th, 2016 at 12:38 am said:

It definetly appeals to the senses. I need to know just a little bit more…

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    + Chris Tilton on March 11th, 2016 at 11:32 am said:

    Now’s your chance to ask!


+ NickNacca611 on March 11th, 2016 at 8:02 am said:

This game looks great so far. Chances are very high ill be picking this up. Just popping in to say keep up the good work!

    Chris Tilton's Avatar


    + Chris Tilton on March 11th, 2016 at 11:32 am said:

    Thank you, and thanks to everyone! The response has been fantastic.


+ Hakumen__ on March 11th, 2016 at 8:15 am said:

I like the design of the game and the concept seems promising. Vita version?


    + Rainwater on March 11th, 2016 at 3:36 pm said:

    Never give up! Never surrender!


+ Rainwater on March 11th, 2016 at 3:36 pm said:

This looks really promising. Crusader No Remorse an inspiration at all? (loved that game!)

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