Monday, March 19

The City of Metronome

Sound effects are present in every game. They are critical to impact, to cueing the player, and for atmosphere. But rare is it that an entire game is designed around their use.

The game in question is The City of Metronome, the first title from developer Team Tarsier of Sweden. Metronome is being developed for the PC, 360, and PS3, but currently lacks a publisher. But thats besides the point. What matters is that the game is built around a creative and possibly highly-effective game mechanic: sound.

Metronome is the story of a young train conductor's adventures in Metronome, a city run by a single bureaucratic entity known as The Corporation. The Corporation owns all, but like Big Brother before it, all is not well. Player musts explore Metronome City to root out and expose The Corporation's darkest secrets, and save the city from a bleak, oppressed future. Fortunately, the train conductor has a fantastic little tool at his disposal to aid him in his mission: a recording device. In The City of Metronome, players can record any sound they come across, and then play it back. A brick through a window, a conversation between two Metronome residents, a villain's footsteps--record it all. Metronome is a series of puzzles, each one waiting to be solved with the correct sound. Is there an enemy that fears a certain something? Record its fear then scare it away by playing back the sound. Players can also create their own sounds, in game, assuming just the right one is nowhere to be found. Tarsier's site mentions throwing a book down a stairwell as an example.This game is the next best thing to being a sound programmer. More importantly, its features some (hypothetically) very awesome gameplay. Using sound as a weapon and tool is really quite ingenious. The City of Metronome's unique concept is complemented by a fairly unique art style as well. The style is reminiscent to CCC city, or as Kotaku points out, American McGee's Alice. The whole game just resonates a stylistic aura. Learn from it.

The City of Metronome uses sound in an innovative way. Why will this gameplay mechanic be effective, or maybe not so effective?

Team Tarsier
-more cool screenshots
The City of Metronome

this public service announcment brought to with the copperation of pandora

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