Hey all! In this issue of the Staxel reporter we announce something really cool, and I did a pretty slick interview with Staxel’s musician, Curtis Schweitzer.
Okay so, we’ve got some pretty big news for you all today!
We’re planning on releasing a super early version of Staxel for you to try your hands at. In January 2016 (as long as all goes to plan) you will be able to purchase Staxel pre-alpha from our site playstaxel.com
Now, I should emphasize that at this early stage functionality will be very limited. This is a way for you all to get an early look into Staxel, the visual experience, a little taste of the creative potential that will be available to you upon full release. You will be able to build with all the assets we currently have in game. Host a server for you and your friends to play around on, or just have a wander around on your own! Just keep in mind that the actual gameplay isn’t there yet.
This will also give us a chance to get some feedback and suggestions from the community while we continue developing.
I should probably mention that this build is going to be a lot cheaper than the price planned for release, and on top of that if you purchase at this point, you will also get your copy of the full version for PC when it’s out!
So stay tuned for more news on this. As long as you’re following us on any of the social media platforms we’re on you won’t miss it.
Interview with Curtis Schweitzer
This quick interview is with Curtis Schweitzer, the man in charge of creating Staxel’s awesome music.
Q: Let’s start with a technical question, what kind of software or tools do you use to create your music?
A: My primary DAW (digital audio workstation) is Apple’s Logic Pro X. All of our instruments are digital samples— for Staxel I’m also relying on some really great software synthesizers. Most of the synths in the Volume 0 OST are from u-he’s Dark Zebra synthesizer, with patches from The Unfinished’s beautiful Kronos, Serenity, and Humankind patch libraries. The piano samples are from East West’s gorgeous QL Pianos library, and all of it is hosted in Vienna Ensemble Pro 5, on a sample server from Puget Systems.
Q: Obviously music is incredibly important when setting the atmosphere for any game. What kind of atmosphere are you aiming to set with your music, and how have you approached that goal?
A: Staxel is really laid-back and relaxing, and we’re definitely hyper-aware that music can either help or hurt you get into the game’s intended feel. Everything in the Staxel soundtrack is composed with this in mind— we’re avoiding any sound that could engender feelings of conflict or stress. We really want players to be buoyed along by a score that helps them feel warm, happy, and above all, peaceful.
Q: So you’ve worked on a few other projects, what’s the biggest difference you’ve noticed when creating tracks for Staxel compared to your other soundtracks?
A: One of my big “selling points” as a composer has always been my orchestral work— even though most of my scores are produced from samples, I’m usually trying for as organic a sound as possible, using mostly a standard orchestral palette. Staxel is different in that we’re going for a sound that is a bit more “digital” from the outset. We’re still relying on organic, real instruments (particularly piano), but there’s definitely a lot more emphasis on purely electronic sounds and textures. The voxel-based world of Staxel definitely needs a soundtrack that is aware of its digital roots.
If you want to give Staxel’s music a listen, Curtis has just uploaded ‘Staxel Volume 0’ to Bandcamp, so make sure to check it out here!
Well, that’s it for this issue of the Staxel Reporter! Make sure to subscribe if you want to be the first to get new issues. Thanks for reading!