Doe – a deer, a female deer. Ray – a shot from my shock rifle.
Tim Powell and Screwdriver Studios want to make "RS Flux" a rhythm shooter, one combining gunfire with sweet harmonics.
"Everything in the real world that makes audio, noise, in our game makes audio, music," Powell said. "Everything just adds on top of it to create constant music video so to speak."
== Astrophysics + Rampant Imagination ==
It's not just talk. Trying my hand at an early build of the game, I was greeted by a sudden onrush of quick beats and snappy electronic tunes. Turning left and right created noticeable audio cues. A mouse click fired off a lance of energy from my shock rifle and a musical note, eerily timed with the background music.
"RS Flux" has been Powell's labor of love for 2012. The idea came from his imagination running wild.
"Completely random: I'm a really big astrophysics buff, and I was just relaxing, listening to music, thinking about Higgs Boson-based propulsion. Without even noticing, my thoughts drifted to videogames and I ended up listening to electronica and visualizing a first-person shooter going along with music. After five minutes of this, I realized what was going on and I was like, ‘Wow, that would be an awesome game! I should do that'," he said.
== The Starving, yet Proud Musician ==
His initial team immediately latched on to Powell's vision, enamored with the marriage of music and game. Indie artists also took a liking to "RS Flux" and its interpretation of their every-day struggle.
"We really want to show the side-by-side comparison of what it's like in the game and what it's like for real music artists," Powell said. "Real music artists go through a lot of the struggles you'll see in the game: getting out there; getting noticed; not getting drowned out by big music artists; not being bought out by some big music company just because they like their sound."
Powell said a former artist at Screwdriver Studios took a liking to the game's accessibility, bringing music theory to the troglodytes a.k.a. you and me.
"Everyone makes their own unique music in this game and it doesn't require any specific talent," Powell said. "You just need to know how to WASD and left click."
== A Game in Utero ==
To call what I played an early build would be an understatement. "RS Flux" is in utero. Its world is barren, save for the lively music in the background. Its assets and movement are grounded in the Unreal engine, a temporary foundation. Powell intends to move the game to the increasingly popular Unity engine.
The challenge to get the game done is tied to Powell's wallet.
"It's been about a year and it's taken us so long because we're an indie studio, he said. "I fund the entire thing out of pocket. We've never gotten any business loans and I don't borrow money from people. We did start a Kickstarter but it failed. We can't go a 100 percent all the time; sometimes we go through bursts of productivity and months of not having the money to pay people so the work gets done."
So far, Powell has thrown $10,000 to $15,000 at "RS Flux". In an ideal world, with money and staff, the game would be released by the first quarter of 2013. The finished game will include a custom track feature, Powell said. Players can select "base" tracks, creating their own music for each level, save for boss fights.
Powell has also planned a mobile version of the game, "RS Flux 2D", which will come out before the shooter will.
After a failed Kickstarter campaign, Powell intends to take another stab at crowd funding with Indiegogo.com.
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