Glitchhikers: The Spaces Between devs detail how they achieved the game's ethereal tone
Far out, man
There are plenty of unique games on the Switch, but among that crowd, Glitchhikers: The Spaces Between stands out. The entire experience almost feels like a dream, with you drifting between strange spaces and surreal conversations for the entire adventure. Crafting that kind of experience is no easy task, and the devs at Silverstring Media have opened up on how this feeling was achieved.
In an interview with Eurogamer, some of the Silverstring Media shared elements of Glitchhikers that they felt were key in creating that undeniably ethereal feeling. You can see some of their comments below.
A big part of that has to do with the music. We worked with the same composer - Devin Vibert - in First Drive that we’re working with now and wanted to push the idea of the weird music NPR might play late at night. It’s experimental - sort of electronic. A lot of it is made by recording something, ripping that audio apart, putting it through filters and then back together in different ways. It creates this soundscape, especially in the drive, of that ethereal feeling as you’re moving through space.
We did very different things with the music in each of the journeys in The Spaces Between, because we wanted each one to have a different feel to it. Glitchhikers as a whole is ethereal dreamy and The Spaces Between still captures that, but the train journey is meant to be more about community. This metaphor that you’re all going in the same direction together when you’re on a train with other people, so the music there is more folk-like. On the walk, the songs have more of a beat to them, because it’s about the driving motion of putting one foot in front of the other.
Another thing that was central to First Drive is there’s a lot of metaphorical resonance between what the game is doing, game design and narrative design in general. The basic structure of the drive: where you have conversations and answer questions to determine what happens next, ultimately getting to the end and having a fork path. The way you are making these choices is set up formally and structurally similarly to how stories generally flow in games - with these deterministic branches - we wanted to heighten that a lot in, for example, the park. So there’s different branching paths and you have the choice of which way you want to go - meeting a ton of nexus points as opposed to just one at the end in First Drive.