Beatbuddy Fine-Tuned For NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV

By John Gaudiosi ( - Thu, Aug 6, 2015

German indie developer Threaks won critical acclaim for Beatbuddy, an adventure game that allows players to experience and influence music in each action-adventure level. Players interact with the environment and a variety of creatures to open paths and solve puzzles throughout their journey. Patented sound technology syncs in-game animations with the soundtrack.

Now this music-driven adventure game is available on the new NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV. Wolf Lang, co-founder of Threaks, explains what’s in store for gamers in this exclusive interview.

What were your goals heading into this game?
Beatbuddy is a synergetic product between the games and music industry with exclusive songs from grammy nominee Austin Wintory, Parov Stelar, and many more. We wanted to create a video game that is also an interactive music experience. The combination of these two worlds works perfectly in the colourful environment of Beatbuddy’s home planet Symphonia.

What’s the storyline in this game world?
Beatbuddy musical homeland Symphonia is in great danger, since the evil Prince Maestro steals a holy music vessel to play a massive concert for his people. By robbing the holy music temple, he unbalances the peace in Symphonia and Music Parasites appear in vast numbers. Beatbuddy, as one of the three guardians of music, need to stop Prince Maestro and restore harmony to the planet and musical ecosystem. The story line was script polished together with famous write Rhianna Pratchett, who also worked on games like the new Tomb Braider or Mirror’s Edge.

How do you feel you're pushing things forward with this game?
We created our own technique to visualise all the different instruments in realtime as interactive game mechanics. Therefore Beatbuddy creates a level of musical detail and interaction that is unlike any other game. Furthermore we created our own 2D-Framework in UNITY 3D to ensure a custom, beautiful hand-drawn 2.5-D look. We’re very happy with the outcome in both of theses areas and are proud that Beatbuddy already won more than 14 awards and nominations both from the game and music industry.

How have you worked with NVIDIA on your game?
The performance push that the Tegra X1 chip brought for mobile devices is amazing and enables us as developers to bring high quality PC and consoles experiences into the palm of the consumer’s hand. Together with NVIDIA we’ve been planning to bring Beatbuddy to NVIDIA’s devices for almost 2 years now. But it was a good decision to wait, since Beatbuddy is the perfect hybrid game for a mobile android console like the SHIELD Android TV.

What excites you about Android TV?
Since we’re all big fans of services like Netflix, which has become an integral part of each of our living room experiences, it’s a good and natural step that also android games make a leap over to our TVs.

So far the power and performance was not there to seriously attract console players for such devices, but the power of the SHIELD Android TV and the release line-up of games is very impressive and will change the perception of Android TV gaming.

What impact do you think NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV could have within the gaming ecosystem?
If the store is managed right, the NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV could become as a natural next step after services like Netflix, and reach a very broad consumer base. Especially for us developers, the subscription model is an interesting way to build up a steady cash flow for our productions. Furthermore, since the GRID service offers cloud pre-rendered gaming, the performance limits of each hardware generation wouldn’t matter anymore, making it easier for us developers to focus on one target hardware.

How was it adding controller support to your game?
Since Beatbuddy was originally launched on Steam and later for iOS we have controller, touch, keyboard, and mouse controls. This is what I meant with Beatbuddy being a perfect hybrid game for SHIELD. We’re super happy that players can enjoy for the first time all of these input methods in one hardware ecosystem.