Dyad (pronounced DAH-YAD) is an abstract racing game that removes traditional racing game mechanics and replaces them with puzzle game elements. Players must interact with enemies in unique and varying ways in order to gain speed. Each sequential level adds a new mechanic for the player to learn and new objectives to meet. The music in the game is procedurally generated by how the game is played and gives important gameplay cues. Much like Brainpipe, it's a cognitive mind-bending, audio-visual trip.
The game was released on July 17, 2012 for Playstation Network; it will be released on Steam for PC on April 24th, 2013. Mac and Linux versions of the game are also planned.
Dyad presents with certain interactions such as hooking on enemies for speed, grazing enemies near-miss style for energy, picking up power ups which make you invincible to a specific color of enemies temporarily and turning yourself into a high-speed lance to kill enemies. This creates a puzzle-like experience where the player must make intelligent choices to complete a variety of objectives including various combo goals and speed-based objectives. However, as the speed increases, the player is increasingly presented with additional visual noise. This makes the high speed gameplay more intuition focused, as previous visual markers become obscured.
Hooking pairs of enemies in matching colors gives an additional speed boost, and later in the game, create a speed strip between the two enemies. Grazing enemies builds up energy which is used for lancing, and up to two fully charged lances can be stored for the right moment. Speed strips build up speed the longer the player remains on them, allowing the player to maximize their speed by linking one speed strip to another. Lance attacks deliver a speed burst and allow the player to destroy any enemies they collide with, which also increases the duration of the lance as more enemies are destroyed. Initiating a lance while traveling at increased speed via speed strips also increases the duration of the lance. Invincibility pick ups grant temporary invincibility to a specific color of enemy, and when that color of enemy does come in contact with the invincible player, or another invincibility power up is picked up, the duration of the invincibility increases. The initial duration of the invincibility can be maximized by lancing when picking up the power up. Invincibility is clearly illustrated in the game by a shift in the visuals and sound of the game, with the end of the invincibility being clearly depicted by an outer ring around the track and distinct audio cues as the end of invincibility approaches.
The enemies include "Chargers" which, when hooked, pull back and then charge the player, leaving a speed strip behind them. "Etchers", when hooked, fire a laser which closes in on the player and also leaves a speed strip in its path. "Boosters" act as a wild card when hooked and can be paired with any other color enemy, and when destroyed by lancing increases the duration of the lance. "Bullets" can either circle the track or move down the track towards the player. A "Triad" is a larger enemy which has two smaller enemies circling around it. When the Triad is hooked, it creates a speed strip directly behind it, but if one of the circling enemies is hooked the triad vanishes without leaving a speed strip but the hooked enemy remains and can still be grazed.
Dyad was primarily developed by Shawn McGrath, with additional help by Pekko Koskinen, who eventually left the project. Additional programming was done by Derek Tong. Music and Sound Design was by Jason DeGroot ( Fez, Pulse, Super Time Force) and David Kanaga( Proteus).
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