Pax West 2016: Blind
Blind is a narrative-driven psychological thriller for virtual reality where the player is blind and must explore their surroundings using echolocation.
I had the chance to talk with Tiny Bull Studios who are an indie game developer based in Italy for their newest game, Blind.
A young girl wakes up in a strange house with no memory of how she came to be there and the shocking discovery that she has lost her sense of sight.
Goaded by the sinister and sadistic Warden, she must explore a perverse and frightening mansion using sound alone. By sending out soundwaves with a cane, the outlines of objects are revealed briefly, enabling the player to navigate the rooms, solve puzzles and uncover the mystery of what is happening to her. Use the cane too much, however, and the Warden will punish her, forcing the player to walk an unseen line between darkness and terror. As she gets closer and closer to the truth, she will be forced to confront her worst enemy – that which she does not, or will not see.
- Navigate using echolocation: send out soundwaves to reveal your surroundings briefly before they fade into nothingness. Gramophones and other objects that make sound become lighthouses in the all-encompassing blackness. Move carefully and cautiously and use your cane sparingly to avoid incurring the wrath of the Warden.
- Immerse yourself in a world of darkness: built from the ground up for virtual reality and supporting binaural audio and motion control, Blind is a fully immersive and unique experience that removes you from the real world and transports you into the game.
- What is it that you don’t see?: Where are you? Who is the Warden? Why has he kidnapped you and why does he want you to solve the puzzles in this strange place? Experience a constant anxiety and emotional tension as you travel deeper into a mansion riddled with puzzles and dangers. As you search for answers, will you find things you’d rather not see?
Blind looked really interesting and is a VR experience built upon not making you dizzy. Where most VR experiences offer realistic movements in a highly detailed world, Blind comes at VR with a far different approach, showing that sometimes less is more. Using a 30 degree snap system, this movement style will prevent users from getting any VR sickness. There are different control options tailored to how you want to experience the game.
Each time sound is made in the game, it echo’s the area around you. When you make a harder, louder sound, the effect is greater and it allows you to see much further in the distance. It’s a pretty cool effect when you see it in motion. The echo’s are displayed as a white effect that bounces off everything around you. While the game will mostly give a white glow to your surroundings, some puzzles later on will have colors to help shake up the variety.
Sounds in the game are directional, meaning you will know what direction the sound is coming from, in addition to the height and how far away the sound is.
The main goal is to get out of the house and to also understand what is going on here. You’ll meet a variety of other characters and find scattered memories that serve as story telling devices to what’s going on around you.
Blind looked pretty interesting and will be available Q1 2017 for Oculous Rift, HTC Vive and Playstation VR.