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Video Game: Pulse

Pulse is a first-person survival game developed as a student project by students at the Vancouver Film School. The main character is a girl named Eva (only named in the credits) who was blinded at a young age and was denied her ancestral rite of passage. Her little brother, Tahu, had to go in her stead, but he has not returned. The game is about Eva searching for her brother. Of course, she's blind, so she relies on her sense of sound, combined with memories of the world before she lost her sight, to build an ever shifting image of the world. In the game, sound is analogous to light; anything that emits sound lights up the area around it. Eva must use sound to navigate dark caves and avoid deep chasms and monsters that are attracted to sound.

Eva is helped by cute creatures known as Mokos, who allow themselves to be thrown around by Eva to produce sound, thus providing a sort of torch to navigate the caves. Eva also can throw Mokos at switches to activate them. But the game's monsters are attracted to sound, so Eva must strategically create sound lest she be killed...

Being a student project, the game in its current state is merely a prototype of ten levels. However, the game attracted the attention of game industry figures, and it was a winner of the Unity Game Awards in 2012. The students, now graduated, are developing the game as Team Pixel Pi, and have set up a Kickstarter to fund a full-blown retail version of Pulse.

Note: The game, as of the creation of this article, is in a prototype stage. The article is based on the game's current state. The final game may be completely different; this article will be edited to match as new information arrives.

This game provides examples of:

  • Fluorescent Footprints: To provide a bit of convenience, Eva's footprints glow as a way of telling the player where he or she came from in the last few seconds. Monsters' footprints also glow to give the player information about its movement patterns.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: On slower computers, levels can take several minutes to load completely, and when the player regains control of Eva, the game is laggy for a few seconds because the level isn't finished loading yet.
  • Oh Crap: How a player reacts when Eva is attacked by a monster and she doubles over and groans in pain...and on top of that the screen turns red with terror, meaning that with the next hit (the monster is very close, and the animation in which Eva doubles over could potentially allow the monster to strike again) Eva will die, unless the player presses that Shift key and RUNS!
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