Tiny Bull’s Blind strives to push the limits of modern gaming in exactly the fashion envisioned by the fathers of virtual reality. Screenshots reveal a noir-ish landscape of sketched black and white stylisation in a psychological thriller vr experience. Basing its gameplay on a single character alone in the dark, players must inhabit and navigate this black world using echolocation and the sparing use of a cane.
Blind brings a new level of intuition to virtual reality – abandoning a player in total darkness with flashes of vision is a concept that will definitely bury itself deep in the mind. Experimenting with the very fabric of consciousness itself, Blind has possibly tapped into the most immersive possibilities for game design yet – darkness. Without graphical stimuli to remind the player of their existence within the game world, realities merge – they really are lost in the dark, and they really do only have the power of sound to guide them. Players must follow this darkness through a mansion, solving puzzles and seeking the truth behind the warden mysteriously keeping you.
While Blind has been in development for well over a year now, Kotaku recently reported on a what initially seemed like a major push back for the indie title. It comes in the form of Deep End Games’s Perception. On hearing the Kickstarter announcement for the title, devs at Tiny Bull apparently went into panic – the two projects appeared identical. After some breathing space, analysis, and emails with Deep End Games themselves, Tiny Bull decided to go ahead with an early announcement of their game. While the two games are similar in concept, they are also of a different mechanical and thematic design. Aside from the differences pointed out in the Kotaku write up (differences in genre, and the fact that Blind has been built from the bottom up for VR), the two games feel completely different under closer inspection. Based on naming and storyline, it feels like Blind is more concerned with the player’s acceptance and evolution within the theme of darkness itself, whereas Perception is more focussed on the urge for the viewer to seek vision. Blind‘s introspection on the role of darkness on the individual is much more suited to the virtual reality experience – it is an exercise in self-reflection as a result of overwhelming nothingness. Perception on the other hand is more an act of seeking vision, fighting the darkness in a more external experience.