With Virtual Reality quickly gaining momentum, more and more indie developers are working on games with the VR advantage front and centre of the idea. MIND: Path to Thalamus is one of those games, with it’s existential feel complimented by the all-encompassing nature of virtual reality.
A puzzle game where a day/night/season cycle plays a vital part of the solution, Path to Thalamus looks like a genuinely interesting experiment. It’s trailer opens with the line “How many times will I kill her?” suggesting we may be entering the mind of a killer Will Graham-style, just with more artsy wonder and less ritualistic slaughter.
With it’s eerie environments, it may come of no surprise to discover MIND is being created by Carlos Coronado, the man behind Left 4 Dead 2 campaign Warcelona. Caronado has previously worked on a similar project called COMA, which MIND will act as a spiritual successor to. Because of the similarities between the two, many assets and mechanics will be lifted from COMA. Not that we’d ever know; COMA was never released to the public.
Gameplay itself will drive the story, and sees the player travelling through time to experience different seasons, as well as a full day and night cycle. Weather effects will also impact the game, with fog and rain affecting outcomes.
Trapped in his own mind, the player’s character will solve puzzles with mechanics “related to who the protagonist is, what has happened to him and everything he is doing.” Very existential.
The game has been passed by Steam’s Greenlight system, and will be released in the third quarter of 2014. Oculus Rift support is a given, but the game will also be developed in mind for Sony’s Project Morpheus headset, too.