There are games out there with pretty protracted development histories, but it’s not every day you see a game originally programmed for MS-DOS make its way to a fresh release on Steam. But that’s exactly the case with Vibrant, a high-speed, music-based arcade shooter releasing tomorrow after 15 years of off-and-on development.
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Vibrant is built around the ‘in-the-zone’ intensity that comes from fast action, hypnotic music, and high stakes difficulty. 31 hand-made levels, short sessions, and multiple endings are designed to keep you coming back, with each session ideally allowing you to “drift into music and forget who you are.”
The game comes from audio software developer Auburn Sounds, and was first developed in 2002 as an experimental rendering system in MS-DOS - retro even at the time. A few years later saw versions ported to Windows and expanded into proper games, with 2010’s 1.5 version making the rounds on early indie blogs. The full development history is a pretty interesting story, and it’s a quick read on the official blog.
With a total revamp Vibrant turned to version 2.0 this year, and a revised 2.1 version is what hits Steam on October 24. “For the first time,” writes the developer, “I feel like Vibrant rightfully expresses the mental anguish it was meant to be.” That is a compelling tag line.