Sonar-based first-person survival game Pulse now on Kickstarter

Award-winning student project all grown up, needs money.

Last summer I wrote about a nifty-looking first-person survival game called Pulse built by the five-person Team Pixel Pi at Vancouver Film School. It starred a blind girl making her way through a cave by tossing around cute critters then using echolocation to envision the world around her in various multicoloured layers. It was pretty dope.

At the time the team had just graduated and was finding its place in the world with its members landing gigs at such studios as Runic, DeNA and Fathom Interactive, but now the band would like to get back together to polish up their baby and release it as a fully-fledged commercial product. And like most recent grads, they need money. Now that they're no longer students, those licensing and legal fees pile up. Hence Kickstarter.

Team Pixel Pi is looking to raise $75,000 by 11th April. Since it launched earlier today it's raised $3084, but word of its Kickstarter campaign is just starting to spread.

While the team is young, there are plenty of well known studios singing Pulse's praises. In fact, I just became aware of its Kickstarter when Mark of the Ninja lead developer Nels Anderson e-mailed me out of the blue to tell me about it (thanks, Nels!). Sleeping Dogs producer Dan Sochan over at United Front called it "one of the most innovative and unique student projects I've ever seen," and Relic's Quinn Duffy said "I've never played anything like it." Pulse also won the 2012 Unity Award for best student game and was an IGF finalist.

Of course, a better way to gauge the game's quality is to play the student prototype yourself, which can be downloaded from Team Pixel Pi's official site.

Those who donate $10 towards Pule will receive a DRM-free copy of the game upon release probably later this year, while $20 pledges will come with a digital art book as well. Early birds at $60 will receive their choice of a Pulse T-shirt or plushie based on the game's cute critters along with all of the above, a soundtrack, and a dev diary comic strip.

Pulse is due for PC, Mac and Linux around November, but Team Pixel Pi noted, "The delivery of the game is TBD. We want to bring you the most polished experience we can, and will not ship a sub-par product before it's done." If you'd like support Pulse but don't have any dough, feel free to vote for it on Steam Greenlight.

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