A downloadable game for Windows
Rest Era is an audio soundscape in first-person perspective, open for wandering and exploration. In-between worlds, you're lost in a strange territory of audio bits of memories and are offered guidance by a lone wolf howling in the distance.
Use arrows to move around (no strafe, left and right arrows rotate ; no other controls).
The game was originally designed to be played without screen, only a controller and headphones. I suggest you close your eyes while playing or turn off your screen...
PRODUCED BY LE FRESNOY, STUDIO NATIONAL DES ARTS CONTEMPORAINS
Xavier Wielemans / Tiny Big Story (programming)
Raphaëlle Duquesnoy / Le Noize Maker (sound engineering)
Sébastien Cabour & Cyprien Quairiat (prototyping & testing)
Rest Era uses Unity3D, linked with Rapture3D, a licensed binaural audio engine.
Unity3D enabled us to simply compose a sound map in a virtual space by placing objects broadcasting sounds around the player's avatar. Most of them are playing looped sounds, some others are reacting to the player's presence, some of them are following the player, or ever preceding him, or moving randomly in a certain set of predefined terms.
The player can only be able to find his way locally in the virtual space, by analysing what he is hearing in terms of psycho-acoustics. Rapture3D, the audio engine, processes the sound library in realtime by simulating HTRF effects, depending of the player's movements.
A large library was built up out of studio musical experimentations, bruitages recordings, pre-recorded libraries, field recordings of workshops, voices recorded in studio for the project. These were then carefully selected, edited and mixed for the final integration in the « game ».
As the only possibility of interaction for the player here is movement, we built a specific controller from scratch, DIY electronics and parts from vintage SNES controllers. A wooden case was shaped via a digital milling machine.
Closing one's eyes. A banal, everyday action, yet which gives us a doubly divine power.
To close your eyelids is, first of all, to destroy, instantly and without effort, the whole of the visible. It is to dash into the dark vault, to free yourself from the oppression induced by the maze of objects, letting it mortally ensnare us.
And it is, later, to allow the world to delicately re-emerge, this time as strictly audible. We then dive into a pure, sensuous and womb-like magma, protected a priori from anxiety. What appears constitutes the elementary humus of a child's world, always begun afresh, always new.
What journey does a person go on when they close their eyes for good? What limbo, what ridges does he cross, what paradise does he reach, he who hangs on to consciousness, when he has already turned his back on the world, like a stone?
The technology of video games is used in Rest Era to create an aural territory in which the player moves around virtually, equipped with headphones and a gamepad. His only possibilities are moving and listening. All he has to guide him now is a howling wolf, a kind of common Cerberus, a bridge between two worlds, acting like an audio North Star.
Although shaken by its disconnection from the shimmer of the screen, consciousness deploys a new vitality here. The gamer becomes a Player again. He once again takes the risk and the joyous freedom of creating the rules while playing.
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