Gee-o-metric: Proun

By John Walker on November 13th, 2009 at 8:59 am.

Pretty colours!

I’m not one to leap with joy at news of a new racing game, but when I see a trailer like the one below the joy-leaping muscles begin to clench. Proun, which is a splendid word, is a 3D obstacle-avoiding puzzly racing game set in a bizarre world of geometric shapes. You rotate around a cable, rather than steering, in a gorgeous looking environment. The project by Joost van Dongen is due to be released early next year, and will be freeware, according to IndieGames.

Dongen is pleasingly unabashed about his position on the artistry of gaming:

“Games are art. Games are a new medium, not in any way less than sculpture, painting, film or music. Right now, we are still experimenting with the possibilities of games; we are like film in the time of the Lumiere brothers. Game developers have found some tricks that work and sell and that have grown the industry, but I believe we have only seen a glance of the broad possibilities of games. Maybe not all games have to entertain or educate, maybe there is room for games that are disgusting, no fun at all, or games that are just sad, or psychedelic, with their meaning slipping through your fingers like water. Games that broaden your mind. Games that are art.”

And the trailer demonstrates this well enough for me.

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51 Comments »

  1. GibletHead2000 says:

    Wow, that looks really slick. I’ll be keeping an eye on this one.

  2. teo says:

    cool but music sucks

  3. Alex says:

    I’m sure I played that once on the Acorn Archimedes… if only I could remember the name.

  4. mandrill says:

    Finally, something that doesn’t inspire scorn and rage in my black, black heart. This looks beautiful and inspiring.

  5. Zerotime says:

    So, it’s an ultra-smooth STUN Runner, only on the outside of a tube?

  6. Lack_26 says:

    I suspect this may lead to my brain going, “waaa!?”. But in a good way.

  7. GreatUncleBaal says:

    I really like the graphical style of this, and it’s an interesting concept – I can see myself getting completely hypnotised by the visuals though, and crashing an indecent amount of times.

  8. N-Al says:

    Shouldn't this be called PREDGE, really?

  9. Rob says:

    I played something like this on the Acorn, I can’t remember if there was obstacle avoidance too or if it was just a racer. Was good fun, but I can’t recall the name of it

  10. Flimgoblin says:

    Ooh, motion sickness.

    Other than that – looks cool.

  11. Soylent Robot says:

    i can see myself seeing this when im trying to sleep. it looks like one of those “burns itself into your retinas” games. not that thats a bad thing

  12. fuggles says:

    Reminds me of an inside out ballistics. Doesn’t look hugely fun but satisfyingly shiny, like a pixar tech demo.

  13. Craig says:

    God that looks FAST. And brilliant. And Hard.

  14. Jonas says:

    I dunno man, that looks pretty fun to me. Does that make it not art?

  15. Bob says:

    Looks like it has the same thing wrong with it that audiosurf does, too much going on in the sides and stuff makes me feel sick tbh

  16. Switch625 says:

    It’s like an inside-out Ballistics! I loved that game (and still do).

  17. Turin Turambar says:

    [quote]
    “Maybe not all games have to entertain or educate, maybe there is room for games that are disgusting, no fun at all, or games that are just sad, or psychedelic, with their meaning slipping through your fingers like water. Games that broaden your mind. Games that are art.”
    [/quote]

    Having played both Pathologic and The Void, well, yes.

    ;)

  18. RagingLion says:

    Me like. I’m a sucker for a good visual style. I might actually play this when it comes out.

  19. RLacey says:

    To be free, you say? I’ll be having me some of that, then.

  20. fuggles says:

    Erm, maybe, or else you’ll just fail until you memorize the track…

  21. Mathew Jensterle says:

    There seems to be a test version available at

    • Mathew Jensterle says:

      oops. having problems with tags. If you go to the Proun website there’s a link to a test version to download anyway. Just one level but it’s split-screen multiplayer too.

  22. The Hammer says:

    Ohhhh man. I love the pastel colours. It all looks fresh and scrumptious.

  23. Bioptic says:

    So no-one remembers F-Zero X, then? You raced inside and outside of madly twisting tubes suspended above an abstract cityscape. Had a pretty minimalist artstyle too. Admittedly the obstacles weren’t quite as obvious as here – it was more about hitting the speed boosts positioned in a certain pattern around the tube, and avoiding other cars, but I really like how it dealt with gravity. Take too sharp a turn or boost and you’d find yourself either in a gentle orbit or flying off into space…

  24. Andy says:

    I haven’t seen the video (at work) but that screenshot made me immediately think of AAAaaaaAAaaaAA (etc) a wreckless disregard for gravity. Looks like quite similar gameplay

  25. JonFitt says:

    I’d be interested to see what the fail mechanic is.

    It looks quite hard to see what’s coming up, and if hitting something has you falling off the cable and being respotted, I’d give up in a couple of minutes.

  26. FernandoDANTE says:

    This + Audiosurf = awesome match?

  27. bbot says:

    So it’s Torus Trooper, but on the outside of the tube?

  28. Lagmint says:

    this reminds me immediately of that FZero game for the gamecube. I can’t recall the level – but you race outside a tube just like this.

    • Pantsman says:

      Racing on the insides and outsides of tubes has always been a staple of the F-Zero games. This seems a bit different, though, as this doesn’t appear to involve actual racing, being more a sort of mood piece.

  29. Wooly says:

    Dizzyyyyyyyyyy- *vomits*

  30. M.P. says:

    Reminds me of Torus Trooper too.

  31. Psychopomp says:

    Trailer clearly needed more metal, amirite?

  32. IvanHoeHo says:

    Hmmm, looks like a sane, playable variant of this:

    http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~cs8k-cyu/windows/tt_e.html

  33. PleasingFungus says:

    Agh, this had me trying to remember that name! Haven’t thought of it in years, before today.

  34. army of none says:

    That’s… very artsy. With the music and the visual design, felt like it was a video made to demonstrate a college student’s final animation and art design project.

  35. neems says:

    That looks quality.

  36. Dain says:

    Could some of you fellows be thinking of this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbPQ2pvPdTw

    Ah, memories..

  37. l1ddl3monkey says:

    I’m buying it simply for the names Proun and Joost Van Dongen.

  38. The Dark One says:

    Some of those turns looked like they’d make me run off the edge of my mousepad. A trackball seems like it would be great for this game, though.

  39. Wedge says:

    Yes please.

  40. Nero says:

    Dang that looks lovely.

  41. akeripper says:

    it makes you think of audiosurf for some strange reason

  42. Polish Pancake says:

    Reminds me of the “Top of the World” level in Rayman 2.