Public Service Announcement: Play Proun

By Alec Meer on June 27th, 2011 at 3:25 pm.

I keep writing 'Pround.' Every time.

I don’t have any particular Proun news to share with you, but nonetheless felt compelled to post about it again. Sometimes, we RPSers are off playing different games and are too distracted to all flock around delightful surprises en masse, like poorly-shaven moths to an indie flame. And so it was with Proun, with the boy Quinns sent front and centre to happily announce this beautiful abstract racing game’s release while the rest of us stayed quiet and fiddled with our watches or something.

Until now!

I just want to strongly reiterate that Proun is an excellent game you should go and play right away. Try the free version to see what I mean, then donate for the full version – both because of the extra level and to salute its creator Joost van Dongen.

It’s (very) short and simple and pretty much only does the one thing, but it makes me want to use silly superlatives such as ‘life-affirming.’ I’ve felt like I’ve been in a bit of a games black hole this last couple of weeks, because I’ve only played the so-so likes of Dungeon Siege 3, Alice 2 and Duke Nukem 4. They’ve all got something to recommend them (and, to varying degrees, the opposite), but they didn’t exactly fill me with THE WONDER OF VIDEOGAMES. Proun does.

From its look to its music to, well, its rolling, Proun makes me happy. It will make you happy too.

Edit – the main site‘s been knocked offline by traffic. Try this official backup site to get hold of the game.

Edit 2 – JohnArr’s Air Bucanners-inspired track is right lovely. Go get it immediately. (Just extract to ‘tracks’ in your Proun install folder).

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55 Comments »

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  1. TimA says:

    Yes. This game is so incredibly pretty.

    • Stylosa says:

      Yeah its pretty that’s for sure. Its one hell of a mental psychedelic abstract geometry rope on a ball racer! Try saying that fast without breathing :P

      Check out the recording of me showing off the gameplay :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eMQaHFgsbM

    • povu says:

      eh, wrong reply

    • Dozer says:

      My steam-driven computer can only play on the Very Low setting. It still looks pretty in an every-pixel-is-a-primary-colour kind of way. I miss the depth-of-field blur that shows you how far away the objects are though – on Very Low the brown spike you’re about to hit and the brown spike that’s 0.5 seconds behind it on the other side of the cable look identical.

  2. deanb says:

    I grabbed the free version for a spin, felt it was pretty polished and neat take on racing games. And then 10 minutes later I’d completed all the game had to offer other than repeating it all again at higher n higher speeds. Was bit anti-climatic. I’m all for indie devs and the pay-what-you want model, but it was pretty light on the content. I was kind of confused on why the paid version was enticing you with a single track, but turns out that adds 33% more content.

    So yeah, if it had more tracks I’d be all over it, but 10 minutes is a bit too slim for my tastes.

    • Premium User Badge

      AndrewC says:

      Racing games are about improvement through repetition. You’re supposed to play the tracks a lot.

      Also the dev has encouraged the community to make more tracks with his tools, and this is already happening.

    • Calneon says:

      I think the community tracks will be a big addition, hopefully they find a way to integrate them into the client to make them easier to attain. The fact there were only 3 (4) tracks is why I only dropped £3 on it.

  3. Jams O'Donnell says:

    I would love to play Proun — I just need to find some gaming time. It looks lovely, and makes me think of a Flash game (name long forgotten) that I used to love, where you were guiding an on-rails craft through various obstacles.

    Since I came to this post via the RPS Twitter, I have two questions/observations about the Twitter avatar:

    1) Is it wrong that I think the Dave Tosser image is actually what Alec looks like?
    2) Shouldn’t Dave Tosser be updated with Mr. Smith?

  4. agentgray says:

    I’ve not been able to get to the site all weekend.

  5. Tori says:

    I played it, but after completing the first stage it tries to connected to the high score server but fails to do so – as a result, the game freezes, and I have to ctrl+alt+del it to get back to windows.

  6. johnpeat says:

    I love the style but the game isn’t doing much for me…

    The AI you race against doesn’t seem to avoid the obstacles, it behaves more like a ‘ghost’ and I suspect it uses a bit of cheeky catchup too!?

    All in all a bit style over function but GL to the man!!

    • Premium User Badge

      Ging says:

      The AI do avoid the obstacles, if you get near one you can see them doing it – often to a tighter line than you are.

      The secret is to minimise your rotation, as rotating slows you down… that and judicious use of the turbo you build up for not hitting stuff.

    • Urthman says:

      It seems like a mistake for rotating to slow you down, because rotating is fun!

      Do you go faster moving on the inside of a curve instead of the outside of a curve?

  7. Roarster says:

    This is fun but it would be so much better if it generated the tracks based on the music you are playing like Audiosurf. I really wanted to turn up the music and have the obstacles appear based on the beat ’cause I really wasn’t feeling the jazzy soundtrack on the tracks I tried.

  8. Alexander Norris says:

    I’m pretty sure the RPS Effect caused the weekend server troubles, and now this.

  9. manveruppd says:

    This reminds me a lot of Torus Trooper.

    • BooleanBob says:

      Oh my God! Torus Trooper! THANK YOU!

      I never thought I’d remember what that game was called.

  10. RagingLion says:

    Completely agree. Played it a bit and it makes a strong first impression which is worth it alone. The music is sooo good – so much style all round.

  11. Kirioth says:

    This game is absolutely glorious. You have not lived until you’ve tried it. Seriously.

    Also, thank fuck someone else keeps writing Pround instead of Proun.

  12. Premium User Badge

    JohnArr says:

    Go play my extra track, I ignored the beautiful modern art aesthetics and used air buccaneers instead:

    http://www.ronimo-games.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=1074&sid=18358d2924248968c08cdce6bf2b372e&start=0

  13. MiniMatt says:

    I really hate to sound negative on this one because I have deep respect for anyone with the dedication to pull this off and that RPS is rewarding that dedication with exposure is fantastic.

    So all I will say is “try before you buy”. And thanks to the dev’s pricing model you can do just that. And the dev deserves significant credit for that.

    • bill says:

      I’d also add: give it a second try.

      i tried it for a few minutes a few days back, and as a game it didn’t really click with me. I hit things, go stuck and thought – this is just annoying.

      But having just given it another go it really clicked – once you get into the groove, and start nailing smooth runs where you zig-zag past triangles (the sound when they woosh past is a nice touch) it feels really great.

      I guess that’s the same for any racing game (f-zero gx seemed horrible to me when i first tried it, but once i got the hang of it!) but the problem with free (almost) games is that i often don’t bother to go past the first impression.

      So anyway, give it a chance…

  14. tripwired says:

    Gameplay of the first level on Supersonic speed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnrJ1_BXQ7c

  15. Grape says:

    Wow. This game is… uh… kind of light on the content, isn’t it?

  16. Vinraith says:

    As others have said, it’s not for everyone. You’ve got the ability to try the game before purchasing (the torrent) and I’d recommend doing so. If it’s something you enjoy, by all means then donate to the developer.

  17. somnia says:

    The phone number is not valid. Enter 10 or more digits.

    THERE’S NO PLACE TO PUT A PHONE NUMBER IN HERE, DAMMIT

    • DeliriumWartner says:

      Having the same problem. Anyone found a work around?

    • Premium User Badge

      Fede says:

      I was going to write the same. :(

    • Premium User Badge

      JB says:

      Same here =(

    • babymoses says:

      There’s a .torrent option on the download page.

    • DeliriumWartner says:

      Thanks babymoses. Really should have seen that myself.

    • somnia says:

      @babymoses: I know, but I want to pay and this silly bug prevents me from doing that. I already dl’d the torrent.

    • simonh says:

      I had the same problem, it wanted my phone number but didn’t offer any space to put it in, it seems to have been fixed now though!

      I paid 2€, which I think is a fair price, comparable with an iPhone-game (btw this game would be perfect as an iPhone-game with gyro-controls). It might be a little light on the content, but It’s quite original and a great visual experience.

      Btw the Free version (as you get it from the torrent) is missing a map so you should download it again once you’ve paid.

  18. Snuffy the Evil says:

    I don’t know what I can say about Proun, except that it has character, and I love it.

  19. silverhammermba says:

    A lot of the people saying that the amount of content is not worth any money are forgetting that extra tracks can be downloaded for free.

  20. povu says:

    I’m guessing it was a combination of RPS and Mr. Biscuit. :P

  21. Dozer says:

    Dear everyone:

    GIVE ME AN OPTION TO DISABLE JOYSTICK CONTROL

    I was wondering why my prounball was wildly spinning til I realised that it was taking input from my flight sim rudder pedals. SuperMeatBoy did the same, but I could disable it in that game.

    • Premium User Badge

      frymaster says:

      ugh, this.

      I was moaning about what a shabby port SMB was (always talking about xbox 360 buttons) and it was only when I got into the game and the character started running off to the left that I realised it was picking up my joystick, which was on its side down the back of my desk

    • dr.castle says:

      Just go to settings–>set keys and set them to something other than the joystick. Joystick control disabled.

      EDIT: To clarify, when playing solo it seems that all 4 of the ‘players’ control schemes are enabled, meaning that even if joystick control is set to ‘player 3′ it will still be active when playing solo. So to disable the joystick input, just map these controls to something else.

    • Dozer says:

      The problem is, when I try to remap anything, the joystick axis immediately assigns itself to that control. I found a solution: unplug the joystick, turn off the computer, and move house.

  22. King of Herrings says:

    Wasn’t this game made using OGRE? I recognise the… tube things you move a long from some screen shot.

  23. Premium User Badge

    sonofsanta says:

    Proun is indeed excellent. And when the main site is up again, you should all go find the link to the free album by the man what done the music. It is especially excellent.

  24. Tom4J says:

    This is really fun!

  25. Dozer says:

    It looks like it’s not drawn with polygons. All the curves are smooth not faceted. Any truth to this?

    edit: it appears much of the graphics are transparent-bordered textures on polygons, so the edge is from the texture not the polygon. Nice!

    • simonh says:

      Since there are so few objects on screen at a time he could afford to splurge on the polygons and make nice round shapes, but if you look carefully you can still see the kinks.

  26. dr.castle says:

    really enjoying this. i highly, highly recommend playing with some sort of analog control, like an analog stick on a gamepad. keyboard keys don’t really cut it when trying to weave back and forth through tight spaces.

    • Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

      They are better for digital input. You can switch instantly, while there will be lag in an analogue stick.

  27. steviesteveo says:

    I suspect it’s also a bit to do with the game clobbering the server for high scores every time someone finishes a level.