Relax: Nature Treks – Healing with Color

By Jim Rossignol on October 18th, 2011 at 6:56 pm.

All the colours, man!
“BLUE…. The colour of serenity and healing.” This is the greatest thing ever (as linked in this comment thread). Nature Treks is “a non competitive, interactive experience aimed as an aid for relaxation and healing”. It’s built in Unity using pretty much stock assets all original assets, with swishy nu-age music. Basically it’s about having a wander about in an alarmingly bloomy meadow/pond area while collecting particle effects. “VIOLET…. the colour of transformation. It can help with sleep and stress.” That’s good stuff. And no enemies of any kind have to be dispatched with a shotgun blast or physics violence. It’ll help with that problem you have with your soul. You know, with the inky discharge of evil.

Anyway: relaxing and informative! Turquoise is the colour of intuition, apparently. Gotta get me some turquoise for good times. Also: purest green. (For a less trite experience with wandering around in a musical woodland, try Proteus.)

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90 Comments »

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  1. Unaco says:

    “non competitive”

    Yeah… Not for long. Who wants a competition? Speed runs? Who can collect all the colours of the rainbow the quickest?

  2. pilouuuu says:

    Oh, another FPS!

    Wait, you don’t have to kill stuff? Cool. It should have been an isometric turn-based strategy game nonetheless.

  3. Premium User Badge

    chabuhi says:

    The slightly less evil version of The Void? Or, perhaps, slightly *more* evil?

    I have to admit, The Void was pretty relaxing … or maybe “numbing” is the word I seek.

    • Unaco says:

      The Void? Relaxing? What?!?! The game that was also known as ‘Tension’… relaxing?

      Aside from the brutal ongoing resource management required for survival, the constant pressure of time, the ambiguity of any interactions and the ‘characters’ involved, the nightmarish landscapes and imagery of the ‘Brothers’, the unsettling atmosphere and setting… yeah, it was really relaxing. Or disturbing.

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      chabuhi says:

      Exactly.

  4. Prime says:

    As a Gamer I found myself analysing this very much as a game : God the walking is slow. Can you run? Movement feels really…floaty. What’s the jump for? Hmm, reminds me of Oblivion, particularly with the grass-popup. And that aaiieemyeyes bloom. Texturing’s a bit weird – not as good as Crysis. I even tried fiddling with the three graphical options…

    But it’s not meant for the likes of us, is it? It’s for Bob Nine-to-Five and Sally Stressful-Life. Not sure they’ll dig the colour-theory lessons but it’s a lovely idea, and the dev is taking suggestions for his next environment on his forum.

    • Dozer says:

      I hope he adds vehicles.

      Specifically this has great potential to be made into a lawnmower simulator for the German utility-vehicle simulation market.

    • simonh says:

      Yeah, would be cool with some logging machines as well, or maybe one of those strip miners to wreak havok on the landscape with, that would be so relaxing!

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      chabuhi says:

      I have to confess to being one of those weirdos who like those sims. Don’t know that I’d go for a lawn mower sim (I think I drew the line at the Street Sweeper sim), but many of STS’ wares are in my collection – German Truck sim, Bus Driver, American Long Haul, – also Farm/Ag sim, Ship Sim, Trainz/Railworks, X Plane/MSFS, etc. I’m pining (PINING, I tells ya!) for a crab fishing sim (and not the abomination that was a Deadliest Catch knock off).

      I’m also holding out for FunicularSim 2012.

  5. frenz0rz says:

    I demand more Blackadder references in my RPS.

    Oh, also, by far the most relaxing game I’ve ever enjoyed is The Polynomial. Depends on your choice of music though.

  6. Dervish says:

    Not sure if it’s the frame rate or what, but that juddering in the demo video looked headache-inducing, not relaxing.

  7. Mithrandir0x says:

    Is there any way to disable the chap that tells you everything about colors? I find myself more confortable in a virtual open space without no one telling me anything.

    (Not that I really have something on behalf of the narrator, but still…)

  8. andyhavens says:

    Needs a third-person mod so we can argue about playing cross-genderedly

  9. Hammurabi says:

    Bloooooooom. The saturated colors are not relaxing to me. I find it jarring like over-loud music. . . . but the bloom. I think my eyes are damaged now. Thanks, relaxing scenery.

    • Berzee says:

      Yeah, p0nd is definitely high on the list!

    • rei says:

      Edit: wait, SPOILERS, kinda, I guess.

      I kept expecting a similar twist in this one! Especially since the settings had keybinds for fire 1/2/3, but I guess that just comes with the whole Unity package as my color wheel filled without incident.

    • krepno says:

      thank you! that was a-m-a-z-i-n-g!

    • Vern says:

      That is exactly why I’ll never believe a mellow gaming story on RPS ever again. Scarred for life.

    • Eukatheude says:

      Oh my. I was just about to go to sleep, and then THIS. I haven’t laughed so hard in weeks.

    • skinlo says:

      Don’t get it. I press space bar a few times, it tell me some story then puts me back into the menu screen…

    • Berzee says:

      It’s hard to get the timing right but it’s worth it for the experience.

  10. Text_Fish says:

    Needs more flying.

  11. cocoleche says:

    Totally love the idea. Maybe they could add some mini-game, where you try to collect herbs for specific blends of teas. Then you can make a campfire and prepare the tea. Maybe pet a bunny while waiting for the water to boil.

  12. Plazmataz says:

    Alternatively, I could go take a walk. You know, a real trek through real nature. That would probably be a bit more cathartic.

    • Berzee says:

      You could put this on a laptop and play it while you walk around in the nature.

    • The Colonel says:

      Not with this bloody weather.

    • Jesse L says:

      I’m always on the lookout for games like this, because I love walking around in nature but I live in the middle of ten square miles of urban sprawl, and I don’t have a car for weekend excursions.

      For a free walk in the woods simulator, I humbly submit that theHunter is better than this, and less obnoxious. Also, guns!

  13. lucasdigital says:

    This is the best walking-in-the-woods-while-on-recreational-drugs simulator currently available. Realistic virtual landscapes are one of the things I love most in gaming, but I can go walking in the woods in Arma-2 with the massive added bonus of calling in airstrikes.

    • Berzee says:

      What about that one where you’re a deer with a human face? Endless Forest or something like that?

    • The Colonel says:

      Do you mean best simulation of being on drugs whilst working around the woods, or, the best simulator to use whilst you are on drugs? Because if it’s the former then it’s missing all sorts of crazy shit.

    • Fiatil says:

      Pretty much both! Kind of depends on the strength of the drug you’re talking about.

  14. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    I think it could do with some options like.. choosing to just have the landscape and not the glowy things. How much bloom you prefer. Flying. The option to sit / lie down. Different music or no music.

    I enjoy this though. Makes me want to go outside and lay down in a field somewhere.

  15. WMain00 says:

    What this game needs is a sword and shield and a dragon to beat about the head with…

    • Saldek says:

      You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger. It needs a sword, a shield and infinite dragons!!

    • Wulf says:

      Wait, you want to turn a mildly boring game into a wish fulfilment game targeted specifically at the most tremendously boring people possible? To what end? D: To be honest, I think it’s fine as it is. At least as it is now it’s a mild peculiarity. It’s something a bit unusual, even if it isn’t all that interesting, per se.

      And the person who mentioned a Walking Through a Forest on Recreational Drugs Simulator? I’d like to see someone try and capture that in a videogame. That’d be something.

  16. Knah says:

    reminds me of Flower for PS3.
    The most epic game ever invented:
    http://thatgamecompany.com/games/flower/

    • Berzee says:

      Not according to T.J. McCormack!

    • Wulf says:

      flOwer was amazing, simply amazing.

      That is all.

    • WrongThinker says:

      Yes. Flower is staggering in it’s epicness. Watching this video actually made me want to go play Flower again. Or Journey… grrrr… I want Journey NOW!

  17. Red_Avatar says:

    I’d love a winter version where you walk through the snow, hear it crunching under your feet, seeing the snow flakes fall – sheer silence. THAT is relaxing for me and it’s more suitable considering Christmas is coming at us fast.

  18. DevilSShadoW says:

    the Badger 288 would look right at home in this particular game.

  19. The Colonel says:

    I think I would’ve enjoyed it a lot more if the graphics were better. There was very little variation and I kept on thinking, if this looked more like a nVidia demo video and was actually really beautiful then I’d be nice and relaxed. As it was I kept thinking, Leaf, leaf, grass, sprite, grass, shader, oh that’s weird, the AO goes weird when you’re moving, grass, oooh flowers, tree, that tree in the distance looks 2d?

  20. propjoe says:

    This seems a lot like the experience I kept trying to have in Oblivion, except Oblivion had bloodthirsty animals at about 30 second intervals on every road. This is an awesome idea.

    • Wulf says:

      Mods will do this for you.

      That is all.

      (Okay, going to stop that now before it becomes a habit.)

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    Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    The technology does not yet exist to “walk” through “nature” “looking” at things. One day we may be able to, but for now, we may only slide through the forest, or perhaps hop, and using more than one eye at a time is purely the stuff of fiction!

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      Have you tried Google earth lately? You can set up a route through a mountain trail, Pikes peak for example, and it will “terrain cam” for you up and down fully modeled land forms skinned by whatever high-rez sat shots are available.

  22. Coins says:

    What this game needs are dinosaurs with jetpacks.

    • Wulf says:

      I can one-up that. Dragons with rocketpacks.

      And that’s in development. It’s called Dragon Commander, and it has some of the most incredible aesthetic design I’ve ever seen in a game. And so many airships.

      I await it eagerly. It’s hard not to.

  23. vodkarn says:

    Damn, I can’t seem to actually download this….
    Keeps failing at 40%.

    • Xan says:

      Same problem here. Hmm wonder what’s causing it.

    • vodkarn says:

      I just got to 98% and it just flat stopped. This is becoming the opposite of relaxing.

    • n3burgener says:

      I was having similar problems, download would get to 30-40% and quit, no matter what browser or computer or OS I tried. The site has updated since yesterday, however, and now has mirror downloads available which worked for me, so if you haven’t gotten it downloaded yet you might check again.

  24. Emeraude says:

    I really like the idea of that.

    Not the marketing speak around it, but I can live with that.

  25. Wahngrok says:

    So this is the new Alpha Waves?

  26. Memphis-Ahn says:

    “This is the _greatest_ thing ever”
    Hahah oh wow, I mis-read that at first. (Sorry Wulf.)

  27. zebrastealer says:

    What this simulator really needs is an ax and trees that bleed.

  28. Jahandar says:

    Interactive screensaver, anyone?

  29. ChampionHyena says:

    i love that we get a link to Proteus without Proteus being out yet.

  30. ChampionHyena says:

    Uh, my comment mysteriously disappeared. Anyway. Turns out there IS an old build of Proteus. Still. Boo.

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    The Sombrero Kid says:

    this sounds like the best game ever, downloading now.

  32. KoenigNord says:

    wait a second, while i was watching the trailer i closed my eyes for a moment and when i opened it i thought there was a small pink dragon saying “catch my, come on” and i saw a needle in the characters hand.

  33. edwardoka says:

    Nice effort, but looks better in screenshots than in motion.
    Invisible borders make me sad, and if you put mountains in your first person stroller, I want to go there.

    Hell, I still have Project IGI kicking about, for me it was always more about going up for a jaunt in the impressively expansive mountains than it was about manshooting.

    I once submitted a letter to PCG about how the Operation Flashpoint multiplayer demo was the best single player Orienteering game ever. So, 1km² is not enough for me. :P

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      Agree, my first instinct is to always ignore the clearly marked path and wander in some other direction. Then you hit an invisible wall, which is not relaxing. Also the sound.. ick.

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      The Sombrero Kid says:

      Agreed, here’s hoping someone expands this concept with procedural geometry and better assets & shaders (This is one game where you can say the graphics matter).

  34. edwardoka says:

    Where’s my post gone? Damnit RPS!

  35. LostViking says:

    Hm, this makes no sense.
    Will they add the shotguns in a patch later??

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    Josh Brandt says:

    I keep expecting it to be a trick– there’s something in the woods, or shadowy figures in the distance, or sinister messages hidden in obscure places, or something like that. I think I’ve played enough shooters that lull into a false sense of security and then scare the crap out of you that it’s _not_ relaxing– it’s actually very tense, waiting for something to happen…

  37. Urthman says:

    It’s like a less-ugly, less-Furry version of Endless Forest by Tale of Tales:

    http://www.tale-of-tales.com/TheEndlessForest/index.html

    (SPOILER: It’s not very endless.)

  38. cjlr says:

    It needs a mute button. I’d love it more if I could pick the music…

  39. BattleXer says:

    Don’t know about this as a concept.
    Whatever happened to going for a walk in RL? I certainly don’t need a go-for-a-walk-simulator to relax me. Plus the kids seem to be enjoying the company… It just seems a little forced to want to simulate every aspect of the real world in virtuality.
    Or maybe I’m just getting old(-fashioned)?!

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      Josh Brandt says:

      Leaving the house is for the WEAK. Plus you can’t alt-tab from real life and check your email in another window.

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      c-Row says:

      I regularly alt-tab to my phone to check my mails.

    • Heliocentric says:

      I’ll go outside when they patch out the sun causing cancer, also they need to fix the economy, what’s the point having so much content when you only get to see a tiny fraction of it.

    • Brahms says:

      It’s easy to say “Why don’t you go outside for reals” but there’s a lot of people who don’t actually have immediate access to an empty idyllic mountain pasture and would instead be forced to put up with a scrubby park filled with dog walkers, beer cans and teenagers.

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      The Sombrero Kid says:

      This is an exaggerated stereotypical sunny day, the one or 2 sunny days a year you’d get in real life wouldn’t look as good as this and there’d be all sorts of crap ruining it. This aims to be the perfect walk in a field on a sunny day all year round without any of the annoyances, it’s pure fantasy, just like murdering people isn’t fun & call of duty is.

      EDIT: call of duty isn’t fun but you get my point.

    • The Colonel says:

      This is a good way to DOUBLE your outdoors exposure. Go out during the day. Pretend to go out during the night! It’s better than camping because you can make yourself a cup of tea without faffing about with a gas stove and plastic mugs that taste a bit odd.

  40. shagen454 says:

    Just tried Proteus Alpha. Pretty awesome. The music is pretty great and I love some of the stoney touches like the mushrooms… wish I would have played this on Sunday when I was on mescaline, haha. Gonna give Nature Treks a shot now.

  41. magnus says:

    I was half expecting to hear whale songs and wind-chimes in the background.

  42. Berzee says:

    This Tropical Paradise tech demo thing for Unity is actually pretty good for a wander, too :)

    http://unity3d.com/gallery/live-demos/tropical-paradise

  43. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    The trailer for that game really creeped me out. I’m expecting horrid creatures to appear at any moment.

  44. Dances to Podcasts says:

    People who assign emotions and other such terms to colours really, really, really annoy me.

    *does Vyvyan of the Young Ones impression*

  45. dellphukof says:

    That looks beautiful! very nice environmental work you did there. It certainly does look very relaxing. I do have a Mac build just wasn’t sure what demand there would be for one so I decided to leave it off for now. I think by you suggesting this so early on that was probably the wrong decision
    I will add a mac build next week and update this post when its up.
    Also have a windows build that uses a gamepad, this might appeal to some folk that prefer to play from a distance and chill out that way. Will add that option as well next week for anyone interested.cong ty seo