Beyond Eyes Is Emotional Watercolour Exploration

By Jim Rossignol on October 8th, 2013 at 2:00 pm.


How’s this for a game pitch: Beyond Eyes – which is currently on Greenlight and in a fund-raising drive – is game about a blind girl who must leave the familiar environment of her house to rescue a lost cat, and does so guided by the player. Developer Sherida Halatoe explains: “As you guide Rae through this unfamiliar world your behavior as player influences the way she feels and behaves. A player who forces her into dangerous situations finds himself with a scared, distrustful girl who will refuse to do his bidding until he regains her trust. Of course if a player respects Rae’s wishes and is careful to keep her from harm, she will open up to him and will trust him in difficult situations.”

As you can see in the video below, the world reveals itself slowly as you guide Rae through it, painting itself in delicate watercolours. The video is worth watching for a strong impression of how it will work.

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42 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    MajorManiac says:

    This game look beautiful, which is perhaps a little ironic. Anyway I’m always on the lookout for games my four year old can play and this could be just right for her.

    Anyone know of any other toddler friendly games?

    • GameCat says:

      Proteus

      • Premium User Badge

        MajorManiac says:

        She tried Proteus, but found it boring.

        The Sesame Street website is very good for games – http://www.sesamestreet.org/

        Anyone else got any good suggestions?

        • aldo_14 says:

          My 2 year old loves playing/watching AAAaaaaaaaaaaaH, Scribblenauts, Toki Tori and Strike Suit Zero. (EDIT: also, Race The Sun)

          ‘Playing’ of course depends on your definition. Of course, at the moment she’s trying to wear 6 pairs of tights simultaneously whilst signing about a lion, so she may not be the most sophisticated judge of gameplay.

          • GameCat says:

            “Gameplay is so easy that you can try wear 6 pairs of tights simultaneously while singing a song about lions and still beat the game, but graphics are nice 3/10″

        • GameCat says:

          I would say Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons but it’s kinda creepy after a while, like you must cut off a hand of dead giant to proceed further. Otherwise it’s a fantastic game and you can play it in “co-op mode”.

          Try also Lilly Looking Through (although it’s only demo right now) -> http://geetagames.com/

          Also countless NES games like Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Dig-Dug, maybe some Disney games like Lion King platformer etc.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Brothers: A tale of two sons is not suitable for a 4 year old, seriously!!!

          • GameCat says:

            You’re right, but it may be suitable for slightly older kids when you want to teach them about death.

            PS. Man, wish I had games like Brothers when I was a kid.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      Pixie The Psychedelicolor Dream Cat! :P
      http://screwylightbulb.com/pixiedreamcat/

      Best enjoyed by 4 year olds, and cats.

    • j3w3l says:

      Try Katamari damacy. cute and silly game where your just rolling up random items into a big ball with it increasingly going into ridiculous proportions.

      Also the mechanics of this game are very similar to Unfinished Swan… revealing the world with colour. Maybe give that a shot as well

  2. Didden says:

    I was half expecting one of those youtube moments where something horrible screams at you at the end. But no, it was just very nice and pleasant. Good luck to the dev’s and always encourage creative developments like this.

  3. Mo6eB says:

    Seems a bit insensitively misrepresentational of blind people, no? I mean, I’ve never witnessed someone blind walking around like a blindfolded zombie. Why doesn’t she have a cane? Why would she walk around with her eyes closed? Have the developers ever talked to a blind person, or is this based on some romanticized ableist fantasy?

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Take into consideration that this is a traumatised blind child, not your average blind person.

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      Ninja Dodo says:

      Ableist, really? Could it be that the game is not meant to be a literally representational simulation of the life of a blind person? Oh no, how dare someone make a game about something that isn’t a 100% their own experience.

      Seriously, it’s the most charming thing ever, not to mention might actually inspire some empathy however unrealistic it is, and your first thought is “insensitive”?

      • SheridaH says:

        Thank you for understanding ;) . I’m surprised how many reactions on here and other sites are about my ‘unrealistic’ portrayal of blind people and it not being playable by them, which was never something I aspired in the first place. For me it was always about creating a bond with the player and how someones state of mind could influence the way they perceive the world around them. How beauty can be found in unlikely places and how easily we ignore it around us :)

        So to answer Mo6eB questions:
        The animations are mostly placeholders but she doesn’t walk with a cane. Storywise it is because she is not trained to use one, she hardly ever leaves the house and garden and when she does she is always accompanied by a familymember. Also I didn’t like the cane from a visual point of view.

        Beyond eyes is not a blind person simulator. If that is what you after I highly recommend visiting an exhibition like http://www.dialogue-in-the-dark.com/ which is an amazing experience!! My game is more like a fairy tale with a protagonist who happens to blind.

        • elevown says:

          I realy like the look of this and will likely buy it when its done but I agree with one of the things Mo6eB said – why does she have her eyes shut?

          Even if she hasnt learnt the cane or got a guide dog yet (those are fine) blind people dont walk around with their eyes shut – even if they cant see through them – an eyes ‘at rest’ state is open- unless we are tired – so its looks silly. Is it just to reinforce to the player she is blind? If so its not needed- the outstretched arms and gameplay / gfx style will do that.

          • SheridaH says:

            Actually the reason why her eyes are closed is very simple, it saved me the work of modeling, rigging and animating her eyes to make them not creepy and staring. It also gives her imo a more serene look and finally it communicates her blindness more clearly to people who are just looking a screenshot ;)

        • DrMcCoy says:

          …So it is a romanticized ableist fantasy.

          I didn’t like the cane from a visual point of view

          This sentence embodies everything what’s wrong with the game and your post in its ironic and arrogant dismissal of visually impaired people’s experiences.

          • SheridaH says:

            I get the impression that you try your hardest to be offended by everything I say. I’m sorry if you feel like I am discriminating blind people but I don’t share that vision and I can’t help you with that. Like I said before this is not a simulator but a story about a girl who happens to be blind and deals with the situation in the best way she can. If you are determined to define that for yourself as ableist than so be it :)

          • The Random One says:

            OK, here’s a pro tip: sometimes, when someone acts like they are offended by something you said, it’s not because they are pretending to be offended because they are being mean to you and want to get under your skin. Sometimes they have, in fact, been offended by what you said, because of what they feel is a valid reason, which when you dismiss entirely offends them even more. Take a moment to ponder why they might be offended and what other perspectives you might have been neglecting.

            Your game looks great but your dismissal of complaints is heavy-handed and self-important, so I for one have no further interest in your products. Best of luck.

          • SheridaH says:

            I take feedback very seriously but the way he formulates his complaints is not something that seems to be inviting to any form of an open dialogue to me. Instead of calling me racist and arrogant we might have a better discussion if he could explain to me why my game offends him so. I’ve tried to explain my design choices to him but as a response I am called arrogant without any further explanation.

            So,like I said before, if I offended you or anyone in anyway,I’m sorry but unless you take the time to explain to me how and why you are offended, I don’t know what I’ve done wrong nor can I help you or change anything.
            It has nothing to do with dismissing a valid reason. I just don’t have
            enough information to go by :)

          • Sheng-ji says:

            @DrMcCoy and The Random One – Look, I’m disabled – not blind but I rely heavily on a wheelchair. Now when I’m out in my wheelchair, I deal with a tonne of problems from the fact that the pavement over a bridge near me is too narrow for me to fit over, the way people park over the pavements without thought as to where I can get off and on, to the dog shit that I literally cannot help but to wheel through to the potholes that tip me out to punctures to failed batteries etc etc. That stuff is all crap, really crap. If a game came out which featured a protagonist in a wheelchair that accurately simulated all that stuff, it would not be much fun to play – it would be a statement sure but as a game, not so good.

            Now imagine a game came out, lets say an adventure game something along the lines of A tale of two brothers, but you play someone in a wheelchair travelling along and experiencing the adventure. If that game did not include punctures, battery life, dog poo, routes that were ever so slightly too narrow, forcing me to take to minute long, featureless detour, potholes which tip the player out, forcing a long, slow animation of the protagonist picking themselves up and righting their chair – it would not be realistic. It would be a fantasy. It would not, in any way be ableist. Those elements would completely spoil a game, and not including them would be a valid game design choice without discriminating against me.

            I don’t have this desperate need to make the world understand what problems I face in day to day life (although you may read this and disagree!!) and if you find yourself being offended that problems you, or people you care about face are not being portrayed in a game, then more power to you I suppose but let me put this point to you – That you get offended that a game doesn’t do enough to accurately portray blindness is in fact more ableist than the games existence because you don’t apply those standards to other games – The Random One, you don’t insist that the town guards in Thief for example are more representative of real people and less like predictable automatons, probably because you recognise that the games would be less fun if that were the case. DrMcCoy – you don’t insist that Neverwinter Nights accurately models the effects on charisma the significant scarring the PC’s would develop should impose. So why would you pick on us disabled people to not be able to be in a fantasy where some of this horrible stuff we have to deal with isn’t simulated? There is no such thing as positive discrimination. (And let me pre-empt the pro/anti feminism brigade by asking you to go actually read what I have to say on the subject before crying hypocrisy.) So unless you are out there banging the drum for more simulated realism in every game, that you have picked on this game for it makes you ableist, in my opinion as a disabled person. Sorry for that but I am actually a little offended by it.

    • lordcooper says:

      Does it matter? I doubt many blind people will play the game, or even watch the trailer.

    • Mo6eB says:

      Um.. I should probably come clean. This post was a troll. It was meant as a sarcastic parody of feminist posts crying about games being sexist.

      I think it’s gotten pretty ridiculous how easy it is to troll people with “this game infringes on muh feelings”. I mean, obviously every game is a romanticized fantasy. That’s the point. In some cases.

      It’s like everybody is gripped by this paranoia that any portrayal of anything in a way that doesn’t exactly perfectly align with their own self-image of reality will result in centuries of misunderstanding and oppression.

      The cane wouldn’t work visually with the character. If she had her eyes open it would be fucking creepy – just a pair of unseeing eyes staring into the distance. That’s part of the reason why blind people wear shades outside. You could give her some nice shades though. Denying shades to people just because they’re a girl is kind of sexist. The zombie arms… still look ridiculous to me.

      • SheridaH says:

        Thank you for clearing that up ;). Reading back it does look like one of those discussions.

        Personally I stay away from those discussions as far as possible, although both sides have their strong and weak points, most of the time the participants focus all their energy on taking their opponents words out of context instead of trying to find common ground and solutions to the problem.

        Agree with you on the zombie arms..Thank god it’s just a placeholder ;)

  4. InternetBatman says:

    You should check the forums more often, this has been on the promote your own projects for a month.

  5. Tams80 says:

    It looks beautiful, but I’m struggling to see how this could turn into an interesting game.

  6. Kein says:

    “What if…”
    “What if!”
    “What if we make Unfinished Swan but for PC?”

  7. Wulfram says:

    I kind of wonder why the player is “him”. Sorry, kind of random, not sure why that stood out to me.

  8. JimmyG says:

    Beyond: Two Eyes.

    Really, though, I like the sound of Rae’s reactivity to the player’s treatment. I hope that’s every bit as realistic as it should be. It looks lovely, too — I use watercolors myself. But I would like to swing the conversation in a new direction: the game is about rescuing a LOST CAT. Lost cat! My heart is almost too warm.

    What are everybody else’s thoughts on the cat who is lost?

    • GameCat says:

      Rescuing a lost cat – isn’t it what Alien is about?

    • SheridaH says:

      I could tell you that the cat is named after my own cat who was the most amazing sweet kitty ever! Sadly he died last winter of kidney failure so this is my way of paying tribute to him :(

  9. xsikal says:

    What an utterly gorgeous game.

  10. Premium User Badge

    elderman says:

    This looks absolutely lovely. I’ll be backing it.

    For me, this is what crowdfunding is best for: helping someone starting out with passion and a strong vision to do something outside the ordinary.

    This looks like the kind of game I’d be proud to show my non-gaming friends.

  11. Urthman says:

    Reminds me of Paper Plane.

    http://paperplane-game.com/

  12. suibhne says:

    Minor point: Could you folks maybe not describe games like this only as “on Greenlight”? When something’s merely in the “concept” phase on Greenlight, you can’t search for it in Greenlight – which strikes me as awfully stupid on Steam’s part, but there you go. Simply noting that it’s a “Concept” would be a help.

    I understand you’re linking to the game, but Steam has a bad habit of forgetting browser logins; it’s usually easier to fire up Steam and search in Greenlight instead, at least as far as I’ve seen. But, as noted above, that only works (without fussiness, at least) with a game that’s actually in Greenlight’s “Games” section, not one buried in the “Concepts” section. Which is to say, you can search on Greenlight and get no (apparent) results under “Beyond Eyes”, because Steam defaults to the “Games” tab.

  13. ividyon says:

    Seems inspired by http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qCbiCxBd2M pretty much 1:1, including the scene with the bakery front recognizable by scents. I’m sad to see that there is no reference to it anywhere on the project pages.

  14. b136 says:

    Seems to be inspred by ths http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qCbiCxBd2M