PAX is a crowded, crazy place. Every nook and cranny is bursting with awesome stuff to see and do, so it is easy to miss out if you don't look hard enough. That's why we were glad when we managed to find Jason Pecho and talk to him about the unique Indie Title, The Devil's Tuning Fork. If you are tired of worn out, overused game mechanics, read on for a refreshing dip into the world of creative game making. Created for the Independent Game Festival's Student Showcase, it is easy to see why it came home a winner.
The first thing you'll notice when you take a look at this game is the visuals. Specifically, there aren't any. You play as a child in a coma who has been pulled into a world where there is no vision. Everything is pitch black until you pick up the namesake Devil's Tuning Fork, which allows you to ?see? using sound. Shock waves fill your vision and reverberate across the surface of the environment, providing you a sort of echolocation. With sound taking the place of light, every environmental event that produces a sound gives you a fleeting glimpse into your surroundings. Sound is literally everything in this game, and it shows in the audio work, with both sound effects and music carefully and skillfully crafted to build the creepy atmosphere. Natural sounds as well as sounds produced by the player trace out each maze-like course in glowing rings of audio. It is in this way that you progress through the game, which can be best described as an exploration puzzle game.
Supporting the gameplay is a fairly simple story. You aren't the only child pulled into this sightless world. Children everywhere are falling into comas and their spirits are being trapped here. Your goal is to locate the stuffed animals that contain their spirits. Once you set them free, you must find the exit and move on. The environment itself is your only enemy, though throughout the game you are spoken to by an omnipresent villain. Certainly this isn't the most groundbreaking plot out there, but we can see some real promise for an engaging narrative and it serves the game mechanic well.
The game is built on PC, though a working port for Mac and Linux has been created using Wine. Jason expressed interest in eventually offering the game on the Steam platform and even XBLA. You can learn more at http://www.devilstuningfork.com.