iPad Zen Bound - The Official Thread of Rope and Wood (submitted: $4.99)

Discussion in 'iPhone and iPad Games' started by Frand, Dec 8, 2008.

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  1. Frand

    Frand Well-Known Member

    #1 Frand, Dec 8, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2009

    First Review: Pocket Gamer - 10/10, Platinum Medal Link

    What is Zen Bound?

    Zen Bound can be called an alternative game - while it has game-like goals and it rewards the player for his/her performance, the focus of the game is in the interaction. Whereas SPiN is fast-paced and score-oriented, Zen Bound is a slow and tranquil game where the joy of playing a level and manipulating the 'puzzle' is more compelling than reaching the finish line.

    It is simply a game of 'painting' wooden sculptures by wrapping rope around them, there's no denying that, but our goal is to provide a subtle, passive challenge that helps you take your mind off things. In a way, we want playing Zen Bound to be the same kind of activity as peeling the label off a soda bottle, or popping bubble wrap or scraping dried paint off with your finger. It can be meditative, but it needs the right moment and the right state of mind.

    We haven't yet settled on how many levels will be in the final game. Each level is a wooden shape. While the majority of them will be animal-themed, there will likely be a set of more abstract blocky shapes for the sake of variety.

    Zen Bound is a game that really, really should be played with headphones. There is a ~22-minute long soundtrack made by 'Ghost Monkey'. The music is dusty, soothing ambient which draws inspiration from artists such as Psapp (for their hand-made instruments) and Cliff Martinez (Solaris Soundtrack in particular).

    The sound effects are also dynamically mixed according to the gameplay, meaning the volume and pitch of the samples is adjusted in real-time to match the speed with which the rope hits, slides and detaches from the sculpture surface. Both the music and sound effects are largely built from sampling and manipulating real-world sounds, and much effort was put into creating an organic soundscape that envelopes the player.

    For the visuals, we want to Zen Bound to define what high-quality aesthetic design means for an iPhone game. With Zen Bound, it's about technical excellence with thought-out palettes and shapes that evoke emotions despite and because of their simplicity. There will not be fireworks or chrome reflections, instead we focus on minimalism and intimacy.

    Gameplay Trailer:

    Web links:
    Zen Bound receives IMGA nomination
    Zen Bound in IGF Mobile 2009 Competition
    Ghost Monkey myspace, Ghost Monkey homesite
    Zen Bound music preview MP3 download

    A level called 'Balance' from a newer build.

    'Solitude' from an old build.

    'Obedience' from an old build.

    When will it be available?

    February 2009.

  2. eeenmachine

    eeenmachine Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2008
    Independent Game Developer
    San Diego, CA
    Can't wait! I remember being mesmerized by a the PC version!
  3. Chiller ONE

    Chiller ONE Well-Known Member

    Sep 20, 2008
    This gets me all worked up

    Am I the only one who thinks that this game is kind of kinky?
  4. Carlos-Sz

    Carlos-Sz Well-Known Member

    Nov 5, 2008
    I've purchased SPiN some time ago tho I thought I would not like it... Go figure, I've purchased even tho... But I like it and it one of those few games that is still on my iPhone.

    And now I look at Zen Bound gameplay and I think the exact same thing... But due its great presentation I'll probably purchase this title even tho. Am I confused or what? :)

    In resume, Zen Bound looks great!!
  5. mek

    mek Well-Known Member


    cant wait
  6. nickels

    nickels Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2008
    Web Developer / Designer
    PA, USA
    If they program as good as they write, then the game should be awesome. The links on youtube are down so I can't see it in action. Sounds good though.
  7. PoV

    PoV Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2008
    London, Ontario, Canada
    The game looks visually stunning Jani. Keep up the goods. :)
  8. BrettArchibald

    BrettArchibald Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2008
    Self-employed interactive designer.
    Formerly Zimbabwe - now England.
    How about adding "peeling off dead, dried-up sunburned skin" to that list? :D
  9. Frand

    Frand Well-Known Member

    Ooh, now that's a sequel! :D
  10. Chase

    Chase Well-Known Member

    Nov 24, 2008
    Bah-dum-bum crash
  11. Mr. Charley

    Mr. Charley Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2008
    I have to admit I had the same thought.... :eek:

    Though I'd say I'm still excited for this game. Looks different and interesting!
  12. CrocStock

    CrocStock Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2008
    Woot, glad to hear that this is coming out soon.

    Btw, have you ever considered just a little to releasing stair dismount on the iPod Touch? XD
  13. Tennisking1o1

    Tennisking1o1 Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2008
    I cannot wait for this game!

    I do have one question though. Is this like the pc version, where you have to cover a certain percent of the surface area of the object, or do you just have to use all the string?

    Thanks Frand, I can't wait for more news on this
  14. Frand

    Frand Well-Known Member

    It's similar to the PC one but not identical... no clear answer yet since we're still tweaking stuff :)
  15. VirtualAlex

    VirtualAlex Well-Known Member

    Dec 6, 2008
    I am really missing it. What is the game? You need to fully wrap an item in rope? How do you paint anything? Does the rope leak paint or something?

    I don't get it.
  16. superbad

    superbad Well-Known Member

    Nov 6, 2008
    CEO. Reviewer. Beta Tester.
    You need to stalk me?
    well they dont really know what the final gameplay is but it involves a rope and some objects.

    where did you hear about paint?

    the objects you see are not the final objects. frand said they'd look more aesthetically correct :p
  17. Finchypoo

    Finchypoo Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2008
    I can't wait for this, screens look awesome Frand, this is going t be awesome.
  18. Frand

    Frand Well-Known Member

    No, no, the objects are going to be similar to what you see now. Blocky, wooden sculptures. The visual goal of Zen Bound is stylized minimalism.

    The painting element of ZB is that the rope spreads 'paint' on the parts of the surface that it touches. The level is complete when the surface has fully changed colour, not when every bit of it is covered with rope :)

    The gameplay mechanics are pretty well in order already, the tuning that remains is really just subtle nuances about how the goals are presented (and other things).
  19. Chase

    Chase Well-Known Member

    Nov 24, 2008
    Ohhh, that's how it works. Alright. I thought that maybe you'd have to untangle the rope from the object.

    I just want to make sure you don't miss a crevice that you can't find to save your life. I don't want the game to come down to that. But if you can tackle that, then I'll be a happy camper :D

    Is there different modes?
  20. Frand

    Frand Well-Known Member

    Not sure yet about game modes. There might be, but it's really of secondary importance to the experience we're looking to provide. The versatility of gameplay is more a focus for level design.

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