There’s some unfortunate news to share today—developer Pushy Pixels of Proton Pulse Rift has announced that further development of the highly regarded Oculus Rift demo has been canceled.
Proton Pulse was an early and well regarded Oculus Rift demo. The demo is most easily described as a 3D/VR version of Breakout Thanks to its simple gameplay, which is controlled only by head movements, Proton Pulse has been the go-to demo for me and many others to get new users (especially non-gamers) familiar with the world of virtual reality.
Developer Pushy Pixels wanted to expand the demo into a full fledged Oculus Rift title and took the project to Kickstarter as Proton Pulse Rift. The project was enthusiastically received by the VR community which helped Pushy Pixels raise $7,099 (236% of its $3,000 goal).
On Monday, Pushy Pixels put out an update on the Kickstarter page announcing that Proton Pulse Rift has been canceled due to “unforeseen consequences.” Pushy Pixels has fully refunded all Kickstarter backers; an admirable decision, especially considering that the developer had to cover Kickstarter’s 5% fee of ~$350 to make sure backers got fully refunded.
You can read the full announcement of the cancellation here:
I would like to begin by expressing my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who supported me, both financially and with encouragement and excitement, over the course of making Proton Pulse into a full-fledged game for the enthusiast VR Community. VR has long been a passion of mine, and the opportunity to make my own game in a VR medium was a thrill for me. What started out as an experiment to sate my own interest turned into a demo, and then promised to be something much more. The fact that other like-minded individuals were excited about it was a wonderful encouragement and kept me working long nights, despite having a full-time day-job and a family.
Eventually, it was no longer just something I was doing for myself, but something I wanted to do for all of you as well. Making something great for all of you who cheered me on, that kept me going. However, If I’ve learned anything about game development, it’s that not everything is predictable. The dynamics of developing Proton Pulse has changed for several reasons and I am unable to continue development of the game.
And so, it is with deep regret and sadness that I write to you all today with the unfortunate notice that this project is coming to an end. All payments to the kickstarter have been refunded in full. I wish deeply that I could give you more than simply returning your money.
It would seem that the developer is unable to talk about specifics regarding the cancellation of Proton Pulse Rift. This could allude to unfortunate personal matters or legal pressure from rights holders (related: Wikipedia actually has an entire ‘Breakout clone‘ page which categorizes games based on Breakout) . The Proton Pulse demo appears to have been removed, which makes me think the latter is more likely. The demo was distributed for free prior to its removal so it will likely remain available through unofficial sources.
Regardless of the reason, I think I speak for most when I say it’s unfortunate to see this project bite the dust. Hopefully this isn’t the end for Pushy Pixels.