In Nevermind, Difficulty Rises With Your Heart Rate - Nevermind - PC -
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In Nevermind, Difficulty Rises With Your Heart Rate

The concept of tying gameplay control to more than our hands is something that continues to grow from novelty to viable concept. The Wii balance board, Oculus Rift, and Kinect’s voice commands are just some of the ways the rest of our bodies are getting in the action.

Developer Erin Reynolds, who was previously employed by Zynga, has decided to return to a project created for her University of Southern California Games Program master's thesis. Nevermind is a psychological horror title that tasks players with unraveling the source of trauma from inside patients’ heads.

While the title plays out like many puzzle-based psychological thrillers, the use of a heart rate monitor transforms the experience into a tool for learning how to manage stress. As player heart rate increases, the game reacts by making the puzzles harder and creating barriers to progress.

Calming down resets the difficulty, allowing progression. In the video, you’ll see some examples of how Reynolds has implemented some of the heart rate-related mutations. As a proof of concept, the heart rate monitor integration is fascinating. We’re eager to see more of the scares to understand what will get players into a heightened state of fear, though.

Reynolds will be taking Nevermind to Kickstarter soon in an attempt to bring it from thesis to finished product. As for the heart rate monitor, the title will use models that can be purchased at sporting goods retailers and, therefore, have alternate functions.

Nevermind is a curious amalgam of game and self-help tool. The concept of controlling fear in a genre that thrives to induce it is a juxtaposition that has the potential to impact the way we engage with horror games.

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  • Somehow I see this backfiring horribly... and I say that as someone who really actually wants to give this a whirl.
  • That sounds really cool if they can execute it well.

  • If this actually works at all it'd be really cool.

  • This could be bad, I don't handle stress well. Jak II's crappy vehicle and gun controls almost had me sending that game flying off my balcony. And that's a game I actually enjoy playing.
  • Mod
    I've heard of this game before! ....wait, Nevermind
  • This has so much fail or be a great fun experience

  • I can handle stress very well, but I have a high heart rate due to genetics (heart problems in family)... wonder how it would work for me.
  • This is brilliant! I hope it gets executed correctly!

  • After Super Replay - Illbleed, it's clear that the best way to calm down is with some porno mags, amirite? :D
  • So basically you want me to stop playing after I reach a certain stress level with the game? Since they make you blind the more stressful you get?
  • This is a great idea, but I doubt they will be able to make the puzzles interesting or any events truly scary. At the very most, our hearts rates will go up by how frustrated we are with the result of this ambitious project.

  • I love this!

  • So... Does that mean the game is at its easiest when your heart stops?
  • Finally, IllBleed in real life.

  • This kind of sounds like Illbleed anyway, and then i found out the the person creating it is named "Reynolds".

    I think im out.

    It starts off as a self help tool, but how soon until you get horribly violated by a giant worm and have to take a bite of Hell Cake?

  • This is ridiculous. In any tense situation your heart rate is going to increase so it is NOT a definitive sign of fear. If they wanted to help people learn to control their fear they would punish quick movements from jump scares, running from the slightest eerie noise, or making rash decisions in the heat of the moment.
  • I love this!

  • Imagine this used in a game like Amnesia. Heart rate influences sanity as well as the darkness. Yeah, I would definitely never beat that game if being scared made it harder.
  • This could get really frustrating if you get scared easily but still enjoy playing horror games.

  • Nevermind do what Illblee…don't. I'm so sorry.
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