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Pseuthe (pronounced 'soothe') is an abstract audio / visual experience, with casual game play elements.

Watch on YouTube

Pseuthe started when I was experimenting with simulating Newton's laws of motion (and, to a lesser extent, Hooke's laws of springs) but has since evolved - first into something more graphical, closely followed by the addition of game play. You take on the role of a proterozoic plankton with the sole aim of survival - absorb and consume the healthy microbes whilst avoiding those detrimental to your health. If you don't eat you will slowly starve to death, and colliding with obstacles will also reduce your health. The game ends once you fade out of existence.

There are four kinds of microbes to look out for. The most common are either green or red. Green microbes give you health when eaten, red will take some away. Red microbes are sick and dying, and will fade away slowly. There are also blue 'viral' microbes which are less common, but will give you a significant health boost. Very rarely you will also see something akin to a jelly fish. These fade rapidly, but eating one gives you full health, so eat it quick! Microbes don't like to group. Striking red plankton to help them die sooner will promote the arrival of new microbes - but don't accidentally swallow anything nasty...


The player can be controlled with either the keyboard or a controller. Pseuthe is tested mainly with an xbox 360 controller, but others should work fine too. There are two sets of controls available; Arcade - which is enabled by default, and Classic - which can be enabled via the check box on the main menu.

In Arcade mode left and right rotates the player's head, while forward and backward accelerate and decelerate in the direction the player is facing. This is similar to many top down racing games - the main difference being that there is no friction applied to the player. Once you accelerate up to speed you no longer need to keep accelerating. Light adjustments using the accelerate and decelerate keys is the recommended approach. In Arcade mode the controls are mapped like so:


W or Up Arrow on the keyboard, or Button 0 or z-axis negative on a controller. This is the equivalent to the A button and right trigger on an xbox 360 controller.


S or Down Arrow on the keyboard, or Button 1 or z-axis positive on a controller. This is equivalent to the B button or left trigger on an xbox 360 controller.


Steering is mapped to the A and D keys or Left Arrow and Right Arrow on the keyboard. On a controller you can use the analogue stick or the D-Pad to steer.

Classic mode allows you to control the player in a more realistic, physically based sense, but can be much harder to grasp. It is named Classic mode because it was the initial control scheme when I started the project. Using the WASD or Arrow keys on the keyboard or the analogue stick on the controller, you apply a literal force in the direction of the control. Pressing up will push the player toward the top of the screen, down moves towards the bottom, and so on. If you have used RCS systems in games such as Kerbal Space Program then the concept should be familiar. Unfortunately keyboard controls in this mode are limited to eight degrees of movement and so classic mode works much better with an analogue controller. The Classic control scheme has been included for those who are looking for an increased challenge from the game.


Points are awarded based on how long you survive. The more body parts you have for a longer duration of time, the more points you will score. This often results in a floating point score, which may appear unusual, but works just as well as more traditional scoring systems. Names are generated on a pseudo-random basis, although they will include a capital A or capital C depending on whether that score was achieved using Arcade or Classic control scheme.


Pseuthe depends on SFML 2.2 or higher, specifically the Window, Graphics, System and Audio libraries (and sfml-main on Windows.) The repository contains a Visual Studio solution and a set of pre-built binaries for compiling on Windows. Linux users will have to install SFML manually, but there is a CMake file included which can be used to create a makefile compatible with GCC 4.9+ and the latest versions of clang/llvm. There is also an xcode project for those looking to build Pseuthe on OS X.

Binaries for Windows / Mac / Linux can be found on gamejolt


Pseuthe is released under the permissive zlib license, as found in the source code.