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Don't just LISTEN to your music -- PLAY it! Read More
pledged of $30,000 goal
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Funding Unsuccessful

This project's funding goal was not reached on November 4, 2012.

About this project

What is it?

Impulse is a game for PC, Mac, and Linux that lets you experience your music in a whole new way. Every aspect of the gameplay is deeply connected to the music. In a way, Impulse is a new type of music visualizer, except it's more than just graphical -- it's interactive. 

How To Play:

The overall premise of the game is that your orb is the source of a powerful light that gives energy and life to everything around it -- even the music. It's also what wakes up the enemies from their dormant sleep and they are inexplicably drawn to your light. Every time an enemy comes in contact with you they siphon some of your power and you become weaker. Both your light and the music will dim and fade with each collision, and this will also affect the strength of your weapons and even your visibility into the environment. 

Your orb's light and the strength of the music will naturally recover over time, but slowly, so it's critical to avoid contact with the enemies. If you run out of light, your orb will completely dissipate and the music will come to an end. Game Over. It's all up to you to fend off the relentless waves of enemies to prevent this from happening.

The larger overall goal of the game is similar to Guitar Hero -- every song is an individual level, and you are trying to survive through the song without failing.  There will be a scoring system tracking your best runs and the ability to play each song on multiple difficulty levels, which also includes a no-fail mode for those times when you just want to kick back and relax to your favorite music. 


  • Unique style and beautiful retro graphics.
  • Gameplay that gets you into a relaxed flow state, quickly.
  • Experience mesmerizing and challenging tracks limited only by your creativity (and possibly your taste in music).
  • Freedom to the music.
  • You won't be restricted to playing just the included songs. 
  • An open content platform that won't force you into buying yet another copy of music you already own just to play it inside the game.
  • Freely bring any song from your own music collection into the game.
  • In-game interactive track editor. 
  • For the best playing experience, you will be able jump-in and really fine-tune how the game reacts to each song down to every beat and every note. 
  • This includes the ability to tweak many aspects of the game, from customizing the environmental graphics to controlling the behavior of each individual enemy based on the music. 

Why should I back this?

This project is currently in the prototype/alpha stage of development, and there is already enough progress to see the spark of something really interesting here. By funding this project, you will allow me to take this from a development prototype and turn it into a fully developed and finished game. This includes many more features that are already in the works such as improved variety of enemies, boss encounters, dynamic environments, and different gameplay modes.

Without your critical help right now, Impulse is unlikely to ever be completed since I can not continue to cover the development costs of this game by myself. By pledging support for this project, you will enable me to create a really fun game, and, in return, you'll receive a copy of the game and a bunch of great rewards that are exclusive to kickstarter backers. This is a unique opportunity to show your support for the types of games you want to play!

Stretch Goals: 

  • Online Support.
  • Easily save and share your interactive tracks online with your friends and the rest of the world so everyone can experience your creations.
  • Or just pick a song from your collection, and the game will automatically search for matching interactive tracks created by other people around the world.
  • Kick back and play the game at your own pace, or compete on the global leaderboards for the #1 spot.
  • This set of functionality can be developed if the game reaches $50,000 in funding.

More stretch goals coming soon. Let's tackle one goal at a time!

Who is making this?

Impulse is the first indie game from 4Kore, a one-man indie game studio founded by James Hillery. James has years of professional game development experience working on titles for pc, mac, mobile, and current-gen consoles (X360, PS3, Wii). He's credited on a number of games including Disney/Pixar's WALL-E and Battlestar Galactica Online.

Update: Impulse is now featured on KickAssist! Three lucky games go in, but only one game leaves with a cool $500 put up by the great guys over at Magic Pixel Games. Voting is now live for the next two weeks and you can cast a new vote once a day. Check it out here:

Update: Impulse is now on Steam Greenlight! Help get this game on Steam:

Update: Impulse has been selected as a Kickstarter Staff Pick! Amazing!

Risks and challenges

Every project will encounter a unique set of challenges and risks, but I have made a strong effort early on to eliminate as many potential sources of risk as possible.

Examples of this include the decision to create Impulse with Unity3D, an established, battle-proven, and powerful game engine. This choice has allowed me to avoid the tremendous development time and inherent risk required to create a game engine from scratch. And combined with my years of prior experience using Unity3D, which included working on successful Unity3D-powered titles such as Battlestar Galactica Online, I feel very comfortable with my ability to deliver on the technical aspects of this project. Additionally, this decision has allowed me to focus my time on what really matters -- making the game.

Another example of reducing risk on this project is the development process I've used to create Impulse. I set out to create a working prototype that included a playable chunk of the core foundational gameplay in order to expose unknown technical hurdles and to also verify that the game design that I envisioned is actually fun to play. In the process of creating the prototype, I was able to both reveal a number of challenges and then tackle solving those problems very early on in development. Ultimately, this iterative process has allowed me to create a better, more solid, and all-around more fun game.

With that said, there are of course some remaining risks that are on my radar, such as maintaining good performance on lower end machines, improving the quality of automatically generated interactive tracks, and delivering on my promise for linux support.

I am doing my best to mitigate the risk of these issues while moving forward with the project. For example, I am regularly testing the game on older computers and laptops with lower-end video cards to ensure the game remains playable on computers that don't require taking out a bank loan to purchase. And I'm also putting in the appropriate quality settings that will really let the game scale up and take advantage of more powerful hardware if you've got it. As for the music, I am exploring a number of algorithms to make the game's music detection even better. I am also closely monitoring the quality and performance of the linux platform support provided by Unity3D.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter


  • When playing the game with your own music, the following audio file formats will be supported: mp3, ogg, wav, and aiff. Other formats such as flac are not natively supported by the Unity3D game engine, but they may be a possibility later depending on user demand. If support for these formats is critical to you, be sure to let me know!

    Last updated:

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10 USD

    ** One DRM-FREE DIGITAL COPY of the game when it is released. If the game gets on Steam, we will work with Valve to get every backer a steam version of the game as well. ** Make your pledge now to lock in this kickstarter-only price!
    ** License valid on ALL platforms! (Mac, Windows, and Linux)

    Estimated delivery
    124 backers
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15 USD

    PREMIUM: All STANDARD rewards + ** 3 DAY EARLY ACCESS to the final game before it gets released to the public! ** Your NAME will be in the CREDITS! ** Also, RESERVE YOUR USERNAME in all current and future 4Kore games and forums with an exclusive founder account and badge!

    Estimated delivery
    31 backers
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20 USD

    DOUBLE PREMIUM: ** TWO copies of all PREMIUM rewards! Share with a friend! (2x drm-free digital copies of Impulse, 2x early access passes, 2x reserved usernames, 2x names in the credits)

    Estimated delivery
    6 backers
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25 USD

    MEGA: All PREMIUM rewards + ** Get ALL Impulse DLC for FREE ** Get an exclusive DLC package only for MEGA backers and higher. (cosmetic only, does not affect game balance)

    Estimated delivery
    35 backers
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35 USD

    DOUBLE MEGA: ** TWO copies of all MEGA rewards! Share with a friend! (All DOUBLE PREMIUM rewards + 2x all Impulse DLC for free, 2x DLC packages exclusive to MEGA backers or higher)

    Estimated delivery
    4 backers
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40 USD

    EPIC: All MEGA rewards + ** CLOSED BETA ACCESS! Get access to the game before anyone else and play a valuable part in the direction of the game as it's being developed! ** Your name will be featured in both the credits and the game's startup splash screen wall-of-backers mini-game!

    Estimated delivery
    13 backers
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50 USD

    DOUBLE EPIC: ** TWO copies of all EPIC rewards! Share with a friend! (All DOUBLE MEGA rewards + 2x closed beta accounts, 2x wall-of-backers splash screen names)

    Estimated delivery
    8 backers
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75 USD

    ULTIMATE: All EPIC rewards + ** You get a license good for the next 10 GAMES with ALL DLC on ALL platforms that 4Kore creates! Wow! ** Your name will be extra large in the wall-of-backers splash screen mini-game. ** Your username and badge in all 4Kore games and forums will be tagged as an ULTIMATE backer.

    Estimated delivery
    6 backers
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100 USD

    DOUBLE ULTIMATE: TWO copies of all ULTIMATE rewards! Share with a friend! (All DOUBLE EPIC rewards + 2x licenses for next 10 games with all DLC on all platforms that 4Kore creates, 2x extra large wall-of-backers name, 2x ultimate backer usernames and badges in all 4Kore games and forums)

    Estimated delivery
    9 backers
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000 USD

    IMMORTAL: ** Your name and picture will be featured prominently on the 4Kore website and at the top of the game's credits. ** Your name will also be a mini-boss in the wall-of-backers splash screen mini-game. ** Your username and badge in all 4Kore games and forums will be tagged as an IMMORTAL backer. ** Also includes TEN copies of all ULTIMATE rewards to do with as you please.

    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
  11. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000 USD

    BACKER PRIME: You win the internet. ** All IMMORTAL rewards + Your name and picture will be the biggest on the 4Kore website, at the very top of the game's credits, and your name will be the final boss in the wall-of-backers splash screen mini-game. ** Also, design an entire boss encounter for the main Impulse game that will be played by everyone. ** Your username and badge in all 4Kore games and forums will be tagged as BACKER PRIME. ** Only ONE person can claim this reward! First come, first serve.

    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 1 backer

Funding period

- (36 days)