Throw Trucks With Your Mind is a game that requires you to flex muscles you didn't know you had.
Creator Lat Ware demoed to the game to Polygon at this year's Indie Press Day, which took place in San Francisco. Labeled a "first-person thinker," Throw Trucks With Your Mind works by using an EEG headset that looks for a spike in the brain's beta waves. It hones in on two very specific concepts: focus and calm.
"Focus is fundamentally the act of giving one thing your attention and taking away everything else," Ware explained to us. "People focus in different ways. Some focus visually [and] stare at the dot of the center of the screen, [others] listen to sounds like nearby conversation. I have one friend that is very ADD, and the only way he can raise his focus is by computing prime numbers in his head."
Calm, on the other hand, is a much more subjective experience, Ware said. It can be found in all kinds of ways.
"People in happy committed relationships usually have their calm spike 30 percent when they think about their significant other," Ware said.
In an effort to make the game as accessible as possible, Crooked Tree Studios used standard first-person shooter controls. Movement and ability selection is controlled with the keyboard, while players can aim with their mouse. The strength of a player's abilities are completely dependent on their calm or focus. Focus dictates a player's throwing ability, while calm enables jumping, pulling and levitation.
"Your little differences in focus become massive differences in focus."
Throw Trucks With Your Mind originally began as part of a childhood crusade to create a full-fledged Star Wars game. Growing up with ADD, Ware participated in neuro feedback therapy, which taught him how to measure and control his calm and focus levels. The technology existed. Eventually, it became more accessible — no contact gel or calibration required. At the same time, Ware began to grow disenfranchised with modern shooters. Each new title seemed to revolve around the same mechanic, Ware said: look at the person you want to die until they die.
"I don't really care for how shooters are all about twitch reflexes, or in Modern Warfare's case, whoever sees the other person first wins," Ware said.
Instead, Throw Trucks With Your Mind is a battle of wills. Multiplayer matches are a personal struggle to remain in control of yourself.
"Your little differences in focus become massive differences in focus," Ware said. "Confidence plays a surprising role in [multiplayer]. And trash talk becomes very interesting. Your normal trash talk can easily be tuned out and in fact make it easier for the other person to focus. However, saying things like 'you are now wondering if penguins have knees...'"
And suddenly you find yourself tossed across the room by your opponent.
Once completed, Throw Trucks With Your Mind will include modes such as deathmatch, team deathmatch, king of the hill and capture the fridge. Ware said that the team also hopes to add a cooperative puzzle mode. The game is currently being developed for Windows PC and Mac, after being funded by a Kickstarter campaign launched in February of this year.