Puzzling Teleportals: Vicinity – Warp Reality

By Adam Smith on June 19th, 2012 at 7:00 pm.

The Rubik's Cube is the only toy or game in existence that has made me physically angry. Oh, and trying to 100% clear every Peggle level.

If I sent out a press release saying that my dissertation on ‘the nature of time and the stage in Beckett’s theatre’, was online and free to download I reckon more people would throw rocks at me than would download the blasted thing. Not so with student games. This is the third or fourth I’ve posted in recent weeks and Vicinity: Warp Reality is another impressive piece of work. Like several others I’ve seen, it’s a first person puzzler. I guess the style allows for imaginative elements of layout and motion in a 3D space, which probably ticks lots of design boxes. The fourth part is where things become interesting. Download here.

The initial ball dragging isn’t wholly thrilling but the teleportation device that the fourth chapter introduces is an excellent idea, similar to the ball in Sphere, allowing the player to record their movement and then replay it in a different location, creating a trail that they can then propel themselves along. It makes for some interesting spatial considerations and I’d love to see it fleshed out more.

The team were five strong and spent 3-4 months working on the game in the final year of their Diploma in Game and Entertainment Technology at Temasek Polytechnic. Wishing there were more levels is a little unfair given the timeframe and nature of the project, but I do wish that something interesting had been done with the very vocal companion. As it is, I can’t help but feel it’s only there because GLaDOS was and that isn’t really enough, although I suppose if one of the skills you want to demonstrate is integration of voice acting and a narration it’s definitely enough. I don’t know the course requirements!

This is a video from a while back in the development process.

As I noted when I wrote about Sphere, Unity is central to a lot of these projects and Vicinity’s team express how much it helped: “We went from completely no experience to quickly programming and pumping in game assets”. Somehow I doubt my ‘completely no experience’ would take me very far and I reckon knowledge, the right sort of thought processes and a suitable education probably help as well, but maybe I’ll try pumping some assets into my computer later and see what happens.

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10 Comments »

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  1. scorcher24 says:

    Looks like a half assed portal copy..

    • misterT0AST says:

      Almost as if it was made by amateurs in a few months!
      I mean what is this, a school project??

      • EPICTHEFAIL says:

        Yes, how dare they make a rather impressive tech demo in a few months, like a certain other student team?

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      Jackablade says:

      Austere, sterile techno-sciency architecture is probably not too hard a style to pull off when you’ve got minimal time and artistic experience. They are starting to look a little cookie-cutter though after so many of them. At least it’s a step up from riffing on Mario.

  2. Mr. Mister says:

    Doesn’t beat my currently favourite students-made game: they started it on their freshmen’s summer.

  3. wccrawford says:

    Love it. Can’t wait to try it.

  4. treat says:

    Looks like the same puzzle mechanics a lot of Flash games have been doing in 2D for years, complete with a clip that looks straight out of The Ball. Not sure what there is to be excited about here.

  5. Grey Ganado says:

    I only have one question: Why is your dissertation on ‘the nature of time and the stage in Beckett’s theatre’ not online and free to download?

    • Haplo says:

      What, and deny academic databases their delicious membership moneycash?

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    G-Lord says:

    Thanks for making me feel miserable about my PhD thesis I’m about to write…