Perspective Does That Clever Dimension Shifting Thing

By Jim Rossignol on June 20th, 2012 at 7:00 pm.

That man is jumping.
The mixing of 2D and 3D in game world is no longer a new idea, but Perspective – a game from game-development education crucible DigiPen – certainly has a special take on it, as you can see in the video below. It’s remarkably clever. Not just in the idea itself – in which a 2D character navigates a 3D world, and the camera control of the FPSing player alters the 2D space that character has to navigate by shifting perspective – but in the construction of the puzzles which make use of that concept. I am not sure why I am bothering to try and explain it, really, other than to emphasize that you should take a look, and then do that raised eyebrow thing you do when someone has been impressively clever.

What’s a bit odd about this video is that although it’s very impressive, it’s not actually surprising. It feels a bit “this week’s reality-bending videogame”. Or perhaps I am being jaded and cynical. But I am really not! I am full of beans today.

And gosh, and I LOVE the wibble-wobble synth music, reminiscent of great 1970s TV documentary intro themes.

Googling said documentaries led me to this, which I haven’t seen for years.

It is perhaps some kind of educational omen.

Thanks, DigiPen. You certainly are a place of higher learning.

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62 Comments »

  1. misterT0AST says:

    Fiddling with 2D/3D isn’t very original, but fiddling with perspective is something pretty new.
    It doesn’t seem particularly innovative or fun, but still, I haven’t seen many games using your point of view like that.
    Maybe I just don’t know about them.

    • cmc5788 says:

      Your definition of “innovative” must be abnormal. It is quite innovative. Fun? Maybe not, but it’s a prototype. On production scale, I could see this idea being pretty neat, assuming they have more interesting gimmicks that can be rolled in to keep puzzles exciting.

    • lordfrikk says:

      So there’s no game like it but it’s not innovative, how does that exactly work in your head?

      • misterT0AST says:

        “original” and “new” mean that it brings something new to the table.
        “innovative” means that it brings to the table something that not only is new, but it can “innovate” other games, other genres.
        This is a new idea, but it can’t be used for much else other than this very particular and very specific kind of game.
        Super Mario was innovative because it introduced to gaming a sense of progression, and this changed pretty much the whole industry.
        Halo was innovative because it introduced self-regenerating life (shield), and since then every goddamn shooter with few exceptions has had regenerating life.

        This game introduces the perception of a 3d environment as a 2d space, and I don’t personally think this new very original idea will bring any significant innovation to other games.

        So there you go. That’s what I mean when I say that this game is original, but it doesn’t have innovative potential. It’s a new thing that won’t go anywhere.

        • El Stevo says:

          You’ve used ‘innovate’ in your definition of ‘innovative’. The word you’re looking for is ‘influential’, not ‘innovative’.

          • misterT0AST says:

            I thought innovative meant “a source of innovation” rather than “with innovation”.
            The Wiktionary tells me that “innovatory” would’ve been a much more appropriate word for that.

          • El Stevo says:

            ‘Innovative’ and ‘innovatory’ are synonyms.

  2. SirKicksalot says:

    I want someone to make an exclusively stereoscopic game. The brainfuck potential of 3D is enormous. My bet is on DigiPen folks doing it first.

  3. Knightley4 says:

    Awesome! But this little 2D guy came from my childhood nightmares…

  4. Hoaxfish says:

    I guess how good it is all depends on your point of view

  5. 7hink says:

    The first thing that came to mind was Fez. I’ve got to admit that this takes mindbending to another level though.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Yeah, made me think of Fez. Fez is really very, very charming, as well as being clever. Like me.

      But clever.

      And charming.

  6. GT3000 says:

    Interesting but damn it looks tedious to play.

  7. Turin Turambar says:

    Watching this video somehow remind me of another indie 3d first person puzzler videogame in progress. Their “gimmick” was manipulation of the 3d space following the relativity theories. Anyone remember the title?

  8. LeiterJakab says:

    I have a feeling the people behind this will either make a successful indie studio or be working at Valve pretty soon.

  9. Fartango says:

    Reminds me of the ps3 game echochrome. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echochrome

    • ttcfcl says:

      Just what I was going to say. If anyone’s interested in this “Perspectives” game and has a PS3, try out Echochrome and Echochrome II (the second one needs a Playstation Move controller since the character walks on shadows created by your “flashlight”) But the character is a lemming basically and you only have “walk/don’t walk” control over him.

    • FriendlyFire says:

      I too was immediately reminded of Echochrome. I also rather liked the very simple presentation that game had. The visuals in this look a bit odd in comparison, like the character and the environment don’t match.

  10. jjujubird says:

    Doesn’t look that fun, but wow that’s a mindfuck lol

  11. rockman29 says:

    Yussssss gamesssssssss :-)

    I found out about Igneous from a related video to this, that looks schweet too, and it’s free. About to try it now!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nICd6W9d0i4

  12. Salt says:

    Well, damn.
    I’ve been working the last 3 months and am about a week away from finishing (so make that a month from finishing) a game pretty similar to this.

    A series of abstract 3D forms that the player attempts to navigate. Rotate the camera to bring various parts in and out of apparent contiguity and so allow the player character to walk between them. It looks kind of like a version of Echochrome where the “walker” is controlled, but due to that difference in control ends up playing quite differently.

    I was going to call it Perspective too. If only there was a community of dedicated punners to give it a new, terrible, name.

  13. kalleguld says:

    Just spent 49:22 watching Connections, from 1978. And now I’m gonna watch the remaining 9 episodes.

  14. appropriate touching says:

    This in co-op would be utterly amazing. And maybe stuff to shoot at/jump on.

    • c-Row says:

      Indeed. Switching between moving in 2D/3D space seems a bit clunky at the moment, but it would make for a great 2-player game where one player controls the 3D movement while the other takes care of Not-Megaman.

  15. Bennus says:

    And gosh, and I LOVE the wibble-wobble synth music, reminiscent of great 1970s TV documentary intro themes.

    I immediately thought of Boards of Canada.

  16. liquidsoap89 says:

    Reminds me of Echochrome mixed with these riddles from Batman AA where you had to line up the “?” symbols.

    Only one of those things this reminds me of is something I like.

  17. Lemming says:

    Did they trace Megaman?

  18. Fumarole says:

    That’s pretty trippy.

  19. Bobtree says:

    I liked that he gets smaller when you zoom in. That made me laugh.

  20. ribobura osserotto says:

    Oh you hipster games. Why am I not surprised at your originality. Ok let’s see what we have so far on the list:

    >a platformer, where you turn back time!
    >a platformer, where you can flip gravity!
    >a platformer, where you can flip a 2D world in 3D!
    >a platformer, where you flip a 2D world in 3D even more!
    >a platformer where you can scale the objects in the world!
    >a platformer, where you can flip from black to white!

    I wonder what will come next. Perhaps a platformer where you have to kill yourself in order to win. That would be the ultimately form of artsy irony, right? Or wait, get this: a platformer where in order to win you must not play it. Deep uh?

    • Hulk Handsome says:

      “Perhaps a platformer where you have to kill yourself in order to win.”

      That was done like three years ago, and it’s GREAT:

      http://armorgames.com/play/2407/karoshi-suicide-salaryman

      I think the second game in the series is the best, but that flash “best of” is easiest to play right now.

      “a platformer where in order to win you must not play it.” That’s been done before a million times since the birth of platformers. It’s the secret goal of any crap platformer.

      ALSO, this game (the one posted about) looks really neat!

  21. Xzi says:

    This looks like a game I’d enjoy playing.

    And that’s all I have to say on the subject.

  22. crinkles esq. says:

    Looks like they’re using 2d projections to create a 2d map from a 3d perspective. An interesting idea, but the gameplay looks really awkward, and just…not very fun.

    • Xzi says:

      Taking a second look at it, I partially agree with you. What I mean is, I don’t like the bits where they use the 3D walls/roof to simply suspend the character in air. That seems counter to the way the rest of the trailer presents gameplay. Which is plenty interesting and unique enough on its own to create thousands of challenging levels/scenarios.

  23. C.A.S.E says:

    Why does it have to be platformers all the time? I’d like to see a different concept that actually plays with perspective instead of just using it to align 2d planes you can jump on.

    Anyone remember the Thief1 level where you enter the mansion of a Wizard to steal his wizardly sword? There was this amazing play with deranged rooms and one hallway crosssection played with the perspective so good that when you went down one way you suddenly realised that the walls are getting closer and closer until you finally reached the door you thought was miles away but the door was actually very very tiny. My mind was blown when i replayed it a few weeks ago.

  24. realjoker says:

    It reminds me of Nintendo’s Paper Mario: speaking of which: anybody knows of any similar game?

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