A Matter Of Perspective: Museum Of Simulation Technology

By John Walker on January 9th, 2014 at 10:00 am.

Today’s winners for the Goodness That’s A Good Idea Award are a team of students from Carnegie Mellon University, Pillow Castle. They’ve built a tech demo – The Museum Of Simulation Technology – for a game concept in which forced perspective becomes a game mechanic. YES. A planet cries out, “Surely this could be Portal 3?!”, forgetting all the other times they’d shouted that over the last few years, forgetting the Valve doesn’t messy its hands making silly old games any more. Still, this is rather brilliant, and well worth a look.

The Kids In The Hall should be remembered for many, many great sketches. “My Pen!”, anything featuring the Chicken Lady, Sex Girl Patrol, Whole Lotta Milka, Sir Simon Milligan, Salty Ham, and on and on. But no, they’re only ever remembered for “I’m crushing your head”, misquoted, misattributed, and inevitably delivered with the hand aligned entirely wrongly. (“NO! That’s ‘I’m squeezing your face’ you IDIOT.”) But now, with this new tech, we finally can live out that sketch in gaming form. I’m not saying that’s what Pillow Castle have in mind. I’m saying it’s what Pillow Castle has to do, if they don’t want trouble.

There’s a whole lot of potential in there. Certainly it shares things in common with Steve Swink’s upcoming Scale, but this is still its own distinct thing, and it’s darned impressive. Can’t wait to see where this goes.

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25 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    JB says:

    Looks pretty funky!

    Certain aspects of it remind me of Perspective (http://games.digipen.edu/downloads/perspective_setup?id=1170&proj=25930).

  2. Stardog says:

    There was also a 7DPS or Ludum Dare entry just like this a few months ago.

    • ratking says:

      Yeah, I made something for Ludum Dare a year ago, which kinda uses the same perspective thing. Called it “Tale of Scale”.
      http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-25/?action=preview&uid=3663

      • Sam says:

        That is remarkable, exactly the same mechanic used in both.
        What’s really fascinating to me is how Pillow Castle’s version is getting thrown around the internet, with cries for them to be instantly hired by Valve reverberating in the electro-halls. Despite being released a year earlier yours sits in comparative obscurity. Everyone that commented on the game and video loved your version, but somehow it never got into that magical series of internet events that bring widespread attention.
        I don’t think it’s because of a difference in quality, especially as yours is actually playable and must surely be considered more innovative as it came out over a year earlier. I can only assume it’s a case of Pillow Castle’s video happening on to the screen of some influential news poster or twitterer. The result of careful public relations on Pillow Castle’s part, or just blind luck?

        Discoverability: Still a big problem.

        • Eery Petrol says:

          You call it a problem, the Bugbladder beast calls it macaroni. Anyway I do remember ‘a Tale of Scale’ being featured here on RPS back in its time ( http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/12/19/how-to-be-evil-advice-from-the-official-rps-handbook/ ).
          Unlike ‘A Matter Of Perspective’ though, it did not profile itself as a full length game and simply placed itself on equal footing with the other competition entrants.
          The fact that it got picked out to get featured is already a big achievement in that light.

        • ratking says:

          Well, I don’t mind much. A bit perhaps. ;-) I could have expanded “Tale of Scale” back then, and tried to market it more. But I am doing that right now with an even older Ludum Dare entry I did nearly 3 years ago (called “TRI” – http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-20/?action=preview&uid=3663 – new version here: http://www.tri-game.com), and after this one I probably won’t do another First-Person Puzzle Game for a long time, at least not as a full game. So I wish Pillow Castle best of luck!

          • The Random One says:

            For what it’s worth, I thought of Tale of Scale as well. Maybe it’s because I can’t watch the video on my phone and so was spared of Pillow Castle’s nefarious subliminal messages!

            Best of luck with Tri! (Although I personally would prefer a Tale of Scale full game! (Although although I couldn’t get past Tale of Scale’s second level! I’m a failure!))

          • ratking says:

            @The Random One: Yeah, nowadays I would do something other than TRI, to be honest. But we never had the heart to abandon the project, so we want to finish it now. I think would rather do a better version of Wunderworld, if I had the choice. ;-)

    • Cheese Wold says:

      It’s a real shame John Walker didn’t remember “Tale of Scale”, not only did it use this same mechanic a year ago, but it actually had the “crushing your head” fingers, correctly aligned ones at that!

    • jonfitt says:

      That was my first thought. I enjoyed a Tale of Scale.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Lexx87 says:

    It’s when he does the Mona Lisa painting that it really clicks, that’s great!

  4. Scythe says:

    This game looks obnoxiously clever. Let’s hope they get a chance to develop it to its full potential, like narbacular drop.

  5. Terragot says:

    Right then Valve, buy this, slap a story into it, merge it into the Half Life universe and win all nouveau game of the year awards.

  6. cafeoh says:

    I have seen this spaceship somewhere….

    F*ck me if this isn’t a KSP B9 mod model!
    http://cloud-2.steampowered.com/ugc/577865572943353087/BB179D0CC338508CB8297E28DBFB8EEBE8CF1143/

    • Cheese Wold says:

      Let me guess, you have trouble finding your car after you’ve parked it don’t you?

  7. Jakkar says:

    Everyone has forgotten Lionhead’s ‘The Room’, one of that git Molyneux’ greatest sins – that he never released it…

    • Malarious says:

      Here I thought I was the only one who remembered that. Man, that tech demo was mind-blowing at the time. Other games I sure wish he’d followed through on: BC, dammit!

  8. Bull0 says:

    So yeah, that was totally amazing. +1 vote for Valve buying this up and throwing together some kind of game.

  9. roryok says:

    It made me smile when they enlarged the window. Hadn’t thought of that!

  10. facd224 says:

    Better keep this game away from Father Dougal McGuire.

  11. Hailencte says:

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    • roryok says:

      implement this filter rule for christ sake.

      If post contains “makes $” or “made $” and a URL, fucking bin it! Spam problem solved!

      • Premium User Badge

        Ditocoaf says:

        I do find it pretty funny that not only does RPS have a spam problem… they have a very specific, repetitive spam problem. Which I normally would assume is the easiest kind of spam problem to solve!