A new project from a team of college students might just be the next Portal.
Forced perspective is nothing new – if you’ve ever seen a tourist posing like they’re holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, you pretty much know how it works. But the trick is usually restricted to stationary images, because once you move, the illusion is ruined. Well, not anymore; five students from Carnegie Mellon University are testing the limits of perspective in a first-person puzzle game, with some seriously mind-bending results. Their tech demo, “The Museum of Simulation Technology,” drops you into a very interesting reality where space and size are all in the eye of the beholder.
I’ll put a disclaimer right here that these mechanics are really hard to describe in words, so you should watch the video above just to learn what the game is all about. Basically, the game lets you move objects around in 3-dimensional space, but their size is constant relative to the player’s perspective. So, if you pick up a tiny object right next to you, then project it towards a distant wall, it’ll still be the same size on the screen as when you picked it up – but because of the increased distance, the object actually got a lot bigger.
The net effect is that this project has all kinds of potential. The puzzles start out pretty simple, but if this tech demo is any indication, the mechanics allow for enough craziness to fill a decent-length puzzle game. It bends the brain in a way that echoes Portal (heck, one of the levels in this demo even includes portals), so this project is definitely worth keeping an eye on.