E3 2016: Museum of Simulation Technology Preview
Alongside E3 was a very special event showcasing some of the coolest indie developers and their games, known as ‘The Mix’. It was here, I finally got a chance to go hands-on with Museum of Simulation Technology from Pillow Castle Games. This game first caught my attention when I was linked to an early demo of it on YouTube, unique in that it plays around with your sense of perspective in a very clever and creative way.
Rather than listen to me try to describe the game, it’s best to watch it for yourself, with one of Pillow Castle’s early videos showcasing the technology behind it.
As you can see, it’s a first person 3D puzzle game for PC, revolving around manipulating objects to become the size they appear to be from your perspective. To explain, say you pick up a marble. You hold it in front of you, next to large door that’s far away from you. From your perspective, they appear to be the same size, since the marble is small and close to you, and the door is large but far away. What the game does is alter the size of the marble to match exactly how it appears to be. Once you let go of the marble, you’ll find it sitting next to the door, just as large as the door was.
If your brain is still intact after that, you’ll be pleased to hear the developer is working on all kinds of ways to use this simple idea to build up some amazing puzzles. Many of them require you to traverse a space – say, making toy blocks larger so you can climb up to the exit. Others make you hunt for objects that can help you – rectangular exit signs can make perfect ramps that you can enlarge and use to get out of a low-walled maze.
One of the cleverest puzzles literally has you pluck the moon from the sky – of course, from your perspective it’s only small, but as you increase it’s size and rotate it around, you’ll find a hidden object on its surface, that in turn can be manipulated in perspective to reveal the exit. There are lots of little ‘aha’ moments as you finally understand a concept, which are great. On the other hand, at times objects can also be easy to lose track of if you make them too big or too small, or drop them behind walls when you don’t intend to.
Museum of Simulation Technology is a truly unique concept and I hope the developer can keep finding new ideas to introduce to the player and keep them challenged throughout the game. It’s one to really look forward to for puzzle buffs.