Anamorphosis | PC | Position: Designer + Creator
Production time: May 2014 – Present, Team size: 1~2
“Anamorphosis“ is a puzzle game based on optical illusions created in Unity3D. The idea is established on the concept of anamorphosis, which is a distorted projection or perspective requiring the viewer to occupy a specific vantage point to reconstitute the image. Player has a camera that can turn distorted images between illusion and reality. The distorted image can be anywhere, such as on the ground, wall, or multiple surfaces. In order to solve the puzzle, the player needs to explore the environment and find the vantage point, then use the camera to change the environment. This allows them to access new areas to complete the puzzle.
“Anamorphosis is a distorted projection or perspective requiring the viewer to use special devices or occupy a specific vantage point to reconstitute the image. The word “anamorphosis” is derived from the Greek prefix ana-, meaning back or again, and the word morphe, meaning shape or form.”
—Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, May. 2014. 27 Jun. 2014.— http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anamorphosis
My responsibilities in the project:
- Completed a first-person puzzle game from high-level concept to prototype.
- Created game mechanic and gameplay system.
- Developed 10+ puzzle levels, from game flow to color-coded level layout.
- Drafted level flow on paper and designed the puzzle.
- Coded basic functions of the game, such as switching scenes, the menu, input and UI features.
- Led a team of 3~5-people to develop a perspective puzzle game.
- Managed programmers and artists to create prefabs.
- Performed multiple playtests and collected feedback to improve the puzzle, mechanic and the levels.
From the very beginning, I researched and got inspired by a few great puzzle games such as Portal, Antichamber, etc. However, I wanted this game to deliver wow moments and a different kind of experience, even as just a prototype. Once I established the first mechanic, I started building levels. First, I drew a top-down view of the layout. To educate the player, Levels 1 through 4 present how the mechanics work in the game before introducing puzzle elements.
During the level design process, following the “white-box level layout” was a critical step. This step helped me build a level more quickly and present the idea well. Later, I faced a problem that players were often confused by the colorless environment. Since it is a puzzle game based on a type of art, having a colorless environment provided no hint as to what players should do. Suddenly, I had an idea inspired by the game “Mirror’s Edge“.
In Mirror’s Edge, most color you see is white with adding a bit of color. The gameplay is about parkour and the red color indicates where players are able to interact. This is the idea I learned from Mirror’s Edge and implemented in my game.
- Blue means the hint. It tells players they should come here to investigate.
- Red represents danger. It’s a simple idea: “Do not touch it!” Players will respawn if they touch red.
- Green objects can be switched between reality and image.
- Yellow is the destination. In each level, players must reach the yellow door to complete the level.