Georgia Tech Students Show Their Game, 'Vision by Proxy,' at E3

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A team of Georgia Tech students will be showing off their game, Vision by Proxy, at the IndieCade Showcase at E3 this week.  The game will be shown at the IndieCade booth in the West Hall, booth 4344. Andrew Ho, who will be returning to Tech this fall to work on a Master’s in the Digital Media program, explains how the game works.

To play Vision by Proxy, visit the Georgia Tech Digital Lounge.

Q: Tell me about your game.

Andrew Ho: The story of Vision by Proxy is easily on the whimsical side, though with a somewhat macabre element. The player takes the role of a small, blue alien that consists of two legs and one eye, going to Earth with his spaceship and friends to scout out the inhabitants. Somehow the ship gets damaged and he falls out, and is then tasked with having to meet the natives (us in this case), collect parts to repair his ship and get on board.

The main draw here is that the alien can only see the world in dull shades of gray and black, and can't fully explore the world like this. With each person that he meets, he abruptly and somewhat rudely steals one of their eyes and adds it to his collection. While it leaves the person a little less happy than before, the alien can then look at the world in a completely different way that allows him to get around obstacles and access areas that were previously unreachable.

Q: What elements of the game do you find interesting?

Andrew Ho: What I think is interesting about the game is the eye mechanic, as it changes the world physically around the alien to allow him to explore and also bring out new visuals.

Our artists had a great deal of fun in designing the aesthetic of what a gardener or little child might see. We hadn't intended to make a big artistic statement with the game either, but somehow I thought it was curious that we'd have the main character looking at the world in these vastly different perspectives as well.

Q: Who’s the audience for Vision by Proxy?

Andrew Ho: The game is aimed at the casual gamer audience, or pretty much anyone who doesn't play games very often. This is understandably a very broad audience, but we wanted the game to be very accessible. We hope players enjoy the principle mechanic, the visuals and have fun for the most part.

Q: Was this game designed as part of a class?

Andrew Ho: Vision by Proxy was the final project in Professor Celia Pearce's course, Game Design as a Cultural Practice. The scope of the project was to create a game over two months that had a unique or interesting game mechanic, appealed to an audience opposite of the designers, and could not have violence or game cliches (elves, space shooters, etc.).

Q: Who was on the development team?

Andrew Ho: In addition to myself, there was:

  • Ning Song - lead programmer and digital media graduate student
  • Rose Peng - lead artist and computational media undergraduate
  • Andrew Brasuell - programmer and level designer who graduated with a master’s in computer science this spring.
  • Danielle Arabov – artist and user-interface designer and computational media undergraduate
  • Travis Harkleroad – soundtrack designer and computational media graduate