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Video: Designing a puzzle game to be played with non-human senses

At GDC Europe 2015 indie game maker Ivan Notaros shares what he learned in making Scanner, a unique puzzle game that replaces the player's natural vision with a photo-based "poor man's 3D scanner."

November 3, 2015

2 Min Read

Creative game developers have long been experimenting with making games that impair the player's ability to see the world around them -- Somethin' Else's Papa Sangre, for example, or Tiger & Squid's Beyond Eyes.

But what kind of game could you make if you swapped the player's sight for another, completely non-human sense -- like 3D visual scanning?

Indie game maker and photographer Ivan Notaros did just that with his game Scanner, which challenges players to solve puzzles while looking at the world through the lens of a "poor man's 3D scanning thing" -- a photo-based visual scanner.

By designing a game around that scanner, Notaros discovered strange new ways to design puzzle games -- allowing the player to explore the real world from a fresh perspective by "seeing through" certain walls and barriers, for example, or capturing the movement of objects through time by scanning a 3D space multiple times in quick succession.

His presentation of what he learned, a roughly six-minute segment of the full hour-long European Innovative Games Showcase at GDC Europe 2015, is worth your time to watch for free over on the official GDC YouTube channel.

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault and its new YouTube channel offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers.

Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC Next already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription via a GDC Vault subscription page. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company by contacting staff via the GDC Vault group subscription page. Finally, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault technical support.

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