Points of View is one of our favorite mini-games from A Clockwork Brain, here at Total Eclipse. It is very original, challenging and tons of fun! Just think that once developed, Yannis, who programmed this and most other mini-games, and Jonatan, who illustrated the game, were competing over 1st place on the leaderboards for quite some time, once the game launched.
This mini-game is among the ones that other brain-training apps copied from us, which is, without any doubt, quite flattering.
The idea came to me, like with many other mini-games, on a plane trip. For some reason I got the image of those colorful stacking toy cups for babies. The purpose of that toy is to find the correct cup (based on its size) to place on top of another cup, and so on, so that they all fit in each other. The mechanics that came to my mind were totally different, though.
The game shows a number of colored stacked disks, one on top of another, from a side-view angle. There are 2, 3, or 4 available choices to select from, which show the stack from a different angle, and in particular, the top. Of course, only one of the options is the correct one and the player needs to match it to the side view.
Difficulty & Progression
The attributes that define the difficulty of the game are the number of disks, their color, their size, the number of available choices, and my personal favorite: “concealed” disks, which will be explained later on. In general, the more disks there are on the spindle and the less different their sizes are, the more difficult it is to find the right perspective match.
Points of View combines two separate mechanics: spatial perception and pattern-matching. Players have to transpose the image of the disks, along with all their properties: size, color and relative position, from a top view to a side view, and then perform a match of these properties on the available side views.
Going back to the concealed disks, these are the ones that are placed beneath other, larger or equally sized disks (e.g. the white and blue ones in the image above). This means that they are visible from a side view, but invisible when viewed from the top. Concealed disks require significant additional mental effort to process. The reason is that our minds have to filter them out from the original picture and filtering out is an intensive process, because the brain needs to check if the filtering conditions are met.
In the insane levels, the stack is packed with a lot of disks, which differ just a little in size. This makes it significantly more difficult to make the mental transposition, as the number of combinations increase exponentially.
Lead Game Designer
Follow me at @dimitriosb