As video games have become more realistic, certain mechanics we used to see a lot have fallen by the wayside.
One such system is the ability to "wrap around" the screen -- to move off one side and reappear on the other. In classic arcade games, the best-known examples of this mechanic being used are in Pac-Man, Joust and Asteroids, and more recently it's been used to great effect in competitive archery game (and former Ouya poster child) Towerfall.
A new game by independent developer Logan Fieth seeks to explore this now-neglected mechanic in much greater detail: by building a game around it. In fact, he's already done so: while studying at DigiPen, he put together a proof of concept called The Fourth Wall in which the player could freeze the camera in place then use the screen wraparound effect to bypass obstacles. For example, if you run into a wall blocking your path, simply freeze the camera in place, walk off the left side of the screen and reappear on the right, on the other side of the obstruction.
Since departing Digipen -- where he also worked on the mind-bending puzzle game Perspective -- Fieth joined 17-Bit to work for a brief period on the upcoming and very promising-looking roguelike space shooter Galak-Z, but decided he wanted to work on his own thing. There was clearly no ill will between Fieth and his former colleagues, however, since 17-Bit's founder Jake Kazdal took the time to contribute to the Kickstarter pitch video for Fieth's new project Four Sided Fantasy.
Four Sided Fantasy is a Kickstarter-funded project that intends to build The Fourth Wall into a full game. Aside from the previously implemented wraparound mechanic, Four Sided Fantasy also incorporates the ability to tilt the background, allowing the player to access otherwise difficult to reach areas when used in conjunction with the wraparound. The story revolves around a dissatisfied businessman attempting to break free of his tedious life, and promises to go heavy on the emotions as well as giving your problem-solving abilities a good workout.
The game is set for release in February of next year, assuming the Kickstarter is successful. At the time of writing, the campaign has raised just $16,940 of its $35,000 goal with only 6 days left to go, but many Kickstarter projects enjoy a last-minute surge in support as the timer ticks down and people remember that cool thing they meant to back but never got around to. If you'd like to chip in and help an intriguing-looking game become reality -- or just try out the free prototype -- check out the Kickstarter page here.