Lens is a first person exploration/puzzle game that uses a two world design, where players can interact with both worlds seamlessly. Through the use of a device known as a Lens, you can look into a parallel world, and manipulate objects between those two worlds. This compare and contrast gameplay, along side a story that is revealed as you progress through the game, offers an interesting take on the first person exploration genre.
The game takes place on an abandon island, where a mysterious and ancient technology known as the Lens, created a gateway for two parallel worlds to communicate with one another. Eventually, a war broke out between these worlds, ultimately ending up in the Lens shattering, wiping out life in both worlds. You play the part of a scholar, who escaped the worlds terrible fate, now returning to mend what has been broken.
The game takes inspiration from a recent trend of superimposing older images over their current day setting. We wanted to take this interesting and unique aesthetic of “looking into the past”, put our own twist on it, and turn it into a gameplay experience. This is where Lens draws both its visual feel and core mechanic from.
We loved old adventure games like Myst, and wanted to try and have that feel, but add a new way to point and click through our transfer mechanic.
Lens was developed by students at UC Santa Cruz in 7 months as part of our senior design sequence. It is now available for download on our site and at indiedb. It was honored with winning the Grand Prize at the 3rd annual UCSC Sammy Awards, as well as best audio and runner up in visual art.
We would love to hear any feedback, comments or suggestions, we as plan to continue to work on the game to submit to indie festivals this summer and beyond.