Interview: Vanessa Chia, Cococucumber (Planet of the Eyes)
Planet of the Eyes is a puzzle-platformer that’s definitely worth your time. I got together with Vanessa Chia, art director and game designer at Cococucumber, to discuss the studio’s effort.
If you had to describe your game to someone who has never played it, what would you say?
VC: Planet of the Eyes is a narrative platformer game. You are a robot who has crash-landed on a planet in search for a mysterious companion who’s gone ahead of you.
The game has a distinct art style. Where did your inspiration come from?
VC: We’ve tried to pull in different influences for this game. We were really inspired by a retro sci-fi style and a lot of the colour palettes were drawn from that. There’s a minimalism in the design which creates a unique atmosphere and sense of discovery. Our main character, the robot, was inspired by the design of a polaroid camera to draw from the time period and to echo his function as an exploration robot.
I’d say the robot is a pretty endearing character. What is it’s backstory?
VC: In the interest of not spoiling anything, this will be revealed as you play. You begin the game as the robot would, with no clue about what and why you’re there. In a way, the game’s about discovering your purpose in a mysterious setting.
The level design really promotes exploration and experimentation. Was there a specific reason why you chose to make the game this way? Are these the type of games that you love to play?
VC: For this game, one of our biggest inspirations was Limbo. It definitely rewards you when you try different methods – that kind of trial-by-death method of learning. Some of the levels also have Metroidvania influence, where you have to go back to look for different things in the environment to help solve puzzles. It’s like a short story in the form of a game because it’s a blend of puzzles, platforming and narrative. I like games that have little filler, are fun and meaningful, so I think this game works for me for those reasons.
I know that Planet of the Eyes is only available on Steam currently. Do you have any plans to bring it to consoles?
VC: We’re definitely considering console versions for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but we have nothing concrete to announce as yet.
Have you checked out Planet of the Eyes? Post in the comment section below!