Recursion is a game that was pitched for the University of Virginia’s Student Game Developers (SGD) Fall 2009 lineup by Daniel Epstein. I was intrigued by its premise, and being a first year, I was excited to get involved in any project possible. A puzzle game at heart, Recursion borrowed a mechanic used in the popular Braid: using previous iterations of your character, solve puzzles. Though, as its name implies, Recursion used recursion. There is no ability to re-control a past self, which made players more thoughtful while level exploring and puzzle solving.
It’s strange looking through this old work now. I distinctly remember having random spurts of inspiration and laziness, so the project had very sporadic progress, but fortunately, Recursion was one of the games that had the considerable headway in terms of project completion during that semester. The project spanned over two semesters, since character design and animation were the main focus of the Fall Semester. We wanted a character that was simple enough to be presented in a 16×16 pixel box, and with that limited amount of space, it’s definitely difficult to make any detail noticeable. This resulted in a simple character: Piko. With feet. I resorted to using my favorite original character as the game’s main mascot, but for some pretty obvious reasons, we had to change the character at the end of production.