404Sight is a free game made in support of net neutrality. It’s a 3D playground runner influenced by parkour running with the addition of a special ping ability that reveals areas that can speed the player up or slow them down. Hidden fast and slow lanes become visible, so it takes a bit of planning to plot a course through a world full of hazards – especially when the internet service providers themselves are actively trying to impede the player’s progress.
In 404sight, the player attempts to traverse a level as quickly as possible without getting throttled by the ISPs, who actively throws slow tiles and inhibitors in their way.
The concept of Net Neutrality is one of the biggest ideas of our time, and the recent vote by the FCC to classify the internet as a utility only shows how important it is to us. But one victory doesn’t end the struggle.
We set out to make a game that subtly incorporated several elements of the current political climate and highlighted what an issue it would be if companies started limiting our access to an open internet. We wanted to give the player an active role in fighting against the enemies of open access. This means allowing them to see the typically understated fast and slow lanes of the internet that exist now, where ISPs throttle content providers on a whim.
Visit our net neutrality page for more information on what you can do to help continue your support of net neutrality.
Retro Yeti Games
Retro Yeti Games – and 404Sight – started with one assignment: come up with 100 ideas for a game.
Actually, it started before that. In January 2014, a number of graduate students in the #1 ranked EAE graduate program at the University of Utah formed a team that would dedicate the next three semesters to creating a thesis game. They have some pretty big shoes to fill, following in the footsteps of 2014 IGF Student Finalists Cyber Heist from the cohort before them.
They narrowed down their ideas until they’d picked two that were turned into playable prototypes. They pitched those prototypes to a panel of industry professionals from Utah’s ever-growing collection of game development studios, seeking feedback and expertise. From there, they selected one prototype to turn into their thesis game, and that’s where 404Sight was born. Both the team and the game have gone through several iterations since then. Retro Yeti Games is now a dozen students strong, and they’re creating a game about a topic near and dear to their hearts: net neutrality.
The game was successfully released on Steam on April 16, 2015, where it currently has over 85,000 downloads.