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design for a turn-based puzzle game
prior work
- sokoban
- von neumann grid
- boxes to push around
- can push only one box in a row
- goal is to arrange blocks in a certain way
- mouse, cheese, cats, and blocks ?
- moore grid
- can push as many blocks as you want
- cats chase you, and when they are constrained to one square, they turn into cheese
- drod
- moore grid
- primary mechanic is a large sword which is swung around to 8 directions
- many kinds of enemies
- win when all enemies in room are dead
- hit enemies with sword to kill them
- myriad other mechanics, floor types, switches, doors, goo, bombs, etc
- levels are contiguous, and rooms affect each other
- laser tank
- von neumann grid
- primary mechanic is shooting a laser and having it bounce off of mirrors
- enemy tanks shoot you
- blocks which can be pushed with a laser
- water which turns into land when a block is pushed in
- win by getting to the flag
- chip's challenge
- von neumann grid
- not turn based, but movement is discrete on squares
- collect all chips to unlock final door and win level
- many enemies that kill on contact, no way to kill enemies
- floor types
- ice makes you slide, with redirector tiles
- fire kills you
- force floors push you in a direction
- water is unpassable unless you push a block into it
- boots to bypass every floor type
- kwirk
- von neumann
- polyominoes to push around
- when polys fall in a pit, they make a floor
- turnstile blocks, have a pivot, hero can push them around
- multiple heroes, can switch between them
- win by getting to finish door
- kickle cubicle
- breath on enemies to turn them into ice blocks
- ice blocks can be kicked around, they slide until they hit something
- when a block falls in water, it becomes a floor
- can make and destroy "posts" at will, whese stop a sliding block and protect from enemies
- various other puzzle elements
- enemies that kick blocks too
- springs that bounce a block back
- floors where enemies can't go
- floors where you can't go, but blocks can
- hammers that swing around and hit a block a different direction
- win by collecting all the bags
- lolo
- not turn based
- sort-of von neumann, but half-spaces in between too
- many enemies that kill on contact
- turrets which kill as soon as they have orthogonal line of sight
- hero can turn enemies into eggs
- crates to push around, and block turrets
- winning a level
why do we want blocks?
- hold down floorplate switches
- cross water
- block enemies
not terribly original ideas
floating blocks:
- block can float but hero may not pass
- must use other means to push block across
heavy versus light block:
- can push as many light blocks in a row as you want
- only one heavy block at a time
enemy horde:
- better coordinated than drod-style enemies
- leave fewer gaps
heavy, dumb enemy:
- can't be pushed or killed, but will walk into hazards
slow enemy:
- takes 2 turns to walk one square
fast enemy or projectile:
- goes 2 or 3 squares per turn
- shoots at you from any of 8 directions
- use walls to restrict turrets
- block turret with crates or shield or enemies
- use turret to kill enemies
terrain, usually impassable, but turns to floor when filled with blocks
original ideas
sword based:
- squishy block
- the block cannot be pushed normally, with your body
- when you stab it, your sword sticks in it
- moving any way besides backward brings the block with you
- backward widthraws the sword
- turning your sword brings the block along
- crumbly block
- when pushed by your body, it works normally
- when touched with your sword, it breaks
turn-based ice:
- when standing on ice, you continue moving the same direction you went last time
- all movement commands, therefore, don't work
- since you slide automatically, you can do other things while sliding you normally couldn't do while moving
- user needs some indication of whether you are sliding
- hitting something while sliding transfers your momentum
turn-based conveyor / force floor:
- forces movement in a particular direction, otherwise similar to ice
- moore neighborhood
- covers 3 sides (of 8)
- can be turned 8 ways
- protects from enemies
- blocks projectiles
- used to push blocks and enemies around
- spiky block
- too sharp to push with body
- must push with shield
- deflect projectiles
- if projectiles hit shield at a diagonal, they bounce off
* *
* *
general properties
- self-contained puzzles
- fully deterministic
- user-graspable determinism
sharing levels
- have good integrated level editing tools
- ability to authenticate that a level is solvable, but not reveal the solution
- have a level sharing website which tracks best solutions
- upload solutions from inside the game
- use base64 as encoding
- have top rated levels
carefully choosing ideas that interact well...
heavy, light
heavy blocks fill water into land
light blocks float on water
switches, gates
stairs as win condition
info blocks
sword. drod has already done it so well
a way to kill enemies directly
level progression:
-- water world: blocks and water
x movement
x diagonal movement
x blocks, pushing blocks out of the way
x water, pushing blocks into water
- water puzzles
- get shield
- pushing with shield, water
- pushing diagonally with shield
- opening shield to push
- opening shield diagonally to push
-- spike world: blocks, water, and spikes
- spikes, pushing multiple blocks over spikes
- pushing blocks over spikes with shield
-- poly world
- polyominos
not yet implemented level possibilities:
-- turret world
- turrets, blocking turrets with blocks
- shield from turrets, diagonally too; 1
-- switch world
-- enemy?
not so original theme:
hero is in a cave. that's why every level is so cramped, and bounded with walls. he descends the staircase in each level to advance to the next. the blocks are boulders.
the boulder and water puzzles are the hero taking advantage of his environment to explore. spikes are metal traps put in by cave people
can't think of a good justification for polyominos
spartan story telling. levels set up so that user must figure it out. intro levels minimal, only to teach controls. intro levels use clean, neat style, whereas the cave is set up haphazardly.
what is the shield?
- psychic force field
visual style
- 3/4 overhead, orthogonal
- heavily abstract cartoon style thick lines, solid colors
- scribbly, organic. few straight lines, inspiration from yoshi's island
who is giving the player tips?
provide some sort of mechanism to allow for skipping hard levels and coming back to them
- make exit a door, not a floor item. make exit door like a wall, then bump into it to exit.
- provide a back staircase, and start hero one or more squares away from it.
- in-between levels with multiple choices. distinctive layout so player doesn't get lost.
- lobby with several puzzle doors, must complete all to advance
- don't make the player walk alot
save game mechanism