One of the tenets #GameAWeek is that one should try and avoid patterns in one’s work, so this week I set out to make a puzzle game. I really enjoyed Threes, and there just seems to a certain feeling of satisfaction from the simple act of making bigger numbers. I had wondered if throwing in the threat of decreasing your number would add an interesting tension. I also liked the structure in which the entire game was one huge puzzle, as compared to something like Cut the Rope for instance.
I had envisioned this game being played on touch devices, and I think tap and drag would have been a great way to interact with the tiles. The arrow buttons were kind of a lazy solution for the web build.
What went well
- Finished the game in less than three days.
- Just interacting with the grid felt quite pleasurable to me.
- Worked on something that was a little harder than usual.
What went wrong
This week I really struggled to get an idea. It wasn’t until Thursday night before I came up with the idea for Less Than Infinity. This meant really late nights, less time for exploration, and a ton of bugs.
There was this edge case I think I could have handled better. (The one where there’s an operator in the middle with four numbers adjacent to it.)
I didn’t have time to explore the impact of enforcing that each move had to result in at least one match. I believe it would solve some of the multiple matching problems, but perhaps it would be too restrictive and less fun. Would’ve been nice to test that hypothesis.
The lack of a tutorial made it really confusing for people.
Code is even messier than last week, because I was rushing to cobble everything together.
What I learned
Use version control, no matter how small the project. There would be fewer panic-inducing incidents.
I think I tend to reject game ideas too easily, without exploring them enough. Hopefully having to come up with a game a week will help break down this internal filter.
Laziness or lack of time to implement a feature can sometimes lead to interesting design choices. For instance, a simpler ruleset may emerge.
I think I’d like to explore this idea more, and perhaps make a mobile version of the game. But #GameAWeek takes priority, so it’ll have to be like a “side side project”.