Rough sketch of puzzle game. Need ideas


Hi I uploaded a video of a game I am working on. I'm not good at graphics, so it doesn't look that good yet. It's just a very basic idea of a puzzle style factory sim game. I am looking for something original.

The purpose of this thread is to get feedback and ideas on where to go with this project. As of now the concept looks ok, but it is still to easy and probably not interesting enough.


You can watch the video here (probably need full-screen to see what's going on):

The basic idea is that the green machine spits out blue squares that need to be edited so the shape fits the requested shape as shown on the yellow device. At this point erasers are used to cut away bits from the square. The yellow machine checks if the final shape matches the requested shape.

How I made this is by having each part object carry a 7x7 ds_grid. Each cell starts at value 1. When the eraser touches the part the correct cells are set to zero. The part object draws blue sprites (cells) on all positions that have a value of 1. The control part on the yellow machine has a pre-made ds grid. I compare the grids by translating the grid values into variabels and then checking if they match the part variables (a lot of code). If someone knows an easy way to compare 2 ds grids that would be awesome.

Thanks for watching. Any additional ideas are very welcome! Do you think this has potential? I'm thinking of making additional devices, also one that can merge several small parts together into larger shapes.

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This looks interesting. But I'm not sure if it's interesting enough, it probably needs someting more... I don't have any ideas.


Interesting idea!

If I were thinking of ways to build a game and levels from this, I would perhaps consider:
-Economy - cost limit on the amount of factory parts you can put down.
-Factory part variants - the erasers all seem to be a single puncher, you could have various ones which do multiple punches at once, multi directional ones (e.g. that could do multiple sides, two on corners, three if the track loops around it, parts which add bits back on. Important that it is not overwhelming though.
-No build zones - areas on the map where you are unable to put down track or eraser / other part variants, so the user has to build around. You could also have pre-placed components, which the player might need to use some or all of to complete the level.
-Start and end machines - Where they initially come from, there could be multiple starts / finishes. Finishes could require different shapes, and you need to have track splitters which alternately direct blue squares onto two tracks.


To build on @Electros' suggestions, you could also have...
a) Parts which add rather than punch - both pre-placed and user-placed - could really add to the difficulty in later puzzles (oops, just saw that Electros did suggest this);
b) Parts which color rather than punch;
c) Different track pieces, which, for example, rotate the product, hold products in place for more than one punch, etc.;
d) Levels which have mid-level scanners as well as end-level scanners, so pieces have to fit one template partway, and then another by the end.

Just as a stupid aside, having read the post below mine, you should put a little truck by the end goal, that gradually fills with boxes as products get completed, and drives off once full.
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As an observation, it seems like there are 3 main things the player does:
(a) place a track
(b) place erasers
(c) customize erasers

Now, as a puzzle game, I don't feel like (a) is really fitting in. It seems much more "simulation" than puzzle, as it is largely up to the player how he/she wants to design it. Its effect on (b) is very minimal.
Also, (c) feels like it also eliminates a bit of the puzzle aspect, because it gives you so many options. To illustrate, how hard would Tetris be if you could always choose what piece you would use next?

If you eliminated (a) and (c) from the equation, gave the player a pre-built track and a set number of erasers to choose from and place( some of which are not needed ), then I think the puzzle aspect of the game would stand out much more.

However, if you did more with (a) and (c), like was mentioned in the previous posts, that could also lead to some interesting gameplay, though perhaps not quite so puzzle oriented. But that could very well be a good route.

My point being, right now the game doesn't feel like a puzzle game, or a simulation game... its a mix. And because the goal of the game is not clear, your development is going to get muddy and bogged down. If you take a step back and try to solidify your destination with the project, I'm sure the ideas will start to flow again! ;)