A simple puzzle game where the player uses wind to move one or more tumbleweeds onto fertile grounds so they may sow their seeds. The game would have very simple controls and would best be played with an overhead or isometric view and would be well suited to mobile devices or browser platforms such as HTML5 or Flash. This game could also easily be created or prototyped as a board game.
The game board
Tumble is played on a grid -- the ideal size would need to be determined through play-testing, or might possibly vary with larger sized maps (which would also contain additional tumbleweeds and obstacles) providing more difficult levels. Cells of the game board are either fertile or infertile, and each cell may contain either one or zero game play tokens (tumbleweeds, obstacles, etc.).
At the beginning of each level there are a number of tumbleweeds on the board, all of which begin play in infertile cells. The edges of the board are considered to be an obstacle -- no tokens may leave play by passing beyond the edges of the board.
Tokens are any items placed on the board. All tokens occupy exactly one map cell, and may be either stationary or mobile.
- Tumbleweeds: may be either small, medium, or large, with larger tumbleweeds requiring progressively stronger wind to move the same distance.
- Bushes: non-moving tokens which block the movement of tumbleweeds and reduce the strength of wind passing over their cell.
- Walls: non-moving tokens which block the movement of tumbleweeds and stop wind.
- Special: to be described below.
Each turn, the player chooses one side of the board from which the wind will blow, and chooses to utilise a light, medium or heavy wind. Wind passes from the selected side of the board the the opposite side across each row or column of cells, and may be reduced in strength or stopped completely by certain obstancles.
All tumbleweeds then move the appropriate distance based on the strength of wind:
|Weak Wind||Medium Wind||Strong Wind|
|Large Tumbleweed||no movement||no movement||small movement|
|Medium Tumbleweed||no movement||small movement||medium movement|
|Small Tumbleweed||small movement||medium movement||large movement|
The ideal specific distances (in cells) of each movement would have to be discovered through prototyping, but reasonable initial values might be 1 cell for small movement, 2 cells for medium movement, and 3 cells for large movement.
Any tumbleweed which collides with a wall or the borders of the map is reduced one size category and "bounces off", carrying out the remainder of it's movement in the opposite direction. Small tumbleweeds are destroyed (removing them from the board) in such a situation.
Collision with a bush "bounces" tumbleweeds as above, but does not result in damage.
To pass a level, all tumbleweeds must end a turn on fertile ground, and there must be at least 1 surviving tumbleweed.
Players will receive points based on the number and size of tumbleweeds which have survived and reached fertile ground. 1,000 points per large tumbleweed, 250 points per medium tumbleweed, and 100 points per small tumbleweed. By awarding significantly more points for larger tumbleweeds, players will be encouraged to try to preserve the condition of tumbleweeds rather than simply blowing them around the level.
Players will also receive bonus points if ALL tumbleweeds survive the level. This discourages sacrificing small tumbleweeds unless the player deems it to really be necessary.
Some levels will also have a bonus objective (see below) which may offer the chance for additional points.
Each level will award bronze, silver, and gold medals at certain score thresholds to encourage replaying or careful planning to find optimal solutions.
Special Tokens & Bonus Objectives
Some levels will feature one or more bonus tokens, which will also come with a bonus objective worth a large amount of additional points.
For example, a level might feature a candle which is protected from wind on one or more sides by other obstacles, and offer the player an additional 5,000 points if the candle is still burning at level completion. For the bonus objective to be achieved the player would have to avoid using wind (either at all, or above a certain strength, depending on the obstacles) from unprotected directions.
Obviously all of this would need play-testing and some areas (such as additional special tokens) need fleshing out. You would also need challenging (but achievable) map layouts.
: Attempted to fix spacing before table.