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Mister L

My Block Puzzle Game

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I am a beginner game developer, and I would like to share with you a project I have been planning. To help me learn Unity, I have decided to make a puzzle platformer where the player must control blocks in order to make their way through the level and eventually complete it. Each block will have different abilities; green blocks can move left and right while blue blocks can fly upwards for a brief amount of time. The blocks must work together in order to solve puzzles and escape the level. 

 

The puzzles are mainly going to come from switches and sensors. Switches are going to be a button that activates an object elsewhere in the level. Sensors will range from weight sensors, color sensors, and motion sensors; these objects can activate traps or help the player get closer to finishing the level. Also, I am thinking about including logic gates, but it depends on the complexity of the levels I want to have. 

 

The platforming elements will come from wind tunnels, conveyer belts, gravity fields, and dynamic objects. 

 

The hazards are going to be saws, spikes, lasers, and crushers. Lasers will be incapable of destroying blocks that are the same color as the beam of light. Meanwhile, spikes, saws, and crushers are capable of destroying any block unfortunate to get stuck in them. 

 

I am hoping to have a working demo of the first few levels within a couple months. I hope you other developers are interested in what I am working on. I will be sure to keep this thread updated with a progress report on how things are going. 

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Weekly Update #1

 

I managed to get a bit of brainstorming done for my game. I posted on the "For Beginners" forum to figure out how I should approach making my game, and I received a lot of useful advice that will certainly help me start this project and see it through. 

 

I am going to create a few snapshots that will show the core elements of the game, and I will build from there. These snapshots will contain spikes, platforms, switches, and the blocks to help show how my game is going to work. 

 

I have already created sketches for several snapshots that I will create. The scene to demonstrate green block movement will have moving platforms, crushing mechanisms, and spikes. The scene to demonstrate blue block movement will be similar to the green block's test level, but will focus on vertical scrolling. I will build upon these levels to create a proof-of-concept that I will use to give people a better idea of my game. 

 

So, starting Monday, I will begin shifting from my planning phase to the prototyping phase, and I will work for at least thirty minutes each day to ensure that I get this idea off the ground!

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Weekly Update #2

 

I have designed the placeholder sprites (spikes, platforms, and blocks) and sketched a few levels, and I have been looking into tutorials to learn C#. I am still learning Unity so I can get the pixel-perfect visuals and physics (or at least as close as Unity allows). I already started programming the green block's movement and implementing the green block's physics. Also, I have decided to build prefabs so I can easily build new levels from the ground up. It would be easier to make levels if Unity had its own tilemap editor or at least more features to make developing tile-based games easier, but I will make do with what Unity has. 

 

The next phase is for me to design a few test levels so I can get the core mechanics down. I hope to have some gameplay or screenshots to show off exactly how my game is going to work by November. By next Sunday, I plan to have the green block's movement and collisions implemented. I may even experiment with visual aesthetics, but I feel like it is too soon to worry about how the game looks. 

Edited by Mister L

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Weekly Update #3

 

I have figured out the design for the green block along with how it will interact with the environment. This character will be a glowing green block that's attached to a unicycle. I would upload a picture of the sprite, but I honestly cannot figure out how to do it (usually there's an "attach file" button but I do not see anything like that). This character can only move left and right. The only way it can jump is by bouncing off its wheel after falling for a certain distance. Other than that, there's no real way for this character to jump or scale vertically. 

 

I am trying to get the code to work how I want it to, but C# is a lot different than using JavaScript. For instance, declaring variables is done by writing the variable type first and I cannot modify vector components directly. I have to use an interesting work around where I declare a Vector2 variable, set it equal to the vector value that I want to modify, and then use "myVariable.component" so I can modify the vector. I imagine that using C# will get easier as time goes on. For the following week, I am going to keep programming this sprite so I can get it to move around the level the way that I want it to. As long as school work doesn't get in the way, I should have more time to work on this project next week than I did this week. 

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Weekly Update #4

 

I didn't make much progress this week. I have gotten a better idea for how to use C# for programming. Since C# treats velocity and position as read-only variables, I had to use other methods to move the objects the way I want them to. The major thing I did was that I found a tilemap editor, so I can easily build levels by painting tiles into the scene. Also, I have decided to take a short break from this project because I want to spend some time on a different project. I need to figure out what I want from this game before I start making major progress. 

 

I want to make a game that revolves around puzzle completion and platforming. I need to have some level of user-interaction opposed to simply moving through an obstacle course in order to create good puzzle mechanics. I am thinking of getting rid of the different colored blocks having different abilities and switch it to one block that can use power-ups to get different abilities that are used to solves puzzles (similar to a Zelda-esque style of puzzle solving). In fact, having one block unlock different abilities over time will give the player a bigger sense of accomplishment after completing levels; there's something special about being able to look back to where you started and seeing how you grown. 

 

I will probably ask about this more in depth when I get a better idea for what this new concept will be. 

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