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Post Mortem: A Mazeshift Title

Posted by
Friday, May 6th, 2016 9:57 am

Hi everyone,

This was my second Ludum Dare. Once again I had a fantastic time participating, and playing the other entries is a great source of pleasure and inspiration. I wrote a post mortem for my game A Mazeshift Title, which you can play here (Unity WebGL version available).

 

Screenshot1A Mazeshift Title

The Game

A Mazeshift Title is a 2D puzzle game where the player must construct a route between two endpoints using a collection of shapes organised in a grid. These shapes are manipulated by shifting entire rows horizontally, or columns vertically. It could easily be compared with a 2D version of a Rubik’s cube, with a pattern that must be completed. The game contains 7 individual levels, and each one is procedurally generated to provide a degree of replayability.

Development

The idea for the game was originally conceived from thinking about shifting bits in computer registers, but using shapes instead. A good three hours on the Saturday morning were spent settling on a design. I felt it was important to take the extra time at this stage to ensure the concept was both interesting and achievable. By the time I had stopped on the Saturday night, the game consisted of a single feature-complete level.

The focus of Sunday was polish: after creating some menus and finishing the transitions between different levels, I moved onto audio. I ended up spending many hours fighting with multiple software packages, and eventually only managed to produce three sound effects. I had initially anticipated having enough time to produce a simple ambient background music track, but this no longer seemed feasible. Some visual polish feature had also been planned, such as sliding the grid tiles when they are shifted, but sadly these also had to be cut.

The Good

  • Procedurally generated puzzles.
  • The mechanics are explained non-verbally using a trivial first level.
  • I followed my plan: the core mechanics were implemented by Saturday night, Sunday was spent polishing the game.

The Bad

  • No music.
  • Tiles don’t slide when shifted.

Thanks for reading, see you all next time!

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