Sunday, July 11, 2010

Logic Machines

Title . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Logic Machines
Project Type . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo DS / Physics-based Puzzle Game
Job Function . . . . . . . . . . Level Designer
Company / Client. . . . . . . City Interactive
Made with. . . . . . . . . . . . proprietary software / No$ Emulator

In the period october - december 2008 I worked for City Interactive as level designer on Logic Machines (working title Ancient Machines of Horus). In total more than 120 puzzles were made, ranging from the very simple to the mind-twisting complex. Additionally, I was responsible for fitting puzzle descriptions which not only had to be easily understood, but which were also required to fit the classical Egyptian atmosphere of the game.

Physics-based puzzle games are not new (starting with the classic The Incredible Machine), but this is the first for the Nintendo DS. I suggested to include the feature of 'portals', a system which allows elements to be transported between two boards (green - entrance, blue - exit) with conservation of momentum. This is also a first for this type of puzzle games.

The most challenging aspect on this project was finding the right balance of playability. The puzzles were not supposed to be too complicated for casual players, but they should also not have been to easy for the more intelligent player. If possible, puzzles should have more than one solution and have a satisfying reward system.

Besides the difficulties in gameplay, there were also technical difficulties to overcome. Objects could not move too fast to compromise collision detection. Also, puzzles had to be robust enough to give the player enough leeway in positioning elements and still have them work properly.

01. Box Art. Shown for reference.

02. Credits Screen. Shown for reference.

03. Tutorial Puzzle.

04. Tutorial Puzzle.

05. Bouncy Boards.

06. The blue and green boards function as a portal.

07. Blowing up a bomb with a torch and fuse.

08. A puzzle with plenty of balls and an engine.

09. More Portal Fun.

10. Motor and Switch.

11. The fan can be activated by blowing into the microphone.

12. Build-a-bridge.

Thank you for looking.

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