There is a puzzle called "15 puzzle", it was an object that I particularly loved when I was a kid, my grandmother had one. the mechanics and premises go back to 1900s approx. and then we have numerous variations and expansions on top of it. At some point, sliding different parts of Gmail app interface on iPad sparked an inspiration, or a belief that sliding block game can not only be a fun and a very relevant experience today but also can be true to the modern mediums, such as touch interactions, have new twists on closure and game meaning. Fast forward around 7 months and here we are working hard to finish Shapist.
By we I mean a very small team of two Dmitry Kurilchenko (development) http://kurilchenko.com/
and me - Takemura Ori (idea & design) https://twitter.com/takemuraori
. Game will be published under qixen-p design - a studio I founded.
What is Shapist - Shapist is a cross platform, Unity 3D based take on a sliding block puzzle. We have all levels done ( the game will feature 50 puzzles and 8 special web demo puzzles) and are now working on design, sounds, performance issues etc. this will be the devlog documenting what is left.
A curious note perhaps is that I have a certain background in product design, as well as in games, however I approached Shapist in a particularly product design way due to a nature of sliding blocks games where game mechanics dynamical meaning can be synonymous to game meaning in a whole.
One of the puzzle sketches.
and this is how the game looks currently before the polished design, color palette etc.
Speaking of product design approach, we don't have a single written word in Shapist, no tutorials, no "press here" no schemes of what you should do with arrows pointing out somewhere, and yet I believe this game can be played by a 5 year old, an alien, your grandpa... given of course they are interested in puzzles or sliding stuff around, may be not just sliding. Of course there is a progressive difficulty and puzzles get more complex.
More complex levels look like this:
As you can see there is a number of "special" blocks, and while I work for quite some time to define the textures color scheme is currently in progress, we haven't decided if colors will always be the same throughout the game or you will be introduced to a few themes.
What I am currently looking into is highlighting special tiles with a specific color that will nto be used anywhere else, that definitely create an easy of focus and understanding but needs to be carefully combined with the overall look and composition.
approximately a month ago i also made a concept art in 3D