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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsPuzzle Depot [DEMO]
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Ottbot
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« on: August 31, 2015, 08:57:01 pm »

Puzzle Depot is a game about pushing boxes, squishing bugs, and trying to survive in a radioactive wasteland!

The core mechanics revolve around adding twists to Sokoban-style box-pushing puzzles. The ways in which objects interact with each other are surprisingly varied, and learning them is essential for the more complex puzzles. Some light RPG elements include earning points to "level up", interacting with NPCs, and finding equipment to become stronger. A World Editor is also featured, which allows for the creation and sharing of custom levels!

Currently in production and planned for release on PC, Mac, and Linux (hopefully!).

Download the Puzzle Depot demo
(Windows only for now)



Some goals for this project are:
  • 8 (roughly?) primary levels, each introducing new objects and creatures. Some smaller, optional side levels as well.
  • Several playable characters, each with varying attributes.
  • Branching paths in dungeons, giving the player a choice of which rooms to complete and helping prevent the player from becoming stuck on one particular room.
  • Emphasis on multiple solutions for most rooms, adding to replayability and also helping prevent a "stuck" state.
  • Optional goals for each dungeon, such as completing the dungeon under a certain number of moves, or completing the dungeon without taking damage.
  • "Expert Mode" for each dungeon, for those who like to torture their brains with sinister puzzles (like me!)
  • World Editor allows creation and sharing of custom levels!

If interested, you can check out the game it is based on, an ASCII Megazeux game called Depot Dungeons: http://vault.digitalmzx.net/show.php?id=2097


What're we up to right now:
  • Continuing to refine World Editor
  • Constructing story levels
  • Creation of additional art assets
« Last Edit: February 04, 2017, 02:18:42 pm by Ottbot » Logged

Moth
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« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2015, 09:34:01 pm »

love the stark complementary contrast of the yellow exit! "FREEDOM!"

Sounds absolutely awesome and I think a level editor would go a long way towards players appreciating your game even more! Will the dungeons focus on different concepts? Also, are you planning any non-linearity in level order like Zelda 1 or Link Between Worlds? Maybe the player could select an order to do dungeons in depending on difficulty, like:

tutorial dungeon > 3 easier dungeons, any order > 3 harder dungeons, any order > last dungeon

Can't wait to play! Grin
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Ottbot
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2015, 11:59:36 am »

Thanks, Moth!

On the topic of color, the entire game uses a 32 color palette. The limited palette gives it a more retro feel, and also helps keep a consistent color scheme. I want it to be easy to identify types of objects based on color... Red objects typically indicate rust, for example, and are vulnerable to attack by Rust Mites. Bright green means radiation... tread carefully!

The different dungeons will definitely focus on different mechanics. Each will introduce new concepts and build on lessons learned in previous dungeons.

Your suggestion about dungeon order is interesting, as I did something very similar to that when I made Depot Dungeons! I think I will likely do the same with Puzzle Depot.

---

Today I would like to start exploring how the various objects, obstacles, and creatures in Puzzle Depot interact with one another. Understanding these interactions is vital to survival, and since nothing in randomized, these behaviors are consistent and predictable.

First off... Crates! There are many varieties and sizes of crates:



Each type has its own properties. Wood Crates can be destroyed with a crowbar, are flammable, and are also bouyant (useful with certain terrain). Rusty Crates are tougher to break, and Metal Crates are tougher still. When a Metal Crate is exposed to Rust Mites, it becomes Rusty, while Rusty Crates are simply destroyed... more on those pesky Rust Mites later.

There's a couple options for moving Crates around the room:



While you can push any size crate without difficulty, you cannot push more than one object at a time, nor can you pull objects. Kicking crates is useful for moving them over hazardous terrain, while not stepping on it yourself.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2015, 09:04:33 am by Ottbot » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2015, 11:57:53 am »

Barrels are another type of pushable object. There are a few different varieties:


Barrels differ from crates in that they roll across the room when kicked, only stopping when colliding with something:


Toxic Barrels not only deliver a nasty radiation burn when handled, but also leave a trail of toxic waste behind as they roll. Handle with care!
« Last Edit: September 08, 2015, 09:04:46 am by Ottbot » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2015, 09:54:47 am »

Today is all about doors. There are many types of doors in Puzzle Depot, and many ways of opening them:



Buttons can activate doors or other mechanisms in a room, and are activated when an object moves over them.

Pressure Plates function in a similar way, BUT an object must remain on top of the plate to keep the door open. Also, if there are multiple pressure plates, ALL plates must be activated for the door to open!

Keycards are used to open color-coded security doors. It’s a simple key-and-lock system, but finding the keycards is another matter.

There are also situations where doors can be destroyed, but we'll get into that later.

This animated gif was captured using LICEcap ( http://www.cockos.com/licecap/ ). This is the best program I’ve found so far for this purpose, and it’s a freebie!
« Last Edit: September 08, 2015, 09:05:01 am by Ottbot » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2015, 11:32:56 am »

Fantastic concepts, implementations and graphics as usual!
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Ottbot
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« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2015, 03:31:09 pm »

One of Puzzle Depot’s signature hazards are swarms of Rust Mites, metallivorous arthropods which can reduce perfectly good metal items into rusty scrap in a matter of seconds.



As shown here, they will rust a non-rusty object, or simply destroy a rusty object. Multi-tile objects, like this 2x2 metal crate, are broken down one tile at a time. At times, this can be useful for breaking down a larger object to a more usable size!

By far the worst part about Rust Mites is their tendency to devour your metal equipment (more about equipment soon!). They are otherwise harmless and are easily squished. Also note that squishing mites and destroying objects is worth a small amount of points... I'll get more into points later, as well!
« Last Edit: September 08, 2015, 09:05:57 am by Ottbot » Logged

M4uesviecr
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« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2015, 08:05:57 pm »

Dude, this game is so cute! I love a good puzzle. Makes me think of the recycling robo puzzle game from Lego's website.
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« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2015, 09:41:58 pm »

Ah, dude, I played the MZX version and loved it! I even started an LP on it, though I never posted it anywhere, haha... Keep it up~!
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« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2015, 10:10:16 pm »

Thanks, M4uesviecr!

Ah, dude, I played the MZX version and loved it! I even started an LP on it, though I never posted it anywhere, haha... Keep it up~!

Shame, I would have loved to see that! Definitely let me know if you post it.
Puzzle Depot has some differences from the MZX version, but, all the core mechanics are in there.
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« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2015, 01:53:10 pm »

Rust Mites may be problematic, but they cannot hurt the player directly. There are, however, other species which can...

The post-apocalyptic world of Puzzle Depot is inhabited by many enormous insects, including the common Protoroach:



These scavengers are relatively harmless on their own, scurrying away should the player approach. However, when adjacent to another roach, they become far more aggressive and will instead attack if the player gets too close.

Understanding these behaviors is key, as “Roach herding” is an important element of Puzzle Depot. In addition to Protoroaches, there are several divergent species of roach one may encounter...
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coah
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« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2015, 08:39:50 pm »

This looks just great. nice work.
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Ottbot
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« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2015, 02:13:45 pm »

Nothing too major for today, just a look at some different palettes I've been messing around with for the environments:



There will be a variety of environments in the long run, but for now it's just the ol' brick n' mortar.
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« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2015, 03:35:27 pm »

Buttons can toggle doors, but they can also toggle other buttons:



This can lead to some complex mechanisms! ...or just lead you to wander in circles.
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lobstersteve
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« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2015, 01:16:54 am »

I like this Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2015, 01:27:32 am »

This is looking great! By the sounds of it the only efficiency pressure you place on the player comes from optional challenges. Are you planning on adding any other sorts of time/move pressure? It would be interesting for expert mode to have a "radiation poisoning" version of the alarm meter from Invisible Inc.

Also goes without saying but followed.  Beer!
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« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2015, 10:04:52 am »

Thanks, lobstersteve!

This is looking great! By the sounds of it the only efficiency pressure you place on the player comes from optional challenges. Are you planning on adding any other sorts of time/move pressure? It would be interesting for expert mode to have a "radiation poisoning" version of the alarm meter from Invisible Inc.

Oh, don't worry, those expert dungeons will be quite painful enough... those rooms DEMAND a high level of efficiency.

Something interesting I learned from watching people doing Let's Plays of Puzzle Depot's predecessor, Depot Dungeons, is that players will apply efficiency pressure to themselves. There may be an easy solution for a given room which involves taking damage, or losing an item, but players have the ol' gamer instinct of wanting to protect these resources, and will often try to find more optimal solutions where possible. Saving health and items for later rooms can pay off in the long run!

Optional goals for each dungeon will encourage replay, help develop more advanced puzzling skills, and unlock new goodies.

On the topic of efficiency, today we look at the value of using rolling barrels as weapons:



Attacking at a distance like this saves your precious health, and is especially helpful for breaking up roach formations. You can also squish vermin, such as those pesky Rust Mites, with rolling barrels!
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« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2015, 08:41:11 am »

I mistyped one line of code, and suddenly rolling barrels where causing other barrels to roll when colliding:



This behavior, while not intentional, is more interesting to me than what I intended, so I’m keeping it! This is one of those times where a game mechanic emerges organically... I always like those kind of moments in development.

Yay for accidental game dev!
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« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2015, 02:45:38 pm »

Adding a bit of polish to the game:



Alternate tile sets are in, because I'm sure everyone is sick of the blue by now. When objects and creatures are destroyed, they now fly apart into bits! Also note how larger crates can be broken down into smaller chunks... this can at times be useful for solving puzzles.

The rusty crowbar is a very useful weapon, giving you enough oomph to destroy wooden objects and take out weaker enemies in one shot. Non-rusty crowbars are even better still!
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« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2015, 03:17:07 pm »

Good job with all the effects like plank bits and sparks, puzzle games tend to look overly static, so it's a wise choice.
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