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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsCIPHERCELL - A Minimalist Logic Puzzle Game
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Game Genesis
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« on: January 01, 2021, 10:00:14 AM »

About

CIPHERCELL is a logic puzzle game about sliding cells together to get to zero.




How the game works:

  • You can drag on the cells to slide them, and when a cell collides, it will destroy the other
  • Larger --> Smaller = Subtract
  • Smaller --> Larger = Add
  • Two cells with the same number will Cancel Out

I've been working on this game in my free time since the end of November (2020), and I'm planning to have it finished sometime early this year (around March). This will hopefully be my first commercial game.

You can follow me on Twitter to stay updated: https://twitter.com/GameGenesisDev

Screenshots





CIPHERCELL is still a WIP, so any feedback is appreciated! Thanks for reading!
« Last Edit: January 06, 2021, 03:24:25 PM by Game Genesis » Logged
Game Genesis
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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2021, 09:44:15 AM »

Devlog #0 - What I've done so far (Part A)

For the first two weeks or so, I was just coming up with the basic mechanics and refining the controls.

I got the drag input working, and made the cells detect other cells. After that, I made them move and destroy the cell that they collided with. Finally, I implemented the math mechanics, and that was the basic gameplay done..

I also implemented immovable cells, but I later removed them as they added no substance or challenge to the game. (Light blue cells below)

I added a win and lose condition, a main menu button, and a restart button. Finally, I made a couple of levels to test if it was actually fun, and to my pleasant surprise, I was absolutely addicted and couldn't stop playing.

This was a gif of the game after this progress
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Game Genesis
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2021, 12:09:29 PM »

Devlog #0 - What I've done so far (Part B)

After implementing the basic gameplay, I proceeded to start working on the main menu and the settings menu.

The main menu was simple, with a title and three buttons. The settings menu, on the other hand, took a bit more time. I had never done a proper settings menu before, so I had to research some things beforehand. To my surprise, it actually didn't take as long as I was expecting to get everything done. I'm not much of a UI person myself, so I find it quite difficult to work on menus for an extended period of time.

I also created an Audio Manager to make it easy for me to implement audio later. I did overengineer it a lot, but the upside is that it's reusable in future projects. Audio is definitely not my strong point, so whatever I can do to make the process easier is a massive plus.

The menus did look absolutely terrible, but I was really trying to finish them without worrying about the art too much.

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Game Genesis
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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2021, 12:23:13 PM »

Devlog #1 - Implementing a Colour Theme System

After seeing the catastrophe of a colour scheme I had implemented so far, I started trying out different colour palettes that could work. After about an hour, I had only gone through a couple of choices, and it was becoming really tedious to change the colour of every single button, toggle, slider, and text component of the game.

Therefore, I decided that I would make a tool to make this easier. I made a script that I would put on every UI component, and I could designate each component as Background, Foreground, Accent, or Other. I made a manager script that I would place in each scene where I could chose which colour theme template I wanted, and it would automatically apply it to the entire scene.

Modifying a Theme



Changing Theme Presets

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kevin andersson
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2021, 12:19:41 PM »

I think this looks great, how do you create the levels? Manually or generated?
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Game Genesis
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« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2021, 12:09:36 PM »

Thank you! I'm planning to make all the levels by hand
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Game Genesis
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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2021, 09:21:20 AM »

Devlog #2 - Undo and Scene Transitions

So far, if you made a mistake or moved the wrong cell, you had to restart the entire level.  So, I started working on an undo system.

I didn't want to be able to undo every move, mostly because it would be harder to implement, but also because the puzzles are very small, so it's easier to just restart.

To implement an undo system, I had to store a couple things about the cells like the cell's last position, the number before collision, and the number of the cell collided with. I had to save all the information, and then recall and apply it when the undo button is pressed. After implementing the system, I had to implement the button. I made it to where it's only interactable if you had already made a move, and had not pressed the button.

Once the undo button was finished, I started working on the scene transitions and a scene manager. I made the system reusable and customizable so it would be easy for me to change the transitions in the future.

I also enlarged the game scene so that it would take up a larger area of the  scene.

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Game Genesis
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« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2021, 01:35:29 PM »

Devlog #3 - Settings Menu and a Buggy Mess

A couple weeks ago, I implemented a settings menu, but there was still no saving and loading. So I got to work on that.

It honestly took way longer than expected to implement a save and load system for the settings menu. I had so many little issues, especially with the resolution dropdown. I wanted the ability to change the resolution, but only when the game is in windowed mode, so I had to find a way to lock the resolution to the highest setting/native resolution on fullscreen, and then reapply the previously selected resolution when switching back to windowed mode.

After many hours, only switching to fullscreen worked in switching the resolution, but going to windowed mode didn't do anything. Then, I played around with the code for anther hour or two until it finally worked both ways. Unfortunately, that wasn't the end of my troubles. Upon leaving the settings menu, and going back, the resolution dropdown didn't save. After many more hours, I finally got everything to save, but now switching to windowed mode without going back to the main menu broke it. A long while later, and finally, everything seemed to work.

I built the game to test everything, and no surprise, fullscreen wouldn't work; it would stay in windowed mode, but at max resolution. I spent a full two days on that issue, but still, until now, I haven't solved the problem. Amazingly, every time I tried to fix a bug, two or three more would pop up.

Also, I removed the graphics settings because it was pretty obsolete.

All in all, it took over a week to implement everything and fix most of the bugs. It's pretty incredible how most of the gameplay took me around two days to implement, and the settings menu took over a week, and there's still problems. That's game dev for you!

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Game Genesis
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« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2021, 12:09:42 PM »

Devlog #4 - Polish & Effects

This week, I worked on polishing the experience, and adding animations and effects.

First, I removed the next level button, so it automatically transitions to the next level upon completion. Next, I reworked the undo and restart buttons to be disabled when the level is won. I also had the restart button disabled until a move was made.

I also worked on cleaning up the code; separating out things, and making things more reusable.

Then, I started working on the effects: When the level was completed, a burst of particles would fly out of the last cell. I'm not too great with particle effects, but it didn't turn out too bad. After that, I made the last cell white and then fade back to normal after winning the level. I also wanted to add impact to every move, so I made a growing outline effect that would be spawned on every collision. After sorting out all the bugs with the undo breaking the animation, I got everything working, and the game felt way better to play.

Here's the final result (I removed the UI for demonstration):



You can clearly see a difference over the previous iteration:

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