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September #1GAM: A Puzzle Game

For September’s One Game a Month project, I wanted to try to use the optional theme: hexagons.

I toyed with the idea of making a turn-based strategy game involving a hex map, but more and more I liked the idea of a hexagon-based puzzle game.

Long ago, I thought of a game involving hexagons that you can trap as they fell down shafts. The idea was that you controlled whether they continued down or got stuck at some point, but I never fleshed it out.

So I’ve been writing down ideas. Should the puzzle area be a grid that just happens to have hexagons? Do I make a hexagonal play area?

More importantly, what is the player doing in the play area? Do I make a match-3? I kind of liked the trapping mechanic, but I couldn’t think of a good way to make it fun.

Then I looked at the calendar and realized that over a week has gone by. So I thought I better steal some game play rather than try to create my own.

I recalled playing a QBasic game by Oren Bartal called Ultimate Super Stack. The point of the game was to trap stars between two objects, and I remember finding it very compelling. Maybe I can make a hexagon-based version of it.

I realized that there was a lot to the game, and I thought back to simpler puzzle games, such as Yoshi for the NES.

So I decided to try to mimic that game instead.

September #1GAM

So far, I have four platforms in an empty play area, with a switcher at the bottom.

Eventually, I will add dropping objects, most likely shapes such as circles, triangles, and squares. If two objects match on top of each other, they’ll disappear. If a hexagon’s bottom piece appears, then it’s top piece can close it, along with any objects trapped inside of it.

The player will be able to move the switcher to one of three positions to swap the platforms and any objects sitting on top of them.

It’s a simple game, but I don’t anticipate having a lot of time to create it this month, what with me going to ISVCon 2013. We’ll see how it turns out.