CUBE

CUBE is a puzzle game that combines classic sliding tile and pipe-connector gameplay. Players must make a continuous path from start to finish, while also passing through specific gate tiles with various conditions. The game was developed for PC and iOS.

Responsibilities:

    • Producer – Create schedule and work with team to keep pace of development
    • Lead Designer – Design mechanics and gameplay specifications
    • Content Designer – Create quality puzzles to teach players mechanics and progress in difficulty

 



Game Mechanics

Cube was adapted from an earlier prototype to be more user friendly, provide more structure for players, and have greater mechanical depth. This was achieved by the following mechanics:


Gates Tiles are tiles that must be passed through for a solution to be considered valid. For some puzzles, the order in which you go through gates is important, and others require the lit path to be a specific color


A normal gate with no special properties


A gate requiring the player to consider the order in which gates are used


Colored gates require that the light passing through them must be a certain color


Portal Tiles teleport the light beam from place to another. Portal tiles are colored in pairs of two, allowing players to see which portals are connected


The light beam enters the portal through the portal on the left, and continues through the portal on the right


Face Connectors allow players to connect tiles on adjacent faces of the cube. Players cannot cross faces unless they use a connector piece. These were implemented in response to feedback that players were getting overwhelmed by the number of possible solutions. Because connectors specify where faces can be crossed, they reduce unnecessary complexity and give the player a framework to work with when solving the puzzle


Connectors are used to cross faces of the cube


Color Change Tiles alter the color of the light beam as it passes through them. Because some gates only allow a specific color of light pass through them, color changers are vital elements of puzzle solving. Color changers be red, blue, green or white, and each play an important role in color mixing


A red color changing tile adds red to the light beam


Color Mixing: When the path is lit by one of the primary colors, passing through another primary color will cause the path to become one of the three secondary colors (as seen in the chart below). By introducing all three colors to a light beam the beam becomes white once more. For example, if a yellow beam passed through a blue color changer, the beam would come out white

Below is an advanced usage of color mixing. Notice that on the top face, the blue light goes through the green color changer and becomes cyan, and the a red light goes through the green color changer and becomes yellow. Color mixing can be seen in the demo video above for a better understanding


An example of color mixing


Content Accessibility

One of the challenges with puzzle games is preventing players from getting stuck without simply giving them the answer. In CUBE, this was remedied with a point system. Each puzzle has a time challenge, and move limit challenge that players can beat to earn points. Simply solving a puzzle is worth 3 points, beating the time challenge is worth 1 point, and beating the move challenge is also worth one point. The more points a player has the more puzzles they unlock, meaning that if they ever get stuck on a certain puzzle, they can go back and beat some challenge scores to gain a few more points and move on to a new puzzle.


CUBE’s level select menu

On the menu image above, the cube icon means that a puzzle has been completed, the green arrows means the move challenge has been beaten, and the stopwatch means the time challenge has been beaten. Puzzle 1-01 for example has all three of these, giving the player 5 points in total. Puzzle 1-09 has not been completed yet, and the player needs seven more points before they unlock puzzle 1-11.


Final Thoughts

Positives – A solid, enjoyable experience despite very short development time

    • Good performance on PC and iOS
    • Solving puzzles was enjoyable
    • Interesting core concept
    • Mechanically CUBE has a solid base, and with additional development time CUBE could easily evolve into something special

Negatives – Additional development time would have allowed for a better experience, and small redesigns

    • Technical limitations meant we could only having one open tile per side, resulting in many puzzles being much more difficult than they ought to be and making the game more about solving individual faces than solving the cube as a whole
    • Developing for iOS also took development time that would have been better spent making the PC version more fully fleshed out

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