Puzzle Game Demo (take 2!) :)

Hey everyone. I'm back, but with a new and improved demo of my puzzler game. If you don't know what I'm talking about - go to the original thread here.

I've added some stuff and fixed up some bugs. Now there are blocks that limit your building in a single direction like so: If you're on a block with an X and an UP arrow on it, you can build in every direction except up while on that block. Basically there's a block like this for every basic direction you could build a block in. I also took care of the bugs mentioned in the other thread - so no more getting stuck on the bottom of the screen.

There's no new eye-candy this time since it's all basically the same stuff. Grab the test demo 2 right here and let me know what you think. Are the levels at least getting a little harder? Making you think? I hope so. I still plan on adding teleports, but I'm really just looking for feedback on the gameplay, control, etc, etc. of this game.

Thanks for your time guys.

Matthew Leverton

I think it has the makings of a nice puzzle game. The levels seem to get progressively harder, and a few took a little thinking - but once you get the general ideas it gets easy.

I think if you can gradually add new elements to the game that require a twist of thought, it will add a lot to the gameplay. Some puzzle games can be a bit more challenging if there is a bit of hand/eye skill needed as well. Something along the lines of simple enemies that require proper timing to trap or avoid...

If adding a skill factor isn't your thing, you could restrict the number of lives, blocks used, and add a timer.


this is a really fun little game!!! improve on the graphics and it will be even greater! I'm learning java at the moment could i port ur game sometime (whenever i get the time)?


Matthew, thanks for the ideas. I'm planning on adding such things as teleportation and the like. I'm not sure if I will add enemies. I'll have to think about that one. I had thought about adding a limit to how many blocks would be able to be used - thus forcing the player to use the right combination of blocks in the right places. As for making a number of lives, this is something that I would rather not do. I would like the player to be able to try as many times as they would like. Timers sounds like a good idea, but also it may be too restrictive. I've had some of my siblings - older and younger. At most points in the game they get stuck together, but at some parts one required a lot more time than the other. This varied greatly between levels. I guess the happy medium would be adding some sort of enemy.

One thing I have only begun to think about is maybe making a certain type of block that is affected by the fake 'gravity' in the world. IE - this block would fall if there was nothing under it. I was thinking about making a system where you can create these blocks and maybe push them - and they could fall. That might be a good twist for the game. I don't know though. All of your input as the players is what really helps. I'm hoping to add some good things that will spice up the gameplay so you don't just have to go around making a LEFT then UP block to bypass the X-Down restrictors. :)

And Yves, if it's easily portable to java, go for it. The source will be released upon completion (what and whenever that maye be) of the game. As for the graphics, what specifically didn't you like? Was it mainly the tiles? Or was it the character? Maybe both. I'd like as much input as possible.

Thanks guys!


the character was great, but the tiles and the moving stars could have been better! keep up the good work!


Fun game! PS I really likes the classic video game music. I loved it when I heard the Chrono Trigger song come on.


Yeah. The music is a neat feature of the game. You can put any midi file, as long as allegro can read it (which the game wont start if allegro can't read it) into the folder and the engine should automatically add it to the queue of songs. You can put in as many, or as little as you like - as long as your memory can handle having that many midi files loaded into memory. I don't think that should be a problem, though. I might change this in the future so it will only have one midi file in memory at a time, and simply load the next song off the disk when required.


Good job.
Here's what I'd suggest:

Perhaps it would be better to hold the movement for a small time so you could turn around and not move w/out also pressing up/down (does that make sense?). It could be worse if you held too long and when you need to travel up lots of stairs but I'd still prefer it.

I think the environment's blocks (like the X, etc.) should look a little more different than the character's. Maybe change their color to something more red.

What about some blocks (yours and/or the environments) that disappear and reappear in set times. This would be like a time-limit but you could also wait for the next opening chance and it might be used with puzzles too. If you do that, make sure you can tell when blocks will go (and reappear) with a number or color or something.


Neener neener; beat it again :P That was harder, but I agree with Matthew; the solutions use the same basic moves. Once you've got the hang of that it's not hard. Of course, it's all moot right now, since you want to add things like teleporters and such. If you can come up with some mechanisms like that, it would rule.

Some ideas; floors that crumble away after you step on them a number of times. The number can be emblazoned on the tile, and count down everytime you move off of it. Or switches you can place blocks on. Say you need to cross a hole near the top of the level that's got a low ceiling and is flanked by blocks that won't let you make a bridge. Put a block on a switch to lower an elevator that's under the hole. Put a block on it. Now remove the block from the switch to raise it back up, plugging the hole.

Just some ideas. Best of luck, because this game is cool! 8-)

Johan Peitz

Very nice. Very cute (which is something I like).

The character is cool, but as said, the tiles don't have the same style.

This game is cool. I can be persuaded to contribute and make some tiles if you want, but if you want to do them yourself, I understand, that's up to you. :)

Another idea I always wanted to see in a puzzle game: 2 player puzzles! These can be played both by 2 players, but also by one player and a "player switch key". Zep needs a girlfriend. ;)

I agree about the somewhat awkward controls a different style would be to hold down space, and press either up, left|right or down to create a block. That way it becomes somewhat more consistent. And you can turn and put out a block in the same go.

I also found a bug:
Build an up block. Then when you walk off it, exactly when you start to fall down, you can build a new up block(!). But Zep will get stuck inside it (falling + raising = 0, I guess). If pressing R, the level will restart but Zep will still be in suspended animation.

I got a bit carried away and really wanted to try to change the look of the game. So I drew some tiles. I hope you don't mind. Do whatever you want with'em. ;)

(It became a bit messy with the blue blocks, so just ignore them. I only wanted to try out some other colors.)

[EDIT 57 or something]
Another cool twist would be to have arrow blocks allready deployed on the map when the level starts. Then the player has to think out in which order to remove the blocks in order to reach the exit. Kinda like drilling through ground. :)


Wow guys. Thanks for the awesome comments. You've been giving me great feedback as to what would make the game more fun and playable. Lots of good ideas everywhere. I've noticed that a lot of people are having trouble with the controls. I'm glad I'm at at least consistent with the problems in my game. I could implement a timer that would wait for a moment before sending you off to move. I don't know if I could make it less than a second, however. (Can you make an allegro timer that does doubles? ;D)

As for the crumbling blocks and the vanishing blocks - that sounds like a great idea. I'll be trying to think of a good way to implement that. It might not be incredibly easy - but it shouldn't be too hard either. Also, the thought of having switches sounds really cool. This wouldn't be too hard to do, but I might have to mix up my map structure a little bit. The game is basically comprised of a hackish way of knowing if the player can move or not. Switches would have to be their own entity on the map, and not a certain tile in the array.

Johan, I love the tiles you have made. I know my tiles weren't that good, but boy now do I think they were terrible :)! They were just quickly done and thrown into my tile collection just so I could start working on the game. Mere placeholders, etc. If you were interested in doing tiles for the game that would be great. I have no problem letting someone else tackle the art in a game for once. I would love it. Do you happen to have all these tiles from the screenshot lined up in a bitmap file ready for grabbing? If you don't, I can just rip them from the image - only problem is the magic color isn't there. ;)

Also, for the controls of hitting space first and then facing a direction to make a block: that might take some work. Right now the structure works so there's different flags set if you're looking up or crouching down. I'll need to see if my engine is cool enough (read: luck) to catch them if I change the block creation. Maybe it will, maybe it won't. If it doesn't all it needs is some tweaking. I'll see how that feels and determine if I'll use it or not.

As for the bug: fixed. I wasn't checking if the space beneath your feet contained a "solid ground" tile when building a block up. The reason you were able to do it was because for a split moment the character was neither falling down, or moving - so you could build a block in the up position, but right after you'd start falling and get stuck. I also need to fix the level restart button to flush out the players current movement - like falling, ducking, or looking up.

Anyways, thanks a lot for the wonderful comments guys. Johan, please get in touch with me about those tiles!;D

Johan Peitz

Ultio, you have mail.


Rightey - o :)

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