This is a prototype of the game I was talking about a month ago, “Multiduck Extravaganza.” It’s basically about processor design. Controls are mouse-based, along with some optional keyboard shortcuts (which are noted in-game); the first two levels are “playable”, the latter two aren’t really done.
I’m putting it up because I ran into a fundamental design issue (around the time of the last post!), and I can’t really see how to resolve it. With Manufactoria (1), the basic mindset I came in with was “create machines to solve problems”: repeating symbols, palindromes, etc, etc. With MDE, on the other hand, I started with the idea of having players build very simple processors, and working up to fairly sophisticated ones. My reasoning was the same as it was for Manufactoria: I found it fun when I did it in real life, so there’s no reason why it couldn’t be even more entertaining in a game!
I wasn’t entirely wrong; the level I did finish, “Latch-1”, is actually pretty fun, at least for me. And tinkering around in the Sandbox isn’t too bad either. But… I couldn’t go any further than that, in level design! Manufactoria’s design was centered aroundproblems; MDE’s was aboutsolutions. The former is straightforward to translate into a puzzle (it’s basically one already!); the latter is enormously more difficult, both in terms of design and testing. (The testing problem isn’t helped by the possibility space for inputs being literally infinitely larger in MDE than in Manufactoria!)
I still have some hope of coming back to the project at a later date, with a better idea of how to design it, but I’m putting it aside for now.