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NABOKOS

A Sokoban Reversed puzzle game. · By pixelgrapher

Turning the magnet in place

A topic by GFM created Jul 22, 2018 Views: 165 Replies: 1
Viewing posts 1 to 2

Hello,

From what I could tell, most of the levels were designed in a way that you either have to interact only with a single block or there's another block that may be easily used to set the magnet's direction. This works well in most cases, however, I ran into some issues in level 8...

In my particular solution for that level, I had to push a block downard, but trying to activate the magnet would attach it to the wrong block. After a lot of trial-and-error, I did succeed, however I was quite confused about how the game decides the direction in which the magnet will turn.

After testing it, I got these two different results for the same apparent "command":


Simply activating the magnet before of after the movement changes which block the magnet turns torward. This isn't ever clearly explained by any level (at the very least, I was able to complete every other level without fully understanding this).

It gives a somewhat "random" and uncontrolable feel to the game, which is quite undesireable in a puzzle... I don't know whether allowing the player to manually set the magnet's direction would be a good idea; the game seems to have been designed around this restriction. However, it seemed troubling in this particular level...

Best regards,

GFM.

Developer (2 edits)

Hi GFM,

Thank you for taking the time to play, and even better, analyse my game. I really appreciate your effort.

I ran into many issues during the development of this experimental puzzle game, which I developed during a course in game design. Most of the issues were relatively easy to fix but one problem remained - having an intuitive rotation mechanic. The issue that you raised had also been raised multiple times by others who helped my playtest NABOKOS. Unfortunately I could not find a fix that created interesting gameplay while also being intuitive to play. 

One of the options was to have the magnet rotate in the direction of movement. This was a simple solution but seemed odd having the magnet constantly turning. It also didn't make much sense in context as magnets were not living 'characters' that turned in the direction of movement. It seemed much more interesting to have the magnet turn automatically due to the magnetic attraction from the blocks/crates.

My final solution was to give players the option to rotate the manually in case they have issues with this mechanic. I wanted to ensure, however, that this was a treated as a 'Dark Souls Easy Mode' and wasn't intended in the original spirit of the game.

I can understand the frustration you experienced while playing and apologise for it. The mechanic works as follows: The magnet, while turned on, will always rotate towards the nearest crate from the centre of the magnet. If two crates are equal in distance, the magnet will rotate towards the crate that requires the shortest path of rotation. Note that the magnet rotates instantly and the animation is purely visual.

It's one element of bad design that sticks out like a sore thumb but since I couldn't discover a solution, I decided to be bold and release it as 'early access and experimental'. One good  thing that came out is that this mechanic encourages experimentation