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#notGDC Solving Puzzles in Maze Burrow

A topic by Kimimaru created 89 days ago Views: 32
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Hello everyone!

First, I want to thank Itch for being such a great platform that helps indie game developers like you and me. I'm extremely grateful for it, and I've had a great experience using it for the past 5 months. As it stands, I intend to keep using it for future projects.

My name is Thomas Deeb, and I'm a game developer from California who's been working in the industry for a little over 4 years. Back in high school, I have always wanted to release my own indie game. Past attempts were far too ambitious and ended up being cancelled due to scope.

With my current game, Maze Burrow, I wanted to change that and work on something smaller that I can complete in a reasonable amount of time as the sole developer. I also now have more insight and experience than before, and I'm determined to keep up my progress and realize my goal.

Designing Maze Burrow ended up being a puzzle in itself. It went through a few iterations: the first involving a Toki Tori inspired puzzle-platformer using simple abilities to collect insects; the next involving a similar concept, except with picking up and placing soil. Neither prototype went well, and there were a lot of issues finding the "fun" in them.

Enter the third and current iteration. I decided to break down the core concept of the game into something simple that can be expanded: place patterned blocks into matching spots to unlock the portal to the next level. Using this simple base, I found it easy to add new elements that I can design complex puzzles with. Some elements include switches, warps, paired blocks (moving one block moves another), and different terrain, such as ice, in which blocks slide until hitting a wall or other surface. Players found the game more fun and satisfying as a result; unlike previous iterations, there is now a clear goal to each level and enough variety to make solving the puzzles interesting.

At this moment in time, Maze Burrow is in pre-alpha v0.2, with v0.3 in active development. I look forward to working on it every day - even after working on games all day - and I can't wait to see how it turns out. If you want to follow its progress or just chat about anything, I'm always available on my Twitter.

Thank you so much for your time, and I hope you all have a great week! Stay awesome indie devs!