After another long delay (this time tending to a network side-scroller I wrote in 48 hours over several weeks), I made more headway with the terrain aspect of Dominoze.
Holding to my rule of minimizing distractions from the playfield, I'm going with a look and feel where each puzzle is on sort of a "floating island" in empty space with a nice skybox/sphere in the background. Here is a demonstration of me building an island within seconds (in poorer quality since I used Movie Maker from my laptop):
The ground was procedureally generated from a C# script I wrote for Unity after studying the source Github.com . Unlike that source, I set the texture coordinates to reflect world coordinates. For example, if the box extends from the XZ point (1,1) to (5,5), then the UV at every vertex would be between or including (1,1) and (5,5).
To the uninformed observer, it looks like things are progressing slowly, but progressing nonetheless. Sadly this is not the case.
The direction is clear enough: The design document is there, the concept art is there, so I just need to make one simple level with a basic HUD and then move on, right?
The short answer is no.
After weeks building the groundwork for the mobile version, I'm tired and I have doubts about the project in general. The main reason is that everything I want to do, except for networked domino set construction, is already done in the PC beta version. I don't have a vision for this version of Dominoze that would be otherwise superior in any way.
Like I wrote in the PC beta post-mortem, I don't think I can finish this without a team. Maybe there's a designer out there who can see past just making a bunch of puzzles where you knock over dominoes into something better; a clever story that draws players in, game play not yet previously considered, and even adversarial network play. Maybe there's an artist who has ideas that are totally different from the current concept art but somehow fit the genre better.
I think the best thing I can do right now is to stop coding and focus on the overall concept. At least I have some tangible Unity assets to use for pitching the concept out to other developers; maybe we can come up with ideas to invigorate the project.