Hey, all! Sorry about not getting this piece out sooner. Everyone over here at the studio is sick as a dog (well, almost everyone… thank goodness for Skype commuting). So, in this article, since we’ve talked at length about some of our Special modes (here: Indiedb.com) and Accessibility options (here: Indiedb.com) we figured it was finally time to have an in-depth look at one of our oft-neglected modes: Puzzle mode!
Every great puzzle game can benefit from a dedicated Puzzle mode. Many of the greats (especially three of the main ones Collapsus took inspiration from) have puzzle modes. Many puzzle games nowadays will only be in the style of the traditional “Puzzle mode” at that!
So what exactly is a “Puzzle mode” anyway? Why does Collapsus have one? Why does that matter?
A Puzzle mode is a game mode in a player must use the established mechanics presented in the default game mode to clear the board (or another objective) in a finite amount of moves/time. Typically, additional game pieces (in our case, Blocks) do not spawn in, and there is only one solution to any given “puzzle”. *Woo* That was a mouthful!
In Collapsus, we’re including (at least) 200 puzzles right out of the box (metaphorically speaking). These puzzles have 4 difficulties (Easy, Medium, Hard, and Master) and several “themes” that take elements from the various Special modes. Through the first three difficulties, whenever you complete a puzzle, you’re given a star rating based on how quickly you did it and the next puzzle is unlocked. When you complete the last puzzle in Hard, however, the first puzzle in the next theme and all of the Master puzzles of the current theme are unlocked. This is where the ultimate test of those mechanics begins!
Luckily, with Collapsus, we have a mechanic built in that measures clicks: the Break Meter! Few games seem so ready-made to include a puzzle mode as Collapsus does! Take a look at some of the puzzles we’re prepping!
In addition to the 200 or so built-in puzzles, we’re also offering a brand-new free puzzle every day (as long as you’re online). The plan is to have a year's worth of puzzles lined up on the network just waiting for players and then making new ones all throughout the next year! That’s not all, though… we also offer tools that allow you to make your own puzzles and share them online.
Right now we’re still getting most of the finite design work on it done still. At the end of the day, it’s basically a Mario Maker-style editor. It has assets (in this case, blocks), a grid, different pallets (for special blocks and things), and you have to beat your puzzle to be able to upload it. Simple!
We’re also working on two ranking metrics… two 5-star meters where other players can rank Difficulty and Fun-factor. They can also report abuse.
Unlike with the main Puzzle mode, neither Daily Puzzles and Custom Puzzles will have leaderboards. That’s just too much server space! Now, we have been experimenting with just having the top player and their speed, but only time will tell on that.
What do you all think? For the Sudoku-minded, we really hope this gives a fun, challenging alternative to the more arcadey gameplay for the Standard and Special modes. We really want feedback, though, so comment below to let us know if this is something you’re into!