Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Free Puzzle Game Development Environment

This week has been a busy one for me, finishing up final projects for my last year of college. One of the biggest time investments has been for my class called “Motion Planning” (algorithms for robot guidance) for which I did a particularly interesting project: a development suite for playing and designing shortest path puzzles.

The program is called “Delivergrid” (I know, it’s an awful name) and they’ll be a link at the end of this post to download the zip file that includes the executable, an instruction manual, some example levels, a powerpoint presentation and an unpublished journal article.

Basically the game takes place on a grid (like most of my games) and you are presented with open space, walls, goals and a variety of other squares (like jumps and teleporters). Your job is to number the goals so that visiting all of them takes the least amount of time. You may also have inventory items that you can use to create faster routes. You can also design your own levels and save them for others to play.

Making the program was very cool, but designing levels is the part that is the most fun. Keeping that in mind, I’ve also included a folder of puzzles I’ve designed so far, but I encourage those who are interested to experiment with their own designs and send any good ones (in the default .map format) back to me to play.

Download Delivergrid

4 comments:

jim vacek said...

brian,
glad to see that you are still designing games and keeping your postings up. hope all is well as your college years wrap up. dad

Mary Ann said...

Brian,
Cool tool! I even made a puzzle myself! ( ok...maybe Katie did help me a little..and gave me quite a few hints...)

Hope all goes well this week with the remainder of your projects and exams.
Mary Ann :)

Walrus said...

Thanks for the feedback. I hope everybody is enjoying the puzzles/tools. Send me examples if you make any that you are proud of. I do love puzzles. Also send suggestions for usability and new ideas.

I will try to get a v1.1 out when I have time this upcoming week. My main focus for the next release will be a handful of user friendly tweaks to remove frustration. I also plan to continue developing levels of my own.

Kathryn said...

Developing puzzles is harder than I thought. (Not because of the interface/ environment - that's cool - but I just wasn't prepared for the extreme mental effort involved in trying to outwit you.)