Matthew Vroman


Game Designer

Pillar - Puzzle Platformer Prototype

Back in March I started working on a prototype for a simple puzzle platform. My main idea was to allow the player to switch between 2 overlapping worlds and swap items between those worlds to solve puzzles. The catch was that both worlds had to stay in harmony, meaning for every element you send to the Light World, an element must be sent back to reside in the Dark World. The idea was to force the player to constantly balance what elements they needed in either world at any given time in order to progress.

In my spare time I started building a quick and dirty prototype in Unity. After a week or so I had a decent prototype up and running (which you can see down below) and created a few potential puzzle scenarios to experiment with. In it's current state you can only swap blocks between the two worlds but the goal was to eventually incorporate more puzzle elements and items of varying weights to make exchanging items between worlds a bit more difficult. The idea seems like it has some potential but I got distracted by other projects and haven't touched it in a long time. I recently stumbled across the project files on my Mac and figured it couldn't hurt to write up a quick post about the game. If I ever get around to uploading a Web version of the prototype then I'll be sure to update this post with a link to it. Until then the video will have to do.

Things I Liked

  • Dual Worlds having to be balanced
  • Puzzle Potential!
  • Level Transitions. Levels were designed to be short and the transition between them seamless.

Things I Didn't Like

  • My Control Scheme. I always feel dirty putting virtual buttons and joysticks on a mobile game. It's like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
  • Camera Angle. I really wanted to use an isometric camera and allow the player to see the majority of the puzzle they were facing but it makes the controls feel odd since you have to move at an angle to go straight