★ TouchArcade needs your help. Click here to support us on Patreon.

Puzzle Empires - early look

09-17-2012, 12:32 AM
#1
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 543
Puzzle Empires - early look

Wanted to share a very early look at my upcoming game Puzzle Empires.

The game is inspired by the match mechanic popularized originally by Dungeon Raid (and later Puzzle Craft) where you create chains of resources, in order to gain resources/perform actions.

Puzzle Empires is about building your civilization throughout the ages. You'll research technologies all the way from fire & tool making, to genetics & cryogenics. Each technology will provide some passive benefit (+1 wood when collecting wood, for instance) or an ability that you can trigger at any time. Some technologies will allow you to unlock buildings which you can produce, such as farms and guard towers, which can influence the playfield and provide some interesting effects.

Like Dungeon Raid, Puzzle Empires is primarily an endless "see how long you can survive" type game, with a high score at the end. It will be possible to win, however, through the production of a certain end-game technology -- possibly something like the shuttle to in Civilization (not sure yet). As you're trying to survive, you'll need to balance food production -- to prevent starvation -- and military strength, to defeat invaders. Invaders appear on the screen and march down the screen at the end of each turn. If they reach your settlement, it becomes damaged. While it can be repaired, if your settlement's HP reaches 0, the game is over.

Anyway, adding an initial screenshot below and I'd LOVE to hear some comments. I'll check in every once in a while to answer any questions/comments you guys have.

New graphics! (some old stuff still mixed in for now)





Old style graphics







EDIT: Made the pictures more size friendly.

Last edited by lazypeon; 11-02-2012 at 01:31 AM.
09-17-2012, 06:32 AM
#2
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,065
looks good man. keep it endless. a high score chaser has unlimited replay value. thats my biggest gripe with puzzle craft (and the fact that my data was deleted)

Also, I really dig the look. It's got a 10000000 look if you know what I mean. I'm excited to see what it turns into. This is my favorite genre of ios games

09-17-2012, 11:39 AM
#3
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by turakm View Post
looks good man. keep it endless. a high score chaser has unlimited replay value. thats my biggest gripe with puzzle craft (and the fact that my data was deleted)

Also, I really dig the look. It's got a 10000000 look if you know what I mean. I'm excited to see what it turns into. This is my favorite genre of ios games
Yeah, it does have the "homemade pixel art" look of 10000000, yes I'm a developer first and an artist second (and it shows :P) but I enjoy working on the art as well. I'll be polishing it up before release though.

The priority is definitely on high-score, more similar to Dungeon Raid. It's my favorite genre as well, and Dungeon Raid has stolen an order of magnitude more playing time than any other iOS game. It's simply perfect.
09-19-2012, 02:21 PM
#4
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 543
One of the aspects that makes Puzzle Empires different/interesting is how you upgrade your civilization.

Generally, researching a technologies requires a certain 'feat', or mini-achievement. In the context of Puzzle Empires, this means collecting a chain of resources of a certain length, or maybe killing a certain number of enemies.

Other technologies are bought with resources (such as wood/stone). These are generally 'dead-end' technologies that aren't required for advancement, but give you bonuses that may be useful for your current situation. One example of a technology that can be purchased is 'Wooden Walls', which increases your city's maximum HP.

In my early play tests, I've found that the way technologies are researched adds an interesting dynamic to play. Since some of the technology conditions require some 'setup' (eg: "Collect 4 consecutive wood chains"), it adds an interesting layer of strategy to how you play.

Below is an early look (UI pending ) of the game's tech tree. The game will feature over 100 different technologies to research. It's up to you to decide how and which technologies you'll aim to research. In the future, there may be some additional customizations which allow you to add new technologies, depending on which options you pick.


Last edited by lazypeon; 09-22-2012 at 05:17 PM.
09-19-2012, 02:50 PM
#5
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 3,319
Dungeon Raid and Puzzle Craft are both excellent, so of you can capture the magic of your inspirations, you will really have something. Since you did not mention it, here is a request for an iPad version. Good luck!

Game Center: MarinasideSteve
09-19-2012, 05:05 PM
#6
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,601
None of the pictures are working for me.

I know a lot of people like Dungeon Raid. What you are working on sounds thematically interesting. My issue with Dungeon Raid was that the early portions of games wasn't all that interesting to me, yet you had to wade through the start each time. If you can get around that issue, I'll be quite interested.
09-19-2012, 05:56 PM
#7
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misguided View Post
None of the pictures are working for me.

I know a lot of people like Dungeon Raid. What you are working on sounds thematically interesting. My issue with Dungeon Raid was that the early portions of games wasn't all that interesting to me, yet you had to wade through the start each time. If you can get around that issue, I'll be quite interested.
Woops, I'll fix the pictures.

I actually like the build-up in Dungeon Raid, but I was planning to support some type of mode where you can start in different 'eras' of the game (eg: Medieval Era) with all the previous technologies researched. This would more quickly get you into the 'middle' of the game, and get to the more strategically interesting stuff.

Last edited by lazypeon; 09-22-2012 at 05:17 PM.
09-22-2012, 03:08 PM
#8
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 543
Adding a screenshot showing some early graphics, and the 'evolution' of the tiles as the game progresses. In addition to researching technologies like iron working, coinage, and writing, you'll see visual indicators of your civilization's progress throughout the game.

I'll talk more about it later, but some of the buildings (such as the Roman-style academy in the middle) can be built by the player. Buildings take up a tile spot on the map, meaning there are less tiles available to match. However, buildings -- and other units -- provide passive bonuses that make building them worthwhile. It's another way to customize your civilization and adapt to the random challenges of the game.

Hopefully I can find a good way to take some video soon -- the game is quite playable in its current state


Last edited by lazypeon; 09-22-2012 at 05:18 PM.
10-15-2012, 10:55 PM
#9
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 320
I just discovered this (from your sig )! You should had let me know earlier that you are also dev'ing something similar!

Seriously nice concept and I really look forward to play this (its one of my favorite genres after all)

Keep us updated mate!

PS: thanks for the advice on the other thread

Dungeon Story - an awesome Puzzle-RPG experience for your iOS device!

Get the game here: iTunes App Store || Follow me on: Twitter and Facebook
10-16-2012, 12:16 AM
#10
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by Syen View Post
I just discovered this (from your sig )! You should had let me know earlier that you are also dev'ing something similar!

Seriously nice concept and I really look forward to play this (its one of my favorite genres after all)

Keep us updated mate!

PS: thanks for the advice on the other thread
Yeah, glad to help out where I can! This sub-genre (started by Dungeon Raid, as far as I know) is one that I've thought the most about, hence my heaps of (hopefully constructive!) criticism for Dungeon Story! I've already played Dungeon Raid to death, and I'm constantly scouring the app store for my next fix (which is currently Dungeon Story )

I'm hoping to post a video/update screenshots soon, as I've made quite a bit of progress on this. Also have some new art coming from a designer, so that should make the game look A LOT better.