251 Zero, Based On Threes

I’ve talked before in post #192 about Threes, the everlasting puzzle game by Asher Vollmer, and all of its glory. I’ve been thinking about a way to mod the game.

I’ve wanted to do something to the game design to slow players down. I like how fast the original can be played, but I think some players get lazy, and just make the first move they see instead of the best move to play. Obviously, more tactical players consider their options more carefully, but the casual person is more likely to play it slightly more mindlessly. I want players to think about the repercussions of each other their moves. “What will happen 3 moves down the line if I make X move, versus making Y move?” One way that I love that Threes already helps deal with this issue is that you can slide tiles partially to preview the outcome of the move without actually committing to it. This is fairly integral to the success of the game’s design, in my opinion. I talked in the post linked above about Threes being a good-slow (in comparison to 2048!), but I’m wondering if this can be taken even further.

So, how can we slow people down a bit?

One idea is to introduce (slightly!) more math into the game, instead of just BLUE1+RED2=WHITE3, and sameWHITE+sameWHITE=sum. I’m not sure exactly what this could look like, but one idea is to use addition or subtraction more liberally. Maybe tweak the color system, and allow any tile to be combined with any other. So 1+3=4, which would obviously change the entire game’s design. Or, maybe the number on each tile moved could decrease each time you make a move (we’ve seen things like this in other games before, of course. AlphaBear does something similar.), and then freezing, erasing, exploding, or altering the tile in some way when it reaches 0. The goal could be to get all the numbers down to 0 somehow, or maybe only after the tile has been affected in a certain way. If the tile has reached a certain number, then it’s ready to descend to 0?

Or its the reverse, and every time you make a move, all the tiles that have moved increase by 1. Combining tiles gets the difference of them (subtraction, wha!?), and the goal is to get all the tiles down to Zero? Hmm… not as intuitive as addition, but could be interesting.

I definitely need to think more about this, but some basic ideas are here!

[ Today I Was Playing: Metal Gear Solid ]

September 8, 2015

#game-modification, #puzzle-game