A Tofu Tail Game Mechanics Deep Dive – Intro

alchemedium —  September 16, 2014 — 3 Comments

So A Tofu Tail has been in development for almost two whole years now…
Don’t worry, we are in as much disbelief as to where that time has gone as well

Has all the waiting, working, and wrestling with design been worth it?

Over the next series of posts we will take you through our development journey
to redesign and strengthen the gameplay in Mr. Tofu’s tale!

A while back, we mentioned some design changes that we had gone through
since our experience at IndieCade last October. We had altered a good bit of
the gameplay elements to fit a more designed puzzle model than the original
randomly-generated maze-like approach.

Initially, the main concept of the Story Mode gameplay revolved around
producing random color mazes based on some simple pre-defined parameters
specific to that level. There were multiple jewels that were to be collected before
reaching the “finish” tile, and a time limit in which to accomplish this.

There were also various mods to the gameplay that were initially meant to
push the player’s limits by introducing more stress and urgency to the situation.
In theory it seemed appropriate, but in practice it was broken and pulled you
out of the experience in a poor way. And, as mentioned a while ago, our early
playtesting and IndieCade 2013 feedback proved that there was something
missing from our gameplay. These “mods” were not accomplishing their task – so
we decided to scrap them altogether.


So what could we do to fix this? How do we make such a drastic change in
rebuilding most of the game mechanics of our game?
We needed to go back to the basics, figure out what we wanted that core
experience to be, and build around that.

Core ideas that were important to us:

  1. Color-based movement constraints
  2. Ability to change character color
  3. Single tile traversal (player can only move on each tile a single time, then
    they disappear)
  4. Puzzle elements that fit well with the narrative

So, based on this desired core experience, we spent some time concocting and
building several new puzzle mechanics to add increasing challenge as the game
progressed, while adhering to these rules. Buuuuuuuut…..

We have gone on too much about this for today! Next post, we will recap this
weekend’s trip to Boston and the BFIG experience! We will move back into
the game design deep dive over the subsequent posts [^.^]




Indie game developers from Pittsburgh, PA. We are dedicated to bringing you unique audio, visual, and gameplay experiences. Currently developing the story-driven puzzle game "A Tofu Tail" .

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. A Tofu Tail Game Mechanic Deep Dive – Happy Accidents « alchemedium - November 14, 2014

    […] and collide with the finish banner as well as one another in a way that didn’t interfere with our core design goals, while still adding opportunity for more interesting and challenging […]

  2. A Tofu Tail Game Mechanics Deep Dive – Mr. Oni « alchemedium - October 31, 2014

    […] this idea in the redesign, we needed to come up with some new design, goal-adhering, puzzle element. We already had Mr. Tengu – which added non-player controlled […]

  3. A Tofu Tail Game Mechanics Deep Dive – Mr. Tengu « alchemedium - October 17, 2014

    […] additionally needed to keep with our defined goals for the revamped design, which meant a simple new puzzle aspect that enhanced the core color-based […]

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