Block Concept

Many puzzle games are based on an underlying grid which must remain visible to the player. Lode Runner is as much an action game as it is a puzzle game, yet visibility of the grid remains critical. The left images are of early block textures -- each representing an area about 3 blocks wide; they tile seamlessly but obscure the internal grid, creating confusion and frustration when blasting. The next image shows more defined blocks, similar to ones used in the game... much better! Grid based games are inherently repetitive -- the next sketch illustrates how blocks of the same type can be slightly varied depending on whether used on top, middle or bottom; the snow cap and icicles in the frozen image are examples of how this was implemented. The lower renders are of a scatter device. When characters or objects fall to the device, they are forced either left or right (depending on the state) as they slide down the upper lever. Their force pushes down the lower lever as they continue sliding; this action offsets them by a grid unit and reverses the state of the device. This concept was scrapped due to some technical issues such as objects falling at different speeds and stacked characters.
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