Team: Lume Studios
Edge Flip is a puzzle game about making a path to the exit. In each level our character Morrigan must move tiles to make a path in as few moves as possible. There are special tiles that make this interesting, such as tiles that block a row or column from moving, tiles that must be arranged in a specific order, even enemies to defeat before advancing.
The game board is built like a Rubik's Cube, with tiles being in three different directions. When a player moves a tile, they can be moved vertically or horizontally, and moving one tile moves the entire row or column. Finally, the rows and columns loop around.
The challenge is to create a direct path from Morrigan's position to the exit door, and this path must go through every key on the board. Players have a set number of moves and when they run out, the puzzle must be restarted.
Since this game is designed for a mid-core audience, there was quite a challenge in making sure that puzzles were not too confusing nor too hard, while keeping a sense of challenge. Several factors determine the puzzle's difficulty; chief among them was how easy it is for players to visualize the fastest path to the exit. Extra twists and turn often resulted in players being unable to identify a possible path. So sometimes it was better to reduce the complexity of the puzzle but reduce the number of moves available to compensate.
Designing each puzzle to have their own unique aspect was another challenge. Since the game has so many mechanics, I was able to try all sorts of different path styles.
What Went Right?
Puzzles get the most out of mechanics, having dozens of unique uses of each mechanic.
After adjusting for balance, the players respond well to figuring out the fastest solution path and improving their skills.
What Went Wrong?
Several puzzles needed to be redone or trimmed down when players struggled with them. Eventually, with simplification, the puzzles worked.
What Was Learned?
Mid-core audience wants to be challenged, but having really easy puzzles to ramp difficulty and teach mechanics is still the most effective way to get them to master the game.