Tower of Pixel

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Reach to the heavens 100 Points

Your tower of Pixel reached the heavens!

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Author Comments

"Tower of Pixel" is a minimalistic reinterpretation of the story behind the tower of Babel.
Once there were pixels.
They found a plain and settled there.
Then they said: "Let us build ourselves a city with a tower that reaches to the heavens."

Collect bricks from the abandoned tower of Pixel and use them to reach to the heavens.

- Enchanted gems will help you building your tower faster.
- The game has two possible endings.
Arrows to move and dig bricks.
Space to lay collected bricks.
"Tower of Pixel" is a game made in 48 hours for the 26th Ludum Dare competition, with theme "Minimalism".

Follow and support its further development on Twitter: @AlanZucconi


Finally made it! The tower looks more like floating platforms now than an actual tower. It does take a while to get to the heaven. The stairs make it more manageable. A lot of patience is required to finish it.

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I'm curious to go farther, but holy crap is it too easy to accidentally dig out bricks. My tower looks like swiss cheese, and I have now accidentally completely cut myself off from adding on to it.

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This seems like an alright concept for a game mechanic, but it doesn't really feel like there's a game here yet... I actually played for a couple hours while listening to podcasts and the news just to make sure, and I couldn't at all tell where the fun came in or what the goal was.

The controls are frustrating and more RSI-inducing than they need to be. For example, there doesn't appear to be a way to walk left without picking up the block to the left of you, and after making such an error there doesn't appear to be any way to replace that block without deconstructing and reconstructing the whole stack above. Such a negative consequence may be intentional, but it shouldn't be inflicted on the player because the control scheme doesn't adequately allow them to disambiguate what actions they wish to take. Also, jumping should always be allowed to be a key other than the up arrow if the other arrow keys are used for movement at all (combining quick and frequent presses -- like jumping -- with long-held actions -- like moving left -- on adjacent fingers accelerates RSI unnecessarily)

In general, playing is very tedious. In my play-though it wound up being: walk right as far as you can go, pick up five blocks, jump left a bunch, drop one block each on the five left-most columns that you can reach, repeat forever. If there actually is an ending that I wasn't able to reach after two hours of this, it would have to be the just about best ending in a game ever to be worth it.

My suggestions for how to improve the game mechanic (you'd of course need to add a game to it of your own design): In addition to the gems, you should also be able to dig up silver and gold. Silver would be used to hire "laborers" which would follow you like the carried blocks do and allow you to carry an additional five blocks each. This would give some semblance of progress to the actual game mechanics as well as significantly reduce the tediousness. Gold would be used to hire "contractors" which would operate on their own. They would be similar to the player, but would only be able to carry one block at a time and would follow only one of four commands at a time. The first command would be "stop". The second command would be "follow". The third command would be "move blocks left" in which they would walk as far as they could to the right of where they currently are (jumping each time they encountered a wall), pick a block up from under that square (or the next such block to the left), then walk left as far as could while jumping at each wall, and then drop that block on that square. By allowing the player to take fewer trips as well as automate some of what they are doing in these ways, you allow them to get what they're trying to do done faster, eliminating only tedium while leaving challenge intact, which should be the goal of all game mechanics.

The few indicators of progress that there are seem buggy. For example, because I chose to build my tower at one edge of the world (which I feel is a reasonable strategy given the game mechanics), the left half of the few pieces of text that showed as you got higher in the game would be cut off. They should track the player only as far as the edge of the screen rather than just tracking the player always. Also, when I got high enough, because I was against the edge of the world, "something" happened but I'm not quite sure what... the result was that the left-most and third left-most squares in the row directly above me were transformed into gems while the second left-most square's background was changed to that of a square that previously had a gem but then had that gem removed. It seemed like there was the intent of "something" to happen here, but what did happen was weird enough that I'm guessing this was somehow bugged. The end result was me just jumping up and grabbing the two gems, which I didn't even need due to the bug below.

Finally, I'm almost hesitant to report this bug because it drastically reduces the tedium involved in making tall towers, but if you place a gem so that it doesn't have a block immediately to it's right or left, then jump on it while holding up so that you land on the edge, keep holding up and then land in the middle, and then holding a direction and up after hitting the middle, each subsequent jump while holding up and the direction will be the higher jumps. The jumps stop being high jumps only if you reach the edge of the map, and since this can allow you to effectively treat any surface block as a gem, it can allow you to build much steeper towers and thus more-quickly build taller towers.

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AlanZucconi responds:

Whoa! Thank you for such an extensive feedback! I really appreciate that! :-)

The game has been made in 48 hours for Ludum Dare, so there haven't been an extensive time for debugging and gameplay balancing!

The game actually offers few mechanics that you probably didn't discover. In fact, gems can be used to summon ladders, if placed in a certain way. Some people realises this immediately because there is actually a very strong hint in the game on how to do this. Some other players, however, never discovered that.

I think that after the end of Ludum Dare I'll surely make changes and improvements, in order to put more variety in the gameplay.

And yes, there is an ending. Actually two. You can see one on my YouTube channel! :-)

I got stuck after only a few seconds. Your mechanism dosen't seem to work correctly.

The game doesn't work after i mine the first block. I don't think this is really ready for a newgrounds release- Also, the resolution is a bit wonky, considering this game is supposed to minimalist.
I don't think this is all that great- I would have voted it higher if it worked.

AlanZucconi responds:

Thank you for the bug report!
It happened with few users because of their Flash configuration!
Hopefully it will be fixed tomorrow! :-)

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Credits & Info

2.85 / 5.00

Apr 28, 2013
8:57 PM EDT
Action - Platformer - Other