Additional Press and Save System

When I was in New York earlier this month for Kill Screen Fest, I met up with architecture journalist Alexandra Lange.

My interview with her was just published on Curbed:

curbed interview

It is one of my favorite interviews I’ve done so far. I talk about the different architectural influences on the game, and how the works of Frank Lloyd Wright and Tadao Ando offer lessons in level design. I highly recommend checking it out if you want to know more about the inspirations behind Manifold Garden.

It seems like Manifold Garden has been getting a lot of press lately. On Thursday, June 23rd, Manifold Garden was on the front page of both Polygon and Curbed!

Polygon Frontpage

curbed front page

Really exciting!

Save System

Tom has been making progress on the save system of the game.

It’s turning out to be a pretty massive undertaking. The challenge is that a lot of the gameplay objects (boxes, water, etc) can be brought from one level to another. This means that there is a very large set of states to account for. For example, you can bring a box from world 1 to world 2, direct water from world 3 to world 2, then use the water from world 3 and the box from world 1 to grow a tree in world 2, then bring a box grown from the tree to world 4…

It’s coming along though, slowly but surely.

Development Update – 2015

First post of 2015! Happy New Year, everyone!


I’ve continued working on the new level. It’s almost ready.

I learned an important lesson about programming these last few days: the most elegant solution isn’t always the best one. I spent two days trying to create a full comprehensive systematic approach for the new mechanic I’m experimenting with, so that it would work with n components in any permutation. It was a pretty large and complex undertaking, and I kept tripping over the logic of everything.

After two days with nothing to show for it, I decided to go for a hack solution instead. For this approach, it only worked for one case. So for example, I would state specifically what the end state had to be, instead of allowing the programming to dictate if the end state was correct.

It took way less time to implement. Within an hour, the mechanic was working in the game. This is particularly important, because at this stage, I’m still prototyping the design of the mechanic. It’s more important that I get it ready enough so that I can put it in front of someone and have them try it out, and see if there are any design issues. The player isn’t going to see the code behind it, so the elegant solution really doesn’t add anything.

It may come in handy later, when it’s needed, but for now, there’s no reason to implement that. The most important thing to optimize for is time. If the mechanic works and I need a comprehensive system, great, I’ll write it. But if the mechanic doesn’t work, then I just saved myself a lot of time.

Rock Paper Shotgun Relativity

RELATIVITY has been selected by Rock, Paper, Shotgun as one of the games that could be good in 2015!

I’m incredibly honored to be on this list. I was actually a little bummed at first because I was looking under “puzzle games” and didn’t see RELATIVITY on there, but it turns it was listed under “exploration games”. This is quite interesting, because I think even though the project did start as very puzzle-oriented, I think the focus has indeed shifted more to exploration. Funny that Rock, Paper, Shotgun had a better sense of how to categorize the game than I did.

Oh, and just to clarify, the game did not release yesterday. I don’t know where they got that date from…

Finally, here’s today’s perfect looping gif: