New Game: Gravity Game

Hey everyone! Jacob here with another game idea I’ve been tinkering around with for fun.

Something I’ve been interested in for a bit now is the idea of creating a Blinks game that uses gravity as a mechanic and encourages the player to stack the Blinks on their edges vertically. If this stacking mechanic could be paired with an internal gravity logic so the Blinks know which way is up and down, then I could hopefully create a pretty entertaining physics sandbox if not full-fledged Gravity Game.

Well, I’ve been tinkering and thinkering away and I’ve finally gotten the blinks to a point where the gravity works reliably and intuitively and I wanted to share my progress going forward.

The Goal:
I’m trying to build a marble run/mechanical computer program similar to the Turing Tumble, but this gravity functionality could be applied to lots of games so feel free to hack it however you’d like!

What I Have So Far:

Once the code is loaded onto all your Blinks, they should all be dimly lit with one white face. These are your Wall pieces. Long-press two of your walls until they flash white, then release. They should both now be green. These green Blinks are called Buckets.

Unroll your sushi roll case and place it on a flat surface. This will act as your base for stacking your Blinks up. Put the 2 Buckets on the 2nd and 5th panel of the sushi roll case standing on their edge. Now place any Wall blink between them. The Wall Blink should turn blue with a white face pointing down. Now start stacking Wall Blinks up branching out from the blue Wall Blink in any way you please, the internal gravity should keep the white face on each Wall Blink pointing downwards.

EDIT: In the most recent push, the Gravity Blink no longer turns blue, instead it turns a dim green to match the buckets.

That’s the basic gravity system done. You can move the buckets around to any Wall Blink whenever you’d like, as long as the Buckets are 2 faces apart on the same Wall Blink that Wall Blink will declare gravity.

You can long-press the Buckets again to turn them back into regular Wall pieces.

I’ve also started a basic marble. Single-click any Wall Blink that doesn’t have another Wall Blink directly above it and it will drop a Marble directly downwards. More marble behaviors and ways to redirect it are coming very soon so stay tuned!

What’s Next
This is what I’m planning to add to the game next:

  • Special Wall faces: Marbles will be able to go Left, Right, on a Switcher (alternating left and right), and a Splitter (sending a marble both left and right). (Representing IF, OR, and AND binary logic)

  • Bucket Scoring: Buckets will keep track of either how many marbles have been dropped into them, or have a binary on/off state that switches every time a marble lands in them.

  • Rules for a Game: A marble physics sandbox is fun and all, but I’d love to come up with a strategy game that uses all these mechanics.

Once more of these features are added, theoretically with enough Blinks someone should be able to build a “marble powered” calculator and other really cool demonstrations of binary logic.

Please share your ideas or feedback, thank you for reading and stay tuned for more updates!

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Woa awesome! I’ll give this a try later tonight!

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Update 1: Special Wall Faces
Got this out pretty quick, there might still be some bugs in it. (I also forgot to describe this push but the most recent one on Github should do it)

All the different wall faces are now operational!

Double-Click any Wall Blink to change its function, the functions cycle through in this order:

  • FUNNEL: One white (or lavender) face pointed down. This one’s the default. Any marble entering this piece from any side will funnel down through the bottom.
  • GO LEFT: One cyan face pointed to the left. Any marble entering this piece will be directed to go to the left.
  • GO RIGHT: One purple face pointed to the right. Any marble entering this piece will be directed to go to the right.
  • SWITCHER: Two blue faces pointed either diagonal left or diagonal right. Every time a marble rolls through this, it switches direction to EITHER the left or right.
  • SPLITTER: A cyan face to the left and a purple face to the right. Every time a marble rolls through this, a marble is sent out BOTH the left and right.

Happy marble time! Let me know if you experience any glitches or if you want any other functions to be added.

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I’m definitely going to be keeping an eye on this project! I have a feeling that these gravity type mechanics are going to be used for some seriously cool games in the future. Way to think outside of the box @JSpamboni ! I’m excited to play around with this once my blinks get in!

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Update 2: Buckets now keep score

As of writing this update, the most recent push to the Github should have the buckets keeping score when marbles fall in them.

You can also double-click a Bucket to reset its score.

Coding wise I don’t think it’s the most elegant and there are some situations that don’t work the way I’d like them to…for example right now if two marbles hit a Bucket at the same time the Bucket will only increment by 1. Something to fix for later, but glad to have a basic implementation of it working.

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@JSpamboni I got to play around with it a bit last night and had a lot of fun! I don’t really have any suggestions for improvements, but I had a few ideas for features I thought I could toss at you -

  • A smart wall that alternates between left and right on a timer. Might be a fun way to introduce some kind of timing based gameplay down the line?

  • A way to send marbles down continuously. Part of me thought it would be fun to do something like triple click a top blink and just watch marbles continuously drop through the labyrinth :slight_smile:

Just spit balling ideas, I would really like to see how this could turn into a game somehow, but as is it’s still pretty fun to just tinker with!

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