Arbitrarium

Arbitrarium is the codename for a puzzle game I’ve been working on. It is heavily inspired by Tetris Attack, but instead of a match-three mechanic, it uses a fusion mechanic and a match-opposites mechanic. It’s the first project I ever started in Haxe (and the first project since I started taking game development seriously as a hobby), and it is yet unfinished.

Controls

Menu Controls

You can navigate the menu with the mouse.

You can also navigate the menu using the Up and Down arrow keys to select an item, C or Enter to confirm, and X to cancel.

The Options menu will allow you to choose mouse controls or keyboard controls.

Game Controls: Mouse

The cursor follows the mouse.

Hold the left mouse button to move tiles.

Press V or click the Mode button to switch between Push Mode and Swap Mode.

Press C to go into Swap Mode.

Press X to go into Push Mode.

Click the Rise Button or press Space Bar to make the stack rise until a new row is added.

Press plus and minus to change the volume, or zero to mute and unmute.

Press Enter to begin, pause, and unpause.

Game Controls: Keyboard

Use the Arrow Keys to move the cursor.

Hold C and move the cursor to move tiles in Swap Mode.

Hold X and move the cursor to move tiles in Push Mode.

Click the Rise Button or press Space Bar to make the stack rise until a new row is added.

Press plus and minus to change the volume, or zero to mute and unmute.

Press Enter to begin, pause, and unpause.

Instructions

You move tiles with the cursor.

There are two ways to move tiles: Push Mode and Swap Mode.

In Swap Mode, you can switch adjacent tiles. You can take clusters apart in Swap Mode. This is useful for shaping clusters and setting up chains.

In Push Mode, you can push tiles around. This is useful for moving multiple tiles at once, especially clusters. However, it is not possible to push tiles if there is no room.

If two adjacent tiles are the same color, they will fuse together, making a cluster.

If two adjacent clusters have opposite colors (for example, light blue and dark blue), they will clear.

The more tiles you clear at once, the more points you will receive.

Set up chain reactions to multiply your score!

The game will get faster as it progresses.

The stack will stop rising while there are tiles falling or clearing.

However, you can still move tiles while this is happening.

If you clear many tiles at once, or perform a chain, time will be added to the Stop Timer.

The stack will not rise while the Stop Timer is active.

The Stop Timer will not deplete while tiles are falling or clearing.

If the stack reaches the top, one second is put on the Stop Timer.

If the Stop Timer runs out and there are tiles touching the top of the screen, it is Game Over.

If you press the Rise Button/Space Bar while there are tiles falling or clearing, the stack will rise one tile and then stop again until those tiles are done.

If you press the Rise Button/Space Bar while the Stop Timer is active, it will clear the Stop Timer.

If you press the Rise Button/Space Bar while there are tiles touching the top of the screen, you lose.

DEVELOPER’S NOTES:

The game is unfinished.

Here is the list of reasons why I consider the game incomplete, all of which must be addressed:

  • It needs more and better sound effects.
  • Currently, when tiles are clearing, they shrink one-by-one. However, they are not actually gone until all of the tiles have shrunk. A pixel remains visible, and it is a solid object that tiles cannot be swapped with. I need to revise the tile-clearing animation to make this fact clearer, or clear tiles as soon as they shrink, which could have weird effects on gameplay.
  • The game needs an in-game tutorial. The instructions are not very easy to follow.
  • I need to add a high score board. A personal one at the very least; an online leaderboard would be nice.
  • The Stop Timer needs to tick down faster when the game speed is higher.
  • The game should save replays so you can watch back your game after you are done.
  • The game needs fully customizable controls, and gamepad support.
  • The algorithms that control chains are very complex, and the edge cases are not fully tested. I need to add a testing mode that allows me to make any contrived setup I want to to ensure the correctness of these algorithms.

Here are a list of things I’d really like to add to Arbitrarium, but may be challenging:

  • A two-player Vs. mode
  • Netplay
  • A single-player mode with AI opponents
  • A puzzle mode
  • A better GUI
  • Background music
  • A mobile port

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