Introduction To PLEX

This game is a type of puzzle. In the online version, players will create an account and login to the game. Once they are logged on they will be randomly placed on a 100 tiles wide x 100 tiles long x 4 tiles deep tiled board. At any time they will only see the board as 6 tiles wide x 6 tiles long x 4 tiles deep. As they move around the screen other parts of the board are revealed. The game will interact with an online database to show other player’s moves in a FIFO schema. Players cannot use blocks near a block another other player is using. This way one player cannot overwrite a move another player is making.

The object of the game is to arrange the blocks to create specific landscapes and houses. Only certain blocks can be moved, and only in a specific way:

1) A block can be moved one space forward, backwards, to the left or right.

Moving a block on the board

Top down view of a PLEX board.
X shows a selected block, arrows show the possible places it can be moved to.

 

2) A block can only be moved if the space it is moving to is no more then two blocks higher then its current height, or two blocks lower then its current height.

Moving a block, top down view

 

3) In order to move or take some blocks they will need to dig up, or blow up other things that are in the way (rocks, trees, rocky ground). To remove obstacles they need to buy dynamite and shovels from the store with their gems. Only certain blocks and obstacles can be dug up or blown up. They cannot move to a block that another player is standing on.

4) If they touch certain blocks with their playing character they loose a health heart (bugs, prickly trees, water blocks). If they loose all of their hearts they are logged out, their gems are set to zero, their items are set to zero, and they have to login again to continue playing. Their hearts are restored to full health when they log back in.

As players create the specific houses and landscapes they earn gems. Once a house or landscape is complete the blocks are re-scrambled on that part of the board. Players can view the top scoring players on a high score list to see where they compare against others. They can also view a list of people who are online at the same time they are.

An option that I’m playing with is the ability for them to talk to other players that are near where their character is standing. Then they could possibly trade dynamite and shovels and gems with other players.

In another independent study in the spring I’d like to continue to expand upon this game by adding a single player version that allows for loading/saving games and playing as one of a few characters in a story mode. When the user loaded PLEX they would choose to play the multiplayer version or the single player version.

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