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Designing Sculpt Away

Even though I don’t really recall when or how I came up with the idea for this mini-game, I remember that I really enjoyed designing it. Based on a simple idea, it turned out to be very fun to play. The Mayan theme we designed for its graphics fits the game mechanics perfectly and creates a memorable experience.

Scuplt Away mini-game from Prototype to Final version
Scuplt Away mini-game from Prototype to Final version

Description

The game displays a shape made of square bricks briefly. Two sliding doors close momentarily above it and when they open again they reveal a different shape, which is a variation of the first. The player has to memorize the original shape and, when presented
with the new one, tap on every new tile that appeared, essentially sculpting the original shape.

Difficulty & Progression

Like most grid-based mini-games in A Clockwork Brain, a major parameter that defines the difficulty is the size of the grid. The game starts with a small 4×4 grid, which increases gradually. The fill percentage is another important factor; shapes start off with a few tiles and expand to many more. Finally, in more advanced levels, the number of tiles that are added, compared to the original shape grows.

Difficulty Progression in Sculpt Away
Difficulty Progression in Sculpt Away. Left group: Easy. Right group: Hard.

Mechanics

Sculpt Away is a memory game, dealing with spatial memory in particular. In the first phase of each level, the player has to memorize a shape made of tiles on a grid. Then she has to try and remember those tiles when more are added on the grid in the second phase.

Insane Round

The game mechanics allow it to become very difficult, something that happens during the Insane Round. The grid size changes to 7×7, the shapes take a lot of space on the grid and the wrong tiles -the ones the player has to sculpt away- are many more.

Personally, I’ve reached the Insane Round only a few times, but I’ve seen people play so fast that it really amazes me!

Dimitrios Bendilas
Lead Game Designer
@dimitriosb

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