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Build mechanical computers powered by marbles to solve logic puzzles. Escape planet Eniac and discover how computers work.
Build mechanical computers powered by marbles to solve logic puzzles. Escape planet Eniac and discover how computers work.
4,198 backers pledged $404,071 to help bring this project to life.

Turing Tumble Progress Update #5: New Box, Beta-Testing, and Silicon Zeroes

Posted by Paul Boswell (Creator)

Hello friends!

Bit by bit, Turing Tumble is getting closer to being in your hands. :) Here's the quick summary of where we're at right now:

Injection molds: The molds are being built right now. They will be complete at the end of October and we'll get our first samples of plastic parts made from them.

Vacuum trays: The aluminum molds for the vacuum trays are being built as I write. They should be ready in a week and a half, and then we'll get a sample of the trays.

Box art: Mackey Creative hired an illustrator to create an illustrated picture of the board for the front of the box. They started work on it at the end of last week. Mackey also gave us a draft of the back of the box. It looks great, but I'll wait to show it to you until we finish some key parts that we need to fill in ourselves. By our next update, we will probably have the entire box design ready to show you.

The puzzle/comic book: All sections of the book are complete, but they need editing. We're adding finishing touches to the artwork and beta testing the puzzles now.

Our plan is to have everything ready to go by the time the injection molds are complete, so that we can go into production as soon as we're satisfied with the plastic parts.

The box

Yeah, I thought we had the box design all squared away, too. Then we got a white sample of the box and it was oh so close, but not quite good enough. Here is a picture of the box with the cover art taped on:

White box with the draft box cover art taped on
White box with the draft box cover art taped on

There are a couple problems with this design. First, the magnets aren't strong enough. It stays shut, but it doesn't hold very well. Second, this:

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with

It only happens if you push the lid over to the side pretty hard first, but still. There are a couple ways we could solve the problem, but instead, while the manufacturer was finding stronger magnets, we came up with a new box design that we think is cooler looking AND sturdier. Here it is:

New box 3-part box design
New box 3-part box design

The top lid stops short, leaving a cool stripe of teal blue and giving you a place to grip the lid of the box. And here is what it will look like on the inside:

New box with guts pulled out
New box with guts pulled out

It doesn't have the magnetic flap, but I think that's actually a good thing. Magnet boxes tend to work better for small boxes, and this box is most certainly not a small box.

Silicon Zeroes

If you're itching to play Turing Tumble, but feeling impatient, this might tide you over a bit. :)

One of the big inspirations for Turing Tumble was a game I played a long time ago called "Manufactoria". You can still play it here. Well, Nicholas Feinberg, the author of Manufactoria, just came out with a new game today, and it's fantastic. It's called "Silicon Zeroes". It's a game where you take logic components, like adders, latches, multipliers, etc., and build little circuits to meet the requirements of each level. Eventually, you get to the point where you build a complete computer processor.

Silicon Zeroes - some of the steps towards a complete processor
Silicon Zeroes - some of the steps towards a complete processor

I think it's cool how well it complements Turing Tumble. While Turing Tumble takes you from the most basic components (switches) up to logic components, Silicon Zeroes gets you from logic components to a complete processor. 

Nicholas and I met during the Kickstarter campaign and he gave me access to a beta version of the game. I was really, really impressed. I had a good idea of how processors worked (I spent a lot of time programming microprocessors myself), but after playing, I feel like I could go out and build one. Anyway, if you're interested, you can get it here.

That's all. Thanks again! More to come soon,

Paul and Alyssa

The 4th Jawa, Nathan Morse, and 24 more people like this update.


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    1. Paul Boswell Creator on

      @Jamie Specht: Lords of Waterdeep arrived. I took a look at the box, and you're right - it had a lot of issues. First, the cardboard was super thin. Second, the inner box wasn't a box at all - it was a liner that was only glued to the bottom box along the bottom edge. And the liner was split into two parts, so two corners weren't even continuous. And maybe the worst problem was that the plastic tray was way too small. Not only did it jiggle around in the box a lot, but the holes for some of the parts weren't big enough to fit them. And if you turn the box sideways or upside down, some of the parts fall out of their spots.

      It's strange to me that they tried so hard to cut corners on the packaging. Rest assured, we're going to have a WAY better box than that one. :)

    2. Paul Boswell Creator on

      @Kate Finch, Erica Pettit, and Karl Hedstrom: So glad you like the new box design! I'm excited to see what it feels like in physical form. In other news, today Mackey told us they saw a preliminary version of the new illustration for the front cover. We'll get to see it after the illustrator makes some edits. Exciting!

    3. Paul Boswell Creator on

      Ha ha! Will do.

    4. Missing avatar

      Eatshootsandleafs on

      Do try playing the game, it is excellent.

    5. Paul Boswell Creator on

      @Jamie Specht: I searched online for Lords of Waterdeep box issues. It looks like they had a cool design, but they used thin chipboard. That led to a lot of crushed corners and other problems. I just bought my own copy so I can take a look and make sure we don't make the same mistakes. Thanks so much for bringing that to our attention!

    6. Kate Finch

      Good call on the magnetic closure. They seem cool until they have to hold anything substantial closed. The new box is way more functional, stronger, and looks lovely. Thanks for thinking of the UX designers who are going to play this!

    7. Missing avatar

      Erica Pettit

      love that blue stripe on the new box

    8. Karl Hedstrom

      Thank you for the update. I really like the new book design with the teal blue strip. It looks sharp and really stands out. Great work.

    9. Jamie Specht on

      The box with a gap looks cool but can be a little prone to damage. Look into the board game Lords of Waterdeep.

      Maybe it will be fine, though.