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