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A 3D maze exploration game in which the player must navigate a twisty maze with forward, backward, left, right, up, and down movements. Read more

Easton, PA Video Games
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A 3D maze exploration game in which the player must navigate a twisty maze with forward, backward, left, right, up, and down movements.

Easton, PA Video Games
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About this project

The Game

Overview

aMaz3D is not merely a maze game. It is an unparalleled exploratory experience into the unexpected. Solving a given maze is only part of the fun, and the game play is fundamentally simple. You begin the journey at the entrance to a freshly created maze and must make your way to the exit. However, before you can exit the maze, several items are needed and must be found; otherwise the maze will not let you out. You navigate by walking, climbing ladders, jumping, wall-jumping, flying, and slipping through portals. Throughout your journey, you can collect items such as ducats, time tokens, speedups, and other helpful objects. Each maze also has hidden items to collect, puzzles to solve, and extra bonuses.

Design Philosophy

  • Success should depend on skill and not luck
  • Progression is about improving the player character and their scores
  • Each map/maze should be "bite-sized" so the player is not overwhelmed

Definitions

Solution path: any path that leads from the entrance of the maze to the exit, or from the path between the entrance and exit to a required item. As a visual aid, consider a line drawn between two points. Now add another point not on that line. Now draw a line from the new point to somewhere on the line between the start and end points. This represents a solution path for a maze with one required item.

Event: an occurrence that the player must deal with. Events are triggered on a probabilistic curve calculated based on the player’s performance. Greater skills incur more events, however, there is an upper limit. An example event that can occur is Query McDucat, the leprechaun, pops in and challenges the player with a brief mini-game such as a math question, logic puzzle, sliding picture, look & find, coordination game like “Query Says”, etc. 

Ducat: an ancient coin used to purchase items from the in-game store 

Consumable item: designated items that the player collects, or purchases, that only last for a short period of time 

Cell: the unit of design in the maze. Each maze can be viewed as a stack of a collection of cells aligned on a grid similar in view to a rubix cube 

Perfect maze: a maze with no loops, one solution path, in which every cell is reachable

Game Play

Navigation

A new player begins with minimal capabilities; walking, jumping, and climbing ladders. As the player progresses they will be able to gain the ability to wall-jump, run faster, jump higher and even fly. The player must navigate to the end of the maze and must find the required items in order to advance to the next maze. 

If the player enters a branch that is not on the solution path, then he may encounter a timed event. If he completes it in time he will receive a short speed boost to make up for the time spent solving the event. To help visualize this, consider a mini game event that has a 20 second time limit. If the player wins, he receives double speed for 25 seconds. Solving it faster than 20 seconds is a reward, solving it slower means they just wasted 20 seconds and got nothing. When time runs out, the event ends and the solution is not shown. All events are 30 seconds or less. Once an event has occurred, they are disabled for short time so the player can continue their exploration. 

To aid the player in navigating the maze, ducats are placed only along the solution path. Other visual and auditory clues will exist to help guide the player. For example, a compass, a GPS, flickering torches, shuffling footsteps, etc. 

Failing to complete the maze in the time allotted results in failure. The player keeps any ducats picked up, but loses any consumables used. If the player successfully completes the maze, bonus ducats are awarded.

Levels

Each level is timed. The allowable time is calculated from base speed, size of the level and the level number. The basic idea is that as the player advances through levels his skills increase, and his character is enhanced. Thus early levels are allotted more time to complete than later levels. Level progression smoothly increases the overall complexity of the maze while introducing new mechanics, items and challenges for the player. These include teleportation, wall jumping, flight and more!

Score

The number of ducats the player has is his score. The player’s ducats increase in the following ways.

  • Collecting ducats while traversing the maze 
  • Earning bonus ducats for remaining time 
  • Some events, secrets and generally skillful play may award bonus ducats

Score is recorded for each level with a separate list for each campaign type. Players work towards improving their character so they can beat the later levels, try to beat their own scores on the early levels, etc.

Items

All items can be bought from the in-game store using collected ducats

Enhancements

  • Speed Boost - Multiple levels can be purchased; each one increases the base speed by a small percent with no upper limit, but the cost of each increase scales exponentially.
  • Jump Boost - Multiple levels can be purchased; each one increases the base jumping height by a small percent with no upper limit, but the cost of each increase scales exponentially.
  • Flight Time - Multiple levels can be purchased; each one increases the amount of time the player may spend “flying.”  This will be virtually required to complete later levels with more vertical floors in a realistic time. Players that cannot fly long enough to reach the third floor may struggle with levels 31 and up.  Wall jumping and ladders will be sufficient in earlier, less vertical levels.

Consumables

  • Immunity – Renders the player immune to next event. The player can hold multiple tokens of this type, and they are used automatically when an event should be triggered.  An audible and visible cue will notify the player that an immunity token was used.
  • Exit Solution – Shows the solution path on the ground for X seconds; the player can hold multiple tokens of this type and they are used on command
  • Item Solution – Shows the path to the closest required item on the ground for X seconds; the player can hold multiple tokens of this type and they are used on command.
  • Teleport - Teleports the player to the nearest required item. If no required items remain, the player is teleported to the exit. The player can only hold one token of this type at a time and they are used on command
Vanity
  • Items to enhance player clout are TBD

Mini Games

All the mini games will be small, randomized puzzles.  Following is a list of mini-game types that we plan to implement in the game.  This list is not exhaustive.

  • Sliding picture puzzle with a small generated fractal image 
  • Small Sudoku type puzzles  
  • Search-a-word  
  • Complete the pattern (colors, numbers, etc.) 
  • 2D maze 
  • 24 
  • Repeat the pattern (colors, sounds)
  • Piece jumping puzzles like checkers and konane

Campaigns

Normal

  • Follows the algorithm described above
  • Levels are static and do not change in between visits
Random

  • Levels are randomly generated and will be different each time you visit
  • Cannot access a level on random until it is completed on normal
  • Nearly an infinite number of mazes can be created for each level
Custom

  • The player specifies parameters that dictate the complexity of the maze
  • Allows players to explore a maze specifically tailored to their wishes
  • May be used to experiment with new upgrades, try out new techniques or get more comfortable with a new mechanic
  • Mechanics and features may not be used in Custom until they have been unlocked through the Normal campaign

Platforms

  • Android
  • iOS
  • PC
  • Mac
Controls

In the PC and Mac builds navigation is accomplished with the usual keyboard motion keys: W to go forward, A to strafe left, S to go backwards, D to strafe right, and the space bar to jump, while the mouse position allows you to look around.  We also support a dual analog joystick.

In the mobile builds, we offer multiple controller setups.  We have the familiar dual analog thumb sticks with the left thumb moving forward and backward, and strafing left and right.  While the right thumb stick accomplishes pan and tilt (turn and look up and down) and also acts as the jump button by double tapping.  This setup is nice for experienced gamers and older explorers.  For younger explorers we have two offerings.  The “tap control” setup allows you to touch the screen at the place where you want to go.  You can slide your finger along the screen, and the view will follow.  Familiar gestures such as rotating two fingers to pan, and swiping up or down along a border to tilt are also available.  A separate button at the bottom right of the display is used for jumping.  The “quadrant controller” setup is similar to the tap controller in movement.  However, rotations are achieved differently.  In place of a gesture to rotate, the view automatically rotates to face the finger touches.  Jumping is accomplished in the same way with a single tap of the jump button, but additional tilt-up, and tilt-down buttons are placed above and below the jump button respectively.  This setup is the most friendly for very young users.

The Current State

Our proof of concept tech demo is available to play online at: http://quarksoda.com/amaz3d-live-demo.html

A screen cast of the demo:

  • The maze generation algorithms are complete and thoroughly tested. The code can generate perfect mazes of arbitrary size and complexity.  
  • The item placement algorithms are completed and thoroughly tested.   
  • The item collection, registration, and invocation system is completed and thoroughly tested. However, we do not have real models; we only have placeholders.  
  • The navigational controls are almost completed. All the control schemes require some tweaking. This game was originally designed for the mobile platforms with touch screens, so the PC and Mac builds require a little extra work.  For instance, in the current build when the player wished to invoke a toolbar, the player’s view changes as the mouse is moved to click the toolbar.  It’s a minor modification. 
  • The event system is partially completed
What's needed

The code for the following features, systems, or sub-systems have not been started yet.

  • In-game store
  • Options system that allows the player to configure the game and controls
  • Persistent data
  • Query McDucat AI
  • Mini-games

We need a gaggle of art.

  • Models
  • Images
  • Music
  • Sound effects
We need licenses

  • Unity Pro, Unity iOS Pro, Unity Android Pro
  • 3D studio Max
  • Photoshop
  • AudioMicro
  • Mac developer (we have iOS)
  • Android developer
We need hardware

  • iPad2
  • Mac-mini with monitor
The Vision

In this section, we have visualizations demonstrating what portions of the game will be like.  We will continue to add more content here as well as in the tech demo

Mini-games:

A sample of a color pattern matching event:

A sample of a word search event:

New feature screen cast:

In this screen cast I demonstrate one of the external environment that are explorable, as well as the tool collection system and a new compass tool.  In the video, I forgot to state that you can toggle the compass tool. Enjoy, and as always please feel free to send feedback.

The Company

Quark Soda, LLC was formed on April 11, 2012 by two highly motivated individuals that are passionate about video games. We started the company because we see a need for non-violent video games that are fun to play and have awesome 3D graphics. We aim to provide a wholesome gaming experience that is exciting and engaging for all ages.

The Funding

The following schedule is how we plan to spend the funds

  • Unity Pro, Unity iOS Pro, Unity Android Pro: $4,500.00
  • 3D Studio Max: $3,500.00
  • Photoshop: $700.00
  • AudioMicro
  •         License: $300.00
  •         Ala carte downloads: $1,000.00
  • Art purchased from third parties: $5,000.00
  • Mac developer license: $100.00
  • Android developer license: $25.00
  • iPad2: $400.00
  • Mac-mini server, 16GB ram 1TB storage: $2,200.00
  • Tangible kickstarter rewards: $275.00
  • Kickstarter and Amazon fees on $30K: $6,000.00
  • Minimum amount needed to cover developer bills: $6,000.00

Release Expectation

If we meet the target funds we expect to deliver the game features listed above in the first quarter (Q1) of 2013.  If we are blessed to go significantly over our target we would be able to bring another artist and developer on board.  Doing that could have many effects.  One option is to expand the feature set to have ready in Q1 2013.  Another option is to shoot for an earlier release date.  In all likelihood we would do a combination of the two.

Thank you for you time and consideration of this project. Good bye and God bless.

Sincerely,

Joseph D. Wieber, Jr.

Founder and CEO, Quark Soda, LLC

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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Rewards

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    1. 1250 ducats (currency)

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    1. 3500 ducats (currency)

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    1. 7500 ducats (currency)

    2. Your name will be added to the list of backers on the game website. Names will be sorted by pledge amount and sub-sorted alphabetically.

    3. Your name will be added to the in-game credits screen sorted as above.

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    1 backer

    1. 7500 ducats (currency)

    2. Your name will be added to the list of backers on the game website. Names will be sorted by pledge amount and sub-sorted alphabetically.

    3. Your name will be added to a 3D plaque model on the wall of the in-game credits scene sorted as above.

    4. Access to beta releases of the games.

    5. A keychain bearing the company logo, handmade by the creator of the game.

    N.B. The new rewards also apply to backers that previously pledged in this range.

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    1. 20000 ducats (currency)

    2. Your name will be added to the list of backers on the game website. Names will be sorted by pledge amount and sub-sorted alphabetically.

    3. Your name will be added to the in-game credits screen sorted as above.

    4. Access to a private youtube channel.

    5. A keychain bearing the company logo, handmade by the creator of the game.

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  • You selected
    $100 reward

    1 backer

    1. 20000 ducats (currency)

    2. Your name will be added to the list of backers on the game website. Names will be sorted by pledge amount and sub-sorted alphabetically.

    3. Your picture will be added to a 3D picture frame that has a plaque with your name attached to it. This frame and plaque will hang on the wall of the in-game credits scene sorted as above.

    4. Access to beta releases of the game

    5. Access to a private youtube channel. The channel will have a mix of content such as developer diaries, screencasts of things that failed, videos of me making sounds and do voices, candid discussion, and rants when things don't go according to plan. I will also video me making the keychains and any other hand made rewards.

    6. A keychain bearing the company logo, handmade by the creator of the game.

    N.B. The new rewards also apply to backers that previously pledged in this range

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $250 reward

    0 backers

    1. 60000 ducats (currency)

    2. Your name will be added to the list of backers on the game website. Names will be sorted by pledge amount and sub-sorted alphabetically.

    3. Your picture will be added to a 3D picture frame that has a plaque with your name attached to it. This frame and plaque will hang on the wall of the in-game credits scene sorted as above.

    4. Access to beta releases of the game

    5. Access to a private youtube channel. The channel will have a mix of content such as developer diaries, screencasts of things that failed, videos of me making sounds and doing voices, candid discussion, and rants when things don't go according to plan. I will also video me making the keychains and any other hand made rewards.

    6. A keychain bearing the company logo, handmade by the creator of the game.

    7. The picture/plaque described in item 3 will be placed in a maze level. Names will be chosen at random and placed along the solution path where they are sure to be seen.

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    2. Your name will be added to the list of backers on the game website. Names will be sorted by pledge amount and sub-sorted alphabetically.

    3. Your picture will be added to a 3D picture frame that has a plaque with your name attached to it. This frame and plaque will hang on the wall of the in-game credits scene sorted as above.

    4. Access to beta releases of the game

    5. Access to a private youtube channel. The channel will have a mix of content such as developer diaries, screencasts of things that failed, videos of me making sounds and doing voices, candid discussion, and rants when things don't go according to plan. I will also video me making the keychains and any other hand made rewards.

    6. A keychain bearing the company logo, handmade by the creator of the game.

    7. The picture/plaque described in item 3 will be placed in a maze level. Names will be chosen at random and placed along the solution path where they are sure to be seen.

    8. The option to create some in-game sounds such as voice overs and sound effects

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    1. Unlimited ducats! (currency)

    2. Your name will be added to the list of backers on the game website. Names will be sorted by pledge amount and sub-sorted alphabetically.

    3. Your picture will be added to a 3D picture frame that has a plaque with your name attached to it. This frame and plaque will hang on a wall of the in-game credits scene sorted as above.

    4. Access to beta releases of the game.

    5. Access to a private youtube channel. The channel will have a mix of content such as developer diaries, screencasts of things that failed, videos of me making sounds and doing voices, candid discussion, and rants when things don't go according to plan. I will also video me making the keychains and any other hand made rewards.

    6. A keychain bearing the company logo, handmade by the creator of the game.

    7. The picture/plaque described in item 3 will be placed in a maze level. Names will be chosen at random and placed along the solution path where they are sure to be seen.

    8. The option to create some in-game sounds such as voice overs and sound effects

    9. The option to submit a question for Query McDucat to pose to trapped players

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $5,000 reward

    0 backers

    1. Unlimited ducats! (currency)

    2. Your name will be added to the list of backers on the game website. Names will be sorted by pledge amount and sub-sorted alphabetically.

    3. Your picture will be added to a 3D picture frame that has a plaque with your name attached to it. This frame and plaque will hang on a wall of the in-game credits scene sorted as above.

    4. Access to beta releases of the game.

    5. Access to a private youtube channel. The channel will have a mix of content such as developer diaries, screencasts of things that failed, videos of me making sounds and doing voices, candid discussion, and rants when things don't go according to plan. I will also video me making the keychains and any other hand made rewards.

    6. A keychain bearing the company logo, handmade by the creator of the game.

    7. The picture/plaque described in item 3 will be placed in a maze level. Names will be chosen at random and placed along the solution path where they are sure to be seen.

    8. The option to create some in-game sounds such as voice overs and sound effects

    9. The option to submit a question for Query McDucat to pose to trapped players

    10. The option to design an in-game puzzle, mini-game, or "Easter egg."

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $10,000 reward

    0 backers

    1. Unlimited ducats! (currency)

    2. Your name will be added to the list of backers on the game website. Names will be sorted by pledge amount and sub-sorted alphabetically.

    3. Your picture will be added to a 3D picture frame that has a plaque with your name attached to it. This frame and plaque will hang on a wall of the in-game credits scene sorted as above.

    4. Access to beta releases of the game.

    5. Access to a private youtube channel. The channel will have a mix of content such as developer diaries, screencasts of things that failed, videos of me making sounds and doing voices, candid discussion, and rants when things don't go according to plan. I will also video me making the keychains and any other hand made rewards.

    6. A keychain bearing the company logo, handmade by the creator of the game.

    7. The picture/plaque described in item 3 will be placed in a maze level. Names will be chosen at random and placed along the solution path where they are sure to be seen.

    8. The option to create some in-game sounds such as voice overs and sound effects

    9. The option to submit a question for Query McDucat to pose to trapped players

    10. The option to design an in-game puzzle, mini-game, or "Easter egg."

    11. A custom version of the game where the Third Person View playable game character is modeled after you!

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (30 days)