Turntable is a small physics game inspired by pinball, pachinko and Peggle but with a twist. The goal of the game is to set the high score by guiding the balls into the corresponding score pockets. Lose three lives by letting them fall into the side pockets and it's over.
Turntable was designed as part of a game design class. We were only given one rule. Make a physics game. It didn't matter what you had to do, what the winning or losing conditions were; just make sure that physics is the main driving force for the game. So, I went about looking up a number of games that relied on gravity, both digital and non-digital games.
I looked at pinball and pachinko and looked at how I could make it different. That's where I decided to incorporate elements of Peggle into the game. Turntable has a similar "shooting" mechanic as Peggle but I didn't want the player to control how the ball was shot, I wanted the player to control how the ball fell. The result formed the basis for Turntable. The balls were shot automatically and randomly and followed gravity. The player would then control and use the table to guide the ball.
Once this was decided, the art style followed. Taking the mechanic of 'turning the table', I made the table into a turntable. I added knobs and buttons to the table, creating obstacles. I used the LCD screen to display the score and the input cable as the object to eject balls into the game. This gave the game a theme, both visually and aurally.
As mentioned, the goal of the game is to set the highest score by guiding the ball to corresponding score pockets and avoid the side pockets. This version of the game does not feature save abilities. However, the version featured in 'Arcade' is a cleaner, more refined version of the game that does have a save feature.
Turntable was a solo project developed using Unity (C#) and Photoshop. While I designed and programmed the game, the artwork and audio of the game is not mine and I take no credit for them. The audio is that of Jet Set Radio and and the artwork was sourced from the internet. No copyright infringement is intended. If there are any issues regarding this, please contact me and I will make amends immediately.
Results and Experience
Designing Turntable was one of the trickier projects for myself. The only rule we were given was that it had to be a physics game. While sometimes such an open brief can be a blessing, sometimes it seems so simple you're not sure where to start. I had the mechanics of the game designed and set a long time before setting the theme. Without the theme in place, there were many times where I believed that the mechanic wouldn't work or be anything interesting.
Before finding and deciding on a theme, I had thought about changing the mechanic and attempting to design something different that would be easier to find a theme to work with. However, once the idea to create a turntable crossed my mind. The game took a turn for me. I quickly saw it grow and gain potential. It became interesting to me and there was substance there that wasn't there without the theme. Turntable, to me, was a lesson in the importance in theme. The effects of a weak versus a strong theme, the balance between theme and mechanic and how a theme can turn a game around became obvious to me through designing Turntable.Return to Game Design