Hello everyone!  I work at a Water Research Laboratory and when learning about one of the algorithms we use to derive watersheds from elevation maps inspired me to make a game.  I’ve been working on this for just over a year now and I’m pretty proud of the result.  It plays like a fast-paced sudoku, and introduces a unique puzzle mechanic inspired by water flows!

It’s a pretty simple idea, each tile has a goal number (top left number).  Create chains of directed flow to match the goal.  Each tile can have flow come in from any of the adjacent tiles, but can only have one flow coming out.

I did the sound design, the sound changes with the current value of the tile.  Basically as the tile’s value increases the a note is chosen along a scale.

Levels are endlessly generated, and the difficulty scales up well.  I put a lot of work into guiding the player through increasing difficulty.  If you follow it’s lead, you’ll eventually be playing levels with negative numbers for a truly mind bending experience.

I also worked on the ability to share a board you’re playing.  This is done by encoding the board into a string, which is added as a parameter to a url and can also be put into a QR code for easy sharing.  I expect just about nobody to use this feature, but found it to be a good exercise, and it’s there if you want it only in the mobile versions for now (Mobile releases May 14th).

After 100 wins across any of the difficulties, you’ll unlock 8 direction mode.  This is the mode I wrote the original prototype in because the algorithm this game is inspired from is called D8, for Directional-8.  It’s harder, so after 100 games you might enjoy the extra bump in difficulty.  I chose to use hexagons as the starting mode both because it’s easier and also it’s more intuitive to create flows from the 6 sides.  In 8 direction mode, the tiles are squares, so it’s less intuitive for new players to flow into a corner.

I’m including the desktop versions for Windows/Mac.  It plays in window mode because I found it enjoyable to have it running while I was doing other things, making it easy to play for bits at a time.  I did make a Linux build, but I haven’t tested it, if that is important to you, I can include it.   I expect it to work, there isn’t anything really complicated about the build.

The browser version only includes the first difficulty level (still gets pretty hard) and does not have saves.  It’s also free to play as much as you’d like.  Please try it, I’d love some feedback and am happy to answer any questions you might have about the game or it’s development.

https://bakajo.itch.io/cascadio

Source: itch.io

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