Hey hi!

hexcavator here. Today I released a demo for STONEPUSHER, a slow-burn puzzler I’ve been working on these last few months. It combines two of my favorite genres: narrative walking simulators and highly-constrained logic puzzles.

You can download it free for Windows and/or Mac here: https://ottomaddox.itch.io/stonepusher

You play as an unnamed “stonepusher”, a sort of archivist who walks an endless loop around a huge mountain collecting stories from the landscape and its inhabitants.

In the meandering spirit of the world, I decided to stick with simple sliding block puzzles, which might be familiar if you’ve ever spent time in a dentist’s office or roadside diner. Each puzzle comprises a image broken into a grid of tiles, with one piece missing. To solve a puzzle, you slide pieces into and through the empty space until you’ve reassembled the original image.

STONEPUSHER changes the formula up a little by randomly choosing which piece of a puzzle is missing. The low resolution style also makes deciphering the images sort of an art (or annoyance) unto itself. Each solved puzzle is part of a triptych of puzzles which unlocks a new story upon completion. If you want to follow the story but hate the puzzles, you can also insta-solve them with magic.

As is my habit, I’ve tried to do a lot with a little visually and sonically, focusing on creating a dynamic natural environment that carries on a life of its own in the background of the gameplay. There’s weather, a star cycle, and other little bits of flavor to build the world.

The demo offers a single triptych and story set against a single “biome”. My plan for the full game is five biomes from seaside to mountain peak, and three cycles of five stories that are semi-randomly revealed according to [insert clever mechanic here].

Because the time is cruel and money is tight, I’m offering this little slice in hopes of assessing whether or not the overall idea works. If you have thoughts or feedback, I’d love to hear from ya!

In any case, thanks for checking STONEPUSHER out. I hope you find it strange and evocative and maybe a nourishing distraction from other places and times.

<3 bryan/hex

Source: itch.io

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