[rainblocks development retrospective] 1: Getting started

I have previously detailed where the “inspiration” for rainblocks came from, but looking back at my notes as I developed the game might help me better understand my own process and someone might find it interesting. So here we go. A fully detailed retrospective on my design of rainblocks.

I created the RainBlocks project in Xcode on February 7, 2014. I then decided I preferred the capitalization as rainblocks and ended up making a change that resulted in the folder’s name getting completely messed up and being named an issue with git at a later point, but that is another story for another time.

The first thing I did in this new SpriteKit program was to make eight tiles that would move to the blank spot next to them when tapped. Once this was in place I grabbed a notebook and started jotting down ideas.

The first page of my rainblocks notebook lays out the basics.

  • 3x3 sliding puzzle
  • Match the next color to proceed
  • Matched pieces change to the next two colors in the queue

When a player starts a game of rainblocks no color other than red can be matched. As soon as red is matched, the second orange and yellow tiles appear and the player can begin to set up combos. The queue is important as it lets the game know what two colors to replace the matched tiles with. Once the pattern gets going it repeats and the game can be played smoothly. In my testing I once got a six-match combo and while all the sliding at first was fun, it needed something else. So in came the special tiles.