Give a man a hammer

I’ve noticed that when programmers get a new tool, like, say, a 2D physics engine, they tend to start creating games which are basically example apps for the new tool, with a constraint or a goal condition attached. So with physics engines, it’s not at all unusual to see these games become about moving boxes or circles around, either using the mouse or via an elaborately physics-simulated device of some sort.

There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, as long as the game’s fun.

But on reflection, those really aren’t the sorts of game I want to spend my time creating. The world already has enough “Behold, I have physics!” games without my adding to them. And it’s occurred to me that that’s exactly what Space Maze Express is, at its heart; it’s just another “move boxes around with physics” game.

I’m still going to complete it, as it’ll still be a great testbed for engine physics support. But in the same way that I promised myself that the next game I made wouldn’t have a time limit, I’m also going to try to avoid making “look, it’s physics!” games in the future. :)

So I’ll be doing another Game in a Week next week. And I guarantee that the goal of that game will not be to move a box from point A to point B. :)