We wanted to create a game that encouraged building big, vertical towers as part of a sprawling city in a player’s actual living room. We chose to use the solarpunk genre for our aesthetic, as it provides a more positive outlook for the world, using green technologies to redesign cities of the future.
The game explores "mixed use" zoning in its design - where people live, work, and play all happens in one giant vertical tower - saving on transit and space for its citizens!
What it does
Players set hex tile footers around their room to begin a tower. They then select the individual buildings to place on top of these foundations. There are a wide variety of building types, including residential dwellings, energy generating facilities, and emergency services. Buildings and towers will automatically connect with each other via sky bridges when close together, and vehicles will begin to move between them (helicopters, trains, drones).
How we built it
Began with multiple revisions of concept art to refine the style we wanted to use for the buildings. We then began creating a number of prototypes to refine building placement mechanics. Throughout this process, we settled on relying on as few menus as possible and using the phone as the mechanism for placement.
Challenges we ran into
- It was difficult to figure out the UX. Early on, the user would place their buildings in a menu before they were attached in the world, but this ended up being too complicated. We made a number of revisions to get to the phone based approach we shipped with.
Time to Play:
In our previous game, we had an entire scan phase the user had to complete in order to get to the placement phase. We focused specifically on removing that barrier with this game, putting players into the action right away.
Graphics: Figuring out how to make the solarpunk aesthetic shine in a low graphics style was difficult, especially with Lens size restrictions. We were able to utilize the Remote Assets feature for audio to save on storage.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're really proud of the UX we accomplished and the way we made a quick to play AR city builder on Snap.
What we learned
- How to quickly get users into an experience
- What is needed for a full release
- How to design around solarpunk art style
What's next for Table Towers
We are looking to a full release this Q2 that will include a full campaign mode where levels involve a series of challenges that players must complete in the style of puzzles. For instance, buildings have a cost and type and having to fulfill some scenario (like place a certain amount of recreational buildings that cost less than 100 units).
Additionally, we are adding more buildings, adding more animation and vehicles, and doing another pass on the graphics.