Matthew Leadbetter bio photo

Matthew Leadbetter

Coder, data scientist and maths enthusiast.

Arto is a minimalist puzzle game set on a ten by ten grid of towers. It adhears to what I think would make a good puzzle game and nothing else. Obviously I hope other people will like it as well, but I’m making it more for myself than anyone else.

I believe simple games which give rise to complex strategy are far more beautiful than complex games which give rise to complex startegy. As a result Arto has only a single intuitive interaction.

You play a bouncy ball (or penguin, we haven’t decided) which needs to move between towers (up, down, left or right). Each time it visits a tower the height is lowered by 1. Once a tower has reached the ground it can not be revisited. The aim of the game is to lower all the towers to the ground without getting stuck.

A prototype using Cocos2Dx.

One of the greatest challenges has been making the levels. A lot of the levels I created when I started were surprisingly easy. It’s easy to create a level with what the solution should be in mind. However it is very challenging to not inadvertantly create a level that has lots of other solutions you hadn’t considered.

I spent a lot of time working on the mathematics of creating complex puzzles and creating tools to assist in the creation of the levels to ensure I had not missed any of the possible logic. I am quite proud of the result. There are lots of levels fitting into several different styles, all of which arose from an incredibly simple concept.

Currently a front end to the game is being created. The game is going to be in isometric view and mostly aimed at mobile users. The target plotforms are: Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Windows, Linux and Mac. I am currently in the process of moving from the Cocos2Dx library to QML.