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 Submachine 8: the Plan 
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the Architect's apprentice
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Once again I realize how absolutely out of the loop (heh) I am when it comes to the wiki; I wasn't aware the place was being called "Water Pantheon" at all. I do agree though that it's extremely unfitting.

To propose alternatives: The place could be named something including the word "Mandir", which is a Hindu temple of worship (however basically just the Hindu equivalent to a pantheon so technically not very fitting either), OR, to make things more precise, I would propose a name like "Murti passage" or "Murti gate". A murti being "an image, statue or idol of a deity or person in Indian culture". So this would cover the statue of Krishna (and the cat) as well as the central structure of the place being the gate we have to open to proceed.

https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandir
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murti


26 Sep 2018 12:40
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subnet traveller
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Location: I feel like I have a lot of stuff to make up for...
Murti Passage sounds all right to my ears.


26 Sep 2018 13:15
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karma portal traveller
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Saving more thoughts on this for later, but for now, how many people know the word "murti"? That's not exactly a common word. (Remember how many people don't remember "Saraswati"...)

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28 Sep 2018 14:46
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the Architect's apprentice
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Eh, yeah granted. But in terms of accuracy I think this isn't bad.


28 Sep 2018 18:27
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subnet traveller
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Location: I feel like I have a lot of stuff to make up for...
I doubt saying the word isn't common really matters... Maybe that is because I could barley speak English until my 12th year... Meh.


29 Sep 2018 00:40
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the Architect's apprentice
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I think the argument is more that the name wouldn't be memorable enough for people to search for/reference it. If you want to find the location or talk about it it's likely no-one would know what the feck you're talking about at first. Or be able to recall it.


29 Sep 2018 01:02
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Empoeria wrote:
the name wouldn't be memorable enough for people to search for/reference it.


This right here.

Wish I had remembered to bring your thoughts up in my stream.

Stream here for anyone who missed it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtqLpYub0Ro

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30 Sep 2018 16:43
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the Architect's apprentice
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However in that same stream you talk about the argument that "people can get used to change" and also bring up using redirects for some amount of time to help with transition.


30 Sep 2018 22:27
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lost in subnet
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Dungeon Graph: Submachine 8

Image


08 Nov 2018 11:13
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How the graph works:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZL4GLH03gyA

Personal notes:

The Plan opens with two tutorial puzzles: You will need to get the crowbar to reach the key hanging over the cliff and use it to unlock a hatch door.

The next design decision is brilliant, as it sets the stage for the rest of the experience. You retrieve three keys. the first is the navigator, which serves as this entry's main mechanic item and is used throughout the entire game. the second key is a stick, which can be pushed into three different positions. The player has no way of figuring out what is does at this point, but towards the end of the game it becomes clear this stick (along with 6 others) serve as the final challenge of the game. The last key, the sphere, is the most hidden of the three. The player will need to push a pole from the tutorial area to obtain it. This sphere is one of 7 keys needed to access the fourth layer, serving as a mid term goal for the player to focus on after getting a grasp on the mechanics of the navigator.

For the third time since the lab and the root we have a main mechanic which centers around transportation, however this transportation device is an item instead of a device set to a fixed location. The navigator can thus be used anywhere at any time. The navigator has eight button spots but only seven contain buttons. The player will need to reactivate the existing buttons to access all areas in the game. Whens activating the first button, the player will need to realize the layer grids overlap with each other, and that activating the navigator on grid tiles the player can't reach in the opposing layer will open up new areas to explore. Realizing this will open up one new area in the first layer and one new area in the second layer. The player must obtain a key from the secret layer 1 area and use it on the secret layer 2 area to unlock the third layer. This guarantees the player has at least some experience with location jumping before continuing.

Quick note: The unique transportation mechanic made this graph tricky to design. I have separated each of the seven layers with a green line here, I felt this was necessary to organize the graph this way, but it also meant I had to make the graph very wide since there are so many keys. While a wide graph often indicates the game has lots of player choice and branching paths, this is not the case with the plan. The width is artificial and is in reality a very straightforward game.

The third layer sees the player solve the mid term goal with the sphere and the six other keys. Unlocking this multi-key lock opens up the fourth layer.

Similarly to the second layer, the fourth layer has a grid tile which can't be accessed in the previous layers. This opens up three new areas which the player will have to check out to access the fifth layer.

Quick note 2: The compass puzzle in layer 2 makes it impossible to design a graph where the lines don't overlap while still keeping the keys and locks in their respective layer. I have indicated the three new keys from layer 4's tile jumping puzzle with a dashed line stretching left.

The fifth layer introduces the main objective: A gate has a set of 8 holes with 5 of them glowing. Activating the button of each layer activates the light from one more hole on the gate. Activating all the lights on the gate will be necessary to open it. Solving the puzzle in layer 5 requires tile jumping to a previous layer and back again to reach the floating platform.

The sixth layer sees the player solve the second major multi key lock puzzle, demanding 5 keys to reach the seventh layer. This puzzle has been hinted towards ever since obtaining the first key in layer 3.

The seventh layer sees the player travel back to layer 2 to complete the compass puzzle and retrieve a stone sphere to activate the last layer. Traveling to the last layer is reserved for the climax of the sequel. At this point the player will have to solve the third and last multi key lock puzzle to open the gate and enter the temple. This requires that the player travel back to all the previous layers and push each stick in the right spot to open the seal in layer 5. Entering the gate completes the game.

Like Submachine 7 and 32, the Plan is based on completing three multi key lock puzzles, and similar to 7, the multi key locks must be done in a specific sequence. Submachine 8 however follows an 8 act structure instead of a three act structure, and offers in addition three easier multi key puzzles (marked dark grey, purple and brown on the graph) spread between the major multi key puzzles (marked orange, light blue and dark blue on the graph). Designing the game this may makes for a puzzle game with incredible momentum, speed and progression. While the branching of the graph itself doesn't look organic, what makes the game feel organic nonetheless is the way keys are handed out to the player. With 32 and 7, you could easily be handed up to 3 or 4 keys for the same multi lock puzzle right after another and it would be very obvious they would be used for the same puzzle, making for a repetitive and hand-holding like experience. With the Plan you will rarely find two or more keys for the same multi key lock right after another, and this is partly thanks to the three smaller multi key lock puzzles spread in between.

Submachine 8 is like the complete opposite experience from playing Submachine 5. Instead of a slow, labor intensive atmosphere, the plan goes for a quick, momentum based experience. The player must also make a multitude of conscious decisions on how to use the navigator to access keys, locks and areas. With the plan, Skutnik has managed to push the design of his multi key lock games from good to great, in addition to handling a very hard to explain traveling mechanic very skillfully. All of these aspects combined makes Submachine 8 into one of the most impressive pieces of work in the series, and my personal favorite Submachine game.

Tune in tomorrow for the dungeon graph breakdown of Submachine 9: the Temple


08 Nov 2018 12:45
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