I'm going to make my next game a puzzle game. I thought it was going to be super easy to come up with a good puzzle game idea, but I was very, very wrong. Eventually I settled with a bit of a 3D clone of Addicing balls, which is a good game, but not so much "puzzle". Addicting balls is very good, apart from some minor problems such as always restarting from scratch after game over. A bit 80'ies. Instead of inflating balls, I'll let the user cut away part of the level (I saw that somewhere in some youtube clip on a similar free game, but for Android) until a threshold is reached.
I'm thinking something like this (although using soccer-textured balls instead):
The line is a cut in progress. It's going to be relatively easy and quick to develop. And I think it will be pretty fun to play. Here follows a memory dump from my nightly thoughts (couldn't sleep).
Start with a box ("level") with some balls inside.
Cut box into smaller pieces, using straight "lines" which are projected into 3D.
Cutting is not instantaneous. The cut starts as a small, round saw blade which grows. If a ball hits the cutting blade before it's cut off all the intersecting surfaces of the box, that cutting blade is destroyed and "number of lives" is reduced by one.
If the cutting blade chops off a part of the box, the living space of the box is reduced. All parts of the box which does not contain a ball is eliminated.
When more than 50% (or so) of the box is cut away, the player has completed the level.
Each level has one more ball in it than the level before.
Box is a triangle mesh.
Only use triangles in the box, for simplification.
Let box be a cuboid which is deeper and wider than it is high.
Balls are spheres.
Balls are soccer-ball textured.
Balls cast shadows.
Cuboid is shining, flat-shaded. Change color each level. Avoid white+black for ball distinction.
Cutting blade is flat-shaded, double-sided, transparent with saw teeth on the edges. Color is complement or not close to cuboid color.
Cut with line+blade until released. If starting ray does not intersect with any triangle, choose plane through origin as depth midpoint, otherwise use average depth midpoint.
Don't start cutting until delta dragged >= 4px (so angle can be determined).
Use cylinder shape as cutting blade trigger.
Start growing cutting blade cylinder as soon as depth midpoint has been determined.
Camera moves as soon as a cutting has been initiated, and as long as there is no cutting in progress.
Camera moves 2/21 of a revolution counter-clockwise each time it's animated.
Camera also bobs some up and down to give a clearer view of the 3D space.
Cutting blade rotates while cutting.
Balls have a maximum speed, if reached their speed will momentarily be reduced to the maximum.
The total sum of the speeds of all balls must exceed a threshold, or they will all have their speeds momentarily set to a minimum.
Balls gain a little energy when colliding with one another, but loose a little energy when colliding with a wall.
Calculate volume of mesh: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1410525/volume-of-a-3d-closed-mesh-car-object#1898484.
Calculate ray against mesh (hopefully using ODE).
Calculate plane of cutting blade, given a camera angle.
Cut mesh in two using two planes (to give cutting blade some width+volume).
Check if a mesh contains a ball. (Otherwise it will be removed.)
Keep 'em subtle.
Music, let's use XM format. Keep volume low.
Banner ads at the top.
Restart from scratch on each game over.
Limited to level 10.
I'll start working on it in a couple of weeks. First I'm going to build a home-brew alarm system for the house with my eight-year-old son.