Reidemeister Station

Reidemeister Station

  • Gifty McDeath Face
  • 1 year ago
  • 1st

Note: There are some audio problems in the browser version that aren't present in the desktop version of the game. Playing it on desktop is recommended, if possible.

Reidemeister Station is a puzzle game where you route a loop of pipeline through various mines, refineries, and factories. To ensure the safety of yourself and everyone at the asteroid mining station, you can only make pipeline moves that will maintain an unbroken loop of pipeline.

The game is inspired by an obscure field of mathematics - knot theory; in which German mathematician Kurt Reidemeister describes just three moves that can untie certain types of knot. These moves are known as the Reidemeister moves, and are used in the game.

Controls:

Mouse-only. Left click and Right click to move pipes.

Tech tree:

Tier 0 (Depot):

  • Pallet Your depot produces these. When Tier 1 mines receive these, goods can be produced

Tier 1 (Mines):

  • Ore [needs 1 Pallet] Various metals and semi-metals are contained within
  • Carbon [needs 1 Pallet] Rich carbon and organic material deposits
  • Uranium [needs 1 Pallet] It's yellow and it glows, may cause extra limbs

Tier 2 (Refineries):

  • Metal [needs 2 Ore] Refined, pure metals
  • Chips [needs 2 Ore] The stuff computers are made of
  • Plastics [needs 2 Carbon] Flexible and light-weight, perfect for cheap toys
  • Fuel [needs 2 Carbon] You'd think we'd stop using this kind of fuel in the space age.
  • Power cells [needs 2 Uranium] Contact your local radioactive containment facility if accidentally swallowed
  • Missiles [needs 2 Uranium] With the pew pew and the kapow

Tier 3 (Factories):

  • Ship Hull [needs 1 Metal, 1 Plastics] The crunchy shell that protects the juicy human core of the space ship
  • Ship Engines [needs 1 Fuel, 1 Power Cells] It makes the ship go
  • Weapons System [needs 1 Chips, 1 Missiles] With the kaboom and the ratatatatata

Tier 4 (Shipyard):

  • Space ship [needs 1 Hull, 1 Engines, 1 Weapons] The pride and joy of Reidemeister Station
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  • Kwisarts
    Kwisarts Kwisarts Level 56
    • Would have liked to have a way to speed up the process
    • The big chunk of text could be lighter. It's nice to have different segments to avoid being overwhelmed. Another thing would be to have pictures that serve as examples (examples are generally pretty good to quickly explain how something works). It could also allow to add more immersion by, for example, have sticky notes there or something.
    • It sometimes feel unintuitive to make a path. In the level 3 (with 5 factories), I couldn't change the "knot" of pipes, so I had to restructure the whole thing. The game being as complex as it is (code-wise I mean), I think it could help if we had a way to "wipe out" the pipes to build from scratch with the press of a single button
    • I wish there was a reminder of what creates what, instead of always needing to switch to te briefing
    • At some it became too complex for me. I didn't remember what transformed into what, so making a spaceship seemed way too difficult for me
    • Visually very appealing, though I would have liked to see how it'd look like with conveyor belts instead of pipes, as it would explain more how come we can see the materials through the pipes
    • Sound design was pretty cool too
  • Metroid3D
    Metroid3D Metroid3D Level 8

    Well made and a good puzzler, but I kept wanting a speed up button as waiting for things to loop through the pipes got a bit tiring.

  • Allison James
    Allison James Allison James Level 15

    Extremely clever puzzle game, if this was expanded upon and £10 on Switch I would buy it without a second of hesitation. I do wish there was a togglable fast forward (unless I missed it) on the flow of resources, besides that though superb work!

  • David Yates
    David Yates David Yates Level 2

    This is a really cool game, my favourite of the jam thus far. I enjoy puzzle games like this where you have to carefully think about the moves you make, but you're free to experiment and restart, and there's no time limit. Plus, you've tapped into the conveyor belt factor, which is what made Factorio so massively appealing to so many people.

    The presentation, the number of levels, the solid core gameplay, none of it feels like something that was made in less than 48 hours. As I said on Discord, even if you don't continue it later, this is a work to be proud of.

  • Narxii
    Narxii Narxii Level 3

    This was quite enjoyable, nice visually and smooth game play, I would allow the user to mute audio during game though, as menu the audio seemed at a good level but in game 2nd level got louder. But it is quite fun to figure out the levels

  • g0ldent0y
    g0ldent0y g0ldent0y Level 5

    Nice work. Love the art style and the humor. Im still uncertain what a reidemeister station really is though :D

  • Luke No Further

    Well I've found my favourite game of the jam - brilliant art, sound and gameplay - excellent concept, well-executed and all of it flowed out of the theme. Very impressive.

    Our games our quite similar in gameplay, i.e. creating a loop and tinkering with the efficiency of a system you create. However the rigour with which you've crafted your game's puzzles though makes it much more deep and challenging - well done, great work!

  • Kylazaur
    Kylazaur Kylazaur Level 5

    I like these types of games that gets you thinking, i would of liked the briefing to be a little more... exciting because big text walls like that... I didn't read any of themm annnnd got stuck because I probs didn't read how it worked but I like the concept and yous implemented the theme really well, good job ^^

  • WangleLine 🌸

    I feel like the pacing of the game is a bit too slow at times. It would be very neat if there was a button to speed up things a bit!

    Also, those walls of text at the start of each level are a bit overwhelming, if oyu ask me. I'd split it up into smaller segments or at least give the important bits, the actual directions, a different text color

The backstory

About 8 years ago, I worked with my wife on a mathematics paper on Knot Theory: an obscure subject, and an extremely dry paper, describing how knots could be manipulated with what are called the Reidemeister moves.

Fast forward to a few weeks before the jam, the subject came up again when I answered a question on how to generate levels for a tower defence game, where I suggested knot theory. I reasoned that a TD level is a lot like a knotted string - it twists and loops, so the same techniques and mathematics that allowed me to write a computational knot solver/scrambler years ago could also be used to make a TD level generator! I thought no more about the topic until the jam.

Hour 1

I initially didn't intend to take part. I didn't have any ideas that would appear to fit, and I was looking forward to having a relaxing weekend, and spending most of saturday with my wife looking at some apartments.

But there was a fortuitous coincidence: I had recently implemented Orteil's (developer of Cookie Clicker) "Game Idea Generator" into the GameMaker Discord's resident bot, as a toy/joke/talking point. One idea it generated during a conversation about GM48 game ideas was: "An indie game where you dance to maths with violence", and I thought: wait...a maths game? Knot theory is maths and is all about loops!

Cautiously, I played around with the idea in my head at night. I conceived a glorious multi-player base-building game, where you would build a base that would gather resources, and you would compete for space in a large map with other players. It would be an MMO of sorts, and there would be enemies/mobs to fight, units to control, the whole thing.

Hour 18

I spent all day mulling over the scope of my idea while apartment hunting. I gradually whittled the game down to its core components: The knot theory, which governed how you would lay down the pipes; and the resource collection, whose challenge would be in manipulating the pipe into the right shapes for as short a path as possible. I felt this was an unmissable opportunity to do something that stood out from all the pixel art platformers that were being shared, while tying together some work I did 8 years ago

Hour 23

I had gotten reasonably far on mechanics already, and decided to try my luck with finding an artist. My previous jam games where I teamed up with an artist had all been far easier to deliver on time than the ones where I didn't (notably on one occasion, the artist dropped out and I ended up drawing a singular angry lemon as every enemy in the game). Luckily, GiftOfDeath, long-time friend whom I've not worked with before, stepped up and was fully on-board with not making a pixel-art platformer.

GoD began to hand-draw images to replace my placeholders; and due to a bit of foresight with macros, switching from low-res to high-res was painless.

Hour 36

After a good sleep and finishing implementing the knot theory, the rest of the development was a lot easier. An unexpected benefit of building a game using knot theory is it guarantees every level is a perfect loop, which means you never have to deal things like handling broken paths. The code was surprisingly elegant afterwards.

Unfortunately the level-design was taking a lot longer than expected. It's hard to come up with ideas for levels in a game that didn't exist a day ago!

Hour 42

I decided to try my luck again with sound. Again it paid off as Topher was willing to pitch in in the last few hours to make music and sounds for the game.

Together, we polished, and submitted!

Post-jam

After the jam ended, we produced an HTML5 version, which had some weird HTML5-related snags

Happy with the polish, we reached out to Jupiter Hadley about putting Reidemeister Station on ArmorGames. Jupiter and team provided some further feedback on improving the game. So over the next week, we produced a post-jam version incorporating both Jupiter and GM48 feedback as improvements. The game was accepted and will be published on ArmorGames!

Result 1st
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