1-Button puzzle prototype

This is a failed puzzle prototype I built in GameMaker Studio 2. It’s based on a concept I’ve always found fascinating: 1-button gameplay. Only one button – on or off – can be used as input. Endless runners might be an obvious example, but a 1-button RTS on mobile? Fascinating. Plus, it’s game design with excellent accessibility.

And so I wanted to try as well.

The idea is that everything moves in fixed time steps/beats, including the player icon. If the player gives input (presses the input button), the player icon will move forward on the next time step along with everything else.

The challenge is to make the player icon move to the level goal using only timed button presses, using tiles that switch directions on the global beat.

One of several early prototypes

Since blocks change direction – and can have different properties depending on where the player comes from – blocks can lead to different places on the map, acting as doors to different areas. If the player enters the block from one direction, the block might turn the player to the right. Later, if the player enters the same block but from behind, the player might bounce back in the opposite direction.

Unfortunately, the prototypes didn’t work out. I still believe there is a fun, 1-button rhythm-based game somewhere in there, but my novice scripting skills blocks me from spending more time on it.

I explored the concept for a couple of weeks in my spare time, before deciding I couldn’t find the fun in it.

Always fail fast!