Quitting Time

My twenty-first game is complete! Quitting Time is my nineteenth #onegameamonth game, and the theme this month was “Home.”

It’s a puzzle game again, of course, because that’s all I do now, apparently. The suspicious nature of releasing a line-tracing puzzle game a month after the release of The Witness is not lost on me, but I promise it’s a coincidence. I feel like this game’s mechanics are a pretty natural result of the “Home” theme word, needing no other sources of inspiration. At the very least, I can say with great confidence that the similarities are unintentional. Oh well.

A small source of personal satisfaction with this game is the level select screen. I have long since wanted to make a level select screen for a puzzle game which uses the same puzzle mechanics as the rest of the game. An “overworld” puzzle, of sorts. I wanted that for Marcela Martins (which was one year ago this month), although I’m still quite happy with the map I built instead. I wanted it for Raise the Sun, which wound up with a boring grid of buttons instead. I felt better about the “overworld” in Puzzle Monks, but it still wasn’t quite the same. With Quitting Time, it was nice to be able to build a decent puzzle-based level select screen at long last.

I have, as a bonus for those of you who have read this far, some additional information about how to play the game. You can reset a line by starting over with the car. You can erase a line by simply clicking on its car (essentially restarting the line without going anywhere). You can even change a completed line by dragging the line back out of its house. Of course, you can let go of a line at any time and it will remain. You can then pick the line back up by dragging its endpoint and continuing where you left off. This may be a helpful thing to do if the line seems to get stuck and stop listening to you. The tracing algorithm follows your mouse cursor along the roads, but it also attempts to “smooth out” some of the human imprecision in mouse movements. If your mouse gets far away from the line without you noticing and the line takes a turn you did not expect, it can be difficult to convince it to go back the way it came. Just drop it and pick up the endpoint; that will put your mouse back where it needs to be and you can more easily retrace your steps and put the line back where you want it.

Sure, most of that could easily be discovered simply by playing the game, but now you have bit of a head start. See if you can use this advantage to beat the game before Richard, my most hesitant playtester (and also my bitter rival).

7 thoughts on “Quitting Time”

  1. Currently stuck on 10.
    I keep hitting a dead end, so I untangle all the routes, try something new and different and out-of-boxy, and then end up at the exact same dead end.
    When the level select screen starts giving me problems, that’s when I really worry.

    1. For reasons I’m sure you’ll soon discover, you’ll never have problems with the level select screen if you haven’t already.

      Fun fact: Level 10 was actually the very first level I designed for this game. For reasons that aren’t entirely clear to me, it just wound up being harder than all the ones that came after it.

    2. And I just know that teal car on lvl 10 is going to be significant. The only car that’s close to its home? Now WAY he gets a pass just for that.

      1. People always assume I’ve done the most devious possible thing with every single puzzle. They’ll see something that looks straightforward, and they’ll say, “No way is it that simple. Jacsn is up to his old tricks again!” Sure, they’re usually right, but it’s even more fun for me when they’re wrong. I recall having to say of the loading screen maze in Hobby Shop, “It’s randomly generated, Dad. It’s not trying to trick you!”

        Are you right or wrong about this one? I wonder!

    1. Most levels have only one solution… I think. It largely depends on how different a solution has to be for us to consider it a different solution. Obviously, many levels have a little wiggle room in some of the lines, but I don’t think that counts. So, which levels have multiple solutions?

      Levels 1, 2, and 7 definitely have several solutions which are different enough. Levels 3, 4, 9, and 10 almost certainly don’t. Level 5 has a lot of wiggle room, but I think it still has only one basic solution. Level 6 has two solutions which are essentially mirror images of each other. I’m not sure how to count that. Level 8 also has two very similar solutions which may or may not be different enough to count. I think level 8’s two solutions feel different from each other (even though they’re basically the same), whereas level 6’s don’t. So I would put 8 with the first group and 6 with the latter. The level select screen also has only one solution (there’s not even much wiggle room, a consequence of having to pack ten cars onto one screen).

      Having said all that, I can’t be sure that there aren’t some really obscure solutions I just haven’t thought of. Surprise me!

      1. A winner is ME…

        Yikes that was crazy! But, I really like this game (simple, elegant, and addictive..) And I’m amazed that some of those even have solution(s) period.

        (For some of those I did consider what it would take to write some type of brute solver program…)

        However, having a puzzle for the overmenu hardly seems fair – what next – a puzzle to unpause the game?!?!?

Leave a Reply

All fields are optional. Your email address will not be published.