March 19, 2012 in Games (E)
[prMac.com] Glen Carbon, Illinois - Indie developer Andrew Garrison today is pleased to introduce Dummy Defense 1.1 for iOS, his super-realistic simulation/puzzle game, where players must design, build, test, and redesign wooden structures capable of protecting Melvin, the crash dummy, from a variety of moving objects and explosions. Employing the basic components and formulas of structural engineering, players have only beams, columns, and struts to create an effective, defensive shield that will allow Melvin to survive the initial impact as well as falling beams. Survival is the goal and unlocks the next level, but points are awarded based on the amount of materials used. Each of the 25 levels has a budget for wood that cannot be exceeded, and players score extra points depending upon how much under budget their successful structure can be built. With all their attention focused on Melvin through each slow-motion crash test, players take part in the indescribable, vicarious satisfaction of a great simulation game. While many games include a built-in physics engine, in Dummy Defense the built-in physics engine (Box2D) is the game - pitting the player's wits against the laws of physics.
At launch in landscape orientation, level 1 is a tutorial, where a large boulder rolls down a gentle slope, steamrolling over Melvin (he stands without assistance). The HD, Retina display graphics are detailed and realistic, and being vector-based, they display beautifully on iPad as well. Between the boulder and the crash dummy is a large blue rectangular grid, 4 cells high by 8 cells wide, known as the Blueprint. Players create trusses of various sizes and designs by dragging across the Blueprint. Beams can intersect at any point, but must start and end on the corner of any cell. Horizontal, vertical, and diagonal beams each have a maximum length, and small white squares along the bottom anchor the blueprint's structure to the ground.
As the player drags members onto the Blueprint Editor, the cost of the project is continuously updated and the maximum budget, which cannot be exceeded, is indicated. In a typical project where the budget is $350, solving the puzzle for $250 or less wins 3 stars, $300 or less wins 2 stars, and $350 or less 1 star. In the tutorial example, building a simple triangle with its base on the ground and equally long sides meeting at the top, center, stops the boulder surprisingly well at very low cost.
* Realistic physics simulation
* Ragdoll physics
* Slow motion slider
* 25 levels with 5 more on the way
* Stress display shows problem areas in your design
* Finger Test - smash your design to pieces, or blow it up with realistic explosions
* Save/Load designs
* E-mail your blueprints to your friends
* Universal support for the iPad
* Retina display support
Gameplay in Dummy Defense is straightforward and without any time constraints. At the start of each level, the screen displays a wide-angle view of the puzzle, with Melvin at the center and a clear view of the explosives or moving object from which he needs to be defended. Automatically, the view zooms in to include Melvin and the Blueprint. Players can pinch to zoom in or out, and two-finger drag to move left and right. Each level contains an ingenious puzzle, namely, how to build a structure that will protect Melvin from the unique danger posed. The first seven levels include: Rolling Boulder, One Tiny Bomb, Giant Swinging Sledgehammer, Multiple Bombs, Boulder on a Steep Hill, Foxhole, and Mechanical Trash Compactor.
After building the structure, the player tests it by hitting the Play control to view the results in real time or slow motion. When viewed in slow motion, members turn from green to red depending upon the stress they are under, and this provides a clue as to what elements of the design are failing. Using trial and error, players continue to revise their designs until they finally have built a defense that protects Melvin successfully. Very short, inexpensive struts that are strategically placed often make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful design. Carefully watching the crash and analyzing the wreckage usually reveals the fatal flaw in the design. The app accommodates experimentation outside the game, allowing players to place dummies and set off bombs wherever they like.
"Protect your dummy from explosions, boulders, spiked walls, and more," stated developer Andrew Garrison. "Use the Blueprints Editor to design a structure that will protect your dummy, Melvin, from some random danger by absorbing or deflecting the force. You'll have to work with the available materials. Most of the time you'll use wood, sometimes you'll use concrete, but you must always use your most important asset: your brain."
* iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
* Requires iOS 3.0 or later (iOS 5 tested)
* Universal app optimized for display on all iOS devices
* 10.8 MB
Pricing and Availability:
Dummy Defense 1.1 is $0.99 (USD) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category. An optional solution pack is available as an in-app purchase for $0.99. Review copies are available on request.
Andrew Garrison is an independent application developer whose passion for the Mac and iOS platforms is exceeded only by his aim to create challenging games with a focus on customer satisfaction. Based in Glen Carbon, Illinois, Andrew works as an embedded software engineer. Copyright (C) 2012 Andrew Garrison. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPad, and iPod are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.