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Autodesk Tinkers With Game Design

Posted by Timothy Smith on February 22nd, 2011

I can remember spending hours of my childhood tinkering with a little game called Mouse Trap. They aren't fond memories though because the game was frustrating when the mechanisms didn't work, and they rarely worked. Regardless of the game's failings, it did instill a love for the Rube Goldberg model in me. I am now, and will forever be, intrigued by falling dominoes, steampunk apparatuses (apparati?), and the creation of Rube Goldberg machines in Garry's Mod for Half-Life 2. If you aren't familiar with Rube Goldberg he was an American cartoonist who popularized the concept of outlandish machines performing simple tasks. Most of his illustrations featured insane contraptions doing ordinary tasks like pouring coffee or feeding a pet. Needless to say, his name is now synonymous with the concept.

So, Imagine my surprise and excitement when I found out about Autodesk's new app/game Tinkerbox which happens to be based around the Rube Goldberg concept. They aren't really known for their games, but then again, Tinkerbox is more than just a game. The well-respected developers at Autodesk who brought you Sketchbook Pro, AutoCAD, and Fluid FX have released a physics, engineering, puzzle, hybrid game with an educational flair (what a mouthful). The experimental app is hard to define with one word concepts, so I will just give you the full breakdown.

Tinkerbox is a free-to-play game with various physics puzzles built in. Not only can you solve these puzzles and learn engineering and scientific concepts, but you can also create your own Rube Golberg style machines and share them with with your friends. If you aren't the creative type you can also just download other peoples puzzle machines for the solving. The trailer reveals a plethora of creative options, so I can imagine you will only be limited by your creativity and the amount of time you invest in the app. Oh, and if the theme song in the trailer doesn't get you pumped about this free app, then I have no idea what will.

Autodesk has even created a website for the game that features tips, news, and a selection of top notch inventions (their name for Tinkerbox creations). The game is free and well supported, so hopefully if it is popular enough we will see some interesting updates down the road.

FrEEday Vol 32

Posted by Chris Nitz on February 4th, 2011

You managed to make it through a crazy snowstorm, survive the workweek, and now you only have a few hours until you are free from the cubicle sea. That is unless you are lucky enough to have managed a few extra “snow” days. Either way, killing time is much easier with free games!

TinkerBox –
Someone threw some education into that physics puzzle game. TinkerBox is more than just physics and puzzles; it also contains basic engineering concepts and science facts. Use your creativity and a wealth of tools to solve devilish puzzles. It may even challenge you enough that you forget you’re learning while playing.

Ace Fighter Plane !! –
Get off the snow-covered ground and take the battle into the skies. Ace Fighter Plane will challenge you with intense shooter action, as the enemies are numerous. Grab your best pair of aviator glasses and see if you can become the Top Gun by earning all the achievements. Obligatory Tom Cruise one-liners are not necessary.

Thief Lupin! –
You are in charge of guiding Thief Lupin through a staggering 300 stages that span unique places like the Empire State Building to the Pyramids. The challenge to this game comes with different kinds of traps, witty puzzles, and an array of enemy behaviors. Don’t let the one button control scheme scare you off, as there are countless hours of play packed into this game.

Paranormal Activity: Sanctuary –
If you have secret desires to live out your life as a ghost buster, this game will get you one-step closer to fulfilling your dreams. This is a location based augmented reality game in which your surroundings become the front lines of a supernatural battle. You will hunt down ghosts, cast spells, and fend off demonic forces that are looking for a new host body to possess. Who knows, your toaster just might be possessed by Vigo.

Demon Hunter – Full Version –
If you manage to best the abundance of levels in Thief Lupin, or you just need some action, then Demon Hunter has you covered. This action RPG is packed with fun visuals, chaotic game play, and much more. You will need to blend skills and combos together to best the enemy in this game. You can even sell that junk sword on the Auction House if you so desire. Develop your own style and rock those baddies.