An Idea for New System Elements

I have been thinking on this for some time now. In many of the more complicated systems (even my own), there is, for lack of a better term, clutter. That is to say, many creators have had to use space to make certain system “mechanics” work. So I’ve come up with a short list of system elements that could be potentially added to help reduce this clutter.

It is important to keep in mind that each mechanic associated with this new element listed could be created in an existing system with the currently available elements. However the ideas listed would make it so only one grid square would be needed for said mechanic, rather than several, thereby freeing up space in a given system.

First and foremost, a general selection of “Inverted Nodes” is a must. There are far too many systems that have to rely on using Inverted Flip-Flop Nodes hidden behind Blocker Nodes to create a system that contains Start-Inverted Nodes. Having the Inversion option available immediately would help reduce this clutter. If this seems non-viable, I would suggest at least adding the option to Start-Invert items using Buffer Nodes rather than limit that option to Flip-Flops, so as to provide more options for creators.

Next, “Direct Reflectors”. Fairly straightforward, direct reflectors, unlike their tilted counterparts, would send a Packet back the way it came. Orientation would be limited to being horizontal or vertical. Packets approaching from the non-reflective side would be destroyed. An alternative version of this could be a reflective square, which directly reflects packets back the way they initially came regardless of whatever side the packet hits the square from.

Third, “One-ways”. An element that makes it so a packet can only travel through it when approached from the “entry” side. Oriented up, down, left, or right. Any packet that hits a non-entry side is destroyed. Element could be represented with an arrow, to signify direction.

Fourth, “Tunnels”. Similar to the one way, except packets can instead enter from 2 sides, each across from the other. Oriented horizontally or vertically, this destroys packets from entering on two sides, but allows passage via the remaining two. I think this would be incredibly useful for creators, considering the abundance of blocker-tunnels that require three grid squares per tunnel length.

Fifth, “Delayers”. When shot with a packet, the delayer activates after a given timeframe and fires a packet in the direction it is aimed at. This element could admittedly cause some trouble if players were allowed to select how much each packet was delayed by, so it might be best to only allow a few-or maybe just one-delay speed(s) to be selected. Again it can be oriented up, down, left, or right, but regardless of where the element is hit, it will fire a packet after a delay. It is worth mentioning this could make the aforementioned Direct Reflectors partially obsolete if this element was added.

Sixth, my particular favorite, “Temporary Key Nodes and Ports”. These Temporary keys, when hit, would create a Port that can only be activated once. Once the Port is fired, the Port vanishes and the temporary key re-appears, allowing for the reactivation of the port if hit again. These elements could be recolored-versions of the existing keys and ports (I would recommend the Latch-Node blue for the ports personally). I honestly think this element has a lot of potential for systems, and would certainly be excited to see it implemented.

This is where I will leave off things for the moment. While I have a couple other ideas, the above six items are the ones that I believe could add the most in regards to system creation. Regardless, I do hope that my tone and suggestions have not come across as arrogant, I played the original Exploit many times over and it remains one my favorite games of all time, so I would love to see this sequel grow in popularity. At any rate, that is all I have to say for the moment, I hope these ideas will be useful in some capacity or another, and look forward to seeing what comes next!


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Thanks for all the detailed thoughts! As a general note: there’s plenty of stuff we’d like to add if resources allowed, but for now new stuff will continue to come slowly.

One of the things we like about EZD’s puzzles is how they’re readable from just looking at the grid, with most complexity emerging from a combination of nodes. The more complex a given node is, the more that feel gets diluted. That’s why we haven’t already let nodes start inverted, or become inverted by anything other than a Flip-Flop; inversion is already one of the more complicated concepts and we’re reluctant to make it even less readable, even at the cost of visual clutter.

However, there are certain more specific common patterns that we’re interested in making more useable. One of these that’s relatively high-priority is a One-Time-Pass node that lets one packet past before becoming a blocker. We’ve made a lot of puzzles where duplicating this with a pair of nodes is super inconvenient.

I also definitely like the Tunnel/One-Way concept; there are plenty of places where blocker tunnels are real bulky. We continue to be interested in more additions to the puzzle options while balancing that with considerations about the number of symbols a player is expected to understand.

Thanks for the response, it’s good to know new stuff is on the way.

I do like the idea of the One-Time-Pass node, seems like it could work well, although I am slightly worried that it could soft-lock a puzzle if there is no timer for it to deactivate, although I imagine you all have that covered in some capacity.

Also while I definitely understand the concern about allowing nodes to start inverted, still going to hold out home for some come of Start-inversion tool to be added someday :stuck_out_tongue:

Regardless, again thanks for the response, looking forward to seeing more in the future. I’m waiting for the day things become more active around here, I’ve pretty much exhausted the amount of optimization that I can accomplish with the player-made clusters available. Looking forward to the future!


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…Just realized I made several typos in the middle paragraph. Should have read “…still going to hold out hope for some kind of…”. Ah well.