NOTE: THIS MINI-GAME PROTOTYPE DID NOT PASS Q.A. AND IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE FINAL GAME
This minigame implements a variation of common Embedded Figure Tests.
Many modern factories use a series of monorails to transport items from station to station in their production lines. This game takes place in one such factory.
The construction bots that normally maintain this factory's rail system have gone crazy! They have built way too many tracks, which has confused the production trains and hampered the output of the factory. You must override the construction bots' AI and order them to remove these unnecessary track segments to raise the efficiency of this factory.
The Trackalizer 2000 will come in handy. It can identify shapes that contain at least one segment of unnecessary track that you can then remove. However, it is still under development and sometimes identifies shapes that are not actually present in the factory track configuration. If you relay this faulty data to the construction bots they will become confused and actually add more superfluous track.
Produce as many products as possible before the time runs out.
(NOTE: Revise this mechanic; the game should not be timed. Time constraints may heighten anxiety.)
Construction Bots: These bots are actually too small to be seen with the naked eye, but they are capable of erecting or tearing down tracks almost immediately.
Monorail Production Trains: These trains use the tracks to carry works in progress throughout the factory. Once a Work in Progress is delivered to a processor, the new piece is immediately processed and placed on the same train.
Processor: Trains enter these large machines to deliver their Works in Progess. Once a Work in Progress has visited each processor in the proper order, it is considered complete and can then be dropped off at the shipping department.
Trackalizer 2000: An experimental device that can (usually) identify shapes in monorail tracks that contain segments of unnecessary track.
The gameboard is separated into a series of connected rooms. Each room contains 6 processors arranged near the walls in a isometric hexagonal fashion. Within the hexagon, between 2 and 6 (this number may change with playtesting) nodes are randomly placed. Straight segments of monorail track form random connections between the nodes and processors.
The rooms are connected by processors on the sides. That is, the rightmost processor in one room is directly connected the leftmost processor in the next room. The two exceptions are the first and last rooms. There is guranteed to be at least one path from the leftmost to the rightmost processor. The player does not immediately know which path this is, but we will refer to it as the "immutable path."
The game starts with the leftmost room. The trackalizer presents a graph to the player. Each vertex of this graph directly maps to a vertex in the current room configuration (where the vertices are nodes or processors). This shape is guaranteed to contain at least one segment of track that is not a part of the immutable path. For positive trials, the edges on the trackalizer map to edges in the monorail track. For negative trials, the trackalizer's graph will have extra edges that are not present in the track.
When the trackalizer presents the graph, the user has about 15 seconds to decide if this figure can be found in the tracks. On hits, all corresponding non-immutable edges from the trackalizer's graph are removed from the tracks. Additionally, any edges that are a part of the immutable path are highlighted on the gameboard. On a false positive, more track segments are randomly added to the tracks, making the plant less efficient (but actually making future trials more likely to correspond to a trackalizer graph). If time runs out on a trial, it is considered a miss or a correct rejection and the tracks remain unchanged. The trackalizer then presents another graph.
While this task is taking place, tiny monorails navigate the tracks autonomously. They begin at the entrance (leftmost) processor and randomly walk along the track graph. If a node has an immutable (one-way) edge, the train will always choose that edge. Once all processors have been visited in the correct order the train enters the next room. In the last room, the last processor is the shipping department. If a train brings a finished product to this processor, the product is sent out for delivery.
After some number of trials in one room, the user chooses a different room to visit. This allows the player to work on the rooms that need the most improvement and keeps them from having to stare at the same room for the entirety of the minigame.
The game ends when time expires.
The GUI mainly consists of 2 major sections: the view of the monorail tracks within each room, and the trackalizer. The player does not directly interact with the room view. The trackalizer contains 2 buttons, corresponding to "Yes" (activated by pressing left arrow) and "No" (right arrow).
Additionally, for choosing which room to enter next, each room must be displayed on one screen. The user selects a room with the arrow keys and presses the space bar to enter that room.
Each completed product is directly awarded to the player, as well as some cash. When the game ends, players are awarded a prorated amount of cash for Works in Progress that are still in trains on the track.