Balance is a exacting and technical puzzle game.
It is a work in progress being developed in C++ for Linux, Windows, and OS X by Jim McCann / TCHOW.
At present, there is no version available for public consumption.
Create a physics-based puzzle game that isn't sloppy.
One views a 2d world from the side. There are three types of objects in the world: Solid Blocks; Movable Shapes; and Targets. Your goal is to create a stack of movable shapes that covers the targets and also balances.
For instance, you might want to stack things this way:
Or maybe this way:
Whether the stack balances is calculated using an exact solver written with only integer arithmetic. It uses a global method to resolve complex force and torque relationships. Notice how in the second example the 'n'-shaped piece is actually wedged between the bar and the gray pylon -- and is held in place by the in-turn-wedged bar to the left. This would not be possible without the global solution method and it would not be stable and repeatable without the clinical precision of an integer implementation.
This game does not make mistakes.
Any given level may have several solutions. When a solution is found, balance contacts a central server and submits a copy of the solution along with a proof that it is a solution. Once the server checks the proof, it records the existence of the solution in its records along with the time at which the submitter discovered the submitted solution.
At present, these rankings are boring (this game hasn't been publicly released, so there aren't really any players). In the future, when I add a real-time updated ranking display, it will become infuriating. Imagine, for instance, devising two solutions to a level only to come back the next day and discover someone else has found another.
Once the server has checked a solution, it only stores a cryptographic hash of the data. This means that it is actually impossible to retrieve any information about solutions other than that they exist -- even if one were to gain full access to the game server or local game data.
This game provides a strong cryptographic guarantee that it cannot give you any hints.