Magnethead Construction Company
A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux
Slapstick comedy physics game where you're a magnet who has trouble letting go of things. Use your magnetic personality to build the tallest skyscraper you can, before the work day is over.
Made in 72 hours for #SalvageJam, a game jam where you take an abandoned game of yours and finish it. All I had was a character and some very wonky magnetic physics - so I reworked it into a construction game.
Use your magnet head to pull the steel beams onto the blueprints to build the skyscraper before the time runs out. You gain 10 seconds on the clock for each beam placed, and a minute+ for each floor completed.
Simple controls but intentionally diabolical movement:
|Walk||WASD, Arrow Keys, or Left joystick|
|Jump||Spacebar, or A button on Joystick|
|Try to let go of metallic objects||Smash the jump button rapidly while trying to walk in the direction away from the metallic object (or in a random direction if that works).|
Tip 1: You may need to figure out how to use the crane for effective construction on higher floors. Press against the crane for better friction.
Tip 2: The more you carry, the heavier you are. It is a constant struggle between gravitational force versus magnetic force.
Tip 3: Use your head! The magnets are stronger at the poles (top of the head) and will have more grip for climbing up beams and walls, especially if it is not blocked by junk.
A separate build geared for exhibitions is also available. To quit the exhibition edition, press Alt+F4. Escape will not work. The game will automatically reset if it is not played for 30 seconds after the first movement or jump. After game over, it will automatically reset in 15 seconds if the player does not restart.
Third Party Attributions
Music: Builder by Kevin MacLeod, incompetech.com. (CC-BY); Icons (from NounProject): Crane by Bakunetsu Kaito, Clockwise by Travis Avery (CC-BY), Steel by Iconfly, Circle Arrow by Eric Miller (CC-BY); Sounds: Anvil by blevsque4 (CC-BY), Gong Hit by GowlerMusic (CC-BY). Font:DCC Ash by dccanim.
Trivia: Magnethead is a character I originally drew as an icon/mascot for my smart study web app, Headmagnet, back in 2008!
|Platforms||Windows, macOS, Linux|
|Tags||3D, Comedy, Controller, Cute, Funny, magnet, magnetic, Physics|
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BOW BEFORE YOUR GOD. It's late and I'm bored, so I'm not going to use the extra half hour building more.
HOLY GUACAMOLE! You are amazing!
Dear Andrew, you already know that you are one of my favorite game developers, but let me tell you once more why I loved "Magnethead Construction Company": On the one side, you are always creating such cute main characters like the magnethead, which are just adorable! On the other side, it felt immensely satisfying to me to climb up on my creation just to build it higher and higher. You are always offering so lovely games with a slick gameplay, and I hope you won't stop. :) I recommended this game in a little article and also made a little gameplay video of it, maybe some other potential players will stumble over it and give it a shot afterwards. <3
Thank you Sebastian!
You're very welcome, Andrew!
Pretty fun game, but after the second floor it felt like things weren't working as well? Like it was harder to climb or go up the crane. I feel like maybe a controllable camera would really help this game out since the fixed camera doesn't allow you to see all around, along with a time or 2 where it zoomed in really close and I couldn't see anything at all, it was really annoying not being able to see why I was stuck behind a beam some times and how to move to get unstuck and not drop the beam I was carrying. Still really enjoyed the challenge, and I hope you enjoy the video!
Super fun but really hard after a while
Actually quite enjoyed this. I sort of wanted to keep going but I figured I should avoid an hour long video! 125k score.
Made a video
Awesome video! Thank you!
Everything was going fine.. until the second floor. That damn crane:D Can't you just made an elevator :D I'm quite curious about the attraction system you made.
Impressive score!! The all-time high I've ever seen is 106000 (my wife's 4 hour playing frenzy). I think that completing the 4th floor would have required genius levels of skill, and/or miracle levels of luck. The crane doesn't scale well for higher floors currently because it moves too fast for higher floors. There were supposed to be optional clumsy elevator platforms and optional floor boards that you'd be able to build during later levels, but I didn't get time to do that during the jam. Also there'd be trucks and construction equipment that drive around, which you could use as something large and magnetic to step on. Oh well, maybe later.
The attraction system (ab)uses Unity's Particle System's collisions. Every second, hundreds of invisible little particles shoot out of the poles of the magnets and collide into magnetic objects only. Each particle collision generates a little pull between the object (at the point of the collision) and the magnet's pole, depending on how far away it is. See this tweet for a gif showing a debug view of the particle collisions:
It's not true to real physics, but geared more for clumsy fun physics. The real physics prototype (the thing I was salvaging in SalvageJam) was way too wonky for playability. There's actually a little magnetic pole in the butt of the magnet too that weakly repels very nearby metallic objects so that the magnet will be a little more likely to stick to things with it's head. And instead of varying attraction with an inverse square of the distance, it's using an inverse cube of the distance for a snappier effect.
The movable objects (I-beams, barrels, etc) actually have a speed limit on how fast they can move so that they don't get launched too crazily into the air because of the magnetic "slingshot effect" that may happen if you move too quickly. When a moveable object makes contact with the magnet itself, it just uses an invisible breakable fixed joint to simplify the simulation, and making it invisible to the particle collisions. This joint is broken when the force on it is too much, or the player presses jump, and the object then becomes visible to the particle collisions again.
That's a really interesting way to make the magnetic simulation! Kudos for this awesome fun game!
I, myself, was wondering how did you get the camera to work so well and go around the objects to look for the character. It looks so great!
Also, I have no life and I got bored of seeing in frustation all the beams falling all the way down + I got to take 2 at the same time! :D
Amazing score! You finished the 4th floor - my wife is going to go crazy when she sees this! Congrats!
The camera motion was all done using Unity's new Cinemachine cameras. They have an obstacle avoider that you can use to avoid certain layers of objects, with some smoothing. It gets a bit difficult to see things in upper floors though - I should have added some kind of manual camera rotation feature, but ran out of time during the jam.
Manual camera rotation would have been REALLY helpful for building the back rows, indeed o_o"
So, Cinemachine is not only for cinematic scenes? :0 That's new to me! Gotta look into it, thanks for the info!
This is an absolute blast! The cheery and somewhat mischievous music paired with the goofy physics just makes for an all around good time!
Awesome video! Thank you!