Eyes On The Machine: Contraption Maker Videos

By Craig Pearson on June 24th, 2013 at 3:00 pm.


The sky was the colour of a positive pregnancy test and the bomb rolled down the slope. The bomber ran in the opposite direction, like that kitten startled by a lizard. The bomb kept rolling, it was like gravity believed in its cause. But was it gravity, or was it something more? For some reason a football hit a spring that pushed the bomb off in another direction. The bomber landed on a torch that shone through a magnifying glass and lit the bomb, just like that bit in the map room in Indiana Jones. The explosion was heard for miles, rabbits flinched and cowered as a wall crumbled, releasing the bomber to set off a rocket and fall into a box. Then the guy from Twilight showed up and both men kissed. If you’d rather experience Contraption Maker without clumsy prose and adult situations, you can always just watch the videos I dug up on the developer’s blog.

Videos like this one.

Recognise it? It was what my fan fiction was based on. Contraption Maker is a reimagining of Incredible Machine, so if it feels familiar it’s because it’s based on a series that everyone that has ever wrestled with a DOS prompt has played. It’s an old, old series with new, new clothes. It was only announced a month ago, but there are already a few videos showing off the early work that’s been done. You can have one more video before I send you off to the developer’s blog to see the rest, because he’s clearly enjoying sharing the process with everyone. This one shows off some recently added rope physics.

Read all about it, here.

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17 Comments »

  1. CMDBob says:

    A new Incredible Machine game? Count me in, loved those games back in the day. Even looks like the classic older ones instead of the kinda crap visual overhauls that they did to the old games.

  2. c-Row says:

    As long as the developer doesn’t make the same mistake the original game did – unskippable puzzles made me missing half of the game.

    • Josh W says:

      I wonder whether a branching puzzle lattice would fix that? If you make each of the puzzles sufficiently different, then most people should be able to find a path that’s easier for them through it.

  3. misterT0AST says:

    I’d like to suggest, in the same vein as this (it’s a bit different in concept, but when the hell is it going to be relevant again?) The excellent game Enigmo. Unfortunately it was made by that awesome developer that is “Pangea Software”, which inexplicably only works for Apple products. If for some reason you happen to have a Macintosh pc though I’d highly recommend you check Enigmo out, if you like this kind of game. It is really, really fun.

    I just checked, and it exists for iOS as well.

  4. Jack_Dandy says:

    Oh man, I loved TIM as a kid. This is from the same main developer guy, ain’t it?

  5. JonClaw says:

    Oh man the nostalgia!

  6. DickSocrates says:

    I’m still waiting for a 3D version, side on Rube Goldberg type stuff has been done to death.

    • nimzy says:

      Seconded. I want to make stuff like this.

      • particlese says:

        I would love to do something like this, not in a game, but I don’t have nearly enough time and resources for that!

        Messing around with physics interactions in Blender can be pretty fun if you take the time to learn it, and the possibilities are very broad. It’s on track to get even better in the near future, too. (More interaction between system types, more real-time user interaction with the simulations (if I remember correctly), …)

        I haven’t worn out the 2D games myself, but that’s probably because it’s been ages since I last played one. I think the last time was when I popped in my The Even More Incredible Machine CD and the simulation was comically/tragically executed in an instant on my super-ultra-mega-turbo fast (and ye-olde 2004-vintage) Athlon 64. The MIDI music played at normal speed, though, which was nice.

  7. povu says:

    I did so many cruel things to that cat from The Incredible Machine…

  8. Sardonic says:

    Wow, this game is a total rip off of Bad Rats: The Rat’s Revenge.

    (Kidding, don’t stab)

  9. Macciavelo says:

    Damn you, Craig, for mentioning the twilight series. That miserable excuse for a drama (With complimentary vampires) should be erased from the minds of all human beings.

  10. Ste says:

    TIM…one of my first proper pc games. PLayed on a teachers 286 at lunch times, not enough ram on the machine to spit with so you had to rename the config.sys to bugger.off to get the game to run. Happy days at the command line…

  11. onodera says:

    I miss the sounds. That alligator’s snicker, the radio waves before TNT is detonated…

  12. Mctittles says:

    Looks pretty fun. I do wish they had someone to do quality artwork though. Will be playing it anyway, but having slick and interesting graphics as opposed to simple solid color stuff would be a nice addition.

    • particlese says:

      I dunno, I’ve always been repulsed by screenshots of “Contraptions” (see here, for example): The background graphics and too-detailed objects look like they’d blend together to the point that you can’t appreciate the machine working as a whole. I’ve never actually played those later games, though, so maybe it’s not as bad as I think it would be and is more down to taste. The video above looks to me like they struck a good balance between small-scale interest and whole-picture comprehensibility for this new game.

    • jontunn says:

      The game is only in pre alpha, so we haven’t really focused on making the background art. You can expect it to change some from what you see here.