Factsheet

Developer:
SmashHammer Games
Based in Vancouver, Canada

Release date:
Early Access - November 9th, 2023

Platforms:
Steam

Website:
https://www.gearblocksgame.com

Regular Price:

USD$14.99

Description

GearBlocks is an open ended sandbox game for mechanically minded builders. You can build a car with rack and pinion steering and a working drive-train with a differential gear. Or you could make a run-and-jump parkour course with motorised bouncy platforms, or an unstoppable walking mechanical elephant. The only limit is your imagination...and physics.

History

Background

From an early age I've been fascinated by machines, I spent countless childhood hours dreaming up ideas for models and building them with Lego Technic. I thought it would be cool to have a physics based game that would recreate the joy of making things with real working parts such as gears, pulleys, motors, and joints. I felt that the sandbox building games already available didn't have the level of mechanical detail or flexibility I was looking for, as they tended to be restricted to prefabbed items. I thought that perhaps other mechanically minded players out there felt the same way, and that there was an opportunity to make a game that fulfilled this potential.

Prototyping

Having chosen this direction for my game, I undertook the technical prototyping phase over a period of several years. There were many challenges to overcome in order for the game as I envisioned it to be even possible. For example, implementing a gear physics system that is stable, can transfer motion without slipping, and supports different gear types (e.g. bevel, rack, worm, even differentials). Or a physics solution for wheels that can collide properly and roll smoothly. Not to mention fine tuning physics overall to strike a balance for simulation stability, accuracy and performance.

Development

After having the physics concerns more or less under control, development of the game proper began with many more huge challenges to address. Most important of which was designing and implementing a building system that was both flexible and intuitive to use, this underwent a process of refinement and iteration over many years. Another challenge was deciding how to layer game-play on top of the basic sandbox building experience, which eventually resulted in the Lua scriptable challenge system and the in-game tutorial.

Community

Developing GearBlocks as a solo indie developer has been an enormous undertaking over a very long time, with its fair share of ups and downs. Over this period a small but passionate GearBlocks community has formed, they’ve been playing the demo, and giving feedback which has been super helpful and motivating.

Features

  • Snap parts together, resize them, change their materials, paint them, and link their behaviours together.
  • Choose from over 200 parts, including functional mechanical elements such as motors, gears, pulleys, joints, springs, actuators, and much more.
  • Turn, grab and shove your machines and watch the parts physically interact.
  • Jump into the driver's seat and put your vehicles through their paces.
  • Crash and smash your constructions to smithereens.
  • Improve your building skills, or test out your creations, in the tutorial and challenge scenarios.
  • Make rag-dolls from body parts and use them as your custom player character.
  • Mod the game with Lua scripting to create your own custom tools, scenarios, challenges and mini-games.
  • Share your creations with the community, try out what others have made, and maybe learn a new building trick or two along the way!

Videos

GearBlocks Trailer YouTube


Images

download all screenshots & photos as .zip (39MB)
bucketloader.png
timedlap.png
buggies.png
tutorial1.png
oldtractor.png
scenario.png
linking.png
4wdbuggy.png
threevee.png
attaching.png
tutorial2.png
driving.png
electricracer.png
mechanisms.png
duallytruck.png
sportscar.png
damage.png

download logo files as .zip (177KB)
logo
logo

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Youtube
The GearBlocks Youtube channel for trailers, dev vlogs, and more. https:.

Discord
The GearBlocks Discord server. https:.

IndieDB
The GearBlocks IndieDB page. https:.

Development blog
A detailed history of the development of GearBlocks, right from the very beginning. https:.


About SmashHammer Games

Boilerplate
SmashHammer Games is me, Sam Nunn, a solo indie developer making GearBlocks - a game about creative building, interactive machines, and gears - lots of gears.

More information
More information on SmashHammer Games, our logo & relevant media are available here.


GearBlocks Credits

Sam Nunn
Developer

Contact

Inquiries
sam@gearblocksgame.com


presskit() by Rami Ismail (Vlambeer) - also thanks to these fine folks