Here at Polyup, we love seeing machines created by users. We’ve done our share of puzzle creation, but now we want to see what you can make! If you’d like to learn how to author your own Poly Machine please follow this guide.
Here are some rules we recommend following while making custom machines:
1. Every Chip Counts!
Make sure that there are no unused chips or duplicate chips in your machine. A machine doesn’t need to have a lot of chips to be good. Some of the most used Poly Machines only have 3 to 5 chips.
2. Limit the Player’s Choices!
Math is very powerful, and the more freedom you give your players, the higher the chance they will solve the chip in a way you didn’t intend. While it’s possible to give players access to every number, consider limiting them to specific numbers instead. Don’t forget that on the “Blocks” tab of the chip creation process, you can tap each block at the bottom to change the number of the copies of that block that the player has access to.
3. Limit the Player’s Stacks!
Just like extra blocks, stacks can give the player too much creative freedom when solving a chip. If your chip only needs one stack, be sure that it only has one!
4. Lock and Unlock!
You can lock and unlock blocks in your stack by tapping them and then choosing the lock icon. In a chip with a LOT of blocks, locking some of them can communicate to your player that they don’t have to worry about those sections. In a chip with a small number of blocks, locking one or two can prevent the player from finding an easier answer by just taking things away.
5. Test Your Chips!
In the past, it was possible to create unsolvable chips. Since then, we have made it so that you must supply a goal on the goal tab or your chip will not have work! Please make sure that all of your chips have proper goals by creating a goal out of the blocks you’ve given the player. Machines with Orange Pencils on them do not have the proper goal set.
Here are some extra tips from the experts at Polyup to make your machines really shine:
1. Theme It Up!
Choose a general theme for your machine! It can be a block type, a specific math category, or some common element that all of your puzzles have in common. For example, one machine could be different ways to use a PI block or a machine that requires you to repeat multiple stacks to solve problems. Make sure each chip has a name that you’ve chosen to explain how it relates to the theme.
2. Don’t Forget Difficulty!
It’s ok to have multiple puzzles of different difficulties, but if you do, try to make sure that the puzzles start easy and get harder. Having a really tough puzzle followed by an extremely simple one will feel backward unless the easy puzzle is teaching something new. If you find that your difficulty order seems off, it’s easy to reorder puzzles in your machine simply by dragging the chips around, or creating different paths from the starting point!
Even if all of the puzzles in your machine follow the same theme, they should not all be solved exactly the same way. It is often better to have three chips that explore the same subject with different solutions than to have ten chips that explore the same subject by solving the chips the exact same way.