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Home Improvisation


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Rating: 4.2/5 (229 votes)
Comments (16) | Views (14,212)

Home Improvisation

Johnny123 Part of the magic of video games is how they can make what is mundane and bland somehow joyously addictive. Surgery isn't what you'd call a laugh riot, nor is food service considered a thrill, yet somehow clever game designers can turn tedium into delight. Well here's a weird one for you: furniture assembly. Yes, that's right. Studio TheStorkBurntDown's new title, Home Improvisation (also playable on itch.io), manages to turn the dreaded task of building your cheap bit of IKEA nonsense into a gleefully daft puzzle game. Left click to select each piece of furniture, use the mouse wheel to adjust elevation, and right click to control its orientation to fit each peg into each hole. The game's exceptional Unity-based physics system can sometimes cause parts to scatter as they knock into each other, but rest assure, this is a game that's just as fun to fail as it is to succeed.

Home ImprovisationCreated in 48 hours for Global Game Jam, Home Improvisation takes its simple concept and runs it as far as it will go. There's no end to the game. The floor keeps piling up with box after box of oddly-named Swedish bric-a-brac, until your tastefully spare little loft apartment is drowning in coffee tables and lamps. Pieces will snap together if you can get the pegs close enough to the holes, but that doesn't mean the end result will look pretty. There are no redos, so each mangled, twisted lamp and table is stuck there forever, taking up space as you try to do delicate work on the next piece. What's more, parts can be mixed and matched, allowing you to build some Frankenstein monstrosities that won't do any favors to your Feng Shui. And as a final wonderful feature, Home Improvisation supports multiplayer as well as control schemes for keyboard and Xbox controllers, so your friends can all annoy each other as they try to make sense of a room full of ergonomic junk. So check out Home Improvisation and build your dream apartment! Or fling the coffee table across the room in frustration, whatever floats your boat.

Play Home Improvisation

16 Comments

hm. needs some way to pull things apart.

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Kyttynjirr February 1, 2015 4:53 PM

I really like the idea of this game, and the execution, in my opinion, is really quite good. I agree with Ashiel, though -- I would like to be able to take things apart so that I could put them together differently. I also would like to be able to do a 360-degree rotation of the camera, but I'm guessing that would be difficult to implement. Overall, I think it's a good puzzle game that just needs a few tweaks. It's certainly an impressive accomplishment for just 48 hours!

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I was having a lot of fun with the game, but the third piece of furniture is rather fiddly and requires some trial and error... without a way to dismantle anything, it soon just became really tedious to keep restarting. I realise it was made in a small space of time, so I just hope that the devs expand the game to add a few more features! Would also like to ability to zoom in without having to pick up anything, just so I can properly analyse the pieces, for example. Fun, but needs a way to "restart" without having to play the whole thing over again!

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It would be great if you could break apart your furniture by dropping it from a height, or toss your concoction around the room.

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I have reached the point at which I no longer care about making proper furniture and instead just putting everything together. The sofa cushions are strewn across the room, and the vase has disappeared beneath a stack of coffee tables. Needless to say, I'm really enjoying this.
A zoom feature wouldn't go amiss, though.

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chapel204 February 2, 2015 2:25 PM

It's okay, I gave up when I carefully aligned a piece over a hole and it jumped to the next hole, making completing the table impossible.

I shouldn't say impossible, just that I don't want to just stick it together.

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Learning to use the shift keys was important: the left will lower an object, the right will raise it.

Nevertheless, I did not get very far. This game is good therapy for perfectionists because perfection's just not gonna happen. Some results were funny, but to actually get all the parts snapped in, even completely out of place, can get tiresome. I agree that an unsnap option would be nice. That said, not having it definitely pushed me to create some, um, original contraptions, so I suspect this is intentional. Once I got the idea, though, the game didn't sustain my interest because of the fiddly process of getting pieces together.

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argyblarg February 2, 2015 3:40 PM

This was surprisingly fun.

My suggestions:

- If not an undo, maybe a "bring the next piece anyway" button. I really want to build that third thing (table?) but I have to get the lamp right to do it, which I can't do very consistently.

- A music mute button.

Otherwise, I really like it.

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Controls were typically Unity-ish...touchy and nervous, and this got in the way of getting into the game. I quit almost as soon as I started playing.

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I have to agree with Thorzdad. I love the idea of building Awkward Furniture, and the execution is impressive considering the development constraints, but why not a simpler control scheme? Shouldn't it be possible for the player just to click on the two pieces that she wants to combine, then rotate the new piece into its final position along (usually) just one degree of freedom? Seems like that would make for much faster play, without sacrificing any of the creative possibilities.

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Rever Man (-; February 3, 2015 8:03 AM

IKEA! F*CK YEAH

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Rever Man (-; February 3, 2015 8:08 AM

By the way, the name of IKEA furniture is places around europe. Like there a furniture named STOCKHOLM, the capital of sweeden.

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OK, I really want to build nice furniture for my apartment (perhaps unhealthily so), but I cannot for the life of me figure out how that third table goes together. It seems to have too many pieces. Has anyone gotten that one right?

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Semicircular table... any walkthroughs for that?

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Also, it would be a massive hit if the revised version is ported onto mobile platforms.

...

With in-app purchases on furniture manuals.

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ultimatesandwhich March 10, 2015 2:58 PM replied to agilm

Use your imagination to pretend that I was able to get them together as shown.

Reply

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