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Obelisks are made from stacks of stones. These obelisks are markers of territories where tribute must be paid to enter. At the end of time the tallest obelisk will rule what is left of the world.

Pawns who walk through the territories of obelisks owe them tribute, this takes the form of stones, either pulled from the fundament or borrowed from other obelisks.

What is the worth of a pawn, of a stone, of an obelisk?



Git Repository (Repo may not be public)



obelisk-feelies-moodboard images

obelisk-booklet-moodboard images

obelisk-game-moodboard images

obelisk images


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obelisk version 1.1.5 alpha notes

This update adds

  • new fake macos attract mode
  • stacking bills and billing cycle
  • various bug fixes

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asemic text

I’m starting to think now about the box, manual and ‘Feelies’ for Obelisk. The full piece should really push the dissonance between what’s in the game and what is hinted at in all the supporting materials. For the game manual, I’d like to have detailed tables of runes, crafting ingredients, spells, etc that I’ll likely generate with python scripts. I’m starting with some python scripts from Allison Parrish that help with creating “Asemic” glyphs. I’m building my versions of the scripts as she does in her example, using a Jupyter notebook. Even though these runes won’t be in the actual unity game, I’d like to create them with some consideration of how they might have fit in an earlier version of the game world. I think they would be cuneiform-like markings in the construction stones, they’d likely have square limits, and the marks would maybe be wedge-shaped like a marking-implement.

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Obelisk v 1.4 alpha notes

Obelisk Version 1.4 alpha additions:

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Obelisk, spring, capstone

Picking Obelisk back up, considering it for maybe a capstone (senior) project for school.

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obelisk v1.1.3 alpha notes

Quick bug fix, I had introduced a bug trying to start world space ui elements for individual obelisks that made all but the first obelisk territory broken.

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Maybe this is overelaborate, but I keep thinking about how adding the ability to place stones back in the ground if they are connected on two sides gives the player a limited ability to restore the ruined world. You could potentially borrow from obelisks, rebuild the ground, decrease their power and just not pay them back. This would likely be balanced out by npc behavior, as they’d be frantically extracting and repaying obelisks, but as that’s a future design problem to address, what’s a nice way to respond to rebuilding the ground? I’m thinking this is the time for me to finally get to make a cellular automata- make a class of flower and grass objects that build off of the handful of grass sprites i’ve made, and allow them to reproduce in areas where there’s large plains of ground stones without obelisks.

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Obelisk version 1.1.1 notes

What started out as a minor bugfix ended up having some new features, so here’s v 1.1.1, the version I’m turning in for winter quarter. It’s got:

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obelisk v1 alpha notes

Turning in the first version of Obelisk! This version adds:

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Obelisk 0.4 alpha notes

new stuff:

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Obelisk version 0.3 alpha notes

New version includes agreements with obelisks, different obelisk territories, other underlying systems.

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obelisk 0.2 alpha version notes


  • replaced left/right click with left-click only, distance aware walking or block manipulation
  • you can pull the block out from underneath yourself for a grim solution to getting stuck (will eventually add an ‘are you sure’ modal to this)
  • death
  • tons of tweaks on pathfinding and positioning

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click event notes

writing this down while I am thinking about it- instead of left click right click, only left click, there’s a cursor that’s a highlight that snaps to grid cells that looks like feet when it’s far away but walkable, looks like nothing when it’s not walkable, and looks like hands when it’s within one grid space away. if it’s one grid space away and you click it gets/puts a block.

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pathfinding 2

my bff Nick Crockett fixed my pathfinding prob, during play it must not have been updating the navmesh, so placing block tiles wasn’t doing anything. Instead we use pf.SetNavTileBlocked(gridPosition, true); to add a pathfinding block. The problem with not following the path exactly I was able to fix with my pivot offset gameobject.

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troubleshooting pathfinding

Taking a moment to refine pathfinding.

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Obelisk alpha .1

This is the first numbered version of Obelisk

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clicking on obelisks

So obelisk is using a z-as-y tilemap that makes it easy to stack tiles as if they have height. I’m having a time figuring out how you will be able to click on an obelisk, including any of its stacked tiles, and interact with it though, as folks are discussing here and here. Currently I’m cloning instances of a gameobject called obelisk that sits at the origin of each stack and holds things like the obelisk’s name, an id and height. I’m thinking that there should be a way to programmatically make that game object the same dimensions as the stack of tiles and make that the clickable part.

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obelisk 2-17-21

Obelisks are programmatically drawing their shadows and territories now. I will prob have to refactor a lot of this stuff once I figure out how adding and removing blocks will work as a function. screenshot of obelisk game with patterns drawn on ground tiles

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obelisk 2-14-21

Over the weekend I got obelisks stacking programmatically. You’re able to sort through all the tiles on a tilemap a couple of ways in unity and I had to try a few. Initially I was getting the bounds of a tilemap using -

BoundsInt bounds = groundMap.cellBounds; 

and then getting all of the tiles from that using -

TileBase[] allTiles = groundMap.GetTilesBlock(bounds); 

which gives you an array that you can loop through, except whoops, then you don’t have the grid co-ordinates of the tiles you’re looking at. I’ve switched to this which seems to mostly be working?

void Start()
        int ObeliskID = 1;  // we're going to number each obelisk we find
        Vector3Int coordinate = new Vector3Int(0, 0, 0);
        for (int i = 0; i < groundMap.size.x; i++)
            for (int j = 0; j < groundMap.size.y; j++)
                coordinate.x = i; coordinate.y = j;
                Tile tile = groundMap.GetTile<Tile>(coordinate);
                if (tile != null)
                    Debug.Log("x:" + coordinate.x + " y:" + coordinate.y + " tile:" + tile.name);
                    if (tile.name == "foundation_block")
                        //Vector3Int foundationCoords = new Vector3Int(coordinate.x, coordinate.y, 0);
                        navMap.SetTile(coordinate, pathStop); // add a pathfinding barrier
                        GrowObelisk(coordinate, 4, ObeliskID);
                        numberOfObelisks += 1;
                        ObeliskID += 1;

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obelisk 2-7-21

I’m behind on figuring out stacking, but today I did some fun UI and background animation additions. I have a dithered cloud animation that looks great. I’d post video of it but any compression at all mutilates it. obelisk screenshot with clouds

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obelisk 2-3-21

Pomodoros today involved evaluating how the block-stacking function will work (goal is to implement this before the end of the week). For this I’ll need to be able to check a location to see if a block is there. We may be able to just check the grid location to see if the tile there is null (I kind of remember doing stuff like this in Thicket, but it might be better to come up with a way to store data about tiles like this. To get a block:

  • at the location of the click:
  • check the grid location tilemap ‘Stacks’ (the tiles above ground) to see if there are blocks: – set the highest block that isn’t an obelisk cap’s tile to null – if there’s an obelisk cap, decrease its z position by one – increment the players inventory blocks by one
  • if there’s no blocks on ‘Stacks’ check the ‘Ground’ tilemap for blocks: – set the block tile on the ground location to null – increment the players inventory blocks by one

I may regret it but I also imported the Simple Tile Pathfinding 2D package I used in Thicket too, I’m not sure if I’ll need this yet, but I think adding pathfinding and block tiles will make moving around a lot nicer (pathfinding around obstacles, no banging head against colliders, npc pathfinding).

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obelisk 2-2-21

pomodoros today involved tilemaps and tilemap colliders. Now the player is bounded by the ground tilemap (still a little weird) and can’t walk through tiles on the ‘stacks’ tilemap.

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obelisk day 1

This is the first (official) day of work on Obelisk. I had a previous project running where I experimented with point rendering and turning off anti aliasing, but it was a universal pipeline project and this time I am just working with a 2d only project. I’m going to switch the repo over to this new instance. Remember that even in a 2d unity project you need to set your camera to orthographic!

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