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Balls
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AndrewBGS Offline
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Post: #1
Balls
Disclaimer: This is not my main project; I am working on an RPG, but that's a long shot. I went for trying something small that I can see released soon to see how things would work out. So here's my try:

Balls (or... Magic Balls, Mighty Balls, something, I might have to a more appropriate name) is a puzzle game, structured on several levels - totally original. The action happens on a 10x10 matrix map filled with different types of blocks (simple blocks, tunnels, gaps, cracked blocks, etc - not all are implemented yet). The goal - which could use a story behind it - is to place the ball(s) in the corresponding hole(s).
To achieve this, the game has two states:

1) BUILD state - where the player may move some of the blocks on the map to whatever positions he considers that will help him later on. The ball(s) can not be moved in this state.

[img][Image: Balls2013-09-2520-08-11-58_zps375a3707.png][/img]

The player finds a movable block (smooth ones, for now; they will have specific different texture later on) and he moves the block wherever it may be needed to complete the puzzle.

After moving all blocks to the desired position, the user should play the "play" button, ad move on to the PLAY state. After this is done, blocks can no longer be moved, and the grid disappears.

2) PLAY state - here the player applies impulses to the ball(s) in the game in order to guide them to the corresponding hole. Impulses affect ALL the balls on the map, and can only be applied when no ball is in motion (so basically, you tell the balls to go right, and they go right all the way until they stop. Then you can move them again)
! this will be developed in a table tilting effect. Soon.

[img][Image: Balls2013-09-2520-09-50-96_zps7c614771.png][/img]
- Map with tunnels, in play state, completed, close to the end

[img][Image: Balls2013-09-2520-11-56-56_zps02090c5e.png][/img]
- Simple map, using a different ground texture and no borders - the ball may fall out of the world (which results in failing the level)

Currently the basics of the game are working; I have to implement a few more features, like cracking blocks, portal blocks, mad balls (that will move in the opposite impulse direction), a feature to change the texture, plus all that user experience stuff; advancing from lvl to lvl, rating the performance, tutorial and interface messages, etc. But the basics work.


While this may not look like much, it actually get quite cool and challenging when you involve more than one ball into the game. I do have a few multiple-ball maps, but they're not implemented yet. hope I'll get to add them to the showcase tonight. It doesn't compare to the one-ball puzzles. These are trivial. So... cool maps coming up.

But I'd appreciate any feedback you guys can give me. And sorry for the long post.
09-25-2013 06:53 PM
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Pixel Perfect Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Balls
Sounds and looks pretty cool .... how about 'Rock n Roll' for the game name wink I like the idea of the multi-ball levels. I guess its something I'd really have to try but I really like the build and play concept. Nice work Andrew, look forward to seeing some of the multi-ball levels.
09-25-2013 10:30 PM
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Tottel Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Balls
It definitely looks pretty cool. smile

Of course, we'd have to try it to know how fun it really is. But I can definitely see that it could be very challenging. pfft

Good luck!
09-25-2013 10:49 PM
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AndrewBGS Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Balls
Thanks smile Well yes, I actually had lot of doubts when I started this that i couldn't come up with any good puzzles. and with one ball, indeed I can't. But I'm fairly pleased with some of my multi-ball levels. Here are a few of them:

Now the biggest problem of my game so far is that it's not intuitive; I'll have to find some better textures for the balls and the holes to make it obvious which ball has to go where. But in the meantime, just approximate colours to blue, purple, green and yellow.

[Image: Balls2013-09-2609-43-32-61_zpsef286bf6.png]
- need to make a better distinction between moveable and fixed tunnels. they'll have different texture... soon.

[Image: Balls2013-09-2609-47-17-48_zpsfafd0fc5.png]
- one of my personal favourites so far pfft At least until someone finds me a trivial way to solve it. (the vertical tunnel is fixed. Shouldn't have to specify that... I'll make changing textures a priority)

[Image: Balls2013-09-2609-45-10-47_zps83688620.png]
- one of my 4-balls puzzle, biggest yet. But there can be more.

Now all of these are just checked to be solvable, but I didn't fully test them against trivial solutions. If anyone is interested, I can upload a small version of the game here for testing. It does feel better than it looks in pictures.... grin I'll also have to make a video of it at some point.

P.S.: Thanks for the name idea, Pixel. It's not bad, but I'll have to learn a bit about copyright and that kind of stuff. That's really not my area... but I'll manage it somehow.
(This post was last modified: 09-26-2013 07:59 AM by AndrewBGS.)
09-26-2013 07:55 AM
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para Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Balls
The concept is good, I played something with a very similar mechanic and it was challenging, fun and rewarding.

To make it more intuitive, you could use stone for immovable objects and wood for movable, or use some kind of move icon beneath/on top of them. For balls, matching colors is okay, gamers are very familiar with the concept, and should be intuitive enough even for non gamers.

A how to play option in the menus or an in game help screen is good enough and fits well for simple puzzle games. You can also make a mini tutorial that gradually introduces the player to the concepts.. or something clever like Braid did with it's story telling, and maybe have a level background that acts as a tutorial or instructions in blueprint style etc..

Alternatively you could make a 5sec intro video that starts in build mode, sets a few obstacles and sends a ball or two to hit a switch (instead of hole) and you reveal the game title then.. The player should get a clear idea about the game and how to play it before even getting to the menus, just by watching the short intro..
09-26-2013 01:17 PM
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AndrewBGS Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Balls
That is a beautiful idea para (the intro/tutorial movie). And it DOES fit in with my "menu" - which will be a ball with words on it for the menu options and you can rotate it to chose your option. I'll get working on that video as soon as I have a minimalist interface - just some window to tell you when you completed a level, or failed it.

I had the same idea about the movable/fixed objects; I just have to find out suitable textures; my design skills leave a lot to be desired. Thanks a lot for the feedback and the great idea!
09-26-2013 01:27 PM
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AndrewBGS Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Balls
So I finally managed to make my first youtube video ever, with my first game ever. I'm kinda nervous. And naturally fairly displeased with my achievement. But overlooking that, I'm damn curious to know what people think about it (the concept of the game, not the video - which sucks; I need to learn how to make reasonable quality widescreen videos with a size under hundreds of megabites per minute).

So here's the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zR4d3Ak4x-Y

Please tell me what you think.
10-06-2013 09:41 PM
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Kevin Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Balls
The game looks really promising and I also like the video. Simple game concept and yet it looks fun to play smile

Btw, Camtasia is pretty awesome for recording and compressing videos for youtube grin
10-06-2013 10:12 PM
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AndrewBGS Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Balls
Thanks for the tip; I'm currently making them huge than compressing them more than I'd like. Oh well. I tried my luck and got my idea on greenlight concept, I also added a new gameplay video there.
concept: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/fi...=184096730
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7_BKpu8i...e=youtu.be
10-07-2013 07:36 AM
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Pixel Perfect Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Balls
Good luck with Greenlight Concept, hope you get plenty of good feedback. It's a solid game idea and should do well smile
10-07-2013 08:27 AM
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AndrewBGS Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Balls
So after weeks of worrying with questions like "will this work?" "would people like this?" and "isn't this just lame?" I got fed up with all that worrying and decided to just give it a shot and see what's the worst that could happen.

So here's my indiegogo campaign: http://igg.me/at/missledBalls/x/4662419

I'd really appreciate if you could have a look and tell me what you think.
It's not half as good as what I expected, but I just got tired of thinking about it and I wanted to know if it's worth bothering with it so much or no. So there it goes.
11-19-2013 01:04 AM
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Pixel Perfect Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Balls
Again, wishing you both good luck! It's a great game idea and nicely implemented.
11-19-2013 09:21 AM
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dylantan Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Balls
Good luck sir! I feel this game have lot of potential.
11-19-2013 12:45 PM
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TheElk Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Balls
I wish you all the luck AndrewBGS with your idea it looks fun.
11-19-2013 04:49 PM
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