April 26th-29th 2013 :: Theme: Minimalism

Ludum Dare 26 — April 26-29th, 2013
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by Codexus - Jam Entry

"Balls!" is a 3d physics-based puzzle/platform game. Its minimalistic gameplay: just push the balls into the goals!

There are 8 levels and I hope you will enjoy playing them all. It was made solo in 72h. Unity webplayer required for the web versions, be patient the game is 24MB.

Controls: WASD, Mouse, Spacebar
- Jumping on top of the ball is a good way to move it away from walls
- I took care to make sure you shouldn't get stuck anywhere but if necessary or just to save time you can reset a level by pressing ESC and selecting the option in the menu.

If you have a slow machine select the low quality version, without the image effects and stuff... T__T


Timelapse video: http://youtu.be/ZBgcY7k5tXU


Since this is a jam entry I think it's only fair to let you know about my creation process so that you can rate accordingly. I mostly created all the assets and code during the jam but I used content generators a lot to speed up the process.

Code: created during the jam, copy/paste limited to a few lines at a time from the documentation and my past entries.

Models: Entirely made during the jam, the character is sculpted in ZBrush , textured by hand, and animated in Blender. The rest is modeled in Modo. The only exception is the tree that was generated with Unity's Tree Generator (using default settings)

Textures: made with texture generators, some from scratch other using presets. Additionally two textures from a textures site (grass and butterfly). Skybox generated in Vue.

Music: Midi file procedurally generated with Band-in-a-Box, then taken into Reason where I arranged it a bit to make it sound better. The sound effects were made in Reason using various instruments.

Misc: I used an explosion effect that comes with Unity for the exploding ball.

I think that covers it all.

Downloads and Links




MaxSzlagor says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:17am

Nice looking game! I enjoyed pushing the ball around until it got stuck against a wall. I thought to myself..needs a reset button. Then I opened the menu and found the reset level option. It would still be nice to have a little more control over moving the ball (a pull maybe? a kick?). Nice job taking the generated content and polishing it up. The initial load on low res is pretty long (running 12 mb/s internet too). Great work!

basspenguin says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:20am

WOW!!!! Solo over 72hrs?! This is great. Love the atmosphere and the aesthetics. A real gem here!

Adbook says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 11:25am

This game is great ! I loved the mood, and the whole game is impressive since this was made in 72 h. The controls could be improved for a little bit more maniability, though.

Travis Irby says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 11:30am

Wow this is very pretty! A fun concept too :D

Jonny D says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 12:41pm

My favorite part is running at the screen through a shower of sparks like in some kind of medieval action flick (with butterflies).

ataxkt says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 1:30pm

Looks really great! Thing is, I've seen a 2D game with the same mechanic posted, and it was more minimal. Not sure what the 3D and graphics actually add to the game. Really impressive though.

multitude says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 2:24pm

AMAZING! More plz! I loved everything about this game!

Thotor says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 2:25pm

Amazing art works !

Richard Matey says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 2:29pm

Great job and fantastic lighting, inspired me to make some better looking games :)

Dir3kt says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 9:39pm

Graphically impressive and solid gameplay. You really did 'minimized the minimalism' here ;) There is even a butterfly!

Got stuck at the level with the switch. Never had enough time to go back before the bridge goes down :/

PS: sorry gave you bad rating for the theme...

Jellycakes says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 11:54pm

That was really nice looking for a unity game! Solid gameplay as well with interesting puzzles! Good job!

Yann says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 1:34am

Darn your game is as horrible to handle as it is pretty :D
I had so much problem controlling the character and also if you push the ball on a slope you have the tendancy of walking over it. Pretty frustrating.

But! I finished the game anyway (:

JAH2488 says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 1:26am

Beautiful game! Great job.

ilovepixel says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 3:30am

Amazing game, great graphics. I spent almost half an hour on this and I enjoyed every minute

martijn says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 8:16am

Probably the best looking 3d games this ludum

bytegrove says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 12:49pm

Really ambitious for a one man entry, the lighting looks crazy good! The "level cleared"-effect is really nicely done and very well synced to the sound effect, giving it a nice impact. Crazy to see you create a character sculpt from scratch for this entry, gutsy! Her clothing looks really cool, and you applied a really nice choice of colours that went well with the environment. Her animation felt a little awkward though. I like the look and the mood(awesome music) of the game overall, reminded me of a mix of games such as populous, zeno clash, papo & yo and nights. I felt the core gameplay mechanic a bit lacking, I didn't really find the ball rolling mechanic that fun. I liked however how you could climb up on the ball and roll it, I'd liked to see that mechanic refined, with maybe a locking system when you jumped up on it. If I remember correctly, super mario galaxy had some really neat ball-rolling levels, maybe something to look into?
So, to conclude this wall of text :), really nice work on the graphics and sounds, great mood! The gameplay is promising but could do with some tweaking. Awesome work!

ttakamoto says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 2:45pm

I liked the graphics and audio, really nice song. Really impressive how you accomplish that alone creating the char and the song! congratz.

lotusgame says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 3:52pm

Too irratating for me :s Controling the ball movement accurately is very hard, and in some situations the camera flips too much. But this game is marvelous ! Bravo !!

Bernhard says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 6:02pm

Stunning presentation! Unity very well used!
Loved the button/elevator level and the final downhill level the most :-)

Leoche says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 6:34pm

Nice & zen game. Love the lights

BumpkinRich says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 7:33pm

Great entry. Very impressive for a solo game in 72 hours. Really solid.

Alucard J says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 9:53pm

The assets look amazing, and the gameplay is very fluid. An amazing effort, would like to see this expanded on with lots more puzzles. Well Done =]

spliter says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 11:46pm

This is a really polished game!
It looks gorgeous, has neat puzzles and very soothing music.

LionelJitro says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 12:01am

Really nice looking game. I can't say its all that enjoyable to play Sisyphus though =) The downhill parts are a lot more fun.

Its such a nice atmosphere, I love all the assets and the particle celebration on the end of the level. Really awesome, well done.

CoffeeOnimal says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 1:42am

Very nice, I liked this. The flutes really set a nice mood.

MinionStudios says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 1:58am

Wow this was very impressive!

Beldarak says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 2:34am

Impressive. I first thought you were using a lot of assets from previous projects but then I looked your timelapse. Congratulations :)

Hatscat says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 9:07am

Wow! Really impressive graphics!Congratulations.
Just one thing to improve for me : the camera moves too fast with my computer, have you think to make it speed independant from framerates?

patrickward says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 10:37am

Very impressive for 72 hrs. The graphics, audio, and environment were top notch. I found it difficult to control the character, but that may be because I haven't had much practice with 3d environments like this. One of the most beautiful games I've seen yet. Outstanding.

May 3, 2013 @ 6:37pm

Very bold interpretation of the theme - to just have the task minimalistic - but with such a talent in making 3d graphics, I can see what driven you to this decision. Love the aesthetics, everything about how the game looks and sounds and feels is superb. However, I will still take away a point for the theme interpretation.

SonnyBone says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 9:19pm

WONDERFUL models, textures, lighting, and particle effects! The way that you control the ball feels a bit clumsy. I feel like there should be some way to 'lock' onto the ball to be able to guide it rather than just run into it and hope for the best. Watching your Unity skills evolve over these LD compos has been great!

zkenshin says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 9:24pm

Really great graphics. :)

Tozy says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 5:40am

3 stars in humor for the position of the hands! very good graphics. :)

AlbertoSM says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 11:51am

Very nice graphics, although the girl runs in a weird way haha! Mechanics need some polishing since you can accidentally end up on top of the ball when you try to push it.

pythong says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 12:41pm

great! considering the time frame, this game is beautiful!

klianc09 says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 1:50pm

This reminds me of "The Ball", which is also a great game with similar concept. But the control over the ball clearly has to improve. The art is gorgeous though.

allinlabs says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 9:34am

I'm always impressed when I see someone creating a fully animated and textured character for LD. Great graphics and music, but gameplay-wise I didn't get that much fun, even though the level design is nice. Pushing a ball is kinda boring in my opinion, maybe adding some variants to the level could make it more interesting ? Like floors that change the physics of the ball, or maybe timed moving wall... don't know

PsenFilip says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 3:40pm

Awesome work on 3d art. Must have couple dozen of hours just for that.
The audio track is lovely. Good sound effects as well.

Overall mood and atmosphere are really good. Good job on there.

The level where you have to press the yellow button is interesting. I like the level design. On the same 'yellow-button' level I had some trouble jumping on blocks. Had to do several tries since I kept falling due to unresponsive controls. Maybe a bit of input lag on my end, I don't know.

On the next level it was tricky to get the explosion thing but I managed to beat it after 4 tries or so.

... the difficulty ramps up a bit each new level and after quite a while I managed to beat the game. Pretty fun.

One last note: controls are quite OK. Only if you stand by the ramp the character slowly moves. She doesn't stand in place.

euwaku says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 8:47pm

Amazing work for a 72h solo (especially for the graphics and music...). Not sure how it fits the theme though ^^

lightsoda says ...
May 6, 2013 @ 12:09am

I've seen things like this in other games, and usually hate it, since you don't really have any direct control over where the ball is going. Quite pretty though.

someone says ...
May 6, 2013 @ 12:30am

Nice game. Love the extra details in the levels.
Handling the ball was sometimes a pain though.
Spent ages on the level with the switch trying to roll the ball at the bridge then pressing the button, before I realised you can jump.

Galvesmash says ...
May 6, 2013 @ 6:53am

I'm just falling in LOVE with your game!

kyyninen says ...
May 6, 2013 @ 2:20pm

Had fun with it, but I don't know if the (superbly modeled!) human character for player was the best choice. It feels pretty awkward that you can't just use your hands to handle your balls.

dertom says ...
May 6, 2013 @ 5:41pm

Nice polished game that uses the unity engine a bit more than the 'common' ld-title. Good job, controlling the ball turned out be quite tricky :D Good sounds...

May 6, 2013 @ 11:33pm

Graphics were great however animations and mechanics were a little strange... The character kept running over the ball! Other then that simple and fun concept, even if a little annoying :P

Taro Omiya says ...
May 8, 2013 @ 2:47am

Beautiful game. Gameplay is a little on the simple side, but I've enjoyed it.

omaha says ...
May 8, 2013 @ 3:27am

This was damned hard to play on a trackpad, but I tried my best to make it work. Graphics are fantastic. Mood is fantastic. Audio is fantastic.

Orni says ...
May 8, 2013 @ 6:12am

well done,
it's a very simple concept but executed in a great way - I enjoyed it

siondream says ...
May 8, 2013 @ 6:30am

Amazing environment for just 72h, incredible.

Erunaamo says ...
May 8, 2013 @ 11:51pm

Pleasant visuals and sound (I especially like the butterfly, a small touch that adds a lot of life to the world). Potentially fun game concept (I like rolling ball games in general) but it was hard to enjoy playing because it's pretty hard to control the ball. The character's arms face forward in a "pushing" posture when you're standing still, but not in the run cycle. Is this a hands-off soccer game? I'm bad at soccer...and this simulates that feeling nicely.

Make the character put out her (his?) hands to guide the ball (and actually do provide somewhat more control) and I'd probably like this a lot better.

May 9, 2013 @ 9:54am

"Balls", eh? Reminds me of my own game :P

Nice work! Love the level-design. It loops optically interesting, and the ramping-up of the difficulty is well done.

The target-particle-effect is also quite nice.

bobiniki says ...
May 9, 2013 @ 1:31pm

Quite awesome. Simple gameplay in the begining but the graphics are great. I love the main character and the cool particles at the end of the level. Also what is the name of the font you are using?

ahm99 says ...
May 10, 2013 @ 6:30am

I loved the graphics! Pretty frustrating, but I liked it. You did great :)

barkergames says ...
May 12, 2013 @ 7:20pm

Graphics are awesome! I got frustrated on the level with the platform that moves up and down, the ball kept on getting stuck(disappear) into the ramp. Had to keep restarting because of it, until it annoyed me enough it wasn't fun anymore.

Besides that bug it was the best 3D Ludum Game I've played so far, by a long shot!

ethankennerly says ...
May 12, 2013 @ 11:06pm

Watching the sky and particles fly entertained me. If you continue to develop this, when I pushed the ball I felt clumsy.

Sebastian says ...
May 14, 2013 @ 7:19pm

Well, I've certainly discovered that I lack the required patience for effectively rolling balls up ramps!
This game has an awesome mood and the level cleared effect + audio makes completing a level very satisfying.

Sylvain.p says ...
May 15, 2013 @ 5:18pm

Impressiv work for a jam. Great work, but totaly out of the theme.

Madball says ...
May 20, 2013 @ 2:51pm

Hmm... I was playing the last level, and when I opened the menu to restart it, I accidentally clicked "Quit to menu" instead of "Reset level", and was forces to complete the game once more.
I liked the idea, though there was very little minimalism. I think you can add more levels with this mechanics.

Xanjos says ...
May 20, 2013 @ 9:36pm

Probably the most polished looking game I've seen so far. Level design was pretty good and the graphics and audio was absolutely amazing.

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