Ludum Dare 31 — December 5th-8th, 2014 — Theme: Entire Game on One Screen

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The Ball

by Xanjos - Jam Entry

4th Ludum Dare Entry and 3rd one submitted for the jam.

Wasn't really a fan of the theme at first and I was pretty much stumped for ideas on the Saturday until I decided to break it down into more simpler terms and ended up with a viable enough idea that would somehow fit the theme during the late hours. I also unfortunately missed out most of Sunday because I was out meeting friends so I had the entire Monday to somehow pull this all off.

Also I'm still terrible at drawing things (yay programmer art!!) and there's probably one or two glaring bugs that have gone unnoticed.

EDIT: Standalone versions are now up!! Again, I don't have a Mac or Linux machine to test on so if anyone is having problems with those builds please let me know.

Instructions

The aim of the game is to prevent the blue ball from dropping out of the screen for as long as possible.

Click on the ball to push it up in the air (You can control the direction of the ball depending on where you have clicked on the ball).

You get 1 point for every second the ball is in the air, 5 points for bouncing the ball off the side and top of the screen, 10 points for collecting any of the stars that appear by random and 50 points for getting the ball through the moving orange hoop.

If the ball physics are hard to control, it's because I intentionally made it that way.

EDIT: For those having trouble controlling the ball, try clicking on the bottom to get it to go higher and click on its left side to make it go right (and vice versa).

Tools Used:

Language:C#
Library/Framework:Unity
Sounds:bfxr
Graphics: Inkscape

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness100%
#366Theme(Jam)3.69
#526Fun(Jam)3.02
#627Audio(Jam)2.23
#800Innovation(Jam)2.53
#824Overall(Jam)2.80
#946Graphics(Jam)1.92

Comments

Ozcr says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 1:16am

Really cool game!

Try mine, http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-31/?action=preview&uid=44154

pkenney says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 2:22pm

I like what you've done with such a small scope here, that's good jamming! I liked the challenge. My high score was only 117 but I felt like I could have done much better, which I think is just what you want in a game like this... it kept my trying "one more time."

I think you should have a screenshot up with an impressive high score, since you are the developer, I snuck that into one of my screen shots on my own game but we'll see if anybody notices and takes up the challenge. ;)

I did notice one bug while playing. There's something wrong with the detection of whether the ball went through the hoop. The first time I got it through the hoop, I did not get the fifty points. Then later, several times I did get fifty points when I DIDN'T get it through the hoop. It seems like if I bounce it off the bottom of the hoop sometimes I get the bonus incorrectly.

No big deal though! Nicely done.

I bet this game would benefit greatly from a little juice. The ball was a bit dead. The few sounds it made were a huge help but if it jiggled and pulsed as it bounced around or particles flew out as it scored, I bet it would be a huge improvement in the feel of interacting with it.

Xanjos says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 5:43pm

@pkenney: Yeah the hoop detection is a bit sketchy (I should really adjust the minimum velocity that the ball must travel in to score points after it exits the hoop's trigger). I originally set the hoop up to only let the ball pass through from the top (like in basketball) but changed it at the last minute to let the ball pass through both sides.

EthanWebster says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 6:59pm

Fits the theme well. Sometimes the stars appear at the bottom of the screen and are extremely hard to get without dying, the addition of the hoop was good to gain extra points. Overall good game!

ChaosCult says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 7:01pm

Simple and addictive. Seems to miss some clicks though - maybe when I'm moving the mouse and it becomes "drag" instead?

Also, collecting stars still beeps even with sound off.

raincole says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 7:04pm

Got 652. Sometimes you get 100 or 150 if you click when the ball is right in the hoop?

PoQA Games says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 1:18am

This is a weirdly fun game, I cant exactly describe why :) I would love some clearer direction on why the ball moves the way it does so i could optimize my clicking better...

Noah Ratcliff says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 1:23am

I love short challenging things like this.
I noticed that sometimes the ball passes through the hoop and is not scored, and sometimes it hits the rim and bounces out, and is scored.

PixelCrust says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 4:05pm

Simple but challenging, enjoyed playing it :)

YakkApps says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 5:52pm

Cool game! I like the concept. I only got 54 points haha d: Check out my game, thanks! http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-31/?action=preview&uid=47072

Crosstales says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 5:57pm

Minimalistic but fun game :-)

Well done!

YakkApps says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 6:07pm

Liked it

TriSquare says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 12:19am

Good job, I got a score of 50 first try

olligobber says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 1:58am

It could be more obvious how your clicking affected the ball, it lacked agency. Also, quite glitchy in detecting when the ball went through the hoop, and didn't show your score after you died unless it was a high score.

local minimum says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 9:39pm

Hehe that sure was some programmer art! It was fun playing though. Tried quite a few times until I finally got to 165. It really was quite a fun concept.

Since it's a really fast game where you have to retry a lot of times, I would not have a specific start button but click anywhere to restart feature. Keep the players playing!

I would also consider making the hit circle for the ball (not for colliding with object but registering the force) about 1.5x the actual size of the ball for it to be more friendly. To elevate difficulty as the level progresses, just decrease the size of the ball. Make the room smaller, add another loop or a ball bouncer. You could also play with physics dynamically, rotate the room with the camera a bit so that the player doesn't see the rotation happening.

Then, the loop, I'd consider randomizing where one the x axis it starts. It also was a bit friendly in giving point even if the ball didn't pass through, so maybe place a trigger on either side, well separated and require it to enter one, then both, then only the other.

I can imagine this to be perfect for touch interaction. With some visual feedback on where the force press appeared. Camera shake when ball is bouncing against walls and so on. Get yourself someone to do the graphics, add some music and work on difficulty progression and that juice and I think this could be a great game.

YourNerdyJoe says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 10:38pm

addictive and frustrating, great job!

Omiya Games says ...
Dec 12, 2014 @ 7:20pm

Great job at making a game by yourself. I think you've done well at making a playable game. In my opinion, I've seen other games use a similar control scheme and objectives, and what I felt different when playing your version was the lack of control. In other words, I think the game feel -- a real game design term -- is lacking.

There are a few ways to mitigate this. I know, for example, you've made it so clicking different heights of the ball causes different strength in upwards trajectory. I personally don't like that clicking the top of the ball has nearly no effect, while the bottom has too much effect. It would be great if the differences between the two were greatly reduced, such that clicking the higher regions will still cause the ball to bounce noticeably. Second, you may want to increase the area you can click the ball. A lot of times, I felt like the game unfairly didn't register my clicks.

Dec 12, 2014 @ 8:10pm

Simple graphcis, well made game! I Included it in part 10 of my Ludum Dare 31 compilation video series, if you would like to check it out :) http://youtu.be/YpdCMKphEUw

MrBadIvan says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 8:04pm

I liked the concept, innovative and fun, my top score is 202=)

Mach60KAS says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 10:08pm

Fit the theme well, extremely challenging. The sounds were an okay fit mostly. I managed to get a score of 308, somehow! Anyhow, keep it up! :)

schnerble says ...
Dec 15, 2014 @ 5:59am

Quite hard, but kind of fun :) I can imagine it being one of those games people keep trying for hours, except it's a little too tricky. I had to settle for a high score of 285.

RyanNielson says ...
Dec 15, 2014 @ 3:18pm

This could be a cool little mobile game. The ball upward force when clicking was unpredictable. It seemed to be based on click location. When clicking the top of the ball, it didn't seem to get enough upward force, perhaps make it so that if the ball is clicked anywhere it flies upwards. That'll remove a little bit of the frustration.

rd127p77 says ...
Dec 16, 2014 @ 1:42am

Neat Game, like the idea.

Scam says ...
Dec 16, 2014 @ 7:26pm

Simple and addictive. I had to try several times to get a better score. Keeping the ball on the screen is quite tricky, especially if it bounces quickly from the hoop.

JJEvil says ...
Dec 16, 2014 @ 7:43pm

Feedback on the ball feels good. Had to turn the volume down on that bounce sound, though.

Florent says ...
Dec 16, 2014 @ 8:24pm

Pretty good job ! Simple idea but not that simple to play !
Could be really nice with better graphics, though !

hbocao says ...
Dec 16, 2014 @ 9:51pm

Simple, but addictive and challenging. The sounds kinda annoyed me. I like the little twist on "poke the ball game". Improve the graphics and sound, tweak it some little more and I think it could be a very cool game on mobile.

Tuism says ...
Dec 16, 2014 @ 10:34pm

Well, honestly, I've seen this game many times before, so I think it's thin on originality. Now, you might never have seen the ones before too so I'll give you that.

I think that the mechanic has potential to be great, but there are some really frustrating bits:

1. The hoop tends to get in the way more than be a scoring opportunity. The collision feels too heavy-handed. Possibly provide it as a bonus than a hinderance and let it ignore the ball going up (like platformer platforms.

2. There's simply not enough upward force - it feels like you're reversing the down force up to get a bounce, right? That's good in theory, but when the ball never goes higher than it does previously (by hitting the bottom side of the hoop) it becomes all too easy to just lose all your height and peg in a lot of disappointment.

3. JUICE! For something so simple you need a lot of juice to make it feel satisfying. A great example of this is Tap The Coin - find it on iOS app store if you can.

4. The absolute randomness of the stars meant I could get stars without knowing I got one. That then feels cheap. Make me work for them. Place them away from the ball.

Good luck with the game :)

broknecho says ...
Dec 17, 2014 @ 4:05pm

Hahah that was a challenge. Nice dexterity game idea for sure. The hitbox on the ball felt very unforgiving. A lot of time we want to err on the side of the player UNLESS you're really trying to create a VERY difficult game. If you err on the side of client, you could play around with making the click hitbox bigger than the ball.

Nice Job!

puppetmaster says ...
Dec 17, 2014 @ 11:26pm

Cool gameplay!

It's a little buggy, sometimes you click on the ball and nothing happens.

gallerdude says ...
Dec 18, 2014 @ 2:42am

Mysteriously enthralling!

Dec 18, 2014 @ 10:45am

Didn't know what to expect but was surprisingly addictive. Thought I'd only last a few plays but actually couldn't stop for awhile. My top score was 412. Think with some nice graphics this could be a great game for quick plays and passing the time.

MonoS says ...
Dec 18, 2014 @ 1:46pm

The graphic fits into the game, but the SFX of the bounce is annoying.
I got 414 points, GGWP

igoramendola says ...
Dec 20, 2014 @ 3:50am

The gameplay is simple, but very challenging.
Perhaps need to work more on your programmer art hehehe but it's a good entry ^_^
My best is 476, so far.

zompi says ...
Dec 20, 2014 @ 10:18pm

It is hard to controll the ball when it goes down fast. Concept is interesting, but might need some polish. Another game that can be good for smartphones... Maybe the theme was for purpose? ;)

Luke Molnar says ...
Dec 21, 2014 @ 2:51am

I wrote a review of this game <3

http://www.rustboxgames.com/the-ball-review/

barryrowe says ...
Dec 22, 2014 @ 12:02am

This game is fun. I like the concept, and the mechanic. It reminds me of a game I used to play all the time on newgrounds/ffiends/ebaumsworld/one of the other old hubs of flash games where you had to keep a soccerball alive. The audio was a little bit grating. I would have liked to have a more satisfying sound when you click the ball.

Chaoseed says ...
Dec 23, 2014 @ 1:40am

Well, you finished and submitted a game, which is a victory. ;) It's reasonable. Back in my day, we called these "keepy-uppy" games. Good animation and physics!

Xaychru says ...
Dec 29, 2014 @ 2:01pm

Nice game! The art is a bit too generic and the wall of text can be annoying to read just to get some basic instructions, you should have added like score "particles" that goes out of the hoop/stars, so that the player is left with the objects to experiment with. I enjoyed playing the game anyway and my best score is 953! http://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/2014/01/1419861343-capture.png

Tortoise says ...
Dec 30, 2014 @ 2:22am

Really cool game! my HS was 213 and I played for a lot longer than I expected to. Was frustrating when the ball came down too fast though. Good job overall.

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