edited in Projects
Small prototype for a platforming game. Pretty fun.

Edit: Any feedback wIll be greatly apprecIated.
Also, since @BlackShipsFilltheSky posted the video of locco Rocco I just can't seem to stop thinking that the game is a clone of locco Rocco. So let's have a vote on weather the game is too similar to locco Rocco and just a clone, or weather the gameplay and mechanics are unique enough to not be seen as a cheap clone. I really don't want to clone someone else's game.

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  • Ooooh. There's so many cool things that can be done with this!

    (Try get that song out of your head!)
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    @BlackShipsFilltheSky Wow that song is super catchey. After making it I realised that it is kinda like locco Rocco... However the game that inspired mostly by super meat boy, with its fast paced short levels and basic but hard to master controls. Thanx for playing .
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    This is a really solid proto. :)

    I enjoyed moving through a couple of levels once I got over the initial learning curve (and I definitely think it's important to force the player to have that minimum understanding of the ball's motion, even though I stumbled about for a fair while on the first level).

    It feels immensely satisfying to "cannonfire" through narrow gaps with the inflation technique, this and other tactile elements of the game really make it shine for me (I'm not usually a fan of challenge platformers, funnily enough).

    One thing I should say: don't panic too much about being too similar to Loco Roco. Technically, Gish did stuff like this before either of you two, anyway, but clearly Gish is a distinct TYPE of game when compared to either. If we're going to talk about "copying", just make sure you go for your own game aesthetic: all three games have similar squidgoo-based mechanic things, but your particular inflation motion is unique, your game is clearly aimed at the tight, hardcore *challenge* aspect (aesthetic there, woo!) and it has a single focal point as opposed to Loco Roco's multiple ones.

    If there's one thing I can suggest, it would be improving the "whee" factor. Providing more situations where players can glide through the air in smexy arcs would be lovely.

    Instead of just testing your impact timing, as most of the levels I reached seemed to do (I got as far as the one where the blue balls start dropping), you can also test other player skills such as environmental timing (which I know would be easier for me to get into, at least).

    To elaborate, I'd suggest a hypothetical early puzzle where you get an easy cannon arc or two that allows you to very simply fire your inflataball over a pit ... except that blue blocks regularly drop down the middle and will cause a collision and subsequent death-by-pit if you don't time your cannon juuuust right. ;)
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    Has the link changed for the webplayer? I can't get it to display the html file correctly :(

    I love Loco Roco so much. It is basically pure joy. Loved the level inside the frog... I never actually finished it though: Was only playing it on a PSP debug kit, which meant staying after already crazy long work hours just to play more :(

    Also of relevance to the OP, Gish:

    (You may be able to spot Edmund McMillen's influence there, seeing as it's another one of his games)

    That said, I don't think you should abandon the idea, just look for unique gameplay that you can explore. Being in the same space as other games isn't a sin, just make sure you're not copying them. For instance, Loco Roco was built around tilting the entire world in order to move the character: Hit the right bumper to tilt right, left to tilt left and both at the same time to charge a jump. You can't have Loco Roco without those controls.

    -edit- Ninja'd by @Nandrew while I was looking for the gish vid ;)
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    @dislekcia I just uploaded the pc build in a zip as the web player isn't working.
  • @Nandrew Thanks for playing, and for the vote of confidence on the "cloning" side of things. Your level idea is neato and I'm already working on smoother sections like that. Never knew of Gish, looks realy cool but a tad slow paced for me.

    @dislekcia Can totally see the Edmund style ;)
  • Incredibly satisfying and incredibly difficult :) I think you really got something here! King of physics games man!

    I really feel that the game could work with a little less heaviness on the ball, although I realise that frustration really adds to the reward. It's just that the sheer randomness of it (seemingly reandomness of it) makes it really difficult to convince yourself that you're in control. But I do realise I am. Eventually. But er. Yes.

    That swinging thing was REALLY hard, in fact I didn't finish it. I could jump onto it from the left platform, or I could do the cannon thing, but either way I failed that last jump too many times to count and gave up.

    I really dig this :) Very sound prototype that explores a cool concept.
  • @Tuism Thank you for playing! Sorry about the badass difficulty, I kinda designed every tenth level so the dificulty curve is real steep. As for the controlls, it feels random but after playiing for a while you learn all the subtle tricks and timing. Since I now have some aproval that it's not just a cheap clone of Locco Rocco I'll totally make proper levels ;)
  • That said ... what's goin' on with your other project at the moment? :P

    @Tuism (THPOILERTH) In the level that you're having difficulty with, did you actually stay on the swinging platform and move back/forth several times on it *before* attempting your jump? That was an "Aha!" moment for me. :)
  • Yes that was an aha moment for me, knowing I could swing ON the thing. But then I tried to shoot out of that tube there and failed a million times getting to the end platform. Might be just me :P

    Brings back the days of full-body-dodging-in-front-of-screen if you know what I mean :)
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    Yeah I totally didn't mean: "Hey your game is similar to another game you should probably stop".

    Just meant: "If you haven't seen Loco Roco here is a cool game that you maybe want to draw inspiration from (or even improve upon) and should continue distinguishing yourself from (as you have been doing)".
  • Haha good job, I got stuck at the V level, got angry and gave up :D (although I have to add that I am behind on a project so I didn't have time to get better).

    You can make something awesome outta this I bet
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    @BlackShipsFilltheSky No worries, I was just being cautious/paranoid.

    @Denzil The basics of the game, like timing the bouncing right, is pretty tough to master. I'll definatly make loads of easier levels to ease people into the game first. I should have some new levels by tonight.

    @Nandrew Fling Fu is still ongoing, but I kinda lost the fun of the game along the way while adding features and stuff that distracts from what I liked about the older versions. Now I'm rethinking things and cutting out all the stuff I don't like. So what I'm trying to say is that I'm making fling fu by breaking it down back to the basics.
  • Very, very, very awesome!
  • My knee-jerk reaction: bouncing feels odd to me. I stuck with it (till the blue ball level) to make sure I grokked properly. I think my problem is that it a little ball bounces a lot further than a big ball. This is probably down to the nature of the physics you're using, seeing as the smaller balls has more elasticity. But if you a think about it a ballon deflating releases a lot of pressure, which gives you a big wheeeeeeeeeee!

    Know the point is to be frustratingly hard, but I didn't really feel in control. Rather like I had to do it enough times until it randomly fell in my favour. This is in contrast to Super Meat Boy where you know you're in control, you're just too pityfully useless to make it.

    Though that being said i did really enjoy the "cannon" mechanic. Like popping a zit! (sorry for that image :) )

    BTW: what physics are you using? Verlet Physics? Would be curious how you made this work with unity?
  • @TheFuntastic I see what you mean with the "out of control" bounce mechanic, and I'll try making it beter in the sense that you don't need to be perfectly spot on with your timing to bounce. The game shouldn't be frustrating at all, I just like the rhythm that is crated by the timed bouncing off of stuff. Once you get the timing of bouncing right it realy feels good and much more consistant.

    I'm using standard physics that comes with unity. The ball is just a Cloth object and the inflating is just changing the Pressure variable that is allready on the cloth via a script. To move left and right I chainge the Cloth External Acceleration variable in the same script. That is pretty much the hole game.

    ps: Unity for the WIN (just for incase you use game maker) ;-)
  • I genuinely enjoyed playing this. I think it's the first time I came back to a prototype wanting to try it again. I keep getting stuck at the V level, though. What I like about this is the fact that I -want- to try again.

    Have you sorted out the web player?
  • @Yay Thanks for the thumbs up. My opologies for the badass difficulty curve, I quickly made the levels, without much thinking, and ended up making the levels to chalenge me to my limits. I'm busy making new levels right now. Will try to post them later tonight.

    As for the web player; I can't find the "Public" folder anywhere in my DropBox. But I'll try again a litle later.
  • I posted the fix here
  • @TheFuntastic
    But if you a think about it a ballon deflating releases a lot of pressure, which gives you a big wheeeeeeeeeee!
    Just snapped! Did you mean as you deflate you get a small jump boost in mid air? If that is what you ment then YOU ARE A GENIUS!
  • @Yay Thank you so much, realy needed that.
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    Here is the link to the WebPlayer Build of the game
  • If deflating gives you a boost... Does that mean by default your balloon has an opening downwards? And if you deflate in the air to give you a boost up... Does that mean deflating on the ground will give you a jump too? So, inflating is a bump, deflating is a jump...

    *my brain* @_@
  • @Tuism It's real simple: When you are inflated and release the Space key I will apply a small amount of upward force, relative to the pressure inside the ball, to the ball and make a puff come out the bottom end. This will act as a sort of double jump, tho it will be small.
  • Just implemented the deflation jump and it works like a charm!
  • I know what is meant, I'm just saying that from a control intuition perspective, I'm going to press the thing to jump, and release it to jump too :) I just wanna see how it works in practice :)
  • @Tuism The deflation jump is much more subtle, it kinda makes you hover for a moment and pushes you up slightly. As for how it feels: real good...
  • @notsimon207 was thinking more like big jump - but I can see how even a little jump could add more control. Glad you got something good out of the feedback :D

    Cloth Components! Would have never thought of that. Oh and Unity all the way! ;)
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    My opologies for taking so long, I'm still getting the hang of designing levels (something I have never realy done much). Here is a link to the latest build.

    older build: (

    The levels in this one are much easier than the old one. Apart from the last level (The domino effect) which is a bit tricky. Crit on the difficulty of the levels and the difficulty curve will be realy helpful as I am way to pro at the game to judge (fact).

    I also aded the Deflation boost, which when fully charged feels pretty good. The boost takes some getting used to, but gives you way more control. I'd like to hear what you think.

    Just for incase you guys think I'm applying "maximum sarcasm" throughout the game: I'm not. The art (if you can call it that) is pretty much what I'm going to have in the final version, so if there is anything wrong with it (which is highly likely) don't hesetate to give crit.

    I hope to have the final game ready by the weekend (thus the easymode art style).

    Thanks for all the help so far. Especially @TheFuntastic and @Nandrew for the boost and block falling level idea respectively.
  • The boost works well enough in practice :) I like that it was assigned to a different key, I thought from the way it was being discussed it was tied to the ball's natural movement, so deflating it would automatically jump, that confused the crap out of me. (But maybe try it, dunno)

    These levels are much much easier, except when I got to the domino effect @_@ I get the idea, and did 4 of them, once, then gave up cos it was simply ridiculous to get the perfect landing 5 times in a row :P But I can see some people making it.

    I'd say that you should probably look at levels with a goal, but more difficult sub-challenges, like collectibles or to do it without stuff falling over or whatever, that way it's less frustrating and can still challenge. The same way all the other physics games are doing it :P

    As for the art style - well, if you're gonna stick with Comic Sans I'm not going to say anything :P But I think the game could do with some theming - like a backstory... This glob escaped from a factory or some othersuch nonsense, to frame the experience and give it more juice and character. But that's a whole entire discussion on its own really.

    Good job! :D
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    @Tuism Thanks for the ninja quick response!

    I originally did the boost with the deflation, and it did confuse the crap out of me. Thus I changed it to the current system (forced me to actually write over 7 lines of code!).

    The dommino effect is pretty damn hard, getting to four pretty is good, well done!

    Sub chalenges! Exactly what the game needs. Thanks for the idea.

    So you think the simple coloured blocks are fine? And I'll try think up a story that will take less than 0% effort to implement.

    Again, thanks.
  • Right, so it took me too long, but I finally got over the 5 dominoes. The jumping system and controls feel really good now. So no problems there. Just 2 suggestions.

    1)Mention the (R)eset button. There are some levels where you can drop off the stage and not die and then you need too reset.

    2)I think the dominoes level is a very cool and challenging level. But it's the only one of it's kind in the game atm. The other levels are more like puzzles to solve where as the dominoes one is purely skill. You have to figure out to jump on top of them, but after that you just have to DO it. Maybe put some easier skill based levels in to train the player.

    And +1 for back story :) I like fluff. :) Good job.
  • @Rigormortis Nice going on the dominoes!
    I'll totally make some new skill challenges, especially add side challenges as @Tuism suggested. However weren't the mid air collision and the barrel climb pretty skill based?

    I completely forgot to add the reset button text.

    Thanks for the crit.
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    @notsimon207, The mid air collision was just timing. The level handled the jumping for you. The barrel climb was more skilled based, but again it was a timing skill. Not one of those two challenges required accurate jumping skills(to the extent that the dominoes did).
  • @Rigormortis I see, now that you mention it they are fundamentally very different.
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    @Tuism Ok, I had a wierd dream and thought up a highly insensitive and slightly inaproppriate story/plot for the game. It revolves mainly around nazi barrels and shapely genocide, and after a quick google search it seems the idea is not yet taken. Here goes:

    In the world of Inflataball shapes are all alive and each shape represents a race/nationality. You are known as the shapeless one and you are summoned whenever the balance of the world is desturbed, in this case the barrels went all out nazi type shit and are trying to take over the world. It is up to you to restore ballance to the world by kicking some serious nazi barrel ass and saving some inocent shapes along the way (but mostly just kick some nazi barrel ass).

    If this story sounds real familiar, I sugest you switch to some more mainstream anime, but nevertheless here are some of the stuff that inspired the story:
    *Pretty much all WW2 base shooters
    *PewDiePie's hate of barrels
    *Avatar the animated series
    To create the characters will be real simple: Add eyes to everyting!
    Cenarios whre barrels are being evil already exist: Who do you think is throwing the squares to their death in "The mid air collision", and why are the barrels trying to stop you from getting to their commander in "The barrel climb"?
    The story also lends itself to awesome new level mechanics and epic barrel bashing boss fights.

    So is it a yay or nay?
    Try don't be way to uber harsh, I'm not explicitly going to make "nazi berrels" if you know what I mean.
  • lol it sounds cool, go implement and see :) a lot of it can just be flavour, the story doesn't have to be explicitly stated (Abe's Oddyssey)
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    ... no? Oh fine, then.

    Hmm, dunno what to say, I know this is a response to @Tuism's suggestion for narrative but good theming is usually matched with an increased effort in other areas like art and level design (visibly rescuing trapped shapes from evil barrels, for example).

    I'm currently fiddling about with narrative as a game aesthetic in a prototype and it's not something that I always explore. While I believe good narrative in the right games is a beautiful thing to behold, I don't think it's strictly relevant to *every* game experience.

    But you can always go for it, just make sure that the story can be presented shortly and simply enough to not interfere toooooo much. :)
  • well by narrative I don't necessarily mean "have a story and cutscenes and name everyone", I just mean that it shouldn't be as clinical as "here are shapes, play with them", even games like gears have some kind of narrative where there's sense in what's going on there. "here is a ball, it inflates if you press a button", "grab some monkeys" is fine perhaps, but the overall visual treatment (colourful backgrounds, a specific kind of pattern, font usage, music, etc) all add to the experience. And when you're out there, you're competing with dudes who have skinned their games, and it just makes it more ennjoyable. JUICE!
  • Now I want to make a game that actively messes with its own theme. Starts off with a useless "Press X to not die!", which does absolutely nothing ingame. Moves through "Grab some monkeys!" and you actually can't. To a finale of "Make sure you always have enough supply to build new units!".

    Sort of a Dadaist game narrative. (I'm sure I got that wrong. MOTH!)
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    I think this is a nuance many often confuse: the difference between story and narrative. Not all games have stories, but almost all games have narrative. I say almost because of the existence of abstract games, but even these often have narratives in them. Story refers to a structured experience, while narrative is made up of the lore and aesthetics games have.

    @Dislekcia When ME3 came out, part of the outcry against the ending involved a fan made idea called the 'indoctrination theory'. A part of this theory essentially argued that Bioware switched around Renegade and Paragon decisions without changing their assigned blue or red colors. This messed with the narrative convention which had been established over the entire three games. The theory turned out to be false, but it was such an awesome possibility that Bioware completely broke their own conventions just to manifest that feeling of confusion and betrayal. It rivaled the crazy things that sometimes happen in games - like the infection in WOW or any normal day in EVE.

    @notsimon207 I don't think you should try pigeonhole a story onto your game necessarily due to its abstract nature. There can be fantastic stories that emerge out of abstract games, but it's a difficult thing to do.
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    @bensonance cool story bro :) I actually would be happier with mass effect choices if et weren't shoehorned into either or.

    Often the choices simply didn't seem to match with the renegade/paragon polarity, and I Ended up choosing according to "maximizing points" (get all paragon in a play through, maybe in next all renegade, cos the thinking is that surely if it's a scale it'll reward for being on one end or the other as opposed to being wishi washy in the middle) rather than what I believed was right/fun.

    So basically, what I think of inflataball is to make it fun, with a narrative, not necessarily a story, but something that makes it juicier than "figuring out physics". Starcraft would have been "numbercraft" if it weren't for narrative flacour, even if storyless.

    -- second post --

    To be honest I'll never play ME through again so I'm just cheese off at the habit building that the polarity encouraged, especially given the range of choices and consequences that's supposedly built into it.
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    Hey dude, sorry I'm only posting now. I played the game briefly earlier during lunch though! :) It was a little frustrating that the ball sometimes doesn't behave the way I expect it to (as there seems to be quite a lot of uncontrollable behaviour in there in its bounciness), but it was pretty fun anyway.

    I wouldn't worry about the look right now. If I were to change anything right now, it'd just to tone done the colours a bit, because they're a bit painful. The colours you've got are super saturated, and adding white to the mix is just super powerful lightwaves burning my eyeballs.

    If you just want some tips on picking colours, try having a look at some photographs from nature, or from nice paintings, and look at what they have going there that you think you'd like to incorporate here. Is there a mix of warm and cool colours? Orange and blue? Saturated and less saturated? Ligher and darker? etc. See if you can figure out what makes them appealing...

    ...Or, for a quick-fix, pick a palette you like here:
    Thanked by 1Tuism
  • Finally the new, and hopefully almost final, build of Inflataball is ready!

    So I changed the visual style a bit (after staring at art until I heard the buzzer, and sorta picking a collour scheme from kuler), added sound effects, failed at adding a story (way to much effort) and made the game a whole lot easier. I’ll still add some more levels and a menu but that is pretty much all I have time for.
    Hope you guys like the new build, as always crit will be much appreciated.

    Here is a link to the new webplayer:
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    Hey man, haven't played it all yet. But Great stuff on the new look. :D really digging it.

    Just something I noticed now. It's fine if you give me hints and instructions in the first 3 levels or say. But after that only "tell" me something if you need to introduce a new mechanic. I want to find the solution myself so I can feel better about me. People are clever enough to follow the visual queues in the level to find out what to do. I'm think especially of the forked jump level.

    edit: I can't complete the V or not to V stage. Can't pick up the "?"
  • I can see how that does kill the reward a bit I'll scale down on the obvous hints a bit, just don't wan't people getting stuck too much.
    Thanks for the response.
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    I can't pick up the question mark. Bug or end of the game?
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    End of game... until I finish the next batch of levels, which should be soon as I’m getting a bit faster at making levels now.
    Any crit on the sound or difficulty of the game?

    edit: did you skip or finish the "I AM A TIMING GOD MODE" part?
  • I skipped it. Didn't really feel like doing the same level(just harder) when I just finished it. But I'll try again later and see if I can complete it. You could try and do that for some other levels as well? When you complete the game you could start from the beginning but with harder levels. That way it creates more content without really bein too difficult to implement because the level layout is already there. Just a thought.
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