How many balls should there be?

September 1, 2015Better Ballistix

While updating the look & feel a bit, the gameplay got a small development as well. The BoardManager figures out how many balls are in play at any given time and will spawn more regularly yet strategically. After hectic frenzies, it will “reset” and cool down with a breather, shooting out only one or two balls before building back up. Up to six can be in play during a rally at once.

A naive approach to attracting balls

August 25, 2015Better Ballistix

As mentioned in the last post, one of the features in the original Ballistix game was ball attraction. In other words, you could maintain greater control over the balls in play by pulling in any that were nearby, holding onto them for several seconds, and then shooting them out toward your opponents at your discretion.

My first attempt at implementation looked a little like this:

better-ballistix-prototype-7

Not bad, right? (more…)

Building a Better Ballistix

August 17, 2015Better Ballistix

Right on the heels of Traveling Bacon’s release, I’ve started thinking about making another game featuring Bacon. After some brainstorming, I collected a bunch of notes into a Trello board. But I wanted a short break from the Bacon universe.

After spending days admiring the simplistic beauty found on the r/low_poly subreddit, I decided to try using Blender to see if I could feasibly make a game with half-decent 3D visuals. Until this point I had always stuck to 2D graphics due to the immense learning curve of 3D modeling (which I very quickly discovered firsthand). But who doesn’t like a challenge?

Let’s make a game in 3D. Well, the first idea to pop into my mind was — you guessed it — Pong. It makes sense: my first-ever 30 minutes in Unity were spent making Pong in 2D. Of course, vanilla Pong wouldn’t be enough. Why not tie in my longtime love of couch multiplayer?

I personally grew up without any of the 3D Nintendo consoles, instead spending way too many hours on the PS and PS2. Out of all the local multiplayer gems from the golden era of console gaming, you might remember Crash Bash. It was like Mario Party, but with Crash Bandicoot. And the only minigame in its collection that my friends ever bothered playing was Ballistix. It was essentially four-player Pong.

The top player always had a huge disadvantage.
Can I do better than this?

(more…)