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Read this nice little opinion on Forgotten Ball from ready-up.net

It’s not often I read about Forgotten Ball on the internet, I mean I’m not the most vocal developer but I feel like maybe I am starting to do things right. Lovely chap, spoke to him for quite some time, words continue after the image.

“Last but not least I rounded off my demo derby by playing The Forgotten Ball. Developed by Josh Croft, a Computer Science student based locally at The University of East Anglia, this is a 3D maze puzzle platformer that sees you guiding the titular ball up a massive tower. You know it’s massive because in the opening moments the game forces you to fall off the top and drop through the entire world to its base, on the way giving you a glimpse of the incredibly complex mesh of geometric intersecting pathways that lie in wait. Since Josh intends the game to work on a range of mobile devices, the games graphics make very few technical demands, and yet the game has an elegant but bold aesthetic, which benefits from its simplicity. It’s a fine example of technical limitations producing some creative design solutions. Instead of a dynamic lighting model, for instance, Josh tells me that he uses a heavily adapted shader to simulate the shifting shadows and highlights as you roll around each ninety degree angle, but the resulting effect feels just right.

The forgotten ball shares some technical and aesthetic approaches with Thomas was alone (Josh got some pointers from that games artist), and feels like a revival of Playstation Classic Kula World by way of Echochrome. Most importantly to a simple puzzle platformer the games jumping physics feel spot on, with an emphasis on analogue control (the longer you hold the button the further you go) and the introduction of a float mechanic, which sees you balancing the opposing forces of gravity and upward inertia as you traverse some tricky obstacles, adds a significant level of skill to proceedings. The games level design, with its massively intricate interlocking world filled with hazards and shortcuts that loop back on themselves, also has more than a little inspiration from Dark Souls as I learn from Josh.”

http://ready-up.net/features/norwich-gaming-festival-2015/

Lovely, really.

UI update, weekend improvements

This has been a little while coming, but Forgotten Ball is finally getting the UI overhaul as part of the last things to tidy before completion.

I’m not exactly one for taking the most attractive screenshots, but I try. Really, I like to share honest shots. This image shows a few things, firstly the game UI no longer looks horrible (remember this). Also, the UI is kinda neat, the little ball to the right moves up and down dependant on whether Ball is floating or not.

UI Mobile Touch controls
UI Mobile Touch controls

The other thing to address is the that the two circles on the right (solid) are pixelated currently due to poor scaling on my part. This is to be fixed.

The in game menu is the next thing on my list, which will house lovely names from you all, show off your unlocked skins, and then that is the UI finished. Currently the in game menu UI is as follows:

UI menu
UI menu

Top left, that bar blob is the menu button, click/touch/press C and it will pause or un pause game.
Second down is the button to see all of the Skins unlocked, by default they will fill the right side of the window.
3rd is the save icon, I made that one up – better than a floppy disc icon, but probably not final.
4th button to be added is the options.

I should ask, do the button icons make sense? That button that looks a little like the DeathStar, and also Pacman is the button to pause the game – one press and the user will know – but still worthy a discussion. The Save icon – uses a downwards arrow – may not be obvious, but It falls under the one press knowledge gained usage.

The Desktop UI doesn’t have any of the touch screen buttons, but has the same menu UI. Only UI needed is just this one (once the floating ability is unlocked):

Desktop UI
Desktop UI

Makes it easier to know when you’re in air.

Lots more to update you on, soon! The game is now more grey, probably the most important one. I also realised that I haven’t been posting on my development blog anymore – hopefully you all don’t mind, but I plan to double post everything on both Kickstarter and blog from here on – which means there could be more updates, possibly 2 a month – hopefully this won’t be too much of a problem.

Hope everyone is well.

- Josh

ScreenshotSaturday 9

ss9

A pretty special image for me, as what is captured represents around 2 weeks work, and it is well beyond the mid-point of the game world. Currently not all is present, some AI are missing and enemies not all there. I am missing sound effects dearly now too, however the positives:

  • Still 60fps
  • Less than 30 draw calls
  • 30,000 vertexs
  • 13 animations
  • 4 update loops
  • 400kb of texture data.

Yeah, I am happy. I never share these kinda images, but I like them. Oh and the game body is orange in this section; I like orange.