Monthly Archives: September 2014

Forgotten Ball is now in the last stages of pre-alpha

I expect Forgotten Ball to be complete mid October; with UI following. Then it is a lot of testing, tweaking and more testing before releasing. I have also made the decision to not release all platforms at once. I want to give each platform the attention is deserves and iron out any platform specific features that need to be implemented. I believe I have said this before but it will be around a weeks gap between each platform. This won’t be an issues for Kickstarter backers as they will all receive a Beta early December.

One of the last things I have to do is the animation of 7 more boss enemies (I know, it’s a little more woe than I thought). I love animation, truly it was the first (well second if you include fishing) art form I really put my energy too, but after years of development of Forgotten Ball I am not looking forward to turning ideas into animations. I plan on using some money to find a local animator to help with this, preferably someone aspiring. Animation is a skill, and if I had a couple of days to give to each animation then yeah I could do a great job. Sadly, I don’t have spare time.

I read a post about colour not so long back, and I thought to myself how important colour will be in Forgotten ball. As Forgotten Ball is minimalistic I need to represent that better with colour and make sure the environment ties together. To do this I have enlisted some help from a talented artist friend of mine whom is creating the colour of Forgotten Ball as it were. Well we are working together, but she has skill.

These new colour decisions mean that the pre-existing ball skins will need modifications, as in most of them won’t be any good (too complex) or, at the very least not as part of the main game. When making a game that I am describing as minimalistic I should in my opinion actually honour what minimal is. Too much colour is exactly that, too much colour.

Lastly, and most importantly the game is large, I forgot how large it actually is. It takes 53 seconds for the Ball to fall through the entire world (in that drop sequence); I mean that is impressive, well I am impressed. Certainly feeling like I will be offering good value for money.

..after Kickstarter

Forgotten Ball is coming along very well. I’m now adding the final environment to the game so that the game can look nice from start to finish. Some of this I admit is being built on the fly, so it might not be super final.

I have a choice of gameplay mechanics which I’ve designed but sadly I don’t have all the space for them to do them justice. In testing performance took a nasty hit on some some elements so I had to make compromises, this has been a harsh lesson learnt here when targeting multiple devices. I am really conscious of this and once the final areas are complete I will be revisiting every area of gameplay so that I believe Forgotten Ball is fulfilling a standard that I am setting for it.

Horrible video, but this shows an old area getting some new love:

I really should have perhaps kept a before shot.

Giving away a pre-alpha demo was a good idea. I get feedback, I get bugs reported to me, I get confirmation that the game is enjoyable. It has pretty much caused me to rewrite a lot of code and fix some shitty bugs I didn’t know were there.

In keeping with changes, I have made a lot of changes to Forgotten Ball and honestly these are best shown in a large image. I will compose one this forthcoming week. There have been 3 additional areas added, and there is a genuine reason to this. I need to limit amount of content on screen at certain times, in these dense areas of lots of geometry it makes sense to add some lesser demanding (on GPU) content to separate out the more demanding areas.

I don’t want to enforce on myself any kind of content lock as frankly I plan on adding as much awesome to the game as possible right up till delivery date. I need to also start to really think about a release plan, and promotional things. I am a very busy one man team and writing blogs/doing videos isn’t something I have much time for, in fact I have none. I can really appreciate that they actually might help me in the long run too.

So I will also try and make one blog post a week.