CGDC4: Bounce


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BounceFlash Game Design CompetitionThe next entry to the 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition is from Daniel Vandali of Australia, and this is Daniel's first competition with us so please give him a warm welcome.

Bounce is an arcade-style action game in which the "ball physics" theme is well represented by the ball objects in play. The objective is to activate all orange balls in play by knocking into them. Your means of control is a grappling hook, and a few different power-ups to aid you. Avoid the walls. Please leave your kind feedback and constructive criticism for Daniel in the comments.

Play Bounce

Game link: http://jayisgames.com/cgdc4/?gameID=44

16 Comments

I think it's a neat concept and I enjoyed playing it for a while.

However, there seems to be no sound/music which would have made it more charming, and at first it was very confusing with the "Congratulations" screen when you die :P I thought I had progressed to another level when in fact it was just game over ... doh :)

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Also, there is a bug if you click "Play" very quickly after the game has loaded. The game then appears to start, but after a second the start screen is shown again, and if you click "Play" again the first game you started isn't cleared from the screen.

It could also be clearer that hitting the boundary of the screen is bad. It is barely visible even when you know it, and it's pretty difficult to figure out at first. Maybe if the ball glowed a bright red and the life counter was blinking for a second or two?

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I don't get how to play. I read the instructions, they said to shoot your grappling hook at moving balls to gain momentum, but my grappling hook doesn't stick to anything other than the static balls, and then I just die!

What am I supposed to do?

Ali

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"static" balls? You mean the large orange balls aren't moving about the stage?

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Ah ok, it seems there was a bug with the game, there were 2 blue balls and I started at the edge of the screen and couldn't hook onto anything. I just tried again and it worked fine.

Anyway I liked the game once I got it working. Simple concept but pretty addicting. Good coffee break game.

Nice job.

Ali

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aaroncox1234 Author Profile Page October 11, 2007 2:21 PM

I think the "static balls" problem is caused by the bug YaiEf mentioned. One of the other problems that clicking "Play" too soon causes seems to be that you don't get carried by any of the balls.

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Wow...

A small list of bugs and/or strange design I encountered in my first 2 minutes of playing:

- the grappling hook's recoil unit must be a cheap one, doesn't always work. I mean it's neatly recoiled, but then sometimes starts to shot out automatically at random and near targets - mostly air :)

- Having completed level 1 it congratulates me but offers no link or whatsoever to level 2, the only link i find is back to the main menu. Or, that's how it looks, for going back to the main menu and clicking on Start its probably level 2 - or not? Below the game window it says level 1 again, but when I'm completing this, it say congratz, you can go to level 3 - or something to that effect.

There's something terribly wrong here, I think - it cannot be the way it was meant to be. I hope :)

I think it's a neat concept and graphics but needs a serious amount of polishing.

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... and it's getting better!

I've just completed level 1 (again...) and I was congratulated for reaching - level 1! Wow, I rule!!! :)

Here's the screenshot:

http://supremacy.hu/groundzero/pix/bug.jpg

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It may be a matter of preference, but I would much rather be congratulated for playing than to receive a failure notice upon completion. :)

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Unless I'm misunderstanding you guys, the only bug so far is that if you click "Play" too fast, the balls load twice and half of them stay static, making the game nearly unplayable. Aside from that, these "bugs" about getting congratulated about reaching a certain level and not being able to move on are not bugs at all. The amount of lives you have is listed at the bottom. Each time you touch an edge (or move into a black hole), you lose a life. Once you lose them all, the congratulations screen (basically a "Game Over" screen) pops up and tells you which level you've reached. You advance through levels by touching each of the balls on the playing field; once you've done so, more balls come on the screen that need to be lit up (touched).

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I really like the play mechanics of this game. I think it just needs a little more polish, and it will be great. Perhaps a color change and sound to indicate a level change or when you lose a life. Also the "Congratulations" (you've just lost) is a bit odd and confusing. As painful as it is, I will be able to face the grim reality that the game is over ;o)

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Don't think of the levels so much as stages, but rather, think of them as "leveling up".

You level up by activating all of the balls by hitting them. Once you level up, they are all deactivated again.

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This game just does not work for me at all.

I shoot the thing and it does not do anything. Nothing is moving and sometimes the thing wont even shoot?

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same for me damon...

i've read and reread the instructions... i aim with my mouse... then press the left mouse button... and something shoots out....

if i do nothing.. it just stays there... if press left mouse again.. it just goes away and i can shoot again... if i press left mouse then press it again... it again.. just goes away....

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Daniel Vandali October 12, 2007 6:48 AM

First of all, thanks' very much to everyone for checking out the game. This is my first ever game, and hence the reason for some areas which may seem un-polished. In fact, the reason why it seems a little 'shoddy' is because I actually ran out of time (hence, why the version number on the main page is below 1.0). This is also why there are currently no sound fx / music.
If it's allowed (according to Jay's latest post it is), I'll be updating this game with the features that I planned on adding (offline high scores, better gfx, music, sound fx, etc.), so if anyone has some further suggestions I'll be very grateful to hear them. :)

Anyway, in response to some of the current comments:
First of all, this "Play" button bug is really driving me nuts purely because it's probably ruined the game for some people on the first go, so they haven't come back to it :(.. I'm working on a fix right now, so check back for an update (I'll post a comment).
The next biggest problem so far seems to be confusion regarding the "game over" screen. To clear things up: WHEN YOU SEE THE "CONGRATULATORY" SCREEN, IT'S GAME OVER. I completely understand why people are getting confused, and now it seems I may change it to something else (how does this sound: "You died... Congratulations You reached level...." ???). I originally chose it because there is no 'real' end to the game. So, by putting "congratulations" in, it seemed more like an accomplishment rather than a failure (does that make sense, or am I the only one that feels this way?).
For those other people who are having trouble with the game, it seems as though you don't completely understand how to play the game (don't take this as an insult - it just means I need to spend some more time on the instructions): To 'shoot' your grappling hook, you click the left mouse button once, to deactivate click again. Repeat this process to continually use the grappling hook. The aim is to reach the highest level possible, by 'activating' the red balls (bump into them, to activate them). When all balls on the playing field are activated, you go up a level (view levels more like a raise in difficulty, as zxo pointed out).

Thanks to everyone that's offered their constructive criticism, and especially the very kind comments (they've put a smile on my face). :D

Phew, that was a big post.

Daniel Vandali.

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Daniel Vandali October 13, 2007 8:09 PM

Just a quick update on progress, and working on your suggestions

FIXED:
-No more 'Play' button bug.
-Fixed 'Slow-mo' bug.
-Tweaked gameplay elements
-Added "You died..." message to the game over screen. -Added main menu intro/animations

YET TO BE ADDED:
-Music/sound FX
-Offline highscores
-Difficulty selection (easy, medium, hard). Does anyone think this is needed (suprisingly, I've had no complaints so far)?
-Better instructions page

Thanks to anyone who checks out the game. If you've got any further problems, just leave a comment. Thanks.

Daniel Vandali.

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