CGDC4: Break Into


Break IntoFlash Game Design CompetitionJust past the half-way point, the next entry to the 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition is from Derek Brandao of Washington (US).

Break Into is an action arcade-style game in which you must hit balls into a goal to move on to the next level. The "ball physics" theme in this game is a straightforward implementation with a Gimme Friction Baby twist. Please offer up your kind feedback and constructive criticism for Derek in the comments.

Play Break Into

Game link: http://jayisgames.com/cgdc4/?gameID=26

31 Comments

Mmm i dunno. I stopped playing after a few minutes because it just looked to much like the last winning game. Its smart to make something you know did well, but not new enough for me.

Some fun stuff going on here.

What I don't quite understand is what it is that ends the game. I died without having dropped a ball.

Also, at one point a bug in the game caused the ball to jump to the top left corner of the screen and sit there, requiring a reset.

The feature I did like in this game was the combination of the player's ball moving under gravity and the target balls ignoring it. Leads to some interesting trick shots where you lob the ball on top a group, often achieving five or six hits from a single launch!

We're halfway through the games now? agh I might go crazy, so many games :)

This game is definitely original. I'm just not very good at aiming in games like these. In breakout games I always end up destroying everything except the block that I wanted to hit :)

Interesting game but I found a glitch. I was next to the wall and the released the ball and it went through the wall and vanished, which was quite annoying

The point of the game is (in spolier incase somebody wants to figure it out themselves)

to hit the blue balls into the red line at the top of the screen generally. you have to get the blue balls up there before you hit them to many times with the white ball. the limit for the blue balls is the number displayed on them

Hi,

Arakanoid meets breakout meets billiards meets pong meets buggy programming in this favorable entry to JayIsGames' big BBQ roast off and compu-game-a-ma-gig.

Tighten the code, recognize its just a bunch of "if...then" statements and get your if-thens right.

Too derivative and too bug-prone to last ... but enough potential to consider in the context of the competition.

The particular means of the rebirth of the play ball? A+ gameplay. Keep it. The rest? Try to let your imagination get the final say.

What am I doing wrong here? All i can do is keep the ball bouncing up from that arhed platform, but it never goes high enough to reach even the lowest lying ball - it goes hardly above the blue line. And that goes pretty bopring after like half a minute.

Is there anything else i can do besides moving the "turret" with the cursor keys and make the ball bounce with the space key? If there is, I hate the idea of not letting us, the players know about it. I saw no instructions link, at least.

OK, I discovered that tiny shot-strenght indicator in the middle of the turret and that i should keep te space key pressed to make a harder shot.

The lack of the instructions page is a serious mistake, i think.

OK, the concept is cool, I like it.

Right on the first level, it says i need 6 balls in the goal to proceed. When i reach the 6, it says: Score: 6. Needed: 0. It means to me that I made the cut - still i have to score one more to proceed. Why?

Also, I think "you need X more" indtead of "needed" would make it clearer that the number there shows how much more you need, and not the total number of balls in the goal required.

Wow... One of the blue balls broke... So they can be destroyed. Another thing that would have been handy to know beforehand... Exactly WHAT makes the break is still a mistery to me... anyone found out?

Came across the same bug Dom did with the ball jumping outside the playing area not allowing me to continue

OK, I figured it out. The number on them shows how many more collides it will take... Just like at Gimme Friction...

OK, I stop now, no more comments i promise.

It takes a little getting used to - the rules seem to be:

Each level, you have to reach the target score indicated

If you get more than the required score for a level, then your "extra" score carries over to the next level

To score 1 point, you need to push a blue ball into the goals (the thick black lines on the edge of the playing area.

Every time the 'cue' ball hits one of the blue balls, the number on the blue ball decreases by one. If the number on a ball reaches zero then the ball disappears as soon as it stops moving (and therefore you can't score from it any more)

When you 'lose' the cue ball by letting it fall below the paddle, the lowest blue ball will turn into a new cue ball (and you therefore lose the chance to score from that blue ball)

another game that i did not like because i did not know how to play.

Once I read the comments and realized I had to get the balls through the top and not destroy them it seemed a whole lot more fun.
A bit short.
Finished it.
I got 38.

This has potential to be a great game, but there are a couple of things that annoyed me about it.

First of all: no instructions (that I could find?). Sure I worked out what to do fairly quickly, but I would have been much happier if there were even a couple of sentences there to give some context.

Secondly, an option to skip to the next level after getting the required amount of points would be nice. I'd like to do the bare minimum of work required to advance to the next level, thanks! Also, perhaps an option to reset the current level (although this depends on how difficult you want to make the game). At one point I was stuck with one point needed and one ball in a very difficult to reach corner. After unsuccessfully try to tap the ball for a bit I gave up and let my ball drop hoping it would just return me to the start of the level (it didn't).

Aside from that, the concept was great and it was exactly the type of casual game I like. Well done on sticking close to the theme of the competition, too!

I agree with bioLarzen, there needs to be an instructions page. I found it simple but I can see why someone wouldn't understand the game.
the learning curve is definatly too steep. I only made the big circle level where you need 6 by pure luck, and I failed the following one. the hit counters for the balls seem far too small in those levels, and I had a problem several times where I knocked a ball so it wasn't quite past the black bar by a few pixels, meaning I had to waste another turn knocking that one in.

I see your score also carries over between levels as well.

Is there no sound, or is it just my geriatric laptop and 0.5 byte internet connection?

reapaninja, you don't necessarily need 6 on the circle round as your score from previous rounds carries over.

Finished! 39 out of 52 points.

To clarify what I said above, it seems to carry your score over so you don't have to get such a high score in the next level to 'pass'. Or at least that's my understanding.

Rules

To finish a level, you need to get every ball off the board - either by (preferably) putting them in the slot or destroying them. If you drop a ball, it is replaced from the remaining blue ones.

It could definitely do with a quick tutorial, and some sound, but otherwise its quite a decent entry.

The game is too slow-paced for me.
And it took a while to figure out how to play this (at first I thought it was just a Gimme Friction Baby wannabe).

Just realised I've repeated what has already been said about the rules. My bad!

I really like this one. It would be nice if it had music or sound, but on the other hand that means I can listen to my own music while I play without missing anything. I actually like this better than GFB, which everyone is comparing it too. I'm not even sure this comparison is really appropriate. The only thing that is similar is the number that counts down on the balls before they are destroyed. But destroying them is a bad thing here, not the goal. Anyway, I dig it, though it could use more levels. And the last one was nasty.

I like it, everything worked fine for me. I just miss the music and sound effects...

Well, this isn't one of the better games in the competition to be honest with you. There are elements of Gimme Friction Baby (which I adore and am still addicted to) but the game play is slow and the payoff is less than exciting. Sorry, but I am going to pass on this one.

Just a general comment here, prompted by the lack of instructions in this game. The Design Competitions have always favored games that don't require instructions, which is not a bad thing, in my opinion. However, a lot of game authors (not just this one) have interpreted this to mean that games without instructions are better. There is a big difference between not having instructions and not needing instructions. If you don't need instructions and you don't have them, perfect. If you don't need instructions but you have them anyway, well, less than perfect but still OK. But if you need instructions and you don't have them, then we have a problem. The game becomes more frustrating than it should be.

It could be argued that figuring out how a game works is part of the challenge, and in some cases I think that would be a valid argument. But building a game that under any other circumstances would have instructions and then leaving out those instructions is, in my opinion, simply bad design. If you really want to build a game without instructions, build a game that doesn't need them--it should either be self-explanatory or figuring out the mechanics should be part of the game. I don't feel that a game like Break Into fits into either of these categories.

This is just my interpretation of the whole rules thing, of course. There may be some who feel that all games benefit from obfuscation, and that being forced to figure out the mechanics of a game is always a good idea. For me, though, that kind of goes against the whole "casual gaming" mentality. But I do realize that different people have different conceptions of "casual gaming," so take this as one person's opinion.

Ah, I forgot to comment on this game in particular. Lack of instructions aside, I actually enjoyed it (I might have enjoyed it less had I not read some of the comments first). I didn't encounter any of the buginess mentioned, so I can't speak to that. Like fnord3125, I felt it was quite a different animal than GFB.

Well said, Suho1004 (on both counts).

This is a solid design even if it does seem to take a lot of its ideas from the winner of the last competition. With a little work on theme and presentation it could be a nice little casual game.

Leaving out instructions is fine but if you do so, you have to be very careful to present the game in a way that makes the rules intuitive. The only part that confused me for long was the numbers on the balls. I thought that if I knocked a 3 ball into the goal I'd get three points. It might be better to do away with the numbers and do something graphical--like show the balls taking damage or changing color.

Jay, is it just me or has the quit button stopped working on the competition UI? Sometimes it does nothing and sometimes it just goes to a black screen.

Carl - nothing has changed in the competition UI. The buttons are working as expected for me in each game published so far.

Perhaps try updating your Flash Player? We just finished rolling out a series of games written in AS3.0, and those games require the latest Flash Player available (of which 'Break Into' is one of those games).

Ah. You might be right. I have version 9,0,16,0 at the moment. Updating.

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