Gimme Friction Baby
It should come as no surprise to hear that great things often spring from the simplest of ideas. This is also true in game design, and especially true in casual game design. After all, casual games, by definition, should provide simple, easy to pick-up and play experiences.
Gimme Friction Baby, by Wouter Visser of The Netherlands, is also based on a very simple idea, even though it may at first seem more complicated than it really is. Perhaps this is due to how the game starts you off without even a clue as to what to do. But the omission of instructions was deliberate: Wouter believes that including instructions on such an abstract concept could potentially be more confusing than just letting the player figure it out for herself. In case you need a little push to get over the initial inertia, however, here are a few simple rules to keep in mind...
Clicking the mouse fires the swinging turret and blasts a white orb up into play. Notice that when the orb comes to rest it will expand until it touches a boundary edge or another orb. Each and every orb you shoot behaves in this way.
The objective is to score points but to do that you must never, ever let an orb bounce back down and cross the dotted line. Ever.
2) Click the mouse again, but this time try to aim your shot while keeping in mind the warning just given.
Notice that when the orb in motion comes in contact with a stationary orb, it reduces the counter on the stationary orb by 1. Once an orb's counter reaches 0 it explodes and is removed from play, and you receive 1 point for doing so. This is the only way to earn points.
And that's all there is to it. But like any classic casual game, the rules may be simple but mastering the game is not. Every game begins the same, there is no random luck to blame. It's all you, baby.
Analysis: I admit that I was confused at first about what to do, but only until I realized what triggered the 'game over' condition. I kept firing orbs up into play expecting to destroy the ones already there. But when they bounced back down thus ending the game immediately, I began to wise up.
There is a certain paradigm shift that must occur when playing this game for the first time before the light goes on and the player 'gets it'. I believe this is due to a sort of cognitive bias we have as gamers: when firing a turret we expect things to explode... and to go fast.
However, this game is anything but fast. The gameplay forces the player to slow down, think first, and to plan each shot carefully. Each game therefore becomes a careful placement of orbs rather than a quick-fire session to arrive at the end result. The slower pace gives way to excitement as an orb inches ever so close to that fearsome dotted line, and strategy emerges as the key ingredient to an award winning recipe. Those who don't experience the paradigm shift may never appreciate the subtlety and the genius of this very simple gameplay design.
GFB is an easy and accessible game, but it can be difficult and frustrating, too. Earning points is a rare pleasure and you may soon be experiencing a nagging, addictive compulsion to play, to best that score that seems so ridiculously low. It has all the trappings of a classic casual game: something to pick-up and play for only minutes at a time, and to replay again and again. As mentioned in the comments the day it was first posted, "the way it plays is so subtle and different from game to game, the replay value is way higher than it has any right to be." -Psychotronic.
Congratulations, Wouter, on a truly excellent, original, and now award winning casual game design. This is a game that I will be playing for a very long time to come.
dancemonkey - This is a nice take-off on the bubble-shooter genre of games, with a great twist. Part of the fun of this game was just discovering how to play, and its simplicity in gameplay and presentation kept me playing for a long, long time. I actually like that you can't aim the turret, since I think otherwise it would have been far too simple. Points in Gimme Friction Baby are hard-won and very much appreciated, a welcome return to simpler times where scoring in a game was the beginning and the end of your reason for playing. Wouter deserves tremendous credit for creating a simple, elegant, and fascinating game that somehow manages to rope you in for days at a time.
zxo - It might be easy to write off after only one game, but the UI makes it sooooo easy to replay that you can't help but click again to give it just one more shot; before you know it, you've spent another hour shooting those little orbs around the game space! I think the aspect that really sets GFB apart is the orb expansion—a few pixels difference when you shoot can mean a final circle that is hundreds of pixels larger. It's what makes each replay different from the last, and ensures that the player doesn't get bored. Other games (not necessarily in this competition) might have as much replay value, but none offer so much with so little—almost always they are heavy in the randomness element. Here, you start with a blank slate and each game is completely defined by the user—in theory, you could make each replay exactly the same, something that cannot be said for other addictive games with high replay value (e.g. Nanaca Crash). Could GFB be improved by adding power-ups and obstacles? At first I thought so, but lately I've been leaning towards no. The strategy comes as much from where the orb ends up as from the path that it takes, and adding collectible power-ups would upset that balance and would only detract from the purity of gameplay.
I hate to sound daft, but what am I supposed to do?
Good game play. I'd like to see coloured and/or translucent 'bubbles', to add visual interest, instead of flat circles.
Certainly a game that makes you think and try and beat your own high score (mine was abysmally low)
Wow this game is amazing a great atmosphere the control sceme is simple yet effective and the music i dont need to mute the computer for.
It's really simple if you just give it a try. The rules will be clear soon enough.
But for those that need a little push in the right direction, here's a couple of pointers:
Keep toward the edges and avoid coming to rest in a big open space.
Try to keep the spheres from coming back down and touching the dotted line (game over).
You only get points by reducing other spheres to zero (3-2-1-0).
Oh, and my high score is 15. =)
Hey wouter, adit from fk. Nice concept, seen lots of originals from you recently :) Keep it up!
am I correct in thinking that there is no end to this game? because even if you only have one ball left on the screen marked 1, the ball you hit it with is a three and the number doesn't go down on the ball "in motion" until it stops and is hit by another ball... in any case I thought this one was interesting! I enjoyed playing it, as did my nine year old. :)
nice concept....justice to replay
A nice feel to the game,but I'm not seeing the replay theme very clearly.
The game starts off as very intriguing, without really knowing what gets you points.
But once you understand the game's rules, it becomes quite boring, and fairly easy.
I'm hard pressed to find the "replay" in this one.
I don't personally find it very engaging.
As simple as it may be, a few instructions wouldn't hurt.
(Sorry if this is a double post, my browser hiccuped)
Simple yet fascinating game! Part shuffleboard, part breakout. I've never seen these game mechanics put together like this before. And I actually *like* the lack of instructions. It's about discovery during play, not "winning", for me.
Right now, I'm experimenting with making a "wall" in front, beyond which I try to send all my future shots to score points. I think it would be viable strategy if I could aim better. ;-)
Jay - how did you get to 15? I managed 8 after absolutely ages...
I'd like it if, when the stopped bubble increases in size, if it subsequently touches another bubble that should count. Did that make sense?
woohoo!! I got 19!! It wasn't a "wall" strategy so much as a pinball strategy. Every new ball you send up must be "hit" 3 times to be removed and counted as a point. So once you've got a few balls up there, figure out how to make the next ball bounce 3 or more times against/between existing balls.
Also, not sure if this a bug or just an unexplored feature, but if you shoot a ball horizontally so that it never crosses the dotted line, it expands and says "E" (or a backwards "3"?). Any new balls you shoot towards and E-ball passes through it. If a subsequent ball becomes an E-ball, it can overlap another E-ball. These E-balls seem to have no effect on game play.
If an E-ball partially crosses the line but not completely, the ball shrinks instead of expands to perfectly fill the zone between the ball's center and closest edge.
If the ball's center crossed the line, but the ball stays in contact with the line, again, the ball shrinks, but it counts as a 3-point ball, not an E-ball.
I think I'll be coming back to this game occasionally as a great little skill/puzzle game.
Ms .45, No it shouldn't count because the bubble increases in size until it touches something (either another bubble, the wall, or the dotted line). So it wouldn't count as a hit because it increases in size on its own.
I have to agree with the Honorable David Kulessa (just assuming that's what that stands for :)). There is just way too much waiting in this game. I think I would have enjoyed the game more if I could control the direction of the turret. I realize that's part of the challenge, but it just made it seem much more tedious to me.
Still, it's a rather original and interesting idea, and think with a few tweaks (faster deceleration, controllable turret) it would be pretty good. Even as is, it's still a decent game.
At last! I break into double digits! Highscore of 10! Must... continue... must... get... higher... score! Replay value? Absolutely! Simple, yet challenging. Great! The competition is off to a strong start!
In other news, I love the new competition interface!
Very addictive and enjoyable. Infuriating when bounces don't go your way though! Managed a top score of 24, but it took a while to get that...
I got 19 on my third try, woo-hoo! I like this one, it IS one I would replay now that I understand what to do. I admit, I'm not one of those who do the whole "joy in the discovery" thing...I like to get the instructions right at the start. (I read appliance manuals, too!)
Wonderful, highly addictive! Once you figure out what to do and what controls the size of circles when they grow it's still astonishlingly challenging. But it seems so simple, so it definitely has the vital "must have one more go" factor. To those who thought it's too slow I would say the whole point is to think before you fire. My best score so far is a humble 10. One possible recommendation: instead of the numbers use a series of fainter colours (eg 255,0,0 > 255,128,128 > 255,192,192 etc) to indicate the circles' closeness to destruction. John
Very good replay value both in terms of beating your high score, but also in terms of trying new strategies. Sometimes one or two large bubbles in the centre of the play area can be a hindrance, but in other situations it can be useful to bounce bubbles around them and collide with multiple smaller bubbles.
I also think that this has enormous potential for future development. A head-to-head two player mode (turn based)? Or how about power-ups allowing you to burst bubbles immediately, or move the turret, or remove random bubbles from the screen.
The physics of the bubbles reminds me of the sport of curling so I also wondered if there were potential for affecting the movement of bubbles in some way after they have been released.
Personally, I like the simple monochromatic interface, although the use of colours might help highlight powerups if they were ever introduced. The musical sample matches the mood of the game but does get a little repetitive after a while. Some sound effects could add a little more depth too.
An interesting idea, but as others already pointed out, it plays too slow. And I can see why the lack of introduction could put off some people: I didn't even realise the game had already started. I started clicking here and there, so to me it seemed the turret shot randomly, like an interactive menu background. Not that the game is hard to understand, it's just... the presentation could be more user-friendly.
I'd love to see this idea used in a more action-oriented game though. It definitely looks interesting. :)
Oh, don't get me wrong. I think it's a great idea. It has loads of potential.
I just can't be bothered playing this very simple and monotonous game for so long.
Here are a few suggestions/alternative game types:
1) Make it clearer what is supposed to happen when a ball never crosses the dotted line and becomes an "E-ball".
2) Have another game mode where your mouse can direct the turret directly.
3) Allow user created content for puzzle mode where the author places several balls in the zone and the player needs to clear all the original balls in the fastest time.
4) If you hit space bar, the animation speeds up and shows the final resting place and size of the ball.
5) Power-up Ideas:
+ A "mulligan" where the user can self-destruct the ball before it finally rests. (Would it undo the contacts and/or points already scored, I don't know...)
+ A "bomb" to remove any balls within blast radius when the user hit a key, but no points are scored.
+ A "poison bomb" that remove the first ball contacted, no blast radius.
+ A "bouncy bomb" that removes all balls contacted until it comes to rest.
+ A "fast" or "slow" ball with different friction properties. "slow" would be less dangerous than fast, but fast would have higher risk/reward situation.
+ A "gravity well" that would warp the trajectory of any ball sent near it. (Actually, you could do an alternative approach to this game mechanic where you're a god playing "planetary marbles" where each new planet you place into space has a gravitational effect on each additional planet you toss.)
Despite all my suggestions, the simplicity of the game is very nice.
I wasn't really feeling this game. Interesting idea, but way too slow. It didn't particularly inspire me to replay too much. It's a very well-made game anyway. Ah well, bring on the next one.
My favorite game so far!
I was a little confused at the beginning (Do you press enter to start? space? Do you click? What's the 3 in a circle? Do I have to shoot it?), though.
My high score is a measly 8. :P
I must say the speed of the game gives an excellent feeling of tension when the ball is sliding back to the line.
I think it would be neat if everytime you reached a certain score landmark (5, 10, 15, etc.) the color of the sides changed (blue->green->orange) something like that. But that isn't really necessary.
@jbeaver I love your idea about a 2-player version.
For those of u who were in the 80's and were in to gaming this might bring back memories, from Tron to Pac Man each had its own quirk.
This game however is weirdly set in both. That 80's period and in the modern world. There are two ways for looking at this game:
A) as a game that wants to remind you of where all the games you play now come from and how uneasy the levels can get or
B) to remind you of how quirky those games where and how much loved they still are
Either way looking at this game it seems simple, guess again simplicity is the key to complexity. The simple graphics are complementary to the game style giving easy learning for those dyslexics out there who complicate everything (just like i do)
All in all this game brings back the days of going to the arcade to knock someones score off and achieve the top score, only to go back again and to do it all over again.
The game once after many times of re-try becomes addictive and even those unwanted texts you just have to reply to interrupts your game, its easy to get back into even without a pause button.
When trying to learn the game the dashed lines appear to be just part of the game screen that has been chosen to have dashed lines, beware they aren't just dashed line at the bottom as i found out many time over.
The music that accompanies the game mirrors the gaming experience listen to the music and you'll soon find yourself getting better scores.
I like this game allot the music is perfect for it my advice is try it at lest 10 times before you go and disregard this wonderful game it's not as easy as it seems
There needs to be some sort of combo bonus when you pop multiple bubbles with a single shot - perhaps they should be worth 1, 2, 3... points.
I don't know if it was the (excellent) music or the waiting (which I didn't mind so much) but I found this a very enjoyable and meditative experience. However, I feel a few things could improve the game somewhat: first, being able to manually aim the turret, and second, being able to fire more than one ball at a time.
Other people have suggested these (or at least the first) in order to speed up the gameplay, but that's not how I see it. Rather, I think these would enhance the strategic element of the game by letting you carefully align your shots as well as (for quite skillful players) make "trick shots" involving several balls bouncing off each other or clearing paths for each other. One could play much faster in that case, of course, but I like to think the chill music would still encourage people to take their time. ;)
It would also make the game a little easier, but I don't think that would be a bad thing - it would just mean higher standards for high scores.
Either way, very enjoyable game.
I agree that the game runs a bit slow. It's fun, and replayable (especially when people keep posting their high scores, competition is a great replay encouragement) but if there was some way of gauging the speed of a ball to even know when it is going to stop would be the most important for me. Nextly, falls the controllable turret, then some sort of 'click to begin' message, and lastly removing the ability to shoot shots that never pass the 'game over' line.
Very challenging and enjoyable game. Still haven't figured out the best strategy.
Agree with several of the comments above
- Great game with an elegant minimal design that is innovative and original, but easy to grasp. Quite delightful, actually, and a good example of how a very simple little game can have deep strategy.
- Balls take too long to slow down. They should come to rest from a higher initial velocity much faster.
- I could also see this expanding into a sequel with some excellent variations of gameplay. A user-selectable toolkit containing one each of special shots would be an interesting feature, including
-- one ball that does nothing but remove any balls it contacts
-- one ball that scores 2 points for each ball it busts, not just 1.
-- one ball that allows you to specifically aim the cannon using the mouse
- Would be nice to have a couple balls placed randomly at the top of the screen when you start. Maybe a small, a medium, and a large, all randomly placed in the middle third of the screen so you can dive immediately into gameplay?
Kudos to the authors.
Enjoy this game? Digg It!
(Yeah I'm not that great at writing digg descriptions xD)
This is an absolutely polished game and a really original combination of gameplay elements, as I think is attested to by the unusually high level of analysis and discussion it has provoked.
The music is indeed meditative yet driving and the mood it sets perfect for the combination of strategy and skill needed for the game. In fact, my only complaint is that the music stops when it's game over!
Manual aiming would indeed create a more strategy game and I would be interested to play that game, but I think that the continuously moving turret forces you to relax and adapt to GFB's timing which adds to the meditative experience.
I vote this for winner of the competition without having seen anything else, as I think it will be hard to beat the GFB replay value.
Hmm I didn't really enjoy this game that much. I found the lack of instructions to be an unnessesary flaw in the game. It was easy enough to figure out after a few tries but still. And i don't see a point to not being able to "aim" the turret. Extra challenge? Maybe a little but really it was just extra time wasted untill it went to where i wanted to shoot. I found listening to the same 2 and a half seconds of music over and over some what tedious. And okay game, no huge drawbacks, but nothing too spectacular in my book. My highscore was 9
This game is highly replayable. I've been at it for almost an hour trying to outdo my highscore of 9...I'll get to 15 eventually.
Okay, now I'm completely hooked. So are my kids, for that matter. It's just too easy to start a new game!
The only thing I could think of that would make it even more fun would be a little "blown-up balloon" sound effect when the balls expand...something kind of like the noise from Prof. Fizzwizzle M/M when you use an inflatable powerup. The boys make their own sound effects but it's not as satisfying.
Yeah! 25! Think I'll stop now and play something else...
Although it would be better if the game had some sort of instructions in the start...
My high-score is now 33 :)
I enjoyed for a few replays while working out strategy and basic gameplay. Unfortunately, after that I became frustrated with the time needed for the balls to come to rest. The interface was nice. A little bit of action allowed the player to discover how to play. Music was good - not irritating at all ; )
So my only negative comment is that there should be a speed up option (on balls coming to rest, not necessarily the shooting end) for those who get bored with the wait.
My most positive comment is that, as it is skill-based, 3210 does encourage replay.
Brilliant! Wouter has invented a whole new arcade concept. I find the game highly enjoyable and think it could be expanded upon. For those of you who find it boring, think of how exciting Pong was originally. It is just as simple as this one, but was a classic.
As for "easy", when you first figure it out, it seems like the game would be easy. But it
s not. It's higly challenging.
This game just invites one to think of improvements. Different colors, different types of balls.
A bomb ball, that just explodes...
Balls with different numbers besides 3.
Combos, that when you explode a ball, it takes away a hit from other balls in its radius.
There are so many ways you could go in this game.
Exactly. Good idea, but leaves me wanting for something more.
Turns out a bit on the boring side...
I have had chance to play several versions of this game and I believe the final game is really the best there can be. The idea is original, the game looks good (white circles, yeah!) and it can be played over and over without getting bored. Great game.
I got 1 point! But that's all...
Love how simple this game is!
Just find I want another level or something different to happen after a while.
The game is great, with serious addiction-potential.
It took me a while to figure out what determines how big the balls are going to inflate, though - and that's quite important - would be better to have some kind of instructions. But, all in all I love it.
(As a true one-button-game it would make a perfect cellphone game, i guess)
Seems to have a minor bug - the third time it happens: when a ball only just hits another before coming to a halt, sometimes it deducts two and so kills a "2" ball instantly. the last two ones weren't near a wall, so it couldn't be a ricocheted double hit.
Hehe, have you realized that if you fire when the barrel is nearly horizontal, the ball is going to stay under the dotted line but the game is not over? I guess that's intentional and not a bug and can sometimes come handy...
I'm at 24 at the moment, but usually stay under 10 :)
Fantastic game - and very replayable.
As someone said above, more color and 3D would enhance it, but it's already a winner to me.
But my high score is only 10, after just a few replays.
Really fantastic concept, and the implementation is spot on. My best so far is 35.
I'd say the strategic elements become more apparent as you play it more. A well-packed screen can often be easier to play on than an emptier one. Success really comes from being patient, and not taking overly ambitious or hasty shots. The features suggested above (special balls, flashy graphics, etc.) might be fun, but I'd be wary of making what's currently a very elegant and simple game too messy and overcomplicated.
My only quibbles are the E-ball bug (which has zero affect on gameplay, but looks a bit silly) and the degree to which it really captures the "replay" theme. Making a "replayable" game seems like a bit of a cop-out.
Although we encourage creative interpretations of the theme (and wow! did we get them!), a "replayable" game is exactly what we had in mind for this competition.
Exceptional replay value is a quality that is difficult to achieve when designing a game, and so I don't feel it's a cop-out at all.
Oh, certainly. But since any good game (except perhaps spoil-and-you're-done adventure games) should be replayable, it seems that an entry to this competition should exhibit the theme a bit more distinctly. It's a bit like justifying an entry in the last competition with "Well, your skill 'grows' as you play the game more, y'know?" That should be a given.
Don't get me wrong. I love this game, and I'd be happy to see it win something. I'm just not sure it should win this contest.
You know what this game is? It's sexy. There's soothing music playing, the interface is sleek and direct, and once you tune into the rhythm of it, it turns your mind on in a very pleasing way. Plus, you know, the title.
I didn't think this game did much with the theme at first, but the way it plays is so subtle and different from game to game, the replay value is way higher than it has any right to be.
respect and applause.
especially happy that you get 1 point per bubble, not like 10000 or something silly.
great game. conceptually as strong as some of tonypa's best. and sound to match as well. could be a little prettier but that's a minor complaint.
I have to admit, when I first played this game I really didn't like it. However, now that I keep coming back to this game over and over I think it's only fair that I throw out a big thumbs up for this one. It's very simple and not particularly colorful, but MAN I cannot stop playing it. I didn't originally see the replay theme, but now that I've replayed it a whole bunch of times I certainly do. This is my favorite game out of these first three.
Not bad. The physics feels good enough (though I'm not sure at this point whether they're accurate) and I for one like the pace of this game. Then again, I am in no rush...
I simply do not have the patience for this game.
Wow...... great game. I made it to 41!! I won't tell you how many times I tried.
I find a good strategy is to make clusters of balls (balloons?), you can score heavy when the board is very full and you hit the money spot.
Very tough and addicting game! I'm loving it and certainly am "replaying" it an awful lot.
Tell me it's a spoon reference...
You should dedicate this game to the 70th birthday of Raymond Ceulemans Wouter :D
I love this game! My favorite of the first four competition games, definitely - I can't stop playing it.
My high score is only 17 - but I keep coming back to try again. Very interesting, very satisfying.
It might be fun to have combo scoring - I think someone mentioned this above - where you get more points for popping multiple bubbles in one shot.
It could be prettier, but it doesn't matter, because it's so satisfying to play.
I only wish you could "die" more than once - it's maddening to spend long minutes setting up a crowded board with a nice alleyway to shoot into for multiple bounces, only to have the game suddenly end because of a twitch of the mousing finger.
19! I know, not the record here, but I'm proud of myself.
I've read all the comments. Why not, after spending hours and hours playing this simple yet complex game, comments didn't take much time to read, heh!
If I was to design this game, I'd design as it is now. No need for colors, 3D, special balls or controllable turret. There is nothing complicated in the game; everything is simple. I like the music as well. It really fits with the game, and, yeah, it IS sexy... A second life may be added, otherwise the player may go crazy when the game is over, the score is 33 and the high-score -which is my actual high-score- is 36.
I agree that the game needs an intro. It may take time to discover how to play. And the way balls slow down is not realistic. A ball in real life slows down more quickly. It seems the speed of the ball decreases linearly, instead of exponentially. This makes "the friction" appear only in the name.
Yet, to me, this game was among the first three I've seen in jayisgames.com, and I agree this game would be a nice mobile phone game.
PS. Did I mention that my high-score is 36?!... :)
This is hands-down my favorite of the entries so far. Absolutely addictive.
The game reminds me a lot of the old arcade games from the early 1980's: deceptively simple gameplay, catchy music, uncomplicated interface. And just like those old games, Gimme Friction Baby compels me to play over and over and over again! "Replay" indeed.
I agree with Charunboke!
My "sidebars changing colors with score" would be a decent addition but I agree that it is truly sexy and practically perfect the way it is. Powerups and different types of balls and other thingamagigs would needlessly complicate a smooth slick game. That's like adding color bombs and other woohah to Tonypa's Unununicum.
Also, very impressive highscores I'm seeing. I'd challenge someone to reach 100, but I warn you I have no prize. I also like the elegantly simple and almost minimalistic scoring.
I just had to post a comment here. This game is fantastic. So much out of such simplicity. Who would think a 2-D game with one simple button press could have such replay-ability. High score of 30.
I check jayisgames regularly and this one goes directly into my favs.
Great job! (and to jayisgames too - for everything!)
Great game! High score: 22
Maybe the next version could have different levels. At the start, there could be bumpers at the bottom of the screen to prevent the ball from passing the line. Each level you have to get a certain number of points. Then the board clears, the border color changes, bumpers change their position or disappear. It might be interesting to have the shooting ball effect the other balls on the playfield. Right now they are frozen in place. Also, I don't think it would hurt gameplay to be able to aim the ball with a dotted line instead of the moving cannon.
I do agree that the movement of the ball is a bit too slow. Maybe a faster launch with a quicker slowdown would help.
Wouter your game is fantastic. I am way too addicted to this. I'll never get my flash done.
Although the slowdown of the cannonball is a bit too gradual, it does add to the "will it, won't it" aspect of the game. i dunno, i just keep coming back to this one. damn it, it eats up my time. top score 32. recommended tactic: plant a few balls up top, then a couple of biggies low down left and right, with enough space to shoot between them ;) very good game. easy to grasp and difficult to master. and definitely replayable!
Wow, lots of comments! Thanks for support and criticism!
Some feedback on issues pointed out:
- Someone said friction is linear in this game and because of that not real friction. I'm not a physics-teacher or something but I can tell friction is not linear in this game, every frame speed is a percentage (97.5% in this case) of the speed in the previous frame. You can see because ball is slowing down very fast in the beginning but very slowly (too slowly in most of your opinions :) ) at the end. This way friction is used in almost every game. Real friction is something like F = u*mass*gravity, where u is the frictional coeffecient. No one uses this in a game.
-I'm glad there are people that like the pace of the game, I knew from beta-testers that al lot of you would find it too slow. I think it benefits in evoking emotion when slowly creeping down to the dashed line + it creates a 'think strategic' atmosphere.
-Lots of good ideas on combos, bonus-balls, power-ups etc. It's just not my style. I love to create games that are as minimalistic in gameplay and/or rules while not losing depth. In real life there are some objects that are fascinating because they are not complicated, but never boring. Like a ball alone, not in game, but just something to roll, throw, kick and catch. I would love to create the ball as a computergame someday.
-The replay theme: Well, maybe because the game is simply replayable, not very original. Jay&co's ideas on the competition theme actually suggested in my idea that every game is welcome, but "we like to see a other game than a pnc game winning this year" (<- that's no quote). The thing I like myself though about the replay-factor of this game is that the replayability doesn't exist because of random-content or timebased-challenge. The screen is empty and is filled because YOU press the mousebutton at a certain time. Rules don't change, difficulty doesn't increase. So basically every game, every ball is exactly the same as the one before, but still the replayability is there.
-I like how someone mystified the E-ball, so I'm not gonna say that it's a bug :)
Thanks for your comments, goodluck to the other contestants! Oh yeah my own hiscore is 27, 50 is insane!
I, also, find myself coming back to this game all the time. I love it. The winner for me so far.
I'm confused by everyone saying that real friction isn't linear. The frictional force applied to an object moving in a straight line on a flat surface should be constant, so the speed *should* be decreasing linearly. I imagine this wouldn't be any harder to program than Wouter's current exponential model.
But enough about that. I'm happy to say that I'm still coming back to this game three days later. Despite my earlier reservations about how it incorporated the "replay" theme, this is currently my favorite in the competition.
This is a really good totally replay game. I've been playing on and off since it was first posted. Yes, I've tried the others, but this has got me hooked, line and sinker.
As I play in between working and stuff, I've only managed a high score of 20. That's my excuse :)
And it has that wonderfully infuriating thing of making me shout as the slightly wrongly placed sphere edges back towards the line only to shatter my hopes and make me play - again.
Simple yet hard. Darned annoying yet addictive. Cracking little game.
This is my favourite, even after some more elaborate games have been posted recently. Wouter's been a bridesmaid for two competitions now, yet has always produced excellent (and replayable!) games. If he doesn't win this one, we should at least a) marry him and b) give him some kind of JiG Hall of Fame award.
How the heck are you people getting those high scores??? Mine is - wait for it - 8. My average is 3. That's the modal average, not the mean.
(*me grinning from ear to ear*)
:) thank you ms.45
I must say though that I'm already satisfied with a marriage and that I feel good being monogamous. :)
I broke my own hi-score today too, it's 34 now.
I usually hate online-highscorelists, they are most of the time hacked or manipulated within a couple of days. But now I think it would have been cool to have made one for this competition, well..., too bad.
Well, I've been playing this game a lot ever since it made its appearance here and I still can say I'm a huge fan.
There have been suggestions how this one could be even more fun, like special balls, bomb feature, and the like. Maybe they could make this game even better, I dunno. But there is something that, I think MUST be done to it: ONE LIFE IS NOT ENOUGH!
Let me elaborate on this claim: as someone very rightly remarked it here earlier, this game is heavily about patience. I had scenarios where I had to wait for more than like 5 minutes and let the turret swing back and forth like 30 times to release the ball at the exact moment. I had games that last well above 40 minutes, but on average one round lasts for about 15-20 minutes (unless I freak up something and die with a score of 2 or 3 which happens and not once...:).
Now, losing such rounds without another chance is just VERY frustrating - I'm sure I'm not the only one feeling like this.
But think in general: having absolutely no second chance is not a frequent principle in computer games - of any kind (especially, I might add, when the theme is "replay"...).
So, wouter, I beg you: make a 1.2 version with, I dunno, 3 lives! I strongly think the frustration that one mistake and the consequent game over may bring is unfair - and unneccessary. I don't see why we couldn't have more lives.
But, to be more postitive, some tactical notes:
Firstly, huge balls are nott neccessarily bad - often they are even great to have: the bigger a ball is - especially when it's somewhere like 2 centimeters from the dotted line, the better "shields" they make. My best-working strategy is to make a 5-8 (small) ball core in the top center, then place a 3-5 (mid-size) "shields" at the top of the bottom third of the field and then send slanted side shots behind that shield. Virtually no chance of a game over if the tunnel in which the balls can be shot beyond the shield is wide enough, or if there is no very freaked-up shot :)
Try this method, you'll see it for yerself :)))
To make that starter core top-center, the balls should be released when the barrel's on the right side and it's lower edge is aligned to the 0's (of the "3210" on the turret) top right corner - or the left hand equivalent of that, the barrel's lower edge is aligned to the 3's top left corner. The follow-up shots must be adjusted accordingly :)
a little thing: when you try to mute the game and click the "button" of the top slide-in autohide bar, the click is also taken as a shot, and the shot is done. Could it be fixed?
Hi bioLarzen, thanks for being a fan of the game :)
The sudden death principle is in the game because I think this adds to the 'addictive' behaviour of the game. Think of some famous addictive timewasting minigames out on the web the last couple of years and you'll see they often use sudden death.
I inserted a big mute-button at the right-side of the game, which you can press to mute without shooting a ball.
I posted a few days ago and I'm back to say I *still* love this game.
Other games in the competition are very polished and fun - it's really an impressive showing - but this is the only game that has completely hooked me and has me coming back to play again and again.
Thanks for making this fantastic game, Wouter, and thanks Jay for the competition that inspired it!
thax for the answer and info.
Hehe, funny,but i never realized the mute button on the right, although it's the biggest and is even white backgrounded :DDD
As for the sudden death thing, you may be right: it might add to the addictive neature of the game, all i know is there were days when I actually stopped playing it being too frustrated about some of those sudden deaths... Infinite lives is no good, sure thing, but, I still think 3 lives would be a great improvement here - about the only one I can really think of :DDD
And one more thing: as i remarked earlier: this truely one-button game would, I'm sure, make a superb cellphone game. Ever thought of making a phone version? I hereby volunteer for testing :DDD
This is probably the best Flash game I have ever played!
It is perfect.
Wouter- If you read this, can you put some contact details somewhere? I can't even find a website for you.....
I especially like the way the sound for the collisions is a cymbal and complements the music.
bioLarzen: I've never took one single look at flash lite, so I'm not sure how easy it is to adapt the game. I will have a look though, it's a nice idea. Maybe I will put some lives in it then ;) The fact that my cellphone only has Java isn't very motivating though :( .
rex_kramer: Thank you very much for your nice words. I don't like to put my email here, you could ? Else I think it's ok to contact Jay? He lost anonymity long time ago :) (sorry) .
Gah! I'm addicted. Got to 16, but can't beat that, despite hours per day trying. :)
You know, I really liked this game when I first played it. But now that I've played every game in the competition, I find myself coming back to this one over and over again, and I can't say that about any of the other entries. I agree with Carla and Rex and the others - this very well might be the best casual game I've played since Tetris. The gameplay is perfect. The only suggestion I would make is to have the music change once you reach certain score thresholds, in order to make the game even more crazily addictive.
Oh, and 35!
Hey Keith! I wanted to say your old labs together with Jared Tarbells' site were pretty much of inspiration when making this game. I like your gravitypods-game, and I am happily surprised to see your initiative on wickedpissahgames. Cheers.
highly addictive, very nice concept, but:
way 2 much waiting due to often sudden death
in my opinion it takes not much to turn it into a real mass-player. how about score-decrementing instead of dying? i think nobody playes it for the score-challenge (mine is 6): I want to relax, enjoy the simply gameplay & design. thumb up!
sorry jay, 4 another post of mine ;)
I could't resist, 2 play it once more, and more....
now i have 13 and one idea (normally I dont comment on blog, but this game...): the circle-sice is limited by other circles. they touch each other: would'nt it be nice, if every 'ball-touched' cirlce would lead to decreasing on the neigboured-circles?
(sry for my bad english).
the result would be a higher score, 'more action' and more self-dynamic. Anyway wouter: go on and port it 4 mobile. i'm a fan of it.
I finally got over single digits...24! I know it's not as good as others but, of all the "replay" games, this is the only one which I actually replay. Good job.
I think the game is better the way it is now than how it would be with your last idea.
But it's only a palyer's opinion, not more :)
Almost beat my highscore......
Anyways, this was no fluke.
Check this out
What's everyone's high score now? Mine is only 27, and I'm not even going to tell you how many tries it took me to get there. I won't post a screenie until I get above 35 or something.
Very rarely above 30, rarely above 20, sometimes above 10 :)
Wow, Remko, congrats!
The highest personal record mentioned here is 50 by breach (July 19, 2007 9:32 PM), so, I guess we can take that as the onufficial record (plus maybe the ninth wonder of the world :) - until someone comes up with a higher one.
Remko, you're second with that 41 :)
Love the game Wouter. Best flash game ever in my humble opinion. Also nice to know I have beat the high score of the creator. Sorry no offense meant. This game really gets you wanting to do better. My personal best is 28, though I had many points available at the end. see screen capture below.
Oh, shoot... I've just had a very promising round, placed excellent barricades above the dotted line very early with two good shooting gaps and so I had a very easy and smooth run well until 32. Then one tiny mistake and a bigger one because of the previous one and there I was - couldn't go over 35...
The first time since that 39 that I had a real chance to beat my best :(
So much to love about this game, I wouldn't change a thing. I like the way that it doesn't beat you by speeding up, or throwing lots of enemies at you. YOu beat you. Although the concept is simple, the strategy is undefined, and the "best" approach may as yet be undiscovered. I like the fact that it forces you to think, and yet the best laid plan can be undermined by a porr but of hand-eye coordination. I like the tension that has you mouthing no-o-o-o-o-o-o and stopstopstop as events unfold, and the way that what seems like disaster can be turned to your advantage.
As for replay value, this game has you making up all sots of little excuses and stories to justify that "just one more go"....
Haha, I guess I just placed the biggest ball in the game's history on the field :)))
I guess it's phisical impossibility to make a much bigger one :DDD
Darn it. Anytime someone posts a problem like this, I have to boot up the game and play to see if I can reproduce the issue, which subsequently turns into me playing several games before I can stop. xD
Seems fine to me. No changes. :)
I got 64.
I printed the screen for proof.
What's the all time high?
74 - just 3 comments above you :)
Love the game. I'm actually a little surprised that the "missile" ball doesn't count down too when hit?
I just got a 79, smashing my previous highest. For a while I thought I was going to break 100. Ah well...
A 2 player version would be brilliant!!!
Got this idea from playing this "CO-Op" with my GF (taking shots in turns)...
Just make the players take turns and each accumulates a separate score according to who bursts the bubbles.
I think it would benefit from a little speed up of the simulation to make the play_vs_play faster
-1st to cause "game-over" looses the round
-1st to 5 points wins the round, or...
-1st to cause "game-over" looses the round
Just imagine the sneaky tactics possible (take advantage of that 1 ball to score...try to block the last available shooting space causing the other to shoot the ball into "gameover line"...avoid touching that 2 ball because turning it into 1 would make an easy point for the opposition)...what do you think?!
i dunno why. but i really love this game :)
I'll keep playing until I manage to get to 100. So far, 94 is the closest I have come to it. So close and yet so far... Luca
Wonderfully addictive! I have a 50 which means I play way too much.
I would really like to see a version where you can drag a line out and shoot the cannon exactly there. With all else the same it would add a whole new element and take out some "luck".
Let me add to the praise for this simple, addicting game. The only change I'd like to see is the ability to mute the music, but not the sound effects -- the clip from We vs. Death is very good & moody, but wearing after any length of time... and as this game is so addicting, I've heard it for plenty of lengths of time.
I agree with the above commenter about the muting. I like the music, but if you're trying to play while, say, listening to a podcast, you have to mute it. But it would be nice to keep the other sound effects.
I don't know how many hours I've played this game, but I still can't get over 42. I'm in awe of the people who've doubled that and more.
I have noticed that on certain computers the game moves faster than on others. I first I thought this was great because the game is normally so slow. But, it is much harder to play when it is moving this fast. What could be causing this? I'm not imagining it. I have it open on two computers side by side and you can definitely see the difference.
p.s. Is there anywhere we can list high scores. I have gotten 41, but my damn co-worker destroyed that record with 71.
Amazingly, I'm still playing this almost daily.
Yeah baby!! Just beat my highscore, it was 7 now it's 39 ;D
Great game! It needs a laser pointer and mouse aimer like this:
Any chance I could get the source code?
I'm sorry I'm not gonna do that.
I know there are some open source clones though,
Ok! Thank you for the links, though! I'll just finish up the rinky-dink clone I'm working on... The main reason I'm working on this is because I just need to learn Actionscript 3.0. It's easier to learn when you're trying to make something fun. Thanks again-
i feel dirty for having played those clones.
the original is by far the best - nothing like a bit of nail biting tension as your shot inches closer to a 1:D
I love this game so much. My high score's currently 54.
I play while I play internet poker. Because one can leave this game at any time, it great for filling in the time while waiting for one's turn at poker. The game's perhaps a little too slow to really be engaging on it's own (for someone with a short attention span like me, anyway), but the fact that one can play a few shots, then leave for a minute, and then return, is like no other game I can think of. This is the epitome of casual play, and it's a genuine piece of genius. What an achievement!
I have a high score of 11 points.
What's the top score?
how do you get anything above 2
I just scored a 43. I am never playing this game again, lol. My previous high score was 19... after MANY play-throughs. No way I'm going to try and top that.
Such a wonderfully replayable game.
Bah. I got a new high score of 31 after trying and trying to beat my previous one of 30. So addicting! I really love the simplicity of the game.
But I do think such a simple game needs a more simple title--I never remember exactly what it is. Like Tetris, or Minesweeper, or some one-word, catchy thing that relates to the game. My brother suggested "Frixen", which I don't know if I like but which I have actually began calling the game when I refer to it in conversation. My friend calls it "the curling game" because it reminds her of the sport. I think this game has a lot of potential for becoming very popular, but please, please find a simple name!
I would like ot contact the author if this game to discuss reskinning for a brand promo. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
This is a brain tickling wrist cramping befuddlement of a game. Quite addictive. I started playing it a few weeks ago, my friend who told me about it got 9, which was his best score, and so I tried to beat that which I did, then steadily a got a few more. Then I doubled my old record with 35, and beat that with 44 and I thought, I'll quit when I get 50, that was quite a while ago. I got one more 42, and I've had a bunch of 30-somethings. But I don't know if I'll ever get the 50, so I think I may have to quit. It eats a lot of spare hours.
For a while I thought it was an advantage to shoot a lot of little minimally expanding balls, ones whose flight would end close to the side walls or the ceiling, and then build a trap for them, an smallish opening through which you can shoot the ball and let it bounce around a lot of times popping as many as possible, but that strategy is not foolproof, if you clog the opening or miss getting it in. Patience and good timing are key, and a lot of repetition. Argh!
I play this game like it's my job.
Normally a good game will have you starting the next game within seconds of losing. Here the effect is taken to the extreme as my opening volleys launch before the vestiges of the last game even hit the ground. Design over graphics - love it! 35 personal best.
I took no pleasure in this game. Beyond the simple strategy, there's just nothing to it.
Wow, what a great game! I'm nearly addicted to it, which has resulted in a highscore of 40 points. Kudos to Wouter Visser :)
I'd really like a standalone version of this game, without all the intros, but I couldn't find anything on the internet. Is there any way I can contact Wouter, or anyone who can help me?
Jelle - here's a version of the game without the sponsor intro:
In case anyone's interested: I just made myself a little Gimme Friction Baby bookmarklet to make accessing the game that much easier: http://www.the-deblog.com/2007/12/gimme-friction.html
pfm, I think two player would be a great implementation. Sometimes I play with my friends, passing the computer back and forth, and whoever loses is the loser. It is really fun trying to set traps, then the other person just squeezes through, and then you are screwed.
Also, I have to agree with jasonharper's suggestion for combo points. I think eliminating multiple balls in one shot should give you increased points. For example in one shot, the first ball you destroy would be one point, the second would be worth two points, the third worth 3 points, and so on. Giving you 6 points for destroying 3 balls with one shot.
I think this would add another level of strategy in trying to set up combos. I always feel a great sense of accomplishment in destroying two or three balls with one shot, and I think rewarding the player for that skill would be a good idea.
Great game Wooter, thank you.
Anyone know an explaination for the "3210" in the turret? I can't imagine that being a high score.
Tofudisan - the "3210" represents the sequence that each of the spheres go through from initial launching (3) through destruction (0) after being hit 3 times.
D'OH! That makes such perfect sense that I can't believe I didn't realize it. Now I feel dumb. :-P
Simple, elegant, and utterly addictive. Love it.
God I love this game. It's perfect. What a sublime combo of simplicity with strategy.
Haven't read all entries, so don't know if anyone else has discovered this: if you fire a ball so it skims as close as possible to an existing ball without hitting it, there is a kind of gravity effect that curves the path of the ball!
Is that the origin of the name of the game...?
I love this game and play it all the time. I've had a high score of 58 for a while. Tonight, everything clicked: 85. No joke. Is there anywhere that lists the all-time bests?
I have been playing this game for months... and I've finally hit a score above 100.
It is a very triumphant day good friends. A very triumphant day indeed.
I don't see where is the "replay" theme, even more how it has been the best game for this competition, and honestly, I had to read over 100 comments to admit that it wasn't a collective joke. I played it over 10 minutes because I though, maybe I would get addict to it afterall, but, wtf, nothing Oo I, I just don't understand, evenmore compared to the most of the other games...
[Edit: Sorry you can't see the replay in this one. It's there. Every game you play starts out exactly the same, in essence you are "replaying" the same game over and over, and yet every game is different. No two are exactly the same. This game is brilliant if you look at it in that perspective. If you're looking for a fast action game, though, you'll never see it. -Jay]
I found this game looking for an update to the 3210 game on my pocket PC. This is better. For those who think it is too slow, I disagree. I play the game on my new I mac and I wish it were slower. I like to aim between balls after banking off the wall. Sometimes that is hard when the turret is moving so fast.
But I love it just the same. I might try it on one of my older PCs maybe it will run slower then. just kidding. keep it up. I love it. I hit 15 on my second game, not because I am so good, but because the ppc game was much more difficult
Just FYI, no kidding: my high score is 81. Haven't been close to that in a while, but I'm working on it. My goal is to break 100.
why is this not on ipods or cell phones yet?????
78!! On 3 occasions I was so damn lucky! This game will cost me my job at some point...
Wonderful game - wouldn't change a thing. Unfortunately, I'm addicted. Hi score is 86.
This game is awsome.
Today I finally cracked the 100.
111 To be exact.( screen dumped, and backed up in 3 places ) I swore I'd give up on the hundred but I don't think so.
Anybody seen a higher score? I got high - I think I'm a world record holder - for now.
interesting and unique, simplest one of best design concept so far. i think lot of people will keep an eye out for the creator next project even he didn't win the contest.
interesting and unique, simplest one of best design concept so far. i think lot of people will keep an eye out for the creator next project even he didn't win the contest.
I only have a net connection in my office...not at home. Can I download it?
[Edit: Sorry, this game is unavailable for download. -Jay]
Why do you have to keep dredging up references to old games that are insanely addicting when I have work in the morning?
111 on 02/02/09 & still playing. This game needs only one change, unless you want a different colour - and that is somewhere to register your score. Other than than that it has everything, and is a continuing source of tension and excitement, requiring skill, practice and patience.
I have waited 7 months for a reply, and now I claim a WORLD RECORD!
Today another 102. Again I have backed up the screen dump in 3 places. I wait to be toppled.
Respect, Roscoe. I came here looking for a place to post my new high score of 74. Looks like I still have some more work to do.
108 Today. Silver medal i guess. My first goal was to reach 100, but now i have a new one.... get the gold one !
Hey Roscoe, you are toppled ! 117 Today New WORLD RECORD! And still playing...
126 ...! Definitely the best game ever !
Gratz on toppling Roscoe, hfa, but I'm here today to claim a new world record: 135!
Glad to see the competition is heating up. Come and get me.
I haven't been able to stop playing this game all day. It's absolutely brilliant. I hope you guys release this for the iPhone because you would make ridiculous amounts of money.
One thing, you need to have a two player option. You could take turns and whatnot. It would be killer. Anyway, this game is rad. That is all.
You really should check out ORBITAL for iPhone.
It's got Pure mode for the purists, and an all-new Gravity mode that actually 1-ups the original GFB gameplay, if that were even possible.
PLUS, there's a two-player mode.
You won't be disappointed. :)
Read our review: https://jayisgames.com/archives/2009/08/orbital.php
This is an addictive game, but there are a couple factors that make it frustrating for me.
The complete loss of the game whenever a sphere crosses the dotted line, combined with the difficulty of aiming the turret accurately, make accumulating a score a bit more of a challenge than it should be. Difficult enough to predict where your shot will rebound in a complex situation if you do manage to get it off in the direction you intended, and often enough it doesn't.
Thus, variable turret speeds to accommodate variable levels of challenge, would be good (and for ghu's sake get rid of the far swivel angles which allow a sphere to remain below the dotted line; it's pointless, and the coding is broken if you do), and I'd really like a variation in which bouncing back below the line merely subtracts points instead of killing the whole round.
I GOT 38!! I'm the man.
My high score is 84......I read somewhere that some guy got 117. Wether he was lying or not, I don't know. But I certainly got 84. Either way I won't be happy till I break 100. (I've been playing for years......)
I've gotten so tired of not being able to eyeball the shot in the direction that I intended - only about one in four of my shots goes in the direction I want it to - that I've taken to holding a straight-edge up against the screen to aim the turret better.
That can't be what the designer intended. But it renders the game far less frustrating while still being challenging.
what is the highest score?my highest is 16
Awesome game. I am really curious for Wouter to comment on the physics - are they absolutely pure? I highly suspect not. I've seen the ball seem to veer conveniently to just fit an opening way too many times. The final placement of the expanded sphere fits too well into available space far too often for simple coincidence.
Watching the track of the ball also often reveals a slight curve that seems to veer away from placed spheres - particularly larger ones. I thought this an optical illusion until a slightly angled ball coming almost straight down wound up sliding into place with a final path segment angling the opposite way from the vertical axis than the direction at which it had started.
If I am correct, then I'd love to see a "pure physics" option/checkbox that would allow players to avoid the game's fudging of sphere placement.
I have got 134
Roscoe, dammint I love this!
134 awesome and Curtis Interuptis, 135 you have got respect!! but I'm back for another record attempt. 130 tonight and still going - 200 or nothing!!
Gotcha Curtis ! 162 today ! I am now waiting to be toppled ....
I AM coming back! 200 or nothing - in the meantime what crap has hijacked this site - no mute and so many ad distractions WTF!
[We're just trying to stay in business, Roscoe. Free Flash games are ad supported, so please try to be compassionate about it. If you were a registered user/commenter with a Casual Gameplay account, your ad experience would be significantly better. - Jay]
i got 116. :-)
Hate to burst anyone's bubble;) but I've managed a high score of 72, love the game - secret is to try to have the balls land in spaces where they will not expand much so you have lots of little balls on the screen - also try to keep the bottom half of the screen as clear as possible.
Can't stop playing this game. Didn't discover it til 2012 and it stands up to any other point & click today. Highly addictive. Great job.
hi, I found an issue, please see the details and fix this issue.
Devices : samsung galaxy s3, s4, note2, note3
OS : android 4.3
1. Run the app
2. Choose game mode
3. Start game
Bug : Black screen occurs
If you need more info, please contact us at [email protected]
Also we want to know your email address to contact with you directly. so, we are waiting for your reply. thanks.
Hey Curtis I'm back 172 :-)
Totally addicted - if I got paid for playing this I'd be rich.
Hi Curtis, 2 and a half years on and still playing daily. A few 100+ but playing at work has distractions. My home PC has a different rate and screws with accuracy. Good luck. I was aiming for 200 but that i think will be yours.
Back again this time with 180 It has taken years but have not given up yet !