ANN: Fragile Ball

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Bimboosoft, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. Bimboosoft

    Original Member

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    Bimboosoft has released Fragile Ball.

    Info URL: http://www.bimboosoft.com/FB/

    Download: http://bimboo.sakura.ne.jp/FragileBallSetup.exe

    Screenshots:
    screen1
    screen2
    screen3
    screen4

    Fragile Ball is a simple but exciting game.
    All you have to do is to rotate the stage and lead the ball to the goal.
    But don't forget to handle the ball carefully!

    Game Features

    - Over 80 levels! -

    - 8 unique stage features! -
    Needle, cushion, plate, hammer, flare, rain, bumper and cannon.

    - Simple and easy control! -

    - Two types of ball! -
    Fragile ball & super ball.

    *System Requirements*

    Windows 98/ME/2000/XP
    1 GHz CPU
    256 MB RAM
    DirectX 9.0c
    DirectX Compatible 3D Card

    Best Regards,

    Hirofumi Hattori
    Bimboosoft
    http://www.bimboosoft.com/
     
  2. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Oooo.. I've been wanting to do a game like this for years. Finally got me to try something...
     
  3. Dan MacDonald

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    That looks really cool, like a cross between peggle and an adventure game :)
     
  4. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I think the concept is good. It's something I've wanted to do for a while (something similar to this anyway.) I think of it as a 2d marble madness.

    Nothing is particularly wrong or bad but it's just generally lacking in a lot of small ways. The 3D seems unnecessary. I think it would look and play nicer as a strict 2d game since it really is. Some of the ideas are pretty nifty. I like the superball idea where you have to bounce. I find it frustrating that you die and start over so often though. Had the level design been a little more marble madness-ee I think it would have been more fun. Beat the clock.. die and lose time.. but continue onward. It tends to be a little frustrating as is. I also didn't care for the controls. I don't like the "tilt the world" style stuff much (in any similar games ive played). I would have much preferred to have more direct control over the ball in the way marble madness does. Slide the mouse to give it some roll left or right. I think this definitely could be a *really* fun game but yeah... Actual implementation is a bit rough for me. I find it hard to get into as it is now.
     
  5. TimS

    Original Member

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    Bimboo,

    Here's my notes from as I went through:

    1) - My first impression is "whoa... those fonts are almost unreadably crunchy around the edges... ack.". IF you want to have such a low default resolution, it might help to create a separate font specific to that resolution so that the first impression is a good one. I would say 800 x 600 or 1024 x 768 is a safe default rez, but whatever you choose, your fonts need to be native to the default.

    2) - Having a gameplay video in the background of the main menu is pretty cool... I likes it.

    3) - Login? To what? What am I logging into? What does this button do?

    4) - Registration code?? Huh? Have I wandered into some kind of copy protection?

    5) - Connecting?!? I'm going online? What the heck?

    The general gist of the above 3 points is this: Unless you have a VERY good reason to do so... stick with the way others handle the main menu. People downloading a game demo will begin to feel very uncomfortable when they're digging their way through yours, in my opinion. The top button on the very first menu should be "Start Game", and going online should be optional if it is needed at all.

    6) - Switching to 1024 x 768 resolution and turning on antialiasing helped the look A LOT. (Mentioned above)

    7) - The texturing in general is a bit... tutorialish... to me. Brushed chrome, sandy rock, etc... They all kindof remind me of things that might have been pulled out of "Rise of the Triad" or similar old 3D games. There's also very little color throughout, which makes it all look a bit bland.

    8) - After I played the first level, I couldn't get to the second level. The level select screen was unresponsive to anything but the ESC key.

    9) - After trying going back to the menu, the save game select screen was also broken... I could select a game but "Start" never worked again.

    Hope any or some of that helps!

    -Tim
     
  6. Bad Sector

    Original Member

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    I've just returned from 2031 with my portable time machine. You see, it took me a while to finish the sixth level. I have to type this fast before my old (current to you) self returns.

    So, in short, this seems to be a very good and fun game. However i have spotted a few small issues:

    a) some sound effects seem to be clipping and the result it noticeable in a very negative way.
    b) if your ball takes little damage and you click and drag the mouse quicly before the "explosion" registers, you avoid being exploded. Dunno if this is a bug or feature but seems like a bug.
    c) if you somehow manage to run faaast to the exit, which is near a wall and your ball explodes, the "CLEARED!!!" rotating message appears, but you're still dead.
    d) it would be nice the change the theme now and then and use some more textures in a level :)
    e) when you finish a level but not the whole set (in demo at least) you can replay a previous level, but when you finish the whole set it doesn't allow that. This removes from you the ability to show off your ball rolling skillz to your friends once you have finished a game :p.

    Beyond these, i think it's a very good game. Well done :)

    EDIT: after seeing the above post, two extra notes:

    1) the texture theme isn't bad IMHO, i like it and i'm sure others will like it too. Just not the fluffy-theme-with-happy-penguins-and-funny-sun-with-glasses loving types. But i agree that more variety with the color and textures would add a bit. However, i don't think the game looks bland because of the single-colored theme, but because EVERYTHING uses the same texture.

    2) i finished the demo in one run so i thought the case was the non-trivial i mentioned above. If the case is as TimS mentions, eh, ok. Bad.

    @TimS:
    Actually you click on the next block it reveals to go to the next level. Possibly a message "click on the level block to continue" would be nice. Also a miniature (thumbnail) of the level on that block would be much better (and intuitive) too.
     
    #6 Bad Sector, Sep 14, 2007
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2007
  7. TimS

    Original Member

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    Tried that first! No dice. After trying that I tried everything else. Only thing to work was ESC.

    -Tim
     
  8. TMK

    TMK
    Indie Author

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    I have the same problem as Tim has, the levels on the level screen doesn't "light" up and I can't click on any of them, just press Escape.

    Though it only seems to happen if I have changed the video options to my the max, e.g. 1280x1024, anti-alias on, vsync on. If I leave it to the default 800x600 it works.

    But from what I've got to try so far, and from the cool gameplay video on the menu, it seems like a fun game! :)
     
  9. TimS

    Original Member

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    After TMK's post I tried it at 800 x 600 and it worked again!

    A few more bits:

    1) - Waiting for the "cleared!" tune to finish is a bit annoying... should allow clicking a button or something to go to the level select screen

    2) - Waiting for the level select screen to put up the next level... same deal.

    3) - Perhaps the music should not start over when you die... but continue in the background. It gets a little crazy when you are dying every 3 seconds, or 2 seconds even, to hear the first few seconds of the song over and over and over and over and over. Madness!

    4) - Level 6 is waaay too hard. I typically assume that the levels in a game are going to ramp up slowly in difficulty, and if that's the case for Fragile Ball I NEVER want to see level 7 or 8, let alone level 80. You'll turn off a lot of buyers right there, in my opinion.

    Nice work though overall getting a game done... I should probably scoot off and do some of that m'self.

    -Tim
     
  10. Bad Sector

    Original Member

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    Well, yeah, most people don't like very hard games (some do though). From personal experience, it's hard to find people who like it - i know only one person that finished the shareware version of Nikwi so later i toned down a bit the free version (and fixed the crappy controls).

    If you make the demo of your game hard to finish, people won't "want more". You want them to "want more" since your full version has this "more" they want. So you want them to finish the demo version relatively easy (not VERY easy though, you don't want them think that they can finish your game in an hour).
     
  11. Escapee

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    The game may be a little too hard for casual gamers. I struggled on Stage 4 for few mins and decided to turn it off because it's frustrating to lose and start all over for 10+ times in such a short time. To be honest, I like the Dream match tennis so much more than Fragile ball .

    The game text can use some improvement but the adjustment of game play in the trial version should really be given top priority for "Kaizen" :p to improve conversion.

    Congrats on the release .
     
    #11 Escapee, Sep 14, 2007
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2007
  12. DayDream

    Indie Author

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    First thing - I really like the game!... BUT...

    I have to agree with the other posts - it's too hard, too steep a curve once you go past the 2nd or 3rd level... but most of all the art side bugs me a lot... [geee what can I do I am an artist]

    As images come easier to me than words here is a quick example of what I mean:

    [​IMG]
    http://spriteattack.cator.de//mocks/FragileBall_0a.jpg

    The game could be a really fun indie title... but the art has no fun factor at all... The font is poorly chosen and hardly readable on the smaller buttons... There is not enough contrast in the screen - it's not obvious what's important and what's not - even more so seeing the ball and bg are actually moving and taking the players focus away from the menu.

    [​IMG]
    http://spriteattack.cator.de//mocks/FragileBall_1a.jpg

    I cleaned it up and tried to give it a theme along the lines of packaging/ cardboard (with the "fragile" in the name it was the most obvious choice to me).
    The buttons stand out and the most important button stands out more. A clean colour scheme (less dirty but still grungy) and more contrast make it easier to look at and focus.
    [I didn't go into 3D for the level walls - as I need to get back to the work I should be doing :)] I would also like to see the ball more fragile to go with the name of the game - eg. with a china pattern or a glass like touch - rather than something that looks very solid.

    The same goes pretty much for the ingame gui and colour choice - not enough contrast and too little fun in the artistic approach to make it a successful casual title imho.

    Good luck with the game - it's got potential besides all the critique and problems mentioned in this threat.
     
    #12 DayDream, Sep 14, 2007
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2007
  13. jcottier

    jcottier New Member

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    Listen to DayDream ;-)

    His simple lines art is already soooo much better than these boring/dull bricks. People are not attracted by programmers 'art'... If you want to release a good game, you will need an artist otherwise your game will not sell...

    Also, I haven't try the game yet but you must listen too people telling you that the game is too hard. Remember that you are an expert at it, and you cannot balance the game with your own capabilities. You need to ask friend who never played it to test it. Look at them playing without telling them what to do... you will learn a lot of things doing it that way, and will make the first levels way more accessibles.

    JC
     
  14. samnova

    Original Member

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    Got to agree with jcottier both on DayDream and the play testing part.

    I was just chatting with DayDream and he told me to check this out but I was shocked as only one picture showed up and that sure wasn't his style. (That's why he added the links also).

    The new one is much more clear and solid. I'm not sure if I would include the version number in the middle or keep it in the corner as it is right now.

    Maybe the 'ball' from DayDream is too bright, but who am I to discuss with DayDream :)

    I have not tested the game yet but sure will as it looks rather interesting, might first be early next week but I will drop some feedback also.
     
  15. Bimboosoft

    Original Member

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    Thank you for the suggestions!

    I made some changes.

    What's new in v1.01
    -------------------
    - Changed level order.
    - Added PLAY DEMO button.
    - Changed default resolution.
    - Other adjustments.
    - Bug fixes.

    It's an intended feature.
    If the ball takes little less damage than explosive damage, the ball shows fake explosion.

    About the art, I'm impressed with the DayDream's work.
    However, it looks totally different game.
    Maybe it's good for Fragile Ball Casual Edition, although I'm not planning to make casual edition yet.
    Anyway, thanks for the suggestions.
     
  16. Bad Sector

    Original Member

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    How about the online part? The only thing stopping me from buying this right now is that i don't have the cash in my bank account :D and that it requires from you to be online in order to play.
     
  17. Bimboosoft

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    Online certification is an easy and certain way of copy protection:)
     
  18. TimS

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    Copy protection... Are you really that worried about piracy?

    I think you'd be better off making the demo version not scary... i.e. no "connecting...", and putting a "download the pirated full version here" button right next to your demo button on your website for those who really want to do so. That scheme would probably be more lucrative in the long run. :D

    Also -- DayDream's version doesn't look at all more "casual"... it just looks better. Better as in "done by an artist", which is a pretty worthwhile thing to look into.

    Just more 2 centses from me.

    -T
     
  19. BIGZIPZ

    Original Member

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    My suggestion is simple: set the default rotation speed about 50% slower than it currently is, in the options menu.
     
  20. iopred

    Indie Author

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    Looking like a different game is a good thing when it currently looks like programmer art! Just because the graphics have a cute/polished feel, doesn't necessarily make the game casual, it just makes it easier to sell.

    As for the game, screw level 6, I was liking it up until the 50-100 turns it took for level 6, and then to be hit with the upsell screen! I was pretty angry!
     

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