Space Ball - Unity desktop game

Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by Cat Lamp, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. Cat Lamp

    Cat Lamp New Member

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    Title: Space Ball (title still in work)

    Hello,

    I don't want to say much about the game as I'm asking for feedback about how intuitive what you have to do in the game is.

    It's not a long investment in time. Please try the game and I hope you enjoy it.

    upload_2019-7-22_23-53-0.png

    Game URL: https://catlamp.itch.io/space-ball-demohttps://catlamp.itch.io/space-ball-demo
    I don't have a website yet. The link to the google drive should work, please tell me if it doesn't.

    System Requirements: Runs on desktop, should work on anything

    I would like to know:
    - whether or not the game is fun.
    - how intuitive the game is
    - what aspects of the game caused confusion.
    - was there a strategy involved in winning, or was it random
    - what did you find unfair about the game
    - was there any performance issues
    - any other feedback I haven't thought about is appreciated

    The game now has only one level that resets when everything is destroyed or you lose.
     
    #1 Cat Lamp, Jul 22, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  2. MoonJellyGames

    MoonJellyGames New Member

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    Hey there, Cat Lamp (love the name btw). I tried Space Ball out. I'll go through your points one at a time:

    - whether or not the game is fun.
    Yes! And I'm glad that this was your first question.

    - how intuitive the game is
    I would say only somewhat. When I left-clicked on the title screen and the laser shoots, the scene changes too quickly for me to have an idea what just happened...

    - what aspects of the game caused confusion.
    ...Then I'm suddenly in a space with blue balls flying at me. My immediate instinct was to try to knock them towards the wall on the right with my ship. After hitting one, there's a burst effect and a screen flash, but I'm not quite sure what happened. After a few times, I realize that the scene seems to be refreshing when I hit the balls, so I'm probably meant to avoid them. It took me a bit of fiddling before I remembered that the title screen indicated that the left mouse button did something. And from there, it took me a minute to figure out why I couldn't seem to aim my laser. At that point, I understood just about everything that was happening, and I was enjoying the game.

    - was there a strategy involved in winning, or was it random
    It's light on strategy (for example, getting some vertical distance before shooting if the ball is coming back close to and parallel to a wall), but heavy on skill. I'm sure there is randomness in the bullet trajectories and origins, but it felt pretty fair.

    - what did you find unfair about the game
    I played the game in full-screen, and when my cursor went outside of the play area, I was not able to shoot or move. This was, of course, a problem because of the twitchy nature of mouse-controlled bullet hell games like this: I'd zip backwards to avoid bullets or to save the ball only to move my mouse too far and have a misfire that would result in failure.

    - was there any performance issues
    No.

    - any other feedback I haven't thought about is appreciated
    The game is quite fun. It's a neat twist on a very familiar concept. One issue I had was that the time between getting hit by a bullet and the scene restarting seems to vary quite a bit which had me wondering (until I specifically tested for it) if I had to take two hits to die, or if maybe the short-trail bullets were doing less damage to me. It's a little strange, and I'm sure it's just a technical problem that needs to be ironed out.

    I really like that you made a point to avoid explaining details for the sake of learning about the game's intuitiveness. I've seen too many indie games with bloated, unattractive, and uninteresting exposition when more thought into making the game explain itself would have been a better approach (I can't decide if I'm guilty of this in my game as there's a lot of tutorial text, but it's mostly for flavour, and I wanted to make it funny).

    A few of things I'd suggest:

    - Make it a little clearer which end of the ship is the front so the player has no doubt about which way they're supposed to be facing. I realize that the block to the right has an arrow, but I honestly hardly noticed that when I was focused on moving my ship around trying to smash into the balls that turned out to be bullets. I see what you did with the thrusters, and it's a nice detail. I think you should be able to retain this while giving the ship a bit of a make-over.

    - The bullets seem to just come from nowhere with bursts of them popping up seemingly at random. Maybe there could be little turrets or moving ships that fire the bullets. It might be tricky to do this in a way that doesn't get in the way. You could also have some kind of laser fence that the bullets would appear to come out of if it were the same colour as the bullets. And while you're at it, see if you can make them look more dangerous. Even giving them a red colour instead of blue would more implicitly communicate that they're a threat (just swap the colours of the player's ball and the bullets). And when you're hit, the game needs to more clearly indicate that you failed and are restarting.

    - Give the player a brief grace period: Let the red ball pass beyond the orange line three or four times before turning on the bullets. This will let them learn their relationship with the red ball before throwing too much at them, or giving them a chance to die and get frustrated before they even know what they're supposed to do.

    - One of the things that made Arkanoid so fun was the variety of power-ups. I bet you could come up with some clever ones for this game. One that comes to mind would be something that occasionally appears in a random part of the play area. When you touch it, the orange line becomes impassable until the red ball hits it three times. This works against you if you collect it with the ball on the outside, but if you can nab it (without getting hit by bullets in the pursuit) while the red ball is on the inside, you'll get a couple of free hits on the bricks. Another one would turn all of the bullets currently on the screen into ones that you can shoot, so you'd have multiple lasers shoot off each time you click. Like the "P" power-up in Arkanoid, letting these balls fall off-screen would not result in failure as long as you still have one going.

    Anyways, that's all I've got for now. Keep it up. :)
     
  3. Cat Lamp

    Cat Lamp New Member

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    Hello MoonJellyGames.

    Thank you very much for the feedback.

    I've added the following tasks based on your feedback:

    - Rework the title screen so you get more time to soak everything in
    - Fix so when playing full screen that the mouse can't go outside the screen
    - Remodel the ship
    - Change the enemy blocks models so they have a turret mounted on them
    - Swap player ball and enemy bullets color (or make "blue" threatening somehow)
    - Make a better introductory level that doesn't start shooting at you from the beginning


    Other things I haven't implemented yet.
    - The ship should become damaged the more you get hit. Currently you die if you get hit by 3 enemy bullets, or instantly if you get hit by your ball.
    The damage given by the enemy bullets will be shown by your window cracking and smoke coming out of your ship.
    - Power ups are planned. I think your impenetrable barrier idea is genius and it's definitely getting into the game.

    While waiting for feedback on this game, I started to work on a demo for a different game. A game that you can play on your phone. I wanted to compare how well viewed is a PC to a mobile game, to see which I should finish first. I'll work on the new features for this game, when I have a demo for the mobile game up.

    Thank you very much for the feedback! :)
    I can't find your game, can you give me a link?
     
    MoonJellyGames likes this.
  4. MoonJellyGames

    MoonJellyGames New Member

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    You're very welcome. I've been trying out a lot of in-development indie games on here, reddit, and the Unity forums lately, and this one has been one of my favourite.

    My game is on itch.io (for Windows only, currently): https://moonjellygames.itch.io/cataclysm
    I thought I won my battle with input issues, but it turns out that was not the case. The "Xbox controller" build should work with 360 controllers, but I recently heard that the Xbox One has a different map for some unfathomable reason. The Dualshock 4 controller build is the one that I use, so it should work perfectly. :)
     
  5. Cat Lamp

    Cat Lamp New Member

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