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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperPlaytestingWarBalls - single player sphere fighting [challenging]
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Author Topic: WarBalls - single player sphere fighting [challenging]  (Read 2496 times)
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« on: November 16, 2014, 06:28:29 PM »


a small game I made in a few evenings, to test what Unity can do.

I also wanted to explore one specific gameplay concept I had in mind.
I posted about it a long while ago, then left it to take dust.
Now, after revising the AI a bit, it's ready for playtesting.

Have fun and maybe comment!

Everything should be self-explanatory, at least after a short while.

  • Mouse: spin your warball (making it roll around, if in contact with ground)
  • Right click: jump (usually a poor choice, but sometimes useful)
  • Left click: fire a drop of explosive black liquid from the north pole (where the light is visible).
  • ENTER: start the challenge.
  • ESC: pause.

  • The objective is to push opponent warballs out of the arena
  • Warballs are heavily armored. Explosions never directly kill them!
    • Explosions can, however, hurl them out of the arena.
  • A direct hull hit causes a warball to go smoking for a short while,
    • during this time it has diminished speed and firerate
    • recover is quick and complete.
    • multiple hits cumulate effects, basically temporarily paralyzing the warball.
  • The number of slices of a warball signals the number of respawns it has left.
    • Three slices only = won't respawn.
    • When facing multiple enemy warballs, each keeps its own respawn count
    • You replenish your own respawns after each level
  • Win the 4th level to beat the game (yes it is possible, just very hard)
  • The AI can be evil but it is honest: it never does anything the player couldn't do

  • Rolling your warball not only moves it around, but also aims
  • Aiming can be a bit tricky at first, but also fun and effective when mastered.
    • Take practice shots before starting the game, while there's no enemy.
    • E.g. see if you can hit a given point on the ground.
    • See how accurate and fast your aiming is.
  • There's basically two attack strategies: Bash and Fire.
    • Balance them wisely.
    • Exploit any opportunity for easy kills without sticking to either strategy. Your enemy will!
  • Body bashes can be very effective but also dangerous: a miss or an inaccurate hit will probably kill you. Even when you hit, if you swing too hard you can fall down together with your opponent.
  • When firing, even a near miss can be quite dangerous for your opponent;
  • When in trouble, concentrate on evasion (including bullets)! Fighting back is not always the best option
  • Never shoot while pointing directly downward! The explosion with the ground will just send you flying up in the air. Well, unless that's what you wanted (unlikely)
  • One of the easiest maneuver to score a kill is: first aim and fire for a direct hit, then finish the smoking victim with a *well measured* body bash
  • Avoid bullets! Yes you are fast enough.
  • Spawn killing (by fire or bashes) is totally legitimate (it's against AIs!)

  • As a general rule, any airborne warball is vulnerable. Without traction with the soil, it cannot control movements, and the higher it is the easier it is to bump it out
  • Therefore, jumping is almost invariably a bad idea! Use sparingly.
    • Exception 1: a jump lets you fire from an higher position, extending your firing range
    • Exception 2: a well timed jump can, rarely, be an effective evasion measure. Still very dangerous
    • Exception 3: while airborne, you can rotate freely (without affecting your position). So a tiny jump can be used to
      quickly reorient aim while staying in place
    • Exception 4: if you are about to fall out, a jump can push you up to safety. Occasionally, you can even manage to crawl up the walls by jumping, and get back into the arena from a truly desperate situation.
  • Firing at a warball charging at you, and hitting it, means almost invariably its immediate complete demise. But stand and aim so only if think you manage an accurate shot on time! Otherwise, be quick to evade or push back.
  • Try bashing any smoking opponent, as they are easy hits! But measure your speed: excessive impact violence can be dangerous for the attacker as well.
  • Observe your opponents. The black warballs are lit according to their mood:
    • red means rage/charge,
    • orange means sniping,
    • green means thinking/indecisive,
    • white is for fear...
  • Remember you can rotate and aim (although not very accurately) even when not in contact with the ground
  • Even if you have been sent flying out, it doesn't hurt to try and quickly send a last revenge shot (or even two) toward the arena, as the last act of your warball. If you hit anything, it can only help your next warball.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 01:15:34 PM by mtarini » Logged

Warballs! · spherical fierceness · 1P · free · arena fighter · challenging
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2014, 08:10:58 PM »

That was pretty cool. I died a few times at first from the AI just smashing into me before I knew what was going on (I'd been prepared to dodge its shots, but didn't expect it to slam into me like that). Once I got used to how it did things, it felt all right.

The camera angle is a bit weird. It makes knowing where I'm aiming a bit difficult sometimes, if I'm aiming into the distance. The little spotlight doesn't help much at all because of its incredible short range.

The "slices" don't show up very well. When I played the first time around, I just thought it was endless because I kept killing the enemy and they kept respawning. The second time, I didn't play so well and got defeated while mistakenly thinking I still had three respawns left (The whole "three slices == zero lives" thing is a bit strange to me).

The AI seemed really random but mostly worked. It did roll off the edge without me hitting it, but that sort of occurrence was pretty rare (I only saw it twice in four games).

The mechanics seem pretty well thought-out. I like the idea of the warballs changing color depending on their moods, but like the slices and the light I feel like the visuals are a bit too subtle. I didn't even really notice the changes until I looked for them.

The controls are really strange and I still haven't entirely gotten used to them (mainly because of the aiming thing I mentioned), but the game has a surprisingly addictive quality to it. I enjoyed it.

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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2014, 08:39:48 PM »

I very much enjoyed the movement controls. They allow for a lot of quick movement and have a very high threshold for skill. However I think the aim is a bit too difficult. I might try making it so the pointer faces the last direction you flicked the mouse in, I think this would make it a bit more intuitive. Then you could make how long you hold it control the distance of the shot.

The visuals were quite stylish, although I agree with quicksand I think some of it is too subtle. It is hard to tell where your aimer is.

Once I got to level 2 it was almost impossible since half the time I was in the air. It might be beneficial to have an active block on the right mouse instead of a jump. I understand that the jump is almost like a doge. Its possible that I didn't get good enough at the game to see how this could be used. But if its a doge you want you could also make the player no collide for a second while active blocking, and give it a small cool down after use so you can't spam block.

Anyway overall very nice. I could see this being a very fun party game especially with the simple control scheme.

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