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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsCute hamster ball game or whatever - 2D mobile platformer
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Author Topic: Cute hamster ball game or whatever - 2D mobile platformer  (Read 3561 times)
zilluss
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« on: April 01, 2015, 03:10:54 AM »

Hi TIGFolks, I want to show you my mobile platformer I've been working on for a while now. If you don't feel like reading just scroll down for gifs Hand Any Key

What's it about
It's a game about a hamster that was turned into a ball and must do some things to return to its old shape. I didn't work the story much out yet, because I want to focus on gameplay and atmosphere. You know what, let's just skip the story and play!

Gameplay
The game is an action oriented platformer, so you roll through the world and try not to die. You encounter various enemies and traps. There are also a lot of different platforms and objects you can interact with. Basically I try to keep the gameplay extremely varied. I will show you some enemies and objects in future updates.

The game is controlled with virtual buttons. Having played some platformers on mobile that had decent controls (Mikey Shorts for example), I settled for them and think they work pretty well. Now you may think: "But I hate virtual buttons!". All I can say about that is:
But seriously: I have some features to unveil that will make it understandable why I release the game for mobile so please be patient Gentleman


Background
Initially, I wanted to make a minigame and played with Box2D and Cocos2D-X, but I quickly became endavoured in the possibilities and suddenly I had a platformer prototype. I kept working on it and this is the result. I started with a ball shaped character because I had no prior art experience and thought this could save me from having to draw animations.

How the first version of the game looked like


I need your help!
Basically, any critique is good critique. If you think the character looks lame, mobile platformers just suck in general or anything else, it will be thankfully noted!

GIFs & Screenshots





« Last Edit: June 01, 2016, 11:34:25 PM by zilluss » Logged

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stealth ferret platformer


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« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2015, 03:13:13 AM »

CUUUUUUTE!
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zilluss
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« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2015, 07:18:33 AM »

I try to have as much non-rigid things as possible in my game. One of the first interactive objects I made was this jelly pool (sorry for the camera, I'm working on it)

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« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2015, 07:43:04 AM »

CUUUUUUTE!

Thanks! I was aiming for something child-friendly but I fear the game is going to be too tough for the young ones  Shrug
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« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2015, 08:08:24 AM »

Very cute game, love the jelly pool Smiley

I was aiming for something child-friendly but I fear the game is going to be too tough for the young ones  Shrug

Do you have little kids to test the game? I've been watching how my 1-3yo daughters play mobile and OUYA/PS3 games for years, and came up to the conclusion that kids are frustrated when they die or get stuck at any part of the game. They mostly appreciate character's cuteness and progressing in levels, with very visual rewards, that could include the character doing some charming animation. You want the game to appeal olders? Just allow a toddler mode, in which the player never gets stuck or dies. You might want to implement a procedural system to create the easy levels. Place some collectables far, yet easy to reach for challenges. Fill every pit with jelly, and make the player's character immortal.

If you make that toddler mode, just let me know when you release it and I'll immediately install it for my kids Smiley It's really frustrating for me to play parts of a level so they can continue.
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zilluss
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« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2015, 10:07:37 AM »

Very cute game, love the jelly pool Smiley
Thanks, I have more stuff like this in the pipeline Smiley!

If you make that toddler mode, just let me know when you release it and I'll immediately install it for my kids Smiley It's really frustrating for me to play parts of a level so they can continue.
Actually I planned the game to appeal to core gamers (despite the look). One thing that I miss on mobile is a Mario like platformer, with its variation and fair-like feeling, so this is what I'm currently aiming at (of course with some innovations  Wink). But if there's interest I would definitely create a dedicated cheap Kids! Edition with tailored levels and low difficulty.
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« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2015, 12:30:41 PM »

Since the player is rotating, I wanted to use the concept on menu elements where it make sense. So here are the main menu and the world selection screen.



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« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2015, 02:35:18 AM »

The rails will probably get their own level. Honestly, they should get their own game because it's really fun to rush and jump around on them Grin

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« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2015, 03:52:04 AM »

My 9 year old says, "It's so cute but it's so sad in some ways." (Sad meaning the falling scene.) My 7 year old says, "I want to play that game."
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« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2015, 01:14:11 PM »

Ha, nice jelly pool and rails.  Maybe add springs, trampolines, zip-lines?
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« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2015, 02:51:24 PM »

My 9 year old says, "It's so cute but it's so sad in some ways." (Sad meaning the falling scene.) My 7 year old says, "I want to play that game."

I guess I really have to dig into the whole "Kids Edition" thing, as mentioned before  Smiley

Ha, nice jelly pool and rails.  Maybe add springs, trampolines, zip-lines?

I still have a lot of stuff I haven't shown yet, like propeller platforms, fans, canons, volcanoes, chains and more  Smiley

I have something similar to zip-lines and a spring attached platform, but you got me thinking of a spring where the player can jump into, thanks to its ball shape, so I may do something like that!
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« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2015, 11:58:03 AM »

I'm using LiquidFun so I can have streams of water, slime and lava in the game. It won't be a key mechanic, but I think it has a nice look and feels fun to play with.

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« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2015, 03:25:27 PM »

Maybe it's obvious to some folks (or maybe to me on a different day?), but what method do you use for drawing the water? (I get the LiquidFun for physics.)
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« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2015, 12:21:27 AM »

Maybe it's obvious to some folks (or maybe to me on a different day?), but what method do you use for drawing the water? (I get the LiquidFun for physics.)

Well, it wasn't obvious to me Shrug.


It's a 2 pass shader.
First I create a smooth liquid soup. I used a method similar to the one described here. I skip the blur step by using blurry particles like this one


In the first shader pass, I simply draw the particles with the blurry texture on a render buffer.

In the second shader pass, I take the texture of the first pass and apply a threshold where all fragments with an alpha value smaller than a certain threshold (0.9 for me) are not drawn. I do that by setting the alpha value to 0 because glDiscard has a terrible performance especially on mobile. This creates the smooth liquid soup you can see in the link. Then I add specular reflections and shadows. I look at the texture above and right of the current fragment's texture coordinate to determine if the shadow or specular reflection should be drawn. I hope this picture clarifies what I mean by that

Basically, the alpha value of the lookup coord combined with the alpha value of the current fragment tells me how far away from the edge I am and if their alpha values are in a certain range, I draw specular reflection or shadows.
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« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2015, 02:55:52 AM »

it seems like you have some pretty cool ideas, to freshen up the genre. most things have been done before in a some way, but you are definitely adding your own twist. love the water, this got me reading the other stuff you've posted. keep up the good work!
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« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2015, 01:55:28 PM »

I dunno if these are cooler, but here's some alternative game names I came up with:

Hammy's Romp & Roll
Hamstaball
Here Comes the Hamster (please don't use this one)

Looks pretty fun as well - gives me Kirby's Canvas Curse vibe minus the drawing mechanic.
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« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2015, 10:53:55 PM »

it seems like you have some pretty cool ideas, to freshen up the genre. most things have been done before in a some way, but you are definitely adding your own twist.

Thanks for the feedback! I had some moments where I had an idea and later found out that it already existed in a Mario game, which reminded me of

.

Hammy's Romp & Roll

The suggestions are very much aprecciated and this one is pretty cool, I think I will build upon it. It has an easy flow, like the name Jazz Jackrabbit (that name is great).
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« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2015, 03:44:18 AM »

Thanks much for the technical detail on drawing the liquid. That's very educational.
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zilluss
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« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2015, 11:38:48 PM »

Thanks much for the technical detail on drawing the liquid. That's very educational.

No problem, if you have more questions or need the shader code let me know.
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« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2015, 03:15:20 AM »

The levels will feature multiple sections, so there will be hidden rooms etc. that can be accessed via portals. I'm also thinking about other ways to hide secrets like invisible portals or boxes but I'm not sure about it. It has to be something that can be entered without a button press, because I don't want to remap the buttons opaquely or introduce new buttons just for the puropse of entering a portal.



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