Main Menu

Sep 29

0

All Balls And Cannons Unlocked

Postby admin on Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:21 pm

If you wonder what the game could have been feature wise (not the level design) once completed with all the levels planned initially, have a look at this.
This is a messy level containing all the balls and cannons along with a few other game items. I added some physical shapes, even without textures, just for testing purpose.
The Ball/Cannon combination is a bit hard to apprehend at first, so I provide some screenshots of the Help section of the game. I spent weeks to get this working correctly when I was developping it.

Image
Image
Image
Image

You can download the file here:
DownloadAll Cannons And Balls Unlocked

 

Comments: 0


 

Sep 8

0

Ballistic Bonbon to become 100% free

Postby admin on Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:53 pm

Hi,
you might have seen my previous post, and I removed it. For a simple reason. I have lost enough money and time with this game, and don't want to go further...
The bad news is that the development is probably completely dead this time.
The good news is that from now on, Ballistic Bonbon is going to be free. I will update the site and the download during the week end.

 

Comments: 0


 

Aug 9

0

Ballistic Bonbon development stopped again!

Postby admin on Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:14 pm

It seems it will be impossible for me to work on two projects at the same time. And I decided that I will work on a brand new game for the Ouya, as announced on the Home page. Ballistic Bonbon developpement may be resumed after the current game release.
It's not decided yet what type of game I will work on. I'm still in the reflection phase. I have dozens of game concepts waiting to be done. I just have to see which one suits the best to the controller. Or create a new game from scratch? Who knows?

 

Comments: 0


 

Jun 18

1

Ballistic Bonbon development resumed!

Postby admin on Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:15 pm

Hi everyone,

just a quick note to inform you that the development of Ballistic Bonbon restarts after a long pause. The game as it was released was never intended to be so short but I was forced to release something, due to my lack of funds to achieve the initial goal. The price asked for it has been reduced accordingly, but it also gives a false idea of the product quality in people's mind. If this game had been released with all of its levels on a Nintendo console for 49$, everyone would have praised it for its gameplay qualities and its originality. But I don't have the means to do that, for now... And I dont have money to advertise it either. Such a sad thing! We live in a world where people with money can sell their shit like hotcakes thanks to their means and the advertisement system. And creative people without money have to count on word of mouth to succeed. Since the feedback has never been at the expected level until recently, I spent my time on other projects rather than this game. But the butterfly effect has struck and the feedback given recently gives me the energy to back on track and finish the job.
I have a few surprises to share between now and the release of new levels. So keep an eye on the blog.

 

Comments: 1


 

May 18

0

Feature Explained: The Hidden Key System

Postby Cardek on Wed May 18, 2011 4:23 pm

This post inaugurates a series of articles explaining some features of Ballistic Bonbon. The first feature I will talk about is the Hidden Keys.

Since I am aware that my game can be difficult sometimes, I have implemented a feature that allows you to unlock a level. In order to do that, you have to find 5 hidden keys in the game. As long as you find enough keys, there's not limit on the number of levels to unlock.

Image Image

Each level greater than or equal to 5 contains an hidden key. When hit, the hidden key have a short animation and a specific sound plays. This key is obvious to find in level 5 (see screenshot above) in order for everyone to find it and to know what it is like. I was a bit too confident that this will suggest the player to click on the Help button, but from the feedback I received, that was not really the case. So I have improved things a little in Version 1.1.

Image

To register the fact that you have found the key, you need to finish the level. Once found and the level finished, the text “Key Found!” is displayed in the Congratulations screen. And since V1.1, the text “Key Missed!” appears if the player didn't find the key, in order to help people understand that there is still a key to find. If you replay the level, the text only appears when the key is found again. It's not necessary to recall the key was missed if the player already have find it previously and don't want to bother find it at each game.

Image

Now, if you return to the Level Selector, you can see a little green key beside the button from the level you just finished. When you have collected enough of them, at least 5, you can unlock a new level. Note that before Level 5, there's no way to buy a level. The relevant text only appears -in the lower left corner- after Level 6 has been unlocked. To unlock a level, just click on the text “Unlock a level”. Use that option wisely as higher levels can be more difficult than earlier ones. If you decide to buy a level, the level to be unlocked is the one which is just after the last unlocked one. After that, the first five green keys on the screen will be colored in red, since they are now used, and a new level button is available.

Image
Image Image

With this feature and the new Easy Mode, Ballistic Bonbon should not be considered as a difficult game anymore.

 

Comments: 0


 

May 9

0

Notes on the review from Bytten.com

Postby Cardek on Mon May 09, 2011 7:45 pm

Yesterday, I received an email telling me there was a new review of my game. I was so glad to read that, until I realized the reviewer completely missed some aspects of the game. I could be quite happy that the game received a silver star and a general score of 76%. Moreover, the tone of Steve Blanch's review is globally very positive on every aspect he has tested. That's were the problem is...

The reviewer admit to have tested 11 levels out of 25, which corresponds to 44% of the game. He spent 3 hours to go there until he get stucked. As a side note on the longevity, just multiply that time to go to 100% and you obtain roughly 7 hours. Granted the higher levels are much longer and harder to finish than the first ones, you can add at least 2 hours, so it ends at 9 hours. Not so bad for a game sold 4.99 euros. He gave a score of 65% for longevity, I don't blame him for that, at least not directly, because that's the result of his experience with the game.

That leads us to the real problem of the review. I ask you, reader, do you think a review is professionally done when a reviewer don't read the manual/help or whatever you call it? I'm perfectly OK to admit that most users don't read manuals, it happens to me as well. But what if a reviewer doesn't read them? I don't talk about reading every line of the manual, but just ensure you didn't miss anything important so you don't make wrong assertions in your review... I spent long hours to code a feature that I will explain in detail in my next blog entry. It's a system of keys you have to find in the game, it allows you to unlock a level when you're stucked.

Obviously, the reviewer has missed it since he didn't mention it anywhere. The feature is explained in the main Help of the game, as well as in the contextual help of the Level 5. I placed the first key of the game in a way the player can not miss it in the Level 5. Then the Level selector screen reflect that by displaying a specific text and some keys. I admit I could have done that even more obvious or intuitive but I always wanted the contextual Help not to be intrusive. It's a design choice. You're not forced to read it, but you're missing a lot of useful information if you don't. So, just RTFM! I feel partially guilty, though, for not having make it even more intuitive... But how?

And thus, since the reviewer didn't find this feature, his experience with the game has lead to an understandable frustration. I quote him “This seems to be a bit of a game design problem, since the gameplay itself is not bad per se, but the repetition is. Unfortunately, just hammering away at the same level over and over is really the only way on.“ I can't blame him, but what is written is wrong, you just need to find 5 hidden keys and you can unlock a new level. No need to finish the one you're stucked at.

Therefore, he couldn't test the remaining 56% of the game where the gameplay is sometimes totally different of what it is in the first levels. Simply have a look at these 4 different screenshots.
Image Image Image Image
In Ballistic Bonbon, every level brings a few novelties. So he couldn't put his hands on the Cannon Selector or the Ball Selector features. He couldn't test either the Comet ball and the Precision cannon, which address two of the flaws he described in his review.
I quote “The game can be frustrating because there is nowhere on the display that indicates the current angle or elevation of the shot, nor any trail or tracer extending from the short barrel of the cannon.”
Yes, Steve, the ball can have a trail,
Image
and the cannon can have a HUD
Image
where you can set the horizontal and vertical values with precision, but that's not the basic equipment.

During my discussions with Mark, the admin of Bytten, I was asked why I placed these items at the end of the game instead of the beginning if they were the best features? And I answered, hey, when you played Super Mario World, did you start the game with the Cape power up, or with the tiny Mario? Were you invicible or do you had to wait for picking up a star? You had to discover these new features throughout the game. Guess what, that works like that in Ballistic Bonbon, you start small and you have to find new power ups by yourself. And not only the Precision cannon and the Comet ball aren't the best features of the game, but this isn't the end of the game either! They're just a part of the game, inside the Level Pack #1. There are 8 different cannons and 8 different balls in Ballistic Bonbon, where only 3 of each were used in the first 25 levels. What if you were to review Super Mario World and stopped at 44%?

I understand that the team at Bytten review games for fun and not as a professional activity, but I contacted them in a friendly manner to ask them to update their review to reflect the aspects mentioned above but they refused, that's why I made this blog entry. As a closing word, I say it again, I find the review pretty good, but just incomplete.

 

Comments: 0


 

May 7

0

The beginning

Postby Cardek on Sat May 07, 2011 10:58 pm

I started working on Ballistic Bonbon in August 2009. At this moment, I was working on another game project and I didn't know it will become a complete game. I played with a DX Studio document called Catapult -credit to its author for the basic concept-. I don't remember where it comes from, either a thread on the forum or a demo in the library. Maybe a reader can find it out. I'm not event sure the original document name is actually Catapult.
Image

I then hacked the document to add physics and obstacles to the ball, as well as experimenting the various graphics effects of the engine. That was actually quite fun to shoot boxes* and avoid the moving walls. That was it for the time being. I didn't think I'll go on with this. Here is a screen of the work at this time. *This will be reused in future levels.
Image

This also was the time of the DX summer contest, the last DX Studio contest in date. I was experimenting the engine and decided to present a document that wasn't a game, just for fun.
Looking for Ryu (the result was far from my expectations, but I only started 15 days before the deadline)

After the competition, in September 2009, I restarted working on the catapult document and decided to make a little game based on that concept. That was the real start of the project. It was in no way supposed to be as elaborated as it is now, and the release date was expected only 3 months later on. There was just one cannon type and one ball type. I just constantly added features to it day by day, and realized it could be a complete game with a lot of gameplay ideas to be explored. To be continued.

 

Comments: 0


 

May 7

0

Before all, about myself

Postby Cardek on Sat May 07, 2011 10:14 pm

I'm Gerald C. and I work under the artist name of Gerald Cardek. I'm 39 in my body, barely 25 in my head, but my body reminds me constantly that I'm 39 -laughs-. I live in the country near Lyon, France. Why did I choose a pseudonym? I like my anonymity. I made a Facebook page for my game but don't expect me to be on the network personally. I'm a geek but I'm not in this modern trend to show every aspect of your private life, enough of this ego trip! If you want to know my real name, just buy my game and you will learn it... But that's not the point. Due to a previous job, my real name is already on the Internet and I don't like that -I haven't done anything for that-. I don't want it to be more than it is, if possible.
I'm passionated about video games since the late 70's or the early 80's, don't remember exactly, and I always wanted to make my own games. I never worked in the industry because I don't like this, specifically, the “industry” aspect. I am a creator, a designer, an artist, and I use programming as a means, not an end. My games may not be what the industry trend is about, but I don't care, I just want to be able to live from it. That's why I ended up being an indie dev...

 

Comments: 0


 

May 7

0

Dev Blog Start

Postby Cardek on Sat May 07, 2011 10:13 pm

Hi everyone,

I open this Dev blog section on the site to talk about Ballistic Bonbon development as well as other planned games. I was also asked to share some of the lessons learned during creation phase. So, I will try to explain what was, what is and what will be my journey during the creation of my game. Since english is not my mother tongue, don't expect long stories in this blog. I'll try to be concise.

 

Comments: 0

cron