Karamball

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Rado1
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Karamball

Post by Rado1 » Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:58 pm

Hi all,

Karamball (on paper) is a free 2D logic-action game (maybe you can suggest me a better classification) for Windows and Android tablets. It uses ZgeBox2D library for 2D physics. (Actually, Karamball evolved from one of my experiments with Box2D in ZGE.)

Now, the game is almost finished, but what is missing is sufficient amount of interesting levels (min. 50). To give you an idea, I published a playable demo with 20 selected levels. It is possible (even on Android) to create own levels or to modify existing ones. The levels are defined as easy text files with simple syntax, but if the game will attract more people, I think about creating an embedded graphical level editor (which is probably more difficult than creating Karamball itself).

For more info see the "official" web page located at Bitbucket: http://bitbucket.org/Rado1/karamball/wiki/Home

Windows and Android binaries are located here: http://googledrive.com/host/0BxwfQ8la88 ... lRMa3lzSHM

Any comments are welcome. I would also appreciate some ideas about levels or if you want, you can even create some. Thank you in advance!

Have fun!
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VilleK
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Post by VilleK » Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:46 am

I had a quick test now.

Presentation is very nice, with good tutorial instruction on par with commercial releases.
I like the character that appears when you need to hurry up :)

It very quite difficult after only a few levels. Maybe this is because I try on a small phone screen.

Sometimes there were frame drops and jerky movements, but only momentarily.

I'm impressed you made this with ZGE.

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Rado1
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Post by Rado1 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:07 am

Thanks Ville for testing... and compliments :-)
VilleK wrote:It very quite difficult after only a few levels. Maybe this is because I try on a small phone screen.
Karamball is intended for PC and Android tablets. I realize that more difficult levels require better precision so it is not playable on smartphones. I'm sorry.
VilleK wrote: Sometimes there were frame drops and jerky movements, but only momentarily.
I know about this problem and thought I eliminated it already; Karamball runs smoothly on Nexus 7 and PC. It's not about frame drops but "discontinuation" of simulation in Box2D engine. I do not know the reason and seems that it is HW dependent. This needs more experiments with setting of simulation time.

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Kjell
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Post by Kjell » Mon Oct 20, 2014 12:07 pm

Hi Rado1,

Nice work. It made me think of Chu Chu Rocket & Billiard combined. I first played through all levels except 18 & 19 on a tablet, and then through all of them again except 19 ( damn rocket! ) on PC. Great choice of music by the way, it's a good indication of the state of mind that's required / recommended for the game. Although i wouldn't have mind a change of music after 10 levels or so. Some more comments.

- The element that differentiates this game from Incredible Machine type games is the real-time aspect. So i'd emphasize that in your levels ( aside from the "tutorial" levels ). In other words, i'd focus on levels that you wouldn't be able to solve by drawing all lines beforehand.

- The current level "progression" doesn't always seem very balanced / logical. I'd recommend starting the player off with very easy levels that simply introduce the various concepts. And then ramp up the difficulty with interesting combinations.

- A sound effect when you're drawing a line that also indicates how much "ink" you have left ( using pitch? ) would be nice.

- Level 17 is the only level that doesn't require you to collect all available points. Either scrap this mechanic or use it more often.

- The high-point of the demo was definitely level 16 for me .. even though you can kind of cheat your way through that level by blocking off the bomb right away. The low-point was probably level 15 .. it's way too random.

And a built-in level editor would definitely lower the barrier to creating levels ;)

K

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Rado1
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Post by Rado1 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:57 pm

Thanks Kjell for your comments and ideas.
Kjell wrote:Nice work. It made me think of Chu Chu Rocket & Billiard combined. I first played through all levels except 18 & 19 on a tablet, and then through all of them again except 19 ( damn rocket! ) on PC.
I created the concept of Karamball from the scratch, without knowing similar games; maybe I should have a look at some. BTW to achieve 3 stars in level 19, you should use a "dirty trick".
Kjell wrote:Although i wouldn't have mind a change of music after 10 levels or so. Some more comments.
Now, you can replace the default music by your own, also on Android. However, playing it again and again... and again... can become too boring or disturbing. You are right! Instead of switching music by the played level, I would rather allow to add more soundtrack<number>.ogg files which will be looped. By default, just soundtrack1.ogg will be provided to reduce size of distribution, but users can add their own (even not free) soundtracks.
Kjell wrote:The element that differentiates this game from Incredible Machine type games is the real-time aspect. So i'd emphasize that in your levels ( aside from the "tutorial" levels ). In other words, i'd focus on levels that you wouldn't be able to solve by drawing all lines beforehand.
Very good point! I'll add more levels with dynamic aspects which are difficult to predict. Some of them are already included in demo version; e.g. level 11 = perimeter defend or level 13.
Kjell wrote:The current level "progression" doesn't always seem very balanced / logical. I'd recommend starting the player off with very easy levels that simply introduce the various concepts. And then ramp up the difficulty with interesting combinations.
You are absolutely right. I just picked up "some" already implemented levels for demo to give you (a) a short introduction and also (b) some advanced features to see the possibilities. At the moment, I have implemented about 35 levels and designed next 10-15. The right ordering by difficulty will be one of the latest tasks before finalization; probably iterative - based on feedback from users.
Kjell wrote:A sound effect when you're drawing a line that also indicates how much "ink" you have left ( using pitch? ) would be nice.
I will consider it.
Kjell wrote:Level 17 is the only level that doesn't require you to collect all available points. Either scrap this mechanic or use it more often.
I did not realize that. The level was designed to allow collecting as much as possible stars, but I'll rework it. The basic principle should be that the level accomplishment fails without user's intervention.
Kjell wrote:And a built-in level editor would definitely lower the barrier to creating levels ;)
Sure, but taking into account all object properties, implementing a good level editor is not a simple thing.

airpas
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Post by airpas » Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:35 pm

very nice game , the graphics is awesome . congratulation
i am stuck in the level 12 :)

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Rado1
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Post by Rado1 » Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:40 pm

Thanks airpas.
airpas wrote:i am stuck in the level 12 :)
Down, right, down, soon left, down. You have enough time, just avoid enemies... it's simple, isn't it?

BTW has anybody already achieved level 20 and the final scene?

Imerion
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Post by Imerion » Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:54 am

Just tried this. Very impressive! Fun concept and really polished and well-made design!
Nice to see soo many cool games can be made with ZGE. :)

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Rado1
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Post by Rado1 » Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:42 am

Latest news: Karamball has been put to Google Play. At the moment, it contains 75 levels, but this number will grow with next releases. It's designed for Android tablets and usage of stylus is recommended (at least for smaller screens; ca. 7").

The application is paid (only 0.99 EUR) but it's possible that I'll come up with a free demo version restricted to number of levels (e.g. max to 30). Windows version is free.

I would be glad if you download Karamball to your devices and have a fun with it.

For details about downloading, game rules, or customization see the updated Karamball wiki page at Bitbucket.

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VilleK
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Post by VilleK » Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:48 pm

Good luck with your game! You will need to do some marketing effort so that people will find it though, most apps on Google Play go unnoticed and get zero downloads. Kjell, can you please post about it on ZGE twitter?

Imerion
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Post by Imerion » Tue Jan 06, 2015 8:27 pm

Cool! Will buy it once I get a chance. I liked the last version I tried, and i'ts cool to see more ZGE games on Market.

It is indeed hard to get noticed. I uploaded my first game (https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... mallballhd) to Google Market a year ago, but the only one who has downloaded (and reviewed it) is my mother... ;)
I haven't done any marketing at all though. I'll wait till I have a better game before I try that, I think.

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Kjell
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Post by Kjell » Tue Jan 06, 2015 9:32 pm

Hi Imerion,
Imerion wrote:I haven't done any marketing at all though.
You can't just upload your game and expect people to find it :wink: There are almost 1.5 million apps on Google Play, so the chance that someone stumbles upon your game is literally ( less than ) one-in-a-million ( let alone purchasing it ).

K

Imerion
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Post by Imerion » Wed Jan 07, 2015 6:06 pm

I thought so too, but wow, that's a lot of apps. I was planning on spreading the word, but in the end decided to wait for my next game which will be a lot better. So we'll see how that will work out. At least I have a twitter account now. Should help a bit. ;)
If you post about Karamball there, I'll retweet it. :)

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Rado1
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Post by Rado1 » Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:40 am

Imerion wrote:If you post about Karamball there, I'll retweet it. :)
Thanks for the offer, however, I'm not on Twitter now. I should probably socialize myself little bit more :?

Anyway, now working on several smaller fixes of Karamball leading to a new version that will come soon. It will include also Karamball Free edition with half of levels + one complex level from full edition to motivate people. After that, I plan to promote Karamball in several channels... maybe I'll create also Twitter account... BTW do you have some ideas where to promote (free) indie games?

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VilleK
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Post by VilleK » Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:57 am

Imerion wrote:It is indeed hard to get noticed. I uploaded my first game (https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... mallballhd) to Google Market a year ago, but the only one who has downloaded (and reviewed it) is my mother... ;)
That is a good rule of thumb: Without any marketing the only person who will play your game is your mother. :)

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