It’s been at least three or four months since I last posted a development log for Balls so just in time before the holidays here’s how much the game has progressed so far from late September to now.
Late September 2016
Almost finished implementing in app purchases for the game - At the moment it works when tested using the Unity editor but on device I still need to link my products to the ones defined on various app store dashboards so I’ll be putting this on hold until the new year.
Added a feature to automatically scroll to your current score in the leaderboards.
Added the TouchSense SDK to allow haptic feedback on the Android version of my game (I previously tried to implementing an older version of the SDK but unfortunately had trouble getting it to work properly).
Added timed daily, weekly and monthly leaderboards to the game.
Added a toggle in the options menu to enable and disable haptic feedback in the game.
I was invited to take part in Pocket Gamer’s Big Indie Pitch at AppsWorld in London. For those that are unfamiliar with the Big Indie Pitch, it’s a fairly prestigious competition where developers pitch their games in a speed dating like format to an expert panel of judges with the winners receiving a huge share of money to use towards Steel Media (the owner of Pocket Gamer)’s marketing resources as well as a dedicated article on Pocket Gamer. Although I didn’t actually win, I certainly did enjoy taking part and I did actually learn quite a lot on how to pitch my game to other people effectively plus I’m already confirmed to be taking part in their Big Indie Pitch event at Pocket Gamer Connects London next January (For more information on all the games that took part in the competition including mine you can check out this article by Pocket Gamer).
Completely reworked the game over UI from scratch by giving a brand new look that fits the game better as well as a unique transition.
Added a fading animation to the particles that appears when the ball dies in game.
I also decided to rework the main menu UI as well by rearranging the buttons to be more visible to the players (I especially made the play button slightly bigger in order to make it stand out more) plus I reused the same transition I used for the game over screen here as well.
Started adding achievements into the game. First I wrote some code to create the pop ups that appears when an achievement is earned:
Then I started working on a brand new UI menu for displaying all the available achievements in the game (including whether they’ve been completed):
Created a brand new dedicated website for the game.
Made a slightly updated version of the game’s trailer.
I exhibited my game at WeGeek’s gaming event in Spitalfields and managed to get a few more sign up to the beta as well.
Upgraded my game project to Unity 5.5.
I also used some of the new tools available in Unity 5.5 to create a brand new splash screen for the game.
Made some changes to the game’s procedural background generator by making the colours slightly less bright and saturated.
Added a “colourblind mode” to the game by utilising a custom shader to draw a thick white outline on important gameplay elements such as the balls itself, spikes and coins to make them stand out more.
Also for extra added context here’s the same screen but taken under various filters to simulate colour blindness.
Added a new toggle in the option menu to enable/disable colourblind mode in the game (In order to make space for this new toggle, I also ended up moving the ball and trail colour buttons to their own dedicated sub-menu).
Changed the graphics API to use OpenGLES3 in order to get the shaders used for drawing outlines in colourblind mode to work on mobile.
Once again as a reminder, a closed Android beta test for the game is currently underway (you can sign up by clicking here) with a new build coming out every month or so.
Seeing as it’s almost complete, the game will be eventually transitioning into an open beta phase (this will most likely be on Google Play) before soft launching early next year.
As for the next development blog, this will most likely be during next spring but as always, you can follow me on Twitter, check out my Facebook page or visit my Google+ page (although I rarely use it on a normal basis) for more regular updates on the game.
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