Ballooneering


#1

I went through the Unity 3d course this fall. While waiting for the last parts i continued to work on the Rocket Boost project.

Please check it out and tell me which score you got.


#2

Hey Peter,

I really like this, I’m not played anything with a hot-air balloon like this before.

I found myself focusing on the detail you have added, specifically the balloon, I like how it expands when you trigger the flames, how it shrinks slowly again after, but also how it deforms when hit with a cannon ball.

Liking the fonts, the style, the dialog panels, the recording of “today’s” high score along with the last score, a very playable game

I may not have progressed far enough, with a high score of 55 at the time of writing, but I wondered whether you had considered any other mechanics which may affect the balloons flight? Wind seems like an obvious one to consider, either as something which speeds up the balloons horizontal movement, or slows it down, coincidentally timed with some hazards perhaps.

The monochrome feel kinda works too, although I would be intrigued to see what a colour version may look like.

Just had another go and scored 115, I ran out of fuel, missed the fuel canister at the very beginning and got knocked backwards by a cannon which prevented me from reaching the second fuel canister in time.

Other observations - the cannons are quite big… and some additional hazards could be fun too, a flock of birds, clouds, some arches firing arrows up at you. A little background audio perhaps, and a settings window to configure the volume and controls (customisable). Just some thoughts :slight_smile:

Really like this, well done on completing your own version of a project boost inspired game and publishing it! :slight_smile:


#3

Hello Rob,

Thanks for trying out the game and taking time to give feedback. It’s very much appreciated.

I had grand plans as always when I started the Unity project - icicles that would fall, spear traps, treasures. And everything was going to be textured in a hand painted style. But this time I really wanted to complete the game :slight_smile:

So it has been a an exercise in scaling things down to get something manageable. But I think you might be right in that it need one or two mechanics more.

Regarding the deformation I was quite lucky. I blend between a couple of meshes and tried to figure out how to control the deflation. The blending was coupled to the user input (i.e expanding when the user pushes space/fire). I figured out that if I connected the mesh blending to the velocity of the rigid body instead the deflation would take care of itself. The result was that it would automatically deform when it collided with other stuff as well. One of those lucky accidents that comes from tinkering with stuff.

Working on settings now but I’m having a bit of trouble leveling out the audio. Did you find the sounds to be about the right or did something stand out, like the cannon firing?

Again, thank you for the feedback.

Peter


#4

Hi Peter,

Thanks for trying out the game and taking time to give feedback. It’s very much appreciated.

You’re very welcome :slight_smile:

So it has been a an exercise in scaling things down to get something manageable.

I think you have done a good job here, you’ve scaled back but still released something which is playable and has core mechanics. Referred to as your minimum viable product etc, all of those other features you have mentioned could be subsequently reviewed and added gradually to allow you to keep tweaking/testing.

The result was that it would automatically deform when it collided with other stuff as well. One of those lucky accidents that comes from tinkering with stuff.

Thanks for explaining how you achieve the deformation of the balloon, I’m sure that will be really useful to other people also. Lucky accidents, here, the thing of legend! It works really well though and looks as you would expect a balloon colliding with an object to be :slight_smile:

Did you find the sounds to be about the right or did something stand out, like the cannon firing?

The audio effect that plays when you have died is noticeably louder than the cannons and the balloon itself. I can’t tell much of a difference between the cannons and the balloon, although the balloon is harder to hear when the cannons fire, but that would be perhaps as I would expect.

The audio effects are quite similar, at least to my ear, kinda gravelly. The cannons could perhaps have a little more base to them, and you could consider varying the pitch slightly, perhaps randomly, so that as the player progresses through the level not all of the cannons sound identical.

Other thoughts, having just played again :slight_smile:

  • I just discovered I can move horizontally! Despite looking at the instructions previously I completely missed the horizontal movement so was allowing my balloon to be dragged by the camera alone before. With this realisation I have been able to better dodge the cannons, which was great. I did end up crashing 1 inch before I made it to the second fuel cannister and only had a pixel or so over fueld remaining, it all ended in flames! :smiley:

  • The cannons could stop firing after the player has passed them. This would allow for areas of the map where there are more cannons coming up and the audio wouldn’t get too overlapped.

  • Some cannons could rotate (flip) towards the player once they have passed, and keep firing. This would allow you to still use everything you already have, keeping the main cannon firing mechanic, but adding an extra feature reasonably cheaply.

  • Cannon balls bounce off of the “roof” at the moment before disappearing. You could perhaps consider either a more gentle fade effect and then they disappear, or, perhaps have them burst into particles. This would still work for when they hit the player.

  • Flaming cannonballs - with the lack of colour, at least at the moment, it might look quite cool to have a fiery red cannonball being fired from a cannon (possibly also red). Those colours are often quite complimentary, white, black, grey, red etc.

    Perhaps these could just instantly destroy the balloon, rather than bouncing off. Again, using predominantly what you already have, but another easy/cheap feature.

Note, by cheap I mean as in cost efficient from the perspective of your time to develop :slight_smile:

Just a few thoughts… looking forward to seeing any further updates you release on this, especially with any of those other hazzards you mentioned. I will collect that second fuel cannister one day… one day it will be mine!!!


#5

Nothing to interfere with your hobby like work. I hope to export a new build soon. In the meantime I’ve been spreading my efforts thin. I have tried to implement a mobile/touch input. That should make the steering more obvious as well :slight_smile:

I also put in some spears. Through my own testing I found out that they have to move really slow as the balloon is kinda slow - you need a lot of forewarning. Now they have a kind of slow pendulum movement that should be fairly predictable but still require some attention.

And finally, regarding the fuel. It turns out that because the game starts out slow and then accelerates it’s actually easier to get to the next fuel later on in the game. Not really what I had intended and something I will try to tweak.


#6

Curses to RealLifeTM! Great to see more updates Peter, well done.

Looking forward to playing the next release and happy to give the mobile version a go if you can provide an .apk also. :slight_smile:


#7

So I’ve uploaded a new build.

I moved the fuel canister at the very start a bit further forward so it should be easier to get going. As soon as the speed picks up the canisters will come faster.

The random mode will generate different terrain each run based on a random flavour - lots of cannons, no cannons, little fuel etc.

There is so many small things I need to tinker with. I think the idea above of the cannons fading in volume as you move past them is great. And I need to tune some of the other sounds as well.

And getting the cannon balls to disappear on impact. They used to bounce a lot more and you had to watch out for ricochettes as well. But I think it was too difficult and shortened the lifetime, probably should have made them disappear on collision.

As i tested the sharemygame version i realized i forgot to reset the score between runs. At least it should be possible to unlock the random mode in two or three shorter runs now.

And… and…

Anyway, resetting the current score up next.