Another ball game?
Is this a simplistic, casual, same as other ball games where you need to reach the finish in order to progress? Yes and No. Let’s be honest here… it is a ball game… and yes you need to reach the finish in order to progress to the next level. And unfortunately the graphics are not the best… But there is something unique about “Roll Switch – Space“. And that’s the movement switch mechanic!
The short story behind the game “Roll Switch – Space”
Originally Endverse is new in this game dev business. And as a new indie solo developer I decided to go small – “baby steps” as they say. And that’s why I started with Balloon Hopper (small cute jumping game), followed by Street Lamp (street lamp simulatorish game). At this point I’ve already finished two games! This is something that not many developers can say. Then I was thinking… what should be my third game? Yes I had started working on several different prototypes, but I wasn’t sure if I had the skills to actually finish them. Also I wanted to make a rage game, or at least something close. And I wanted to play around with the 3D features of the game engine I’m using. So the logical choice was to make a 3D ball game – simplistic enough and easy to learn and play! So there was the original idea – to create a ball game, where the player needs to reach the finish in order to contonue to the next level. But what should be the rage element?
Movement switch mechanic
What should be happening to the ball in order to awake those rage feelings in the player? Some wind or other elements pushing the ball arround? And then – the insight – movement switching mechanic! It was exactly what a rage game about a ball needed. A mechanic that changes players movements over some period of time. For example up becomes left, down becomes right and etc. A random positions of the movement. Well random to the point of keeping the opposites – opposite, so the ball can aways go diagonally if needed. Just imagine – while keep going up then all of a sudden the switch kicks in and the ball takes a hard turn left and bam – game over.
What about the design?
So I had a clean white 3D ball and a rage element … so what’s next – level design? At that point the level was just a blue path with a black background. People were thinking that those were walls… it wasn’t pretty, it was way much plain. Having the ability for hard surprising turns from the ball meant, that we needed some kind of falling. So the logical thing was to have platforms.
And that’s what I did – I started playing arround with platform designs. And while I was testing the idea I thought of the possibilities. Having different types of platforms.. movable platforms, self-destructive platforms. Such things would make the levels even harder and more interesting. I decided to stick with the original blue color. And I’ve also built and implemented the mention types of platforms. But we still had a clean black background…
People still tought that the black background were just walls. There isn’t much of a falling effect in a clean black, now is there. So I was thinking what kind of background should I have… Lava? Sky? Clouds? I’ve started testing those out, but still it wasn’t what I wanted… And then another insight – stars! Black background with stars! But wait … the stars are in sky right? So how can there be a falling effect going up?! Even with reverse gravity… it won’t be considered as falling. Then I thought of many of the space games that had stars… they had planets as well. And that’s exactly what I did. I’ve added Earth to the background. One giant big beautiful planet with pretty stars arround! It was perfect! The falling effect was amazing. But there was something else that it needed to be done.
Having a beautiful background was nice… but the level itself, the platforms, the ball they were still too plain. We already had a space background so how about some sci-fi designs to the ball and the platforms? It would make them fit. I’ve implement the designs (after little testing) and I was right… They fitted perfectly! I’ve added some sci-fi music to the background and some sounds, and everything worked amazing together!
At that point I had a working game, with implemented mechanics, beautiful designs, music and sounds! Now the next step was user interface and to start building the levels. But how many levels 10-50-100-1000? After some playing arround with the level screen I figure out that it was looking perfect with 7 level boxes per row.. so the perfect number of levels – 70! I can always build more later. And I started building them!
One by one… from easy to hard. Triple testing each and every level. I’ve added timings and stars for each timing, just in case I decide to add online scoring element to the game. I’ve added collectible stars on later levels, so the player can finish level only if he gathered all the stars on it. From easy straightforward levels to big and labyrinth like ones. Level by level I’m still building them… and I am almost ready with them!
Soon the game will be ready for the public eyes and for you to enjoy! Please be advised that when you are reading this article the game may be published already. So don’t be afraid to check it out – “Roll Switch – Space“. And if by any chance the game is still in developement… consider subscribing to my newsletter so you can be one of the first people to take it for a spin.