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  1. #161  
    I have a two comments on the physics of the game.

    One: We are playing the game from a view point that is above the game, it seems as from that view point, if any part of the ball touches a hole, it falls in. But in reality, the ball is only touching the game table at the center of said ball. Just to make sure you understand what I am saying. The ball is a sphere, only a small point at the bottom the sphere is actually touching the table. But in the game, from the view from above, the hole bottom half of the sphere is touching the table, so even if the edge of ball touches the hole, it falls in. Hopefully I explained that right, I had a hard time putting it into words.


    Two: It seems as if though the game is predicting, based off the the current trajectory, where it thinks the ball is going to be in a half second. If the ball is heading strait for a hole at a moderate speed, the ball jumps into the hole before it should actually gets there, by note worthy amount. I do not think it is merely the movement from one frame to another, because there is a lag between the last frame of being alive, and falling in the hole. If head towards a hole a slow enough speed, the ball does not jump into the hole.


    Great app, I look forward to its growing maturity.
  2.    #162  
    Quote Originally Posted by fallen View Post
    One: We are playing the game from a view point that is above the game, it seems as from that view point, if any part of the ball touches a hole, it falls in. But in reality, the ball is only touching the game table at the center of said ball. Just to make sure you understand what I am saying. The ball is a sphere, only a small point at the bottom the sphere is actually touching the table. But in the game, from the view from above, the hole bottom half of the sphere is touching the table, so even if the edge of ball touches the hole, it falls in. Hopefully I explained that right, I had a hard time putting it into words.
    Thank you very much for posting your feedback. I agree with you 100% on this. This is because the hit detection I used on the holes involves testing squares, not circles. I plan to change this. Imagine me drawing a small square about half the area that the holes and ball takes up, centering it in the ball and hole. I check if they intersect, and when they do, I suck the ball in. This is the way it currently does things.

    The way it should be changed to is checking if the center of the ball crosses the circle of the hole. I'm not sure why I did it the other way, but I've been aware of it and am planning to change it. Right now, though, I'm mostly focusing on the maze part of the game I'm working on.

    Quote Originally Posted by fallen View Post
    Two: It seems as if though the game is predicting, based off the the current trajectory, where it thinks the ball is going to be in a half second. If the ball is heading strait for a hole at a moderate speed, the ball jumps into the hole before it should actually gets there, by note worthy amount. I do not think it is merely the movement from one frame to another, because there is a lag between the last frame of being alive, and falling in the hole. If head towards a hole a slow enough speed, the ball does not jump into the hole.
    Well, there are a few things. At any given frame, the ball has a velocity and acceleration value. On each frame, I update the position based off of it's velocity, and then I update the velocity based on the acceleration. The magnitude is also determined by the length of time between now and the last frame. If all goes well, it will be 40ms (if the game is set to 25fps). Like in other games, the game goes at the same speed even if the framerate drops. The exception happens when the game would have lost 3 or more frames, it picks up as if 1 frame of time went by. I do this because the Pre seems to lag every now and then. I see this in my game, as well as other games like Riot, Blobber, or Super Dog. It is possible that the phenomenon you are describing happens because of a small loss in frame rate, it projects the ball further than you expect.

    Another possibility: I do hit detection just before I draw. If I see a hit, I apply the hole's "sucking-in force" and update the changes. In theory this can appear that there is a frame missing in time. That alone, or that in combination of what I said earlier could attribute what you are describing. I will look into changing some of that in order to make the game visually more natural.

    You may notice other things funky with the physics. As I stated in an earlier post, the long horizontal and vertical "holes" pull the ball to one side EXTREMELY fast. I draw them as a gradient in an attempt to make it seem like they were some kind of slide - thus making an excuse for me not to have to change the method I use for checking a fall - which is exactly the same as the small uniform hole. In some cases, like in the later levels, you can have the ball slide from one hole into the other and gain enough velocity to be ejected off the screen. You can even have the ball fall in a hole and roll out if you hold it vertical and it's going fast enough. Also, if you have "game walls" enabled, you'll notice the ball is really hoppity if you hold the device vertical. This is my first game and I'm new to a lot of this, so I just need to sit down and figure things out in order to smooth them

    Thanks again for your comments!
  3. #163  
    Great game.

    Don't know if it was mentioned, but the scoring is a little funky at times. For some reason, frequently when I would lose my last ball on level 8, I would have a much higher score than when I would finish on level 9. I would have to make it to level 11 to beat that score.

    Took me about 20 tries to make it through. Best accellerometer game on the pre to date.
    Attached Images Attached Images
  4.    #164  
    Quote Originally Posted by amateurhack View Post
    Don't know if it was mentioned, but the scoring is a little funky at times. For some reason, frequently when I would lose my last ball on level 8, I would have a much higher score than when I would finish on level 9. I would have to make it to level 11 to beat that score.
    Nice job on level 20. The reason for the score fluctuation is because you get a higher score the faster you complete a level.

    toppleball_2009-07-10_074624.jpg
  5. #165  
    Quote Originally Posted by MrJspeed View Post
    Thank you very much for posting your feedback. I agree with you 100% on this. This is because the hit detection I used on the holes involves testing squares, not circles. I plan to change this. Imagine me drawing a small square about half the area that the holes and ball takes up, centering it in the ball and hole. I check if they intersect, and when they do, I suck the ball in. This is the way it currently does things.

    The way it should be changed to is checking if the center of the ball crosses the circle of the hole. I'm not sure why I did it the other way, but I've been aware of it and am planning to change it. Right now, though, I'm mostly focusing on the maze part of the game I'm working on.


    Well, there are a few things. At any given frame, the ball has a velocity and acceleration value. On each frame, I update the position based off of it's velocity, and then I update the velocity based on the acceleration. The magnitude is also determined by the length of time between now and the last frame. If all goes well, it will be 40ms (if the game is set to 25fps). Like in other games, the game goes at the same speed even if the framerate drops. The exception happens when the game would have lost 3 or more frames, it picks up as if 1 frame of time went by. I do this because the Pre seems to lag every now and then. I see this in my game, as well as other games like Riot, Blobber, or Super Dog. It is possible that the phenomenon you are describing happens because of a small loss in frame rate, it projects the ball further than you expect.

    Another possibility: I do hit detection just before I draw. If I see a hit, I apply the hole's "sucking-in force" and update the changes. In theory this can appear that there is a frame missing in time. That alone, or that in combination of what I said earlier could attribute what you are describing. I will look into changing some of that in order to make the game visually more natural.

    You may notice other things funky with the physics. As I stated in an earlier post, the long horizontal and vertical "holes" pull the ball to one side EXTREMELY fast. I draw them as a gradient in an attempt to make it seem like they were some kind of slide - thus making an excuse for me not to have to change the method I use for checking a fall - which is exactly the same as the small uniform hole. In some cases, like in the later levels, you can have the ball slide from one hole into the other and gain enough velocity to be ejected off the screen. You can even have the ball fall in a hole and roll out if you hold it vertical and it's going fast enough. Also, if you have "game walls" enabled, you'll notice the ball is really hoppity if you hold the device vertical. This is my first game and I'm new to a lot of this, so I just need to sit down and figure things out in order to smooth them

    Thanks again for your comments!
    Thank you for being human about it.
  6. #166  
    Quote Originally Posted by MrJspeed View Post
    Nice job on level 20. The reason for the score fluctuation is because you get a higher score the faster you complete a level.

    toppleball_2009-07-10_074624.jpg
    Regarding the scoring, a couple issues. When the game is paused the score continues to 'count down' for the current level. Similarly when the game lags momentarily in the middle of the level the score will be lower than it would have been with no lag.

    The second issue is more subtle (and probably harder to fix?) but still a little annoying if you're playing to beat your own high score. Fantastic game all around though.
  7.    #167  
    Quote Originally Posted by jjthe2 View Post
    Regarding the scoring, a couple issues. When the game is paused the score continues to 'count down' for the current level. Similarly when the game lags momentarily in the middle of the level the score will be lower than it would have been with no lag.

    The second issue is more subtle (and probably harder to fix?) but still a little annoying if you're playing to beat your own high score. Fantastic game all around though.
    great catch. I can fix both of those issues next release.
  8. #168  
    Any possibility of being able to change the table from wood to something else like stainless or other backgrounds?
  9. cwgtex's Avatar
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    #169  
    My best score so far is 1327 on level 20. I love this game!
  10.    #170  
    Quote Originally Posted by caseyatbt View Post
    Any possibility of being able to change the table from wood to something else like stainless or other backgrounds?
    that's a good idea. I might do something like that.


    Quote Originally Posted by cwgtex View Post
    My best score so far is 1327 on level 20. I love this game!
    get 1337 and you'll really be awesome!
  11. jason2851's Avatar
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    #171  
    Great game! Thanks
  12. #172  
    Obviously the best game developed for the Pre, to date. This is one of the only apps that make me feel like I'm not playing with a step down to the iPhone.

    Please not only continue to enhance this game, but also offer more in the family.

    Ideas:

    Putt Putt Golf?

    Some sort of board game like Chutes and Ladders

    Bowling

    Fishing
  13. slp15's Avatar
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    #173  
    I just want to say this is one of my favorite apps and I can't wait for your updates. I didn't read all the posts, but one thing I noticed is while you are playing the game and the phone is set to vibrate, the game still plays the sounds. Do you plan on changing this in the future?
  14. #174  
    Quote Originally Posted by slp15 View Post
    I just want to say this is one of my favorite apps and I can't wait for your updates. I didn't read all the posts, but one thing I noticed is while you are playing the game and the phone is set to vibrate, the game still plays the sounds. Do you plan on changing this in the future?
    Should an app's audio settings be tied to the phone's vibration settings? Wouldn't that mean apps like Pandora should not allow audio play while the phone's in vibrate?

    I think the vibration setting should be strictly for whether phone calls or other notification alarms produce audible alerts.
  15. JerryG's Avatar
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    #175  
    Quote Originally Posted by caseyatbt View Post
    Any possibility of being able to change the table from wood to something else like stainless or other backgrounds?
    +1
    Uniden PC100 -> Visor -> Visor Pro w/VisorPhone -> Tungsten T -> Tungsten T2 -> Tungsten T5 -> TX -> Treo 650 -> Treo 755p -> Pre -> Evo 4G
  16. preryan's Avatar
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    #176  
    My favorite game on the Pre!
  17.    #177  
    Just an update on my progress... I've decided to make the "Maze" game into a different app, I'll probably have it on PreCentral in a few weeks depending on my free time to code.

    As for Topple Ball, I will be posting the next version by the end of the week. I've been doing a lot of changes/additions, a lot of them behind the scenes. I can't think of everything I've changed at the moment, but the major changes are:

    - Topple Ball will be Pixi compatible
    - There be a choice of game board backgrounds (Wood, Steel, Concrete, and Carbon Fiber)
    - There will be a new obstacle

    as well as several other small things. Stay tuned.
  18. #178  
    Quote Originally Posted by MrJspeed View Post
    Just an update on my progress... I've decided to make the "Maze" game into a different app, I'll probably have it on PreCentral in a few weeks depending on my free time to code.

    As for Topple Ball, I will be posting the next version by the end of the week. I've been doing a lot of changes/additions, a lot of them behind the scenes. I can't think of everything I've changed at the moment, but the major changes are:

    - Topple Ball will be Pixi compatible
    - There be a choice of game board backgrounds (Wood, Steel, Concrete, and Carbon Fiber)
    - There will be a new obstacle

    as well as several other small things. Stay tuned.
    I think having the maze game as a separate app is a good idea. Just because the game involves a ball moving around with the accelerometer, it doesn't mean it belongs in the "Topple Ball" app.

    You know what would be cool would be if the different backgrounds/surfaces actually affected game-play. For instance, ice would make the surface slippery. But on second thought, I think this would be more suited for a maze game.
  19.    #179  
    Quote Originally Posted by DanPLC View Post
    I think having the maze game as a separate app is a good idea. Just because the game involves a ball moving around with the accelerometer, it doesn't mean it belongs in the "Topple Ball" app.

    You know what would be cool would be if the different backgrounds/surfaces actually affected game-play. For instance, ice would make the surface slippery. But on second thought, I think this would be more suited for a maze game.
    I've considered adding something equivalent to "oil slicks" or "tar" on Topple Ball to change the board's drag in certain areas. A target goal in the middle of a plane of slick oil would be more challenging to hit.
  20.    #180  
    v0.3.1 Uploaded

    Ding. I just uploaded v0.3.1. A lot of people may not find a lot of substance in this update. Nevertheless I have made a lot of changes. We now have 25 levels. I basically just added 5 levels amongst the already 20, and I changed a few of the original levels. I am going to appologize in advance for levels 23 and 25 - they are hard. If you can beat level 25 you are a God, because I can't.

    I know some people won't be happy that there are only 25 levels, but keep in mind that I eventually want to submit a full version to Palm on the app catalog, in addition to this "Lite" free version. Actually I think its very close to being where I want it.



    Changes in no particular order:

    - Settings Menu: This has moved to the drop down menu on the top left of the intro screen.

    - How To Play (menu) I slapped this together, it's also in the same dropdown menu

    - Game Backgrounds: We now have 4 backgrounds to choose from: Concrete, Wood, Steel, and Carbon Fiber. These do not change the gameplay at all, they are just for asthetics.

    - Highscores: The game now remembers the last name you put in for a high score entry. Note it doesn't remember any names prior to this release.

    - Pixi Compatible: I basically just test for screen.height, and I adjust the playable area. Obviously I haven't tested this on a Pixi yet , but hopefully it will run the same.

    - Loading Screen: The game used to start playing as soon as you tapped on the OK button from the previous level. The game doesn't run as smooth when that dialog box is sliding off the screen and the scene is coming into focus. To fix this, I have the loading screen display while the level is loading, and an additional 1 second after the OK button is clicked to give time for the message to go away and the game to come back into focus.

    -Changed graphics: Some of the graphics have changed, as well as gameplay is back to full screen again.

    -Hit detection re-touched: I spent a lot of time fixing my earlier laziness. Now the ball should only fall in the hole when it's center is over the hole (except for the goal, I give you more slack when trying to get to it). Also, the long and wide holes don't cause the ball to act crazy anymore and hey - they're stretchable. Lastly, I touched up my arrays for hit detection. Now they are easier to scale, and now they should be a little bit more efficient (less CPU when lots of objects are around). Bouncing off the wall should be less finiky too. Also if you sku game parameters for out-of-this-world acceleration, the ball should no longer get lost in the void that is outside of the gameboard.

    -New Obstacles (Buttons): Some levels have a metal square covering the goal. In order to open it, you can roll over a blue button. Red buttons close it back up. Yellow buttons open the goal for a short period of time.

    -Fixed Scoring Bug: The game should now score correctly, even after pausing the game and unpausing. Before, the clock would keep running while paused. Same for lag spikes. Now it should be even steven based on actual time rolling around.

    -* Hotfixed issue with Continue Game not working properly

    That's all I can think of right now, there might be more but I am so freakin tired right now Please, if you see anything wrong or see any bugs - let me know. Give me all the criticism you can. I'm getting ready to submit this to Palm soon.
    Last edited by MrJspeed; 10/16/2009 at 10:25 AM.

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