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  #1  
Old 08-07-2007, 11:20 PM
axcho axcho is offline
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Default Ball Physics game contest ideas!

Jay Is Games is having another big Flash game contest, and the theme is Ball Physics! Sounds kind of bland, right? Well, how about we come up with some more interesting ideas for how to approach this?

I would like to enter the contest if I have enough time to make a decent entry. I would also encourage any other Flash developers here to enter too.

We can all contribute to an idea brainstorming discussion, both players and developers. And anyone should be free to use these ideas. (so if you don't want someone to "steal" it, then don't share it here)

I'll get started.

The obvious response to the theme "Ball Physics" is a game that features a bunch of circles bouncing around, in a physical sort of way. One of my favorite Flash games, Particles, is like that. But everyone knows that's the simplest, most obvious interpretation you can have.

What else is there? How about an avatar physics game where you control a character made out of circles connected together, and you jump around on a world made entirely of circles? It could be like a bunch of miniature planets, with their own gravity. Maybe you throw or shoot balls at enemies (who are also made of circles) or use them in puzzles.

Maybe we can interpret "Ball Physics" with an emphasis on the "physics" rather than thinking we need to have a bunch of balls bouncing around. How about you have a physics-based game of some sort, but instead of a rectangular grid, the world is stretched around the surface of a sphere?

How about instead of balls bouncing on each other, the world is made up of balls within balls, circular cavities, in some weird fractal-ish, bubbly, foamy space? A tiny bit like the circle grid of Bubble Tanks, except way more circular and deep and strange. It's about playing with space.

I'll be back with more ideas. Please discuss and add your own.
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  #2  
Old 08-08-2007, 12:29 AM
Moose Moose is offline
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why not a game where you shoot balls at enemies made out of balls who could break and lose limbs? breaking off enemy limbs is always fun.. or a game where you push a ball to the end of a course - but with obstacles... possibly some spot where you must ride the ball over some spikes? =/
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  #3  
Old 08-08-2007, 01:53 PM
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Jokker Jokker is offline
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I'm thinking of making a game like that, but I do have a question I can't seem to find an answer to.

They say I must supply a shipping address...I'm not in the US/Britain/etc. :s

If I'm still allowed to participate, awesome, I'm totally in this. Got a good idea as well. Think platformer, plus shooting, plus shooting variable size balls.
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Old 08-08-2007, 03:35 PM
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668.5 668.5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jokker View Post
I'm thinking of making a game like that, but I do have a question I can't seem to find an answer to.

They say I must supply a shipping address...I'm not in the US/Britain/etc. :s

If I'm still allowed to participate, awesome, I'm totally in this. Got a good idea as well. Think platformer, plus shooting, plus shooting variable size balls.
Destruction/Deformation/Ragdolls Pl0x?
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  #5  
Old 08-08-2007, 03:36 PM
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AJJeko AJJeko is offline
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I can make it with Flash but it's gonna take a while.
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Old 08-08-2007, 11:59 PM
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Cyranix Cyranix is offline
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Damn, I wish I had the time to program -- well, for Flash, learn to program. So here's an idea, free for the taking. I sort of imagine it as a puzzle game, but adapt it to any other genre / gameplay style that you like.

The player acts as the "core" of a ball, with the goal of getting from Point A to Point B. (I've got a Prof. Fizzwizzle-esque level design in mind, but adapt as needed.) Once inside a ball, the player is safe and will go along with the ball, stuck inside as its core. The player has the ability to eject from the ball at any time, but he will fail the level if he touches the ground or otherwise remains outside of a ball for too long (that is, the player must travel primarily by means of jumping out of one ball into another).

The ball physics are what really affect level design and game challenge. The balls are made from different materials that behave differently. A rubber ball bounces with some dampening. A metal ball has tremendous dampening on the bounce. A glass ball will shatter if the impact is too forceful (causing the player to hit the floor). A Jell-O ball gets stuck to the floor (or sticks to and slides down a wall), so the player stays alive but has limited mobility. Balls could deteriorate after each bounce, have topspin, inflate/deflate, swing from ropes, phase in and out of existence... whatever the creator's heart desires!

I suggest a scoring mechanism in addition to pass/fail for each level. Maybe the aim is to use as many balls as possible, maybe the fewest possible, maybe taking the least amount of time.

Good luck to all entrants from Fun-Motion!
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  #7  
Old 08-09-2007, 06:20 AM
nin nin is offline
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Default point and click

Does anyone have an idea how to incorporate this ball physics theme into a point and click genre game?
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  #8  
Old 08-09-2007, 08:44 AM
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Jokker Jokker is offline
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Does anyone have an idea how to incorporate this ball physics theme into a point and click genre game?
If you're thinking Lucas Arts-style.

Or RPGMaker-style.

No. Absolutely not, since you can't include physics in something like that,



If you're thinking an arcade game where you only use the mouse, I'm making one as well. Platformer (think Mario with guns) with ball instead of guns. You can make variable sized balls that you shoot.
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  #9  
Old 08-09-2007, 12:30 PM
nin nin is offline
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Default point and click

Well maybe I could do a point and click adventure involving ball items or involving balls in the puzzles
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  #10  
Old 08-10-2007, 04:15 AM
axcho axcho is offline
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Thanks for the ideas so far. It sounds like a lot of people like the idea of a platformer/shooter where enemies and weapons and everything are made of balls.

I'd like to really delve deeply into this Ball Physics theme, and see what we can bring out beyond a superficial interpretation. I propose we start with an exhaustive reductionist approach independently examining each of the words "ball" and "physics" to quickly map out a space of related concepts for each. This should serve as a launching off point to draw creative connections, and hopefully a few will lead to good ideas. Ready? Let's go.

I'll start with Ball.

Hmmm, ball. What can you do with a ball? What can balls do? Let's come up with a quick list of actions that can be associated with "ball" - as many as we can. I'll start, but please post more if you can think of them.

What actions can be associated with "ball"?
  • rolling, spinning
  • hitting with a bat or racket, kicking
  • throwing, shooting
  • catching, holding
  • passing
  • bouncing
  • squashing, squeezing
  • balancing on
  • connecting into a chain
  • lumping into a clump
  • orbiting
  • reflecting, refracting light with
  • shaking up
  • blowing into, containing liquid or air with
  • growing, expanding
  • splitting
  • melting
  • glowing, giving off light with
  • floating
  • sinking, dropping
  • dispensing ink with, pouring liquid over
  • sliding through a pipe
  • falling into a container

How about another list. What kinds of balls are there, in the world, in imagination? What kinds of roles are possible? Again, though I'm providing a few that I've come up with, please post whatever else you can think of.

In what kinds of roles can we find "ball"?
  • a prop in many sports games
  • wheels or rollers for a vehicle
  • a ball bearing
  • a drop of water
  • a soap bubble
  • a bubblegum bubble
  • something for elephants to balance on
  • part of a ball-and-socket joint
  • an eyeball
  • a ball of clay or dough
  • a ball of yarn
  • a fishing weight
  • a fishing float
  • a planet
  • a seed or spore or egg
  • a snowball
  • a crystal ball to see the future in
  • a magical glowing orb
  • a vehicle for hamsters and super monkeys
  • a lump of unformed raw material in general (whether glass, clay, dough, wax, or living cell)
  • a cluster of cherry blossoms
  • a marble in a contraption
  • a katamari to roll things up into
  • something to juggle with
  • a weight to slow down a prisoner
  • one half of a Keepon
  • a ball of energy to be hurled at an adversary
  • the business end of a flail or morningstar
  • the head of a simple stick figure
  • an ocarina
  • something to keep Pokemon in
  • a good shape for a superhero-destroying robot
I'd encourage you to read through the lists carefully enough to visualize each example. If you are trying to come up with ideas, this will help your brain start to make connections. Slow down.

Seeing all these examples, I've been able to generalize a bit and begin to get at what we might call an essence of "ball".

Ball
In general, a ball is seen as something primordial,
as unformed potential ready to transform.
It is self-contained, whole, singular, a container.
It is open, undecided, ready to roll in any direction.

Are you starting to see where you might take this now, beyond your first impression of "ball physics"? Could it be possible to incorporate this theme into the very core of a game, in its vision and philosophy, and not just its physics? (or maybe you're telling yourself that all this theoretical stuff is a waste of time?)

Well, given this essence of "ball" now, we can ask some questions that might lead to game ideas. What might a ball transform into? Who decides? How does it transform? What does it contain within it? What is its singular purpose? Who decides which direction the ball will start rolling? Through what mechanism is it started?

It would be great to have a game that incorporates a ball theme both in its mechanics and its overall structure. Or a game that is about balls, not in the strict sense of spheres or circles, but as clumps of stuff, or arcs in space. Or a game that is not just about balls bouncing and hitting, but about balls refracting light, or melting and dripping, or as vessels for vibrating air.

And if you want to be clever about things, there are alternate meanings for the word "ball" that don't fit so well with the rest.
How about this:
  • a formal social dance
  • a very enjoyable experience
And preemptively, I might add:
  • the seat of power in the male reproductive system
  • the most vulnerable part of male anatomy
I couldn't avoid them. But considering the overall flavor of this contest, I'd be inclined to avoid exploring the possibilities of those last two. Links to that horrible, horrible game Sack Smash are strictly forbidden (trust me, you really don't want to see it).

Even more possible meanings of "ball" can be found in a dictionary or thesaurus, like here.

Well, if you get what I'm trying to do here, please continue the effort. If you've been inspired with an idea, or have some general thoughts or musings, please share them. Next thing will be to go through the word "physics" (hopefully a bit shorter).
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