ShockBall is two player turn-based arcade game and the point of the game is to score three goals to win the match. You can play against computer opponent (three levels of difficulty) or another player on same computer or via LAN/Internet. Interactive tutorial explains rules of the game and basic gameplay and is recommended for all beginners.
Full game is available for free, installation procedure is simple but in case something goes wrong install/reinstall .NET Framework and DirectX. Required configuration: PC with Windows XP/Vista OS and graphics card that supports at least Pixel shader 2.0.
ShockBall was made in six months and the process of development required lots of hard work, learning and experimenting. The game would not be the same if I was not using this great tools:
- Microsoft Visual C# and Microsoft XNA refresh - programming
- 2D design - PhotoShop and 3D modeling - Blender
- Audicity/SoundForge - SFX and PropellerHead Reason - music.
- Indie game magazine
ShockBall beta version is featuring new sound effects, music, two multiplayer modes (on same computer or via LAN/Internet) and some minor bugfixes and upgrades. Feedback from alpha version was very helpful and I hope for more about this version, mostly for multiplayer mode, which was implemented few days ago and caused me lots of trouble.
Installation procedure is the same as in alpha version described above, installation file is twice as big as alpha's, mostly because of music - XNA unfortunatelly doesn't support MP3.
I recently bought XBox, because I wanted to make XBox version of ShockBall, but unfortunatelly Microsoft Creators Club membership is required for XNA development on console. Well, maybe next year...
I recently created tutorial and added three levels of difficulty of computer AI in I think its time for some testing. I think random players are the best testers, so I made preview version of ShockBall and I hope I'll get some quality feedback which would help me fix and improve this game. Installation file is relatively small - 7MB and almost half is XNA installation. To successfuly run this game you must have .NET framework and DirectX installed, which you most probably do.
You are always welcome to send me e-mail with your ideas, suggestions and problems with ShockBall. In case you have trouble starting the game or problems during the game, please describe the problem, specify installed operating system and graphics card.
In October ShockBall finally became a game and now its time to tell you more about how its played. At the beginning of match, three spheres appear on gamefield, first one is controlled by player (type of sphere is selected on screen, displayed at image bellow), second one is controlled by computer (player vs player mode will be developed in the future) and third - the smallest one is shockball, which is pushed around gamefield by both players until one scores the goal. Gameplay is turn based: while one player is executing his move, opponent can sit back and enjoy the show. Active player rotates sphere in desired direction and then selects the power of ejection. More power means faster movement and more energy on other objects during the collision, but also requires more energy, which is limited. Gamefield is relativelly huge and its impossible to score from large distance, so player has to use his brain and think few steps ahead to bring his sphere and shockball at position as close to goal as possible to score. Its not a simple task, at least not against computer opponent, who shows no mercy at hard level of difficulty.
I've also made some new graphics, optimized rendering performance (average 170fps on my average laptop) and AI calculation time, made some new backgrounds, sounds... I plan to release alpha/preview version of ShockBall in late september to gain some feedback from players, which should help me to polish the game to perfection :)
In September I was working mostly on game graphics, I completely changed design of playfield and changed some of sphere textures. Although content is more complex, the average framerate has increased from 100fps to 130. Some other stuff that was added recently: video settings, game statusbar, gamepad support...
Now its time for me to finally finish gameplay and implement opponents AI, add some music and sound effects. Uf, I better stop talking and start working, read more about my progress next month.
Past month was mostly raining and I hade a lot of time for development of ShockBall and learning about XNA. I decided to change graphics interface of main, game and player menu, because each screen had different graphics design and logic. From now on all menus and options have common look and sound decoration.
Nothing much is new in game itself, just some changes in background (stars and galaxies) and minor bug/performance fixes.
I began development of this game in the middle of may 2007. The main purpose was to test my knowledge of XNA and after long time make a 3D game which contains some action. At the beginning I didn't know what kind of game I wanna make, I had few different ideas but I just wanted to start coding so I made a few usefull classes and game menu (picture bellow).
After two weeks I was determined what this game will look like, but even now its hard to describe it. Let me try: its clone of game I used to play years ago on ZX Spectrum (Xeno) but its 3D and much more advanced. The point of ShockBall is to push the little ball into opponents goal more times than your opponent does. You control the sphere and so does your opponent, and the filling is similar to car racing game, but collision is similar to snooker game.
Last week I was working on player properties menu, which was easy mode compared to 3D graphics and physics, but now i'll take a little break from this game and finish some other stuff.