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Introducing Blueprint Prototypes

Blog posted by JPickford on Wed, 21 Mar 2012

JPickford

The idea of building prototypes into Magnetic Billiards was inspired by the App Store's rather neat update system. We can push an update out at any time and anyone with our game installed will receive update notification the next time they visit the App Store. This is all at zero cost to us as the developer.

Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint was always intended as the first of many games based on the Magnetic Billiards mechanic. The simple graphics meant we could focus 100% on refining the core gameplay. For similar reasons we resisted adding too many features and power-ups to the game. This is meant to be the pure, reference version of the mechanic.

Future products can and will be prettier, funnier, sillier and have plenty of features and gimmicks.

This original Blueprint version of the game becomes the perfect place to try out new ideas and get those experiments in front of an audience already familiar with the core game mechanic.

All this of course ties in nicely with the "Blueprint" subtitle. The game quite literally is the blueprint for future products.

Version 2.0 of Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint introduced the first two prototypes. These are accessible to anyone with the Skeleton Key.

Squish is a potential new arcade mode for Magnetic Billiards.

ISMMTTM is the beginnings of an entirely new game unrelated to MB.

I'll talk about each of these in my next two posts.

 

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Comments

Squish is great. However the random nature of how the balls arrive means its hit or miss if you will achieve a high score or not. No matter how well you play you can just end up with a screen full of balls with no way out. The next time the balls fall kindly and you get a high score instead.

ISMMTTM is something special in the making. I've always loved Zub but if there was any criticism of it it was the baddies tend to end up like annoying wasps buzzing around your head. Having fixed "enemies" in ISMMTTM is inspired. If you get hit you pretty much have nobody to blame but yourself which adds to the "just one more go" factor.

Give it levels with increasing difficulty a la Zub instead of the endless single level and a kicking sound track (again like Zub) and it promises to be a sensational game.

 

JPickford

Yeah the reason 'Squish' is still a prototype is that I still think we haven't cracked it yet. I've been toying with the idea on and off for years (I think there's a video on my youtube page of an early version) but I've never quite felt happy with it. That said, I play it myself all the time - there's something so satisfying about the mechanic, flawed as it is.

Glad you like ISMMTTM. Pretty sure we'll be moving forward with it as a full product.

 

JPickford

Ah I think I deleted the squishlike video. There are a couple of other prototype videos on there:

Flower

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nw36bKbcRQ

Popper:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUftbZWaH30

Dirty Drivin

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqR_yP55ViY

 

Currently 5th on the leader board of Squish so I agree about the mechanic being satisfying. In fact I'm now playing both the prototypes more than the main game.

 

I think one minor tweak that would go a long way in Squish is to simply lower the number of balls connected to clear.

 

JPickford

Yeah I'll have a tinker with that. Currently it follows the standard MB rule.

 

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