Universal Pinball Breaker Forever (by XperimentalZ Games)

Discussion in 'iPhone and iPad Games' started by XperimentalZ, May 18, 2016.

  1. Professionalbum

    Professionalbum Well-Known Member

    Oct 8, 2009
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    Professional bum
    The Prison Planet
    Yeah it's a learning curve for anyone who regularly plays pinball(like me). Great concept and I hope the developers keep updating this.
     
  2. XperimentalZ

    XperimentalZ Well-Known Member
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    We've been walking a thin line between making this a 'new thing' while trying to inject as much of pinball and brick breaking as possible.

    The side tracks were useful for the 'pinball side' as some of the contraption includes bumbers, spinners, various sets of targets (hit all targets, whack-a-mole, hit in right order, timed targets, double hit, ect). The multiball power-up also pushes the pinball side though it's also a brick breaking thing.

    If for slings you're referring to the triangle shape located near the bottom, we've been actively looking for a way to include them but they were in the way of the moving board. I'm sure we'll end up finding a way to implement them though.

    If we get to making new tables, there's 3 axis we'd like to push: changing the table flow (perhaps even dynamically), adding even more 'pure' pinball concepts and look for variations on power-ups and side track skill shots as we look for new mechanics.

    At the core, the idea was to inject a 'tactical aiming' experience into a brick breaking game and that's something which is also at the core of classic pinball games.
     
  3. XperimentalZ

    XperimentalZ Well-Known Member
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    More weight, less weight. More pinball, more brick breaking. We get all sort of contradicting remarks and I think it's normal. Merging classic genres is both a strength and a difficulty because people know about them and are having expectations.

    This feels like driving a bus to paradise. Everyone have heard about it and everyone is having his own representation of what it should be.

    Our ears are all open though and our main objective is to entertain the players. If there's thing we can do to improve the experience for the majority, we'll do it.
     
  4. LordShad0wz

    LordShad0wz Well-Known Member
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    #24 LordShad0wz, May 19, 2016
    Last edited: May 19, 2016
    Ok,

    Disclaimer: I was involved testing this game since its initial alpha release. I also am a huge fan of this developers previous titles. So I need to admit up front I might be a bit biased. The thing is I do try to be objective when reviewing a game, even one I've tested extensively. With this said here we go.

    Why is this game worthy of 5 stars? Simply put this game is a damn fun mash up of pinball and invaders in a fantastic presentation and an excellent monetization system that's approachable for everyone. The premise is you are defending your city at the bottom of the screen from alien invading blocks that start from the top of the play field and move down. You use the flippers to hit a ball, pinball style, to smash the alien blocks and destroy them. You get points, power ups, and coins from destroying the aliens. At the sametime along the sides of the play field you will find different side pockets that do different things such as a warp where the ball goes in one side and comes out of the other, or spinners that makes the ball go crazy. There are many different ones that will appear. It adds fun and depth to the gameplay. The gameplay itself has you trying to clear the field as quick as possible which increases your points. It's at its heart a high score chaser. After a few screens the gameplay gets faster and more intense. There are a lot of unlockables that will keep you playing and it's an addictive experience that has that one more time feeling gun to it. The art work is also fantastic. I love all of the 80's neon colors and style to the game. I love the wonky physics of the ball. It's pinball but not quite pinball. That is its appeal. It's just a great experience.

    One thing you may not have noticed, the monster blocks will make faces at you and taunt you from time to time. Especially when you lose a ball haha.

    So let's talk about the currency and unlockables. There's so much to unlock and upgrade in this game I don't really know where to begin. At the end of each game you can go to the in game store. There you can use the coins you've collected to purchase new side mini games, cosmetics including new balls, flippers, and sides. You can unlock and upgrade your power ups. Again you will be playing a long while to unlock and upgrade everything. The cosmetics is actually really awesome. My favorite is the XZ ball and the circuit bumpers and sides.

    Let's talk monetization. The devs have made this game accessible for everyone. On top of this there are no energy timer bullshit. Are you low on funds and want a decent free to play experience? This game has you covered. Do you want a premium experience free of ads? Yep again this game has you covered. There is one currency. Coins. They are used to purchase everything. There are interstitial ads as well as opt in ads for an extra shield before each play. You can choose to pay $1.99 and completely premium the game. It gives you no more ads and doubles the coins you earn. Honestly it's well worth the money. There are also coin packs of you want to go that route. Personally I think they are underselling the premium upgrade by only charging $1.99. It's more than worth it.

    Let's talk about the devs. These devs are the people that made "Don't run with a plasma sword", "Mechanosaur", and "Pixel Boat Rush". Throughout the entire beta they took criticism and feedback and incorporated it into the game. Even if they didn't like it. They were always willing to listen and were extremely engaged in the process and you can tell they really care about not only the game but their players. If you've seen their previous work then you know this game will be supported, updated, and made even better. This is why I not only purchased the premium upgrade but spent an additional $5 on the coin pack. I felt $2 wasn't enough for the amount of enjoyment I've gotten out of the game.

    In conclusion I highly recommend this title. It's free. You can't lose anything by trying it. I assure you though you will be hooked. It's a great game! On top of this these are the type of devs we need to support and I hope the game is successful for them.

    Billy
     
  5. Wizard_Mike

    Wizard_Mike Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2011
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    Ok, I've been playing this a bit more and I think I see where the apparent wonkiness happens. It's as if the flippers and the bottom curves/corners next to the flippers are covered in carpet. When the ball hits those areas, it's like all the shock from the impact is absorbed, so that the ball doesn't bounce off. The ball also slows down if it rolls onto those areas. This just feels odd.
     
  6. XperimentalZ

    XperimentalZ Well-Known Member
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    Jul 20, 2010
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    Yeah the 'carpet effect' had to be introduced during development because otherwise the ball was draining too often and the game was too difficult. I'm not completely sure why the ball drained so much compared to a classic pinball game, perhaps the combination of high speed and table flow.

    Adding the carpet effect was definitely a game changer for more casual players, because it allowed us to maintain the high pace action while giving the player enough time to react to the ball and aim. But yeah, some players during beta mentioned that this was unsettling at first.
     
  7. your personal robot

    your personal robot Well-Known Member

    Nov 11, 2008
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    I have the feeling that most of my ball losses are because of that artificial carpet effect. I always expect a natural bounce and off rolls the ball :)
     
  8. Doom

    Doom Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2011
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    #28 Doom, May 20, 2016
    Last edited: May 20, 2016
    I can see those who are used to a pinball type game not liking the carpet effect but a pinball game there are many things to slow the ball down in play. In this game sometimes the ball is moving so fast when in a good combo the split seconds between slowing and hitting the flipper gives me that quick bit to line up my next target.
    At first test in beta I mentioned the ball felt heavy as I recall but I quickly adapted and excelled with the controls..if that makes sense#

    Edit: if the majority thinks it's an issue make a sensitivity slider in settings for carpet later?
     
  9. XperimentalZ

    XperimentalZ Well-Known Member
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    Said the guy who broke the game by scoring over 8000!
     
  10. setomoto

    setomoto Well-Known Member

    Feb 14, 2015
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    I have some framerate slow downs during some gameplay with heavy particle effects from combos. I am on 6s Plus and I wasn't really expecting this. I'd reboot my phone but still getting occasional slow downs. Anyone else seeing this issue?
     
  11. Doom

    Doom Well-Known Member

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    I have that device and no issues but I've turned off replay..maybe try that?
     
  12. esty8nine

    esty8nine Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2013
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    Love the game, having a really good time about to buy the coin doubler to support the Devs =] I hope you keep adding to this ! Wether it be more tables or whatever you do !
     
  13. XperimentalZ

    XperimentalZ Well-Known Member
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    Thanks! The reactions are awesome so far, the game shows it's potential and there's so much more that could be done with the game but having launched on the wrong week might bring us to our knees so we'll see what happens.
     
  14. esty8nine

    esty8nine Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2013
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    Does anyone know any advanced pinball technics that work in this game? Like when a ball is just chillin on that middle post (between flippers) sorry I'm boob, is there a way to get it back up or have to just let it fall ? I rarely seem to get it out just by pure luck =]
     
  15. XperimentalZ

    XperimentalZ Well-Known Member
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    #35 XperimentalZ, May 20, 2016
    Last edited: May 20, 2016
    It's meant to reflect some of the hits that come straight down in the middle and save you from some draining (once you unlock the wall power-up, it will also raise to block the sink). Once the ball has lost its momentum and is stuck between the flipper and the blocker, I don't think you have much chance to save it up so I'd let it fall.

    I'd say that the path to scoring is to learn the power-ups, scan the maps for weaknesses and use power-ups to your advantage and learn how the multiplier/end score system works through the side track mini-games. There's lot of choice made in the heat of action that can make drastic differences on the performance.
     
  16. fiskadoro

    fiskadoro Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2009
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    Really enjoying this one. I'm a fan of pinball games and breakout games so despite the crazy physics, this is a lot of fun and I like all the power-ups.

    I bought the coin doubler, but I'm not sure I'm 100% crazy about the video replay pop up message that shows up before every game. I know you get an extra shield for 100 or watching a video, I'm not sure why it's persistent even if I say no before every game.

    Re: physics. I guess people clearly have strong opinions on how they should be, so perhaps there could be two or three different physics options players could choose from and then they'd find each one requires different gameplay skills to win.
     
  17. XperimentalZ

    XperimentalZ Well-Known Member
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    #37 XperimentalZ, May 21, 2016
    Last edited: May 21, 2016
    There's no point showing a shield option to someone who knows will never use it, so we could add an option to deactivate the notification.

    For physics:

    - Rubber/carpet effect: if people would see with their own eyes that it makes the game better, we could add an option though It would probably only be a source of frustration.

    - Weight: the trouble is that there's no ball weight in game. Weight is not a factor in bouncing, only coefficient of restitution and absorption matter, which we have for every wall. It's not affected by gravity because 2 objects of different weight fall at the same speed. It would only be used for the flipper launch speed (a flipper pushes with a force, and a ball weight represents how easy it is to push it). But by design decisions, the game was going so fast that I rigged the flippers to make the controls as precise and constant as possible, so I fixed the launch speed and angle which only depends on the position of the ball on the flipper at the moment of launch.

    In other words, there's no ball weight. And simulating a change of ball weight would only affect the flipper launch speed and change how fast the ball move around the screen and if this is changed it would probably completely unbalance the game.

    And don't think that's what people are really thinking about when they talk about weight. Making the ball lighter would increase the pace at ludicrous speed and from the context of the remark that does not seem to be what they meant.
     
  18. Wizard_Mike

    Wizard_Mike Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2011
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    Ah, ok.

    I can see how the ball could be draining faster without it. The speed of the ball compared to the size of the area it's in does get pretty hectic.

    Just curious, had you considered limiting the balls maximum speed a bit, rather than adding the carpet effect? I wonder how that would have impacted the game compared to adding the carpet effect.
     
  19. XperimentalZ

    XperimentalZ Well-Known Member
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    Going for a hectic experience/supercharged pace and was really at the center of the vision for the game and I tried to push that aspect to the max. I was fascinated by the ball bouncing off a series of blocks at high velocity. I though it really set the game apart from the usual brick breaking experience and gave it a more modern approach.

    During the development, we also had to calibrate the game to keep the average duration of a game under control. I still think the games are a bit too long when we get better but it's not too bad. I'm not sure how we would have dealt with that with a slower pace. All in all, building the game around a slower pace would have affected every design decision and produced a completely different experience, it's interesting to wonder where it would have lead too.

    If we add tables, we'll explore the possibilities. Perhaps there's also a way to change table flow so that the ball arrive naturally at the flippers at a slower speed.
     
  20. Brawwwn

    Brawwwn Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2015
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    What does we released on the wrong week even mean?
     

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