PING Mobile Progess

Hi everyone!

I haven’t written in a long time about development, especially any specifics about projects I’ve been working on. I’ve been creating a new PING mobile game. The biggest new feature with this one is with some of the later stages working in a 3D environment. And by this I mean you’ll be moving around corners and it’ll create some interesting perspectives on gameplay and visuals. It’s actually been a pain to make sure the cube doesn’t bounce out of the level by hitting the corners at a particular angle.

So far this has been achieved by making use of Unity’s physics material and then setting the velocity to change direction at those corners. I’m hoping that this makes it a bit more of an interesting game. Along with that I decided to go with a vertical orientation for gameplay. I asked the question on Twitter and it was seemingly agreed that if I could make that work, it’d stand out more as a mobile game. While landscape is more familiar, it doesn’t allow you to play the game with one hand which is actually a big factor nowadays. Making the gameplay interaction as simple as possible is the best you could do for a phone game’s success.

While working on the game’s menus, I kinda took inspiration from Yokai Watch Wibble Wobble. It’s a game I’ve been playing a lot on my phone lately and I like how easy it was to navigate their maps and how often they roll out events so I’ve been building mine similarly. A lot of PING’s current menus are programmer art or as you can see, a stolen Zelda map. They are all placeholders and I honestly use assets from games I like during development just so I am not staring at a blank canvas all the time. 😛

The most important part is the background stuff that’s happening. I programmed in for a way to give energies for playing and when you run out, you have to wait until you get more. That leaves an interesting issue though. Couldn’t someone who wanted to play for free change their phone’s time or somehow download an app to spoof it? So after I came across that interesting issue I ended up having the app check my server for the real current time, so no one can fake their time. And it’ll also allow me to schedule fun timed events for the game. I assume this is what most games do, but I just had never thought about it before until I started developing.

A lot of the core gameplay has been built and a big focus has been me making sure the cube doesn’t fly out anymore. It was a bit more unpredictable in PING 1.5™ due to me programming all of that cube bouncing manually. Using Unity’s physics system as intended now has made it easier to keep that pesky cube inside the level. I’m intending this to be the PING series from here on out. Keeping it mobile as we work on other projects which are better aimed for video game consoles and Steam.

This is my first development post and I hope you go easy on me. Feel free to ask any questions and what direction I should go with this blog and what you’d like to know. I intend for the next blog to be either about the Hour of Code (something I’ve been actively helping with lately) or about a camera video game we are starting development on.

Till then, keep gaming!


Also published on Medium.

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