Hello once again, and welcome to the Magic Ball blog!
While the game doesn’t have an overall storyline like Cuboid, we have created comedic scenes for each level – so in a way, each level has its own little story! Each of the scenes is divided between two visual themes – Pirates and Knights – and each theme has its own mini-story scenes.
Magic Ball boasts a vast number of trophies that players can try and achieve – each of the trophies requires the player to overcome a specific challenge. It was a blast trying to come up with the trophies, and we tried to keep a lot of them consistent with the humorous themes of Magic Ball. For example, we have the “25 in a row” trophy where you need to complete 25 levels in a row and several “Goodbye Cruel World” trophies where the player needs to pick up 5 skulls while completing the level.
One of the strategic elements of Magic Ball is the random Power-Ups that fall from pieces of the level that are broken up by the Magic Ball. The Power-Ups are completely random, and the challenge is trying to get your paddle over to where they are falling, while also keeping the Magic ball in play!
But be careful – not all Power-Ups are beneficial! As you complete levels, you will unlock new Power-Ups, so keep an eye out for them! Here’s a hint – try to get the ball through gaps in the objects so that the ball will bounce between the objects. This will break them up quicker, which makes less work for you! ;)
Magic Ball for the PSN is a unique twist on the “ball-breaker” type of game. We have true 3D environments and superior physics and graphics, and every object in the playing field is completely destructible. All of these elements combined really push Magic Ball to the next level.
We’re also excited about the look and feel of our mini-scenes. We think they are really fun – and Magic Ball also has multiplayer with VOIP support! So what could be more fun than smashing up some objects and scoring points and Power-Ups with your friends!?
We all loved the original Magic Ball and were inspired to make our own version with our own unique twists, including new takes on some of the classic levels and adding some bonus ones as well! During the development of the game, we were able to bring in some focus groups that allowed us to make tweaks and adjustments that really helped to round out the fun-factor for each of the levels.
One of the areas that really got an overhaul during testing was the difficulty level of the game – apparently it was too easy! Man, you PSN players are really hardcore!
We are quite proud of our levels, and our lead designer and lead artist worked on them constantly during the development cycle. We had originally planned for a more casual game, but testing proved that players wanted more action. So we rebalanced and are really happy with the outcome.
Two of the other areas that were reworked completely were the SFX (special effects) and VFX (visual effects) of Magic Ball. The power of the PS3 allowed us to do many things that we had originally thought we might have a hard time with, but special effects such as waving grass and flowers are easily handled by the PS3 and the real-time physics with several hundred – even thousands! – of objects were easily managed. Once we saw how much more we were able to do graphically, we could then re-budget our development time and concentrate on gameplay.
We had a blast developing and playing Magic Ball, and we hope you will too. Let us know what you think!