What’s it about?
In Emoji Balls you draw lines with your finger to guide your character around the level. There are various collectables, powerups and enemies for you to collect and defeat. Get the highest score by collecting gems and try to evade enemies!
Emoji Balls is a remake of my first ever game Countryball Adventures. The game was made in Unity and written in C#.
Art was partially done by me, Emoji Characters provided by Emoji One and other assets are courtesy of 2dgameartguru (great site for 2d art tutorials).
- Google Play Services
The Development Story
Emoji Balls is a rework of my first app Countryball Adventures. I was really proud of releasing my first ever game on the PlayStore, but I knew that it was rough around the edges and it needed a rework. The first thing I tackled was the line drawing, as it is the core mechanic of the game it is really important that it works well.
I managed to make the line drawing and the movement of the ball way more smooth and I think that really made the game way more fun and enjoyable. Next, I added screen shake to explosions, which really helps them feel more juicy and impactful.
I then cut out features that bloated the game. In Countryball Adventures I had three different gamemodes, I decided to cut two and focus on the most played one. After that I reworked the end endscreen and UI elements – new vs old.
New characters were also added to the game and for that a rework of the character selection system was needed. In Countryball Adventures I had to set up every character manually in Unity and now for over 400 emoji characters that wasn’t doable anymore. But I managed to overcome that and wrote a character selection system that set the characters up without requiring much more additional effort. Additionally, two new enemy types, both with different strengths and ways to defeat them and new powerups were added to Emoji Balls.
The good things
I’m happy that I managed to really improve the gameplay and the feel, the smoother line drawing makes a lot of difference. More enemies and powerups also led to more varied and exciting gameplay. The code is also more readable and extensible compared to Countryball Adventures (I didn’t even really know about classes and OOP back then).
Also the UI and the overall look and feel of the game really improved and I managed to make it look more like a ‘modern’ and polished game.
Things that didn’t work that well
The game could definitely have used a better tutorial to introduce the players to mechanics and enemies. It just throws the player into the cold water with some text inserts that most people don’t really read or remember. A separate tutorial level with step by step introduction would have definitely helped.
I also believe that there is a need for a mechanic to motivate the player to keep playing. A better progression system. As of now there is a leaderboard and the player can unlock characters with gems he earns by playing. But the unlock mechanic is not really fleshed out.
Compared to Countryball Adventures I improved my code but compared to my newer projects the difference in the quality of the code is quite big. So if I were to start another project based on the core mechanic I would probably start from scratch.
Also, my marketing efforts were quite limited, I did not really promote the game that much, I used it more as a learning opportunity leading up to university.
Overall I’m really proud of Emoji Balls and I believe it is a good improvement over Countryball Adventures and I hope you have fun playing!