Mommy's Best Games, Inc. is an independent game developer founded in 2007. Our seventh game, currently in development, is Pig Eat Ball on which we started working in 2013. This is behind the scenes thoughts about game development and marketing.

Nathan

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

PEB September Update: Finishing World 2

About 80% of the Action levels in Pig Eat Ball are finished. Worlds 1-4 have been worked on for months and have their first-pass Action levels finished. The Overworlds (the hub areas where you explore and play, and then pick Action levels to try to beat) are in place as well.

But it takes a lot of time to perfect the Overworlds. Honing the entire experience, playing through an entire world and making sure the difficulty balance is good, all the bugs are worked out, and figuring out all the Oveworld puzzles and secrets to add takes many weeks.
Plus each boss is getting reworked!

That's where we are currently for World 2. World 1 is great, it is "done". World 2 is almost there too!
We've added an entirely new mid-boss fight, and enhanced the main boss greatly. And we've added several new levels and new mechanics to the Action levels.

Here's some "bird's eye view" screen shots of the Oveworld levels for World 2.
Each World consists of four Overworld levels. These allow you to explore and find secrets. And to pick Action levels. By beating Action levels, you unlock new areas to proceed to, eventually beating the game and finishing the story.
 Keep in mind, these screenshots are from the LEVEL EDITOR! That's why the background is grey and some layers are greyed out.  Make sure to CLICK them to see more detail!

"Main Hub" section of World 2, the Sushi Gardens. In these 4 areas, you play around and decide what Action levels to play.


"Alpha Module" section of World 2, the Sushi Gardens

"Beta Module" section of World 2, the Sushi Gardens

"Gamma Module" section of World 2, the Sushi Gardens

And here is one of my favorite areas of World 2, this is a functioning sushi restaurant!

The Sushi Restaurant!
Click for more detail!
Check out the left side of the screen: The sushi chefs on the bottom chop up the food and the patrons at the top gobble up the sushi! The fun part is you getting inside and barfing on everything!

Next up for World 2, I have to finish up the cutscenes for beating the midboss and world 2 boss. Onward and upwards!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

No Pig's Sky

I'd like to introduce you to our upcoming game.




Pig Eat Ball is a science-fiction game set in a finite, carefully-designed galaxy.
Every object in the game was placed by our team, intentionally, with purpose. Every pixel, every sound effect, every gameplay mechanic was made with the sole intention of making the best action-adventure game about barfing ever dreamed.


A Truly Barfy Universe

Whether a distant ball or a pillbug playing tennis on the horizon, you can barf on it.
Barf on balls. Barf on walls. Barf on pillbugs. Barf on floors. The galaxy is yours to soil.


Unique is Playing Things You've Never Played Before 

Eat dozens of balls. Grow fat. Barf your guts out. Slurp it back up.
Dodge sizzling frying pans. Race space pigs to make sandwiches.
Battle Accordion Centipedes. Break toilets. Get pillbugs drunk.


Compete in the Royal Games

With every level, in every space station, you are vulnerable. Vulnerable to losing your future. You must win the Royal Games or your crack-pot, cake-headed father will force you into marriage. But you can choose. You can choose to barf your way to freedom.


The Team

Pig Eat Ball is being developed by Mommy's Best Games, a tiny indie studio in Indiana, USA. We previously made Shoot 1UP and Serious Sam DD XXL, but now we're casting our eyes to the toilet.


Community


Pig Eat Ball is coming in 2017. Follow us on Twitter, and on the game's Official Facebook page.
Get ready to pig out.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Is Pokemon GO the Donald Trump of Games?

Yes, Pokemon GO is great, we play it with the kids and they love it.

Now then... 
It's interesting that any "how to" guides on game development and PR are pretty much defied by this game or could be by any really high profile product.
It did so many things wrong at launch and it just didn't matter. 
Is Pokemon GO the Donald Trump of games?


It had a terrible launch with servers down constantly, activation emails not returned from the Pokemon Trainer site over the course of a week, a fuzzy launch date with relatively little awareness built for such a big brand, no tutorial in the game, the software hangs frequently, and there are bugs everywhere (and not the kind of bugs you're supposed to catch). There are so many problems most small indie devs work hard to eliminate, but here were ignored by players or happening in full sight.
I've been working on our current game, Pig Eat Ball, for over 3 years, and for instance, I just spent 2 weeks further polishing the menu transitions and fixing tiny bugs in the music player. These details matter for an indie dev's games and reputation, but what about for the launch with a giant brand?

What does this tell us? These things don't matter? Or is it simply the strength of a brand? Or that if you get your core idea correct (catch Pokemon in 'real life'), it's all fine? I don't know. The dev in me is bitter and angry that the "normal rules don't apply here", but it's hard to deny all the positive outcomes of the game even in its current, half-complete state. Regardless, whatever you do, don't use the Pokemon GO launch as a model of how to release your own game, because it simply doesn't apply.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Pig Eat Ball, May Update

We're getting ready for E3!

Yes, I'll be taking Pig Eat Ball to E3 to show the game off to publishers and platform holders.
Since we'll be demoing the game soon at E3, recent work has been about "first impressions".


Andrew Curry, our level builder has been working to perfect the first levels of the game, as those first few minutes are the most important with any new players.

Talk to the Clam... to see some action!
In the game, the player completes sets of action levels. If they complete a set of action levels, they get a Pearl, and this Pearl is used to unlock new areas and eventually complete the story in Adventure mode (think the Stars in Super Mario Galaxy).
A set of levels is controlled by a Royal Clam. So the first Clam in the game, has three levels. Those three levels have been tricky to perfect! And actually it started out as five levels and then four levels.. but I think now that three levels in a row is the perfect amount of playing time to introduce players.


Matthew Barnes, one of our programmers, has been working on some new gameplay elements, including a working shower.

Barfies come in ,but leave sparkling clean!

What does the shower do? It cleans off the barf of course! :)


John Meister, head of Super Soul Studios, in nearby Lexington Kentucky, has been working on integrating the new controller remapping system. John was previously using the system called "InControl", but has settled on another controller solution called "Rewired" from the Unity Asset store.


So many collisions to deal with...
And I've been working on optimizations. Without giving away too much, let's just say that thousands of chunks of barf can be spewing in the game. And that's interactive barf--not just simple particle effects! Add to that tons of balls and dozens of pillbug enemies with complicated AI which could be running around as well--with that all happening, on some of our laptops, we noticed the game was starting to get slow. So I've spent the last few weeks, trying to eliminate unnecessary collision calls, and figuring out tricks to avoid comparing so many objects together, or other ways to save processor time. The good news is--things are speeding up!

Alright, E3 is June 14-16th, wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Pig Eat Ball, April Update

Pig Eat Ball, our upcoming action-puzzle game about getting fat and barfing, is still coming along nicely.
Here's what the team has been up to recently.

Andrew Curry is the lead level designer and level builder for the game.  He's been on the project for several years and has designed several hundred levels in the game and there's still more to go!
He's been recently working on the giant overworld levels. Here's just one sub-area of World 1, the "Outer Courts".

Area 1, World 1. View from the level editor
Matthew Barnes has been programming on the game with me for several years as well. Initially he was coding on the level editor, but is now working on gameplay objects. He's been working on a ceiling-type object that you can drive underneath, and the object fades out so you can see the gameplay below.
A view of the ceiling tiles from the built-in level editor.

Here is Princess Bow, moving underneath the tiles, and you can see the nice fade.
Bentley Usher is an intern on the project for this Spring. He's been tasked to do some gameplay code for the various Disguises that your player character can wear. I've done the art, and Bentley is adding the "Pros" and "Cons" code to the Disguises.
After you get a new Disguise, you can see what abilities it has.

Here's Princess Bow in a test level, with several Disguises in the works.
And I've been reworking the World 1 boss. I had a boss in place originally and he was fun and all, but not crazy enough. So the previous boss has been moved to a 'mini-boss' status for World 1 :)
This is very early, and the art is only roughed in and will improve. But here's a peek:
He's pretty scary to play against!
Pig Eat Ball has been Greenlit for sale on Steam.
The current plan is to have Pig Eat Ball go into Steam Early Access in a month or two.
Or you can pre-order the game at the link below, and get a build to play now. This will let you see our changes even sooner, and actually play it as we build it!
www.pigeatball.com

We plan to release the final version of the game some time in 2016.