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POW Games

A member registered Feb 29, 2016 · View creator page →

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Haha, it's OK. That all makes sense, thank you. I'm working on some different projects right now including a quiz game and a sandbox engine, so watch this space :-)

This is always good to hear. Thanks for your support. Let me know what you think of PowBall Renaissance 

When I make as much money as the developers of Doom, I will add cheat codes just for you :-)

And I'm not going to spend hours making a video of all the levels for you; cheeky of you to ask! There are playthrough videos on YouTube you can watch though.

I've used SDL1.2 (DirectX 7) to port the DOS version to Windows. The black borders on full screen mode are due to video hardware not being able to scale up from 320x200 - some monitors / video hardware can do it full screen no problem, some others not - it's not something you can change with software. There's no hotkey or quick fix because the game's graphics are hard coded to a special (unchained) 320x200 DOS video mode.

I can re-engineer the graphics to scale using SDL2.0. I was thinking of crowdfunding to pay for the time it will take to do, is that something you are interested in donating to?

Thanks for showing interest. I'm planning to start working on this again soon, so I hope you can follow the progress with me. I already did a lot of work on it since this project and it's come a long way. It's very fast now, even on weaker CPUs:

Love hearing stories like this. So much time has past and knowing I helped to create good memories makes all the hard work worthwhile. Welcome back! Hopefully you'll remember Renaissance in another 20 years!

There is no such option under settings, I've been through every page. Where exactly is it?

Yes, Alchemite will pass through you once you reach 9000 maximum.

Some levels of the Classic set have wormholes at player-level (like the original PowBall DeluXe). I've changed how this works recently and something might have broken. I'll test it now and it should be fixed in 2.04 if there's a problem. Some levels will trap you at the top once you go through one-way wormholes - this seems a bit crazy was intentional. You should drift back to to the bottom for the sub-game once the level is cleared.

Thanks for letting me know and don't hesitate to suggest anything else.

More updates coming soon in version 2.02

Thanks for that Stephen. I tried to add you on Steam many months ago to discuss some of your ideas, but it must have been lost in the void?
Agreed that the initial ball speed is slow (maybe I slowed it down a bit because I'm slower now I'm older? lol), but it speeds up fairly soon into the game to gradually pick up the pace. The bat speed is limited for all control methods (including the mouse). Imagine if the mouse player was faster than the game controller players - it wouldn't be fair. Imagine if the game controller could move as fast as the mouse, it would be impossible to control / stop. If it was any faster, you could just swipe left and right and never miss a ball due to the game physics (in other Breakout games the bat just passes through the ball - in PowBall it physically knocks it back into play - I don't want to be like other Breakouts). It's also to force you to plan ahead, aim, and be ready for when the ball bounces back. It probably feels a lot different to other Breakouts games that you've played, but be assured that a lot of thought and testing was put into the way it currently plays and has already undergone 1000s of tweaks.

As for your other ideas, they sound like something to include in PowBall 2, since Renaissance is a reboot of the original and needs to stay similar to the original concept. So, watch this space :-) 

It happens when you sell something in the shop which will exceed the 9000 maximum. This is now fixed in 1.16. Thanks for reporting :)

Thanks! More levels sets and difficulty levels will depend on when I can spare limited time and resources on this game. If the sales pick up then it'll happen sooner, but I need to work on other games. I have an idea for a Retro level set which shouldn't take long to do. Watch this space :)

Q: Why can’t I save the game?

A: The game is saved automatically as you progress through the levels. You can stop playing at any time and resume the game later. If you quit playing while you’re currently in a game, that life will be lost unless you’re able to fly home safely first at the end of the level. Once you lose all your lives, that saved game will be over. This isn’t a bug, it’s permadeath - which makes survival more realistic and adds a sense of challenge to the game. Otherwise the game can be finished easily if you could try again an unlimited amount of times each time you lose a life, giving no real sense of skill or achievement.

Q: The game won’t load.

A: At the time of typing this, there are no crashes or load-failures logged with Steam. This game was made using a robust graphics library called SDL2 which is endorsed by Steam, who also host the .DLL files - so if there is ever a problem with future hardware, it will be fixed and patched on Steam’s side. If you do encounter any crashes or problems installing / running then please post in the discussion group.

Q: The game is too hard, I can only get to level 11.

A: It is challenging, but the key to surviving through to level 100 is resource management. Collecting Alchemite and spending it wisely is more important than blasting away at each level. Try to have a large stock of spare balls and lives and use ammo sparingly. Some levels will require a lot of spare balls or be launched, or missiles to be fired, so keep your stock high. Also, the experienced trader will use the shop prices to turn a profit by knowing when to buy and sell. Once you have the hang of using the shop, you will find the game much easier. After permadeath, don’t feel deflated about starting from level 1 again - see it as a chance to play a different strategy and collect and spend Alchemite more wisely to increase your survival and reach a higher level. If you really can’t get any further then try playing multiplayer with 1 or 2 AI bots to help you - but leaderboard and achievements will be disabled.

Q: Can you add a feature / content?

A: If it’s not going to take too much work, then yes - I love hearing about suggestions to improve this game. I’ve made many improvements (and friends!) already as a result of feedback from gamers just like you, so don’t be shy, but please be polite. Also please keep in mind that this is a low-budget game and I have limited time and resources to invest.

Q: The controls don’t feel responsive.

A: Responsive and accurate controls are very important in a game such as this, so a large amount of development time was put into getting them to work right. You should be able to move with pixel-perfect accuracy to aim balls into tight spaces - but at the same time move quickly to avoid enemies and catch stray balls and Alchemite. This perfect balance might require some tweaking of the mouse sensitivity in the options menu (or by using the PgUp / PgDn keys in-game). If you’re using a game controller then this all depends on the quality of the controller’s analogue stick. Xbox controllers are recommended. Some cheaper controllers are not sensitive enough, so you should try to use the D-pad or shoulder buttons for movement instead. It’s also worth mentioning that the player’s ship has a maximum velocity, so unlike some other brick-breaker games, you can’t teleport from one side of the screen to the other by flicking the mouse - this is an intentional design to stop “cheating” by swiping the mouse constantly from side to side, so the game might feel different to what you’re used to for this reason. It’s also to allow the game physics to be more realistic - did you notice you can side-swipe a ball you’re about to miss? And you can sideswipe enemies that are getting too close - none of which would be possible without a maximum velocity.

I prefer to see it as a missing feature, rather than a bug ;-)

I've made a note of your achievement ideas - there are some good ones there, thank-you.

1.12 should fix this. Uploading it here now (I'll upload to Steam later). I'd actually forgotten to code any Fugitive achievement logic. Obviously my sub conscious didn't want anyone to be a bot-killer, lol. And I corrected the perfect achievement count now. Thanks so much for bringing this to my attention.

Adding new achievements is really easy, so think about any ideas you have.

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Hello my #1 fan, lol. Good question. Might be a bug - I'll look into it.  A new version should fix this soon.  If you have ideas for more achievements, send them this way.

Always good to hear your feedback - my #1 fan, lol.
The more interest and sales the game gets, the more improvements I will make. 1.07 is coming soon; I'd like to hear what you think of it.

Thanks Jupi! Super excited and honoured you included me. Hi, btw!

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Good to see someone appreciates all the options and controller support.

I've fixed the sound panning in 1.01 - I hadn't tested it before rushing to submit for the jam. You say there's a lot of bugs? Can you list them please. If it's the guy sliding along walls, this is more a feature of the voxel physics, since there's no space for him to rotate or animate, he would be embedded in the rock. I can make him slide away from walls to give him room to animate / rotate in the future.

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Thanks, If you buy the game here (or on Steam), you'll get a Steam key :D

Hold that thought. I'm still working hard on the engine for this game, and I'll have something to download soon.

Good luck! Glad I'm not the only one starting with scratch on this one :)

This doesn't conform to the 64x64 pixel resolution

This is a good question. I also want to know if there's a way to dissable VAT for the Collected by mode? I'm in the UK and I'm not VAT registered; I'm not required to be (because I'm nowhere near the income threshold), so I don't have to charge VAT when I sell something.

^ Or, is VAT required because the sale is from, so they are VAT registered and required to charge VAT?

When I start earning £83,000+ a year, then I'll happily register for VAT as required, but I don't want to.

Hi again Mitchel, good to hear from you again. Very excited to learn you've made 60 of your own levels - I'd love to play them!

Elite level set, hard difficulty, and other additions were planned depending on demand. Sales are very very low, unfortunately. Only 14 copies sold since it was published; very disappointed that more people haven't discovered this great game. For one year's solid work, I've made a massive loss already, so I can't afford to spend any more time on the game at the moment.

I've been working on something very new and exciting which I hope will be more popular. Watch this space.

Very pleased you've been following me for nearly 20 years. Good job finding the bug; this will happen when there are no bonus levels saved (levels 101+) in the editor. I've just this second fixed it, thanks to you. Sadly, not many people are interested in PowBall, so I have been spending my time working on new projects, but a new version will be uploaded soon. The level time-limit is a pain, I agree, but I needed to enforce a way to prevent a Rockhopper from farming certain levels endlessly for Alchemite. Any ideas? Maybe a limit to the amount of Alchemite you can carry? But then they'll still farm endless score...

Thanks Adam, I'm currently re-working the whole thing to smooth everything out - it'll take time, but the result will be worth it. Watch this space. Noticed your game, too. Love the lighting effect, how did you do it? Raycasting?

This doesn't conform to 64x64 pixels for the #LowRezJam

Okay, you got me, I'm in! I've never done anything like this before though, and I'm totally unprepared.

Love this idea, and I'd really like to join up, but I'm not ready :(

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It's finally here, free to download and play. Now you can get a teaser of what's in the full version:

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I found the source code to the original 1996 version of my Breakout clone PowBall DeluXe and have recompiled it to work on modern computers (works very well on Windows 10). And It's now free!

In case you missed it, I also recently made a brand new Breakout game from scratch called PowBall Renaissance, designed new graphics but used the old music from PowBall DeluXe:

Steam keys will available to everyone who buys the game here once it has been greenlit. Cloud-based leader-board and saved games are usually something you only see in large-production games made by large teams. It will take a long time for a lone indie developer to implement, but I'll do it once enough people show interest.

If I'm good or not remains to be seen. I lost a few brain-cells during my 18 year break, so let's see! One thing for sure is that I'm old!

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Yeah, 18 years. Crazy, huh? I was designing computer games as far back as 35 years ago.

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Hi everyone. I've been out of the game designing scene for 18 years. As you can imagine, things have changed a LOT since then, so this has been a very difficult transition for me, but I finally remade an old breakout game I made in 1997. Take a look and see what you think: