It’s not often I read about Forgotten Ball on the internet, I mean I’m not the most vocal developer but I feel like maybe I am starting to do things right. Lovely chap, spoke to him for quite some time, words continue after the image.
“Last but not least I rounded off my demo derby by playing The Forgotten Ball. Developed by Josh Croft, a Computer Science student based locally at The University of East Anglia, this is a 3D maze puzzle platformer that sees you guiding the titular ball up a massive tower. You know it’s massive because in the opening moments the game forces you to fall off the top and drop through the entire world to its base, on the way giving you a glimpse of the incredibly complex mesh of geometric intersecting pathways that lie in wait. Since Josh intends the game to work on a range of mobile devices, the games graphics make very few technical demands, and yet the game has an elegant but bold aesthetic, which benefits from its simplicity. It’s a fine example of technical limitations producing some creative design solutions. Instead of a dynamic lighting model, for instance, Josh tells me that he uses a heavily adapted shader to simulate the shifting shadows and highlights as you roll around each ninety degree angle, but the resulting effect feels just right.
The forgotten ball shares some technical and aesthetic approaches with Thomas was alone (Josh got some pointers from that games artist), and feels like a revival of Playstation Classic Kula World by way of Echochrome. Most importantly to a simple puzzle platformer the games jumping physics feel spot on, with an emphasis on analogue control (the longer you hold the button the further you go) and the introduction of a float mechanic, which sees you balancing the opposing forces of gravity and upward inertia as you traverse some tricky obstacles, adds a significant level of skill to proceedings. The games level design, with its massively intricate interlocking world filled with hazards and shortcuts that loop back on themselves, also has more than a little inspiration from Dark Souls as I learn from Josh.”