plobb! - final version

Community Forums/Showcase/plobb! - final version

Spot-Nothing(Posted 2005) [#1]
we're very proud to present you the final version of the freeware arcade game called


download the game here:!.exe

game impressions:

the story:
the castle of nightmares. here the evil motts of psodor tortures innocent, little plobb. poor plobb is languishing in the lowest dungeon, while depressive thoughts are hovering around him and sapping his vital mojo. can plobb escape from the castle and return to the cheerful world of his friends?

dmaz(Posted 2005) [#2]
did you increase the speed of the toxic bubbles in this version compared the the beta? something makes this version seem far more difficult then the beta. looks great but far too frustrating for me.

boomboom(Posted 2005) [#3]
Very pretty. Who did the voices?

taumel(Posted 2005) [#4]

+) very nice polished graphics and a good style
+) nice setup and scenes
+) good tunes
o) the speaker sometimes sounds a bit unmotivated
-) gameplay
-) difficulty



Tri|Ga|De(Posted 2005) [#5]
Nice and fun!

Did not get past the second world thou!

Grey Alien(Posted 2005) [#6]
Great looking polished game and sounds great. Not too sure about long term playability. Mans voice is very BBC wildlife (good).

Oddball(Posted 2005) [#7]
Awesome presntation. I really like the narrator, very dead pan delivery of what is at times quite silly dialog. My only complaint about the narrative is there is a little too much of it during the game. That could be toned down a little.

As for gameplay, the game is far too hard and is going to put people off before they even have a chance to get to grips with the game. Consider making the first few levels gimmes just to let players get into the swing of things. The bubbles also leave the screen for far to long before coming back. On a number of occassions I only had ten seconds left and nothing was on screen to shoot and so ran out of time. This was extremely frustrating.

I do have one major gripe and that is the installer. I seriously dislike installers that create icons on my desktop without my permission.

But overall well done and I look forward to seeing more from you.

ashmantle(Posted 2005) [#8]
I liked the game and agree with many of the positive comments above.

I discovered a bug though. I lost the game in the first world first time I played, but started a second game right away from the main menu.. I entered the playing field without the playable character, only the scope and the ball. I will see if I can reproduce it.

EDIT: Is there a way to delete the high score table? - where is it located?

Nennig(Posted 2005) [#9]
very fun game, I like it !

Spot-Nothing(Posted 2005) [#10]
@ashmantle: the highscore is located online on our highscore-server, so no chance to delete it. we'll definitely will take a look at the bug you reported.

@oddball: hmmm, perhaps we made the final version a bit too hard to master, let's wait what other gamers say...

@boomboom: the voice is a professional individual from the uk.

IPete2(Posted 2005) [#11]
Well done guys!

This is a great contribution - thanks for making it free - very professional too.

BTW I think I missed it, is it BlitzMax?


Red(Posted 2005) [#12]
Its a B3D game --> SpriteCandy features :)

This game could be coded in Bmax but Bmax has a lack of vertex commands. For example, Bmax cannot draw rippled image.

Perhaps an idea for Bmax : DrawPolygonImage

big10p(Posted 2005) [#13]
The quality of the graphics/pixel art is extremely good. If he/she isn't doing this professionally, they should be. Great stuff! :)

Geehawk(Posted 2005) [#14]
Great presentation, but agree its initially too hard.
Also agree with the time it takes things to wrap around the screen. They are gone for far too long, especially when they leave at a very shallow angle.

Also noticed possible bug ???? When collected the orange power up that produces small orange rapid firing, the shots would wrap around the screen at times ???

Also can't say I've noticed any instructions as to what the powerups are, or even how to play. If there are some then I guess they are not obvious enough. Or do you have to watch the whole introduction to get the full SP ?? An instructions option on the menu would be nice.

Craig H. Nisbet(Posted 2005) [#15]
I have sprite candy. It's amazing!

xlsior(Posted 2005) [#16]
Looks very slick... Great job!

Made it to world 2, level 1.

One question: Is there anything the player can do to influence whether or not you get any extras? One of the problems I had is that especially later on, sometimes there appears to be too much time in between the powerups -- I had a hard time getting past world 1 level 4 initially, simply because the time kept running out, even though I was clearing things as fast as possible simply because I had to work with the standard weapon the entire time.

Some constructive criticism (maybe too late since you already have a final version, but just in case ;-)

- The wipe/transition between the levels seems graphically a bit out of place with the GFX style. Might look better if you use a (cross)fade instead?

- The pulsating background looks good graphically, but makes me a queasy/motionsick after a while. Perhaps there should be an option to turn off the background effect?

Anyway, overall the game looks great graphically, and you have a nice big selection of power-ups available.

As a side note, the voice-over reminds me a lot of the various 'educational' BBC programs, or perhaps the teletubbies games my toddler plays. :-?

Out of curiosity, what program did you use to create your installer with?

Réno(Posted 2005) [#17]
Graphics are very sweet ! Sounds effects are great too ! Nice job !

I just think that we don't have enought time in the first levels. It should be better if Plobb could move faster, very faster.

I like the installer ;)

Just one question for Blitz research : this game forces the fullscreen mode ( 1024x768 ) and the color deep ( 32 bit ). I don't think it is less dangerous than forcing the screen refresh to 60hz... it should be very usefull to have this possibility in Blitz...

Clyde(Posted 2005) [#18]
Sweet stuff! Very addictive, which really makes a change in this day and age. Welldone indeed :)

xlsior(Posted 2005) [#19]
One more thought: It might be good to put the world/level at the top of the screen as well, since currently it is very easy to lose track of how far you progressed already. Just a 1-2 (world 1, level 2) or something?

Also, the game just crashed on my with an error: "HUD_FX_Scale
The specified object does not exist". world 1, level 4. At the very end of the time, I heard the "Oh no, these bubbles are toxic!" sample, and bumped into a bubble at the same time, resulting in the error. Don't know if it's makes a difference, but I had the mirror image extra thingey follow me at the time.

xlsior(Posted 2005) [#20]
Another bug: I died, and started another game. Kept the mouse button pressed down immediately after clikcing the 'start' button, and although I did hear the SFX of the bullets, neither the main sprite nor the bullets were drawn on the screen, and shooting in random directions had no effect on any of the floating bubbles either.

Some variable(s) not initializing correctly?

xlsior(Posted 2005) [#21]
And one last comment: despite the couple of glitches, this is really is one of those "Ok, ONE more game and then I'll stop" kind of games, like Tetris.

It's 2:00am, and I need to be at the office 6 hours from now.

daaan(Posted 2005) [#22]
Great work. I really like the style. It's pretty much just asteroids with power ups and sweet graphics. Pretty hard though. But this isn't amature hour so i'll keep practicing.

thanks for the free game!

Spot-Nothing(Posted 2005) [#23]
many thanks for the cool repors here.

@xslior: we used "setup factory 7.0" to create the installer. it's a great program with lua-scripting to create fancy installers. thanks for the bug reports, we'll take a look at them!

Réno(Posted 2005) [#24]
setup factory 7.0 > $595.00 !!!

gloups... °_O

Spot-Nothing(Posted 2005) [#25]
it's an expensive setup-tool but we use it since three years and for a lot of client projects. so it's definetly worth the money.

octothorpe(Posted 2005) [#26]
Great game! My congratulations and thanks.

Is it considered cheating that I can get between the edges of the screen with well-timed mouse movements? If you get Plobb as close as possible to the edge of the screen and facing just the right angle, then quickly move the mouse cursor far to his opposite side he'll turn and accellerate off the screen, reappearing on the other side. Sometimes he also gets stuck doing this until the mouse is moved closer to him.

My only complaint is that the first few levels are unchallenging and tedious for more accomplished players. I greatly enjoyed them while in the early stages of the learning curve, but after making it to 5-1 a few times, (and never past it,) it's frustrating to have to start from 1-1 every time.

P.S. Has anyone made it past 5-1? What's your secret?

xlsior(Posted 2005) [#27]
P.S. Has anyone made it past 5-1? What's your secret?

I almost always die in 2-2 or 2-3... Run out of time, and can't take out all of the toxic ones. Made it to 2-4 once, but that's mostly luck by getting a powerful extra real early on. I never run out of health, but always run out of time later on.

(The best extra to get is the black spiked ball one just when you run out of time, since you become invulnerable to the toxic bubbles in that form)

(As a side note, My 2 year old son has cleared level 1-1 several times, and 1-2 once as well)

Spot-Nothing(Posted 2005) [#28]
hi all,

we just released version 1.0.1 which should fix the "disappearing plobb" bug and we also balanced the game a bit. have fun!!.exe

JoeRetro(Posted 2005) [#29]
Very nicely done! Great production value!

My kids have fun playing this game, but I notice it took my daughter (6) some time to adjust to the mouse movement.

ronbravo(Posted 2005) [#30]
This is a great game. It's has a real nice polish to it. Looks great graphics and cool voice over. My only thing would be to change the issues with the counter. For example the bubbles sometimes will take a while to warp back into the playing field while the timer is still counting down. Also when you go to a new level and the text comes up to tell you what level you are on, the timer still continues to count down.

Somethings I thought that would help the game would be:

- A powerup that gives you more time
- An option to choose controls, I would like to use the keyboard in a game like this.'
- When time runs out have the enemies do normal damage to you instead of a one hit kill. Once time runs out not only are they able to seek you out but they can now kill you with one hit. Seems like two jumps in difficulty.

Once again, this is an awesome game. I think xlsior was right in saying this is a very addictive game. I kept saying to myself 'just one more game'. The only thing that made me eventually stop playing was that I could never get past the level 1-3 because of the difficulty. Great game, one of Blit3D's better showcases. Congrats and keep em comin. C ya

xlsior(Posted 2005) [#31]
Found another bug:

Twice now, I've had plobb start a level where it completely does not respond to the mouse movements, but will travel in a steady, straight line from the bottom of the screen all the way to the top, break through the top, and emerge at the bottom again, at which point I can steer it.

The second time was slightly worse: I made it all the way to world 5, level 1 (yay, got in the top 10 list), with full health, and it traveled through the top of the screen again, NOT to re-appear at the bottom. I was outside the screen border, and could not do anything... After a bunch of bubbles floated over my position I got thrown around a bit, and after almost all my health was gone I got thrown back into the screen where I could controll plobb again... But at that point I had almost no health left, and didn't stand a chance anymore.

by the way -- where do I submit the invoice for the millions of hours this game has stolen from my life by now? Despite the couple of little bugs, this is a great game! Keep up the good work!

Picklesworth(Posted 2005) [#32]
Nice game :)
Awesome web site too. (I've been waiting forever for a chance to comment on it :D)

octothorpe(Posted 2005) [#33]
I can reproduce xlsior's problem: immediately upon starting a new world (level 1-1 works) move the mouse into the Northeast corner of the screen and leave it there. Plobb will not start following the mouse until it's within a certain range; he'll continue northward, right off the screen, and wrap around to be just out of sight in the south.

It seems that most of the time I get Plobb to walk off an edge of the screen, he stops, and I must move the mouse cursor close to him to get him moving again. I believe this is new to 1.0.1.

Spot-Nothing(Posted 2005) [#34]
xlsior - you're a pro tester! you found stuff we never have seen after so many hours of testing :-)

xlsior(Posted 2005) [#35]
Mojokool: - A powerup that gives you more time

There is one already -- light blue/white clock bubble, gives you 5-10 extra seconds or so

I found out that it's a really bad combination to get both the shield extra and the demolition ball extra at the same time. :-)

world 5 level 1 seems physically impossible to me though... Anyone beat it yet?

xlsior(Posted 2005) [#36]
Also, noticed this several times, but not sure if it is a bug or intentianoal design:

One of the extras is the question mark, which give you a random power up. It can also give you a +1000 or +5000 points... I've also several times gotten a +0.

Is that an intentional dudd, or a error in the randomizer process?

Spot-Nothing(Posted 2005) [#37]
xlsior, are you playing version 1.0.1 of plobb?

Who was John Galt?(Posted 2005) [#38]
Good, well presented game, but it's a shame that most of the challenge comes down to time limit - it spoils the game IMO.

Success depends too heavily on speed, and firing flat out and hitting something 99% of the time often isn't good enough to meet the time limit. It often boils down to whether you managed to grab a power up which floated off to the edge of the screen, giving you no chance.

octothorpe(Posted 2005) [#39]
I disagree. I find this game very tactical and the time limit a great advesary. The randomness of the powerups serves to keep the tactics required switching quickly enough to keep things interesting. I find that unlucky streaks make the game more challenging, not impossible.

Accuracy alone isn't a winning strategy. Evenly distributing your attacks over all the bubbles in a level won't win you any powerups until the very end (which can be useful, but for winning the next level, not the current one.)

Powerups that float off the edge of the screen can often be snagged when they come back on the other side of the screen if you anticipate this and are waiting there for them, bubbles permitting (corners don't work so well.) Alternately, you could simply not kill powerup yielding bubbles when they are near the edges of the screen.

Keep trying, this is a fantastic and challenging game! :)

octothorpe(Posted 2005) [#40]
I found a bug. When spikey Plobb squashes a whole lot of enemies at a time, the screen shakes violently. I happened upon this powerup at the end of 5-4 and waited until the time was ripe, killing everything in 5-5 within less than a second. The screen shook so violently that it got stuck! Starting a new game didn't fix this, I had to quit.

Spot-Nothing(Posted 2005) [#41]
octothorpe: uh, that shaking bug sounds bad. i'll take a look at it. we'll release a version 1.0.2 this week so we could hopefully fix this too.

Spot-Nothing(Posted 2005) [#42]
wow, you're on place 1 of the plobb highscore. congrats - i know that it is not too easy to get there :-)

Who was John Galt?(Posted 2005) [#43]
@Octothorpe - you've proven it can be done. It's probably just my personal preference, but I'm not a fan of time-limits. Like I said, it's a good game and I got to level 4, but I still stand by what I said.

Spot-Nothing(Posted 2005) [#44]
hi all, we listened and we updated :-)
get the latest version 1.0.3 with the following updates:

- game balancing in world 5
- enhanced stability (no screen shakes any more)
- added: beserk special shield
- bug fixed: bubbles hide sometimes too long outside of visual area
- bug fixed: plobb moves at start
- egg and shockwave fx optimized
- score in game over screen visible now
- used latest packer!.exe

have fun. all your feedback is highly appreciated!

octothorpe(Posted 2005) [#45]
Now that world 5 has been nerfed, I can safely explain how to beat the old one without spoiling the game for anyone! :)

The spiky ball powerup was the only way I could find to defeat each of the identical world 5 levels; my strategy was to milk the bubbles for powerups until I got it. I'd break a couple of the large bubbles at a time and leave the rest, so as not to flood the level with too many bubbles. Then it was simply a matter of finishing off the smaller bubbles without doing too much damage to the big ones.

I'd try to avoid the egg powerup and avoid bumping into the big bubbles with my shield to keep them together; using the lighting bolt powerup was a fatal mistake - it would break up all the large bubbles and leave you trying to weave through a sea of medium-sized bubbles. Several times, I just sat and waited for the powerup to expire if I snagged it accidently.

The original World 5 was very fun and challenging, but a whole lot harder than the rest of the game! I'm glad I had the opportunity to play it.

Red(Posted 2005) [#46]
The previous version of world 5 was designed for non-human players. :)
I think It's better now

xlsior(Posted 2005) [#47]
I managed 5-1 twice, but no chance of doing it five times in a row. :-)

I installed the 1.0.2 (or 1.0.3? That's the version in the installer screen) and finished 5-5 now. Died fighting the end-boss.

One question though: Since it looks like there are less bubbles in level 5 now, are the top high scores still beatable, or are they there for good now?

One of the extras is the question mark, which give you a random power up. It can also give you a +1000 or +5000 points... I've also several times gotten a +0.
xlsior, are you playing version 1.0.1 of plobb?

Yes, 1.0.1 was displaying that behaviour as well as the original 1.0.0. Haven't seen it happen yet in the latest version.

Something else: It's possible to break through the top or bottom of the screen as spikey plobb. Since it rotates off-center, you can swipe your rear below the edge of the screen, and if you turn at the same time you can disappear from the screen altogether. Most of the time you will re-appear on the opposite side of the screen, but I got 'stuck' once, and it took me ~15 seconds of wiggling around outside of the viewport before it re-appeared on the screen.

octothorpe(Posted 2005) [#48]
I managed 5-1 twice, but no chance of doing it five times in a row.

5-1 was by far the hardest because you started with nothing. The later levels you could usually start with a ghost or a shield, if not a weapon to get things started quickly. You surely would have mastered it soon! :)

It's possible to break through the top or bottom of the screen as spikey plobb.

You can break through any edge of the screen with or without the spikey powerup. The trick is to keep the mouse away from Plobb so his turning radius is larger. It's a great way to rack up the points in the bonus level or snag a powerup going off an edge you're close to. Move your mouse closer to Plobb's new position to get him unstuck.

are the top high scores still beatable?

Good point. I could reliably get 600k before the patch. I played through the game just now and came up with 340k points. Unless there's some new scoring mechanism in place that I'm not aware of, the lack of bubbles in world 5 means less potential points.

xlsior(Posted 2005) [#49]
I've made it to the end boss level a couple of times now, but never manage to get far there... He kills me off pretty quickly.

I did manage to get spot #7 in the top 10, with 458K points.

**update** Woohoo, beat the boss, with 479090 points... I have a feeling that those top 5 scores are pretty much impossible to beat with the current version. :-?

QuickSilva(Posted 2005) [#50]
Wow great game and shows Sprite Candy off to great effect. Could I quickly ask how you found SC when working on a full game? Ploob looks great but were there any features missing from SC? I`m currently thing of making a 2D game in BMax but this has got my attention. If you were making the game again would you go with BMax?


Red(Posted 2005) [#51]
features missing from Bmax :
- vertex control ( color,alpha,position ... )
- UV control
- some FXs ( hehe, you should code your own FXs )

differences between Bmax / SC :
- separated images / packed images
- zorder coding / zorder hardware

I think Bmax is faster than B3D SC.
Of course it's my opinion. Perhaps you should ask this question to SC author.

big10p(Posted 2005) [#52]
Is it possible to run this game in 800x600 mode? My monitor doesn't support 1024x768.

Erroneouss(Posted 2005) [#53]
Dude, this is my FAVORITE GAME EVER. I would have bought
it if it was shareware. Awesome work! :)

Spot-Nothing(Posted 2005) [#54]
hooray - plobb! will be published on "bravo - screenfun" (, germany's number 1 kid's game magazine :-)

big10p(Posted 2005) [#55]
Great. Thanks for answering my question. :/

Spot-Nothing(Posted 2005) [#56]
800 x 600: no, sorry. the game requires at least 1024 x 768.

big10p(Posted 2005) [#57]
Oh well. Thanks.

Braincell(Posted 2005) [#58]
Nice and polisht but it seems very slow in terms of movement and rate of fire. I spend like 10 seconds just aiming and holding a button. I understand you wanted each level to last a bit longer that way, but not very entertaining. Gameplay should be measured in milliseconds in these kinds of games. And getting out of the way of an incoming bubble is also slow which makes me feel like im wasting time. The acid bubbles are also pretty damn hard to hit, or im just unskilled in these kinds of games, i dont know.

Increase movement speed, increase rate of fire, make variable bubble hit points.