Saturday, 1 November 2014

Shuffleboard King: Your New Must-Have Android Game

Well, here it is, the efforts of the past few months which I've given the catchy name: Shuffleboard King.

I'll probably regret this in the morning but I've now released my first game onto the Play Store (hopefully, it should appear here in the coming hours). I might have delayed more but I'm mentally and physically exhausted and this is a somewhat daunting moment and I just wanted out of the way so I can move on and improve the game.

What is Shuffleboard King? Well, it's the version of shuffleboard I wanted to make for myself and for my friends who regularly play shuffleboard on their tablets. The problem with current shuffleboard games is that they feel quite artificial to play. Their physics tend to feel and look quite scripted in that you throw a puck and the damn thing flies out of your hand in a perfect straight line. Even the best shuffleboard game out there feels like the computer is playing the game for you.

So, I thought I'd try to make a shuffleboard game myself and this is the result.
I'd like to say it was 'easy' but, in truth, there are many hundreds of hours of work in this and it's probably thousands of hours if I take into account the many months before I started, just to learn Unity and all the other packages I used in this game's creation.

The part I'm most proud about, I guess, is the version of Sjoelen included in the game.
I nearly released this a few weeks ago but at the last moment, I discovered Dutch Shuffle (called Sjoelen on the continent). I watched a few videos and got hooked on the gameplay. I also realised that I could add my own Sjoelen mode to Shuffleboard Kings using the code I'd already written and, an extra month of work later, I'd expanded my original three game modes to include a fourth.

Those 4 games are the traditional shuffleboard, Sjoelden (Dutch Shuffle), as well as two games of my own creation: Angleboard and Crossboard, which do pretty much as described. On Angleboard, you bounce your shuffle off a rail so you have to play around a 90 degree bend in the table . In Crossboard, you can throw your puck from one of four sides toward a target in the centre of the table.

There's a tournament mode, in which you play opponents who are increasingly difficult to beat. There's also a challenge mode in which you have to beat 50+ challenges, such as throwing the winning puck on a board already dominated by your opponent.

I know there'll be bugs, typos, and probably even the occasional glitch. Some I can't fix but are part of the Unity engine. Others, I'll work hard to eradicate in the coming months, should enough people actually play the game.

I hope you will take a chance and play the game and perhaps, if you do, you could tell me what you think in kind, even patronising, words.


  1. Looks great!


    I can't get my puck anywhere near the score zone on my tablet...

    If I go to options I get stuck there - reset game doesn't do anything...

    And if I go back to my Android home page and click on the game again my tablet reboots...

  2. Thanks Barman for the quick feedback. That sounds like trouble.

    Can you tell me what tablet it is? Are you saying you can't adjust the sensitivity controls which are accessible via the small hand to the upper left of the screen. Concerned by the reboot. I'll look into this ASAP.

    Reset game actually resets the game in the sense of it resetting your progress, etc.

  3. Tablet is a Pipo M9 Pro

    I did play with the sensitivity but obviously not enough... If I wind it right up to 20 I can get in the score zone if I whiz it really hard...

    In fact, I just won a game! :)

    Still have the problem with settings though...

    Press reset game and nothing happens.... just now I went from there to the Home key and it rebooted...

  4. Sorry, I should have mentioned that I've loaded a new ROM on the tablet and it is running KitKat....

  5. I'll do a check about the pipo and I can easily make the sensitivity higher if needed. I needed to release it to find exactly these issues and hopefully, version 1.1 will be improved thanks to your feedback.

    The main option Reset button is only there to reset challenges and internal gamestate. I should really add feedback to show it works or remove it.

    Kit kat not a problem. Running it on my Samsung for months with no problems.

    Really glad you won a game, though. ;)

  6. Brilliant!

    There is no other 'exit' from the options page apart from reset game...

  7. Hmm... That is weird. There is definately a close button at the bottom. I'll look into this. Might be screen resolution related. If so, I'll fix it immediately. Thanks for spothing it. Any chance of a screen shot? Would help enormously.

  8. Ah. Yes. Seen problem. It's top left but ads might obscure it. I'll do a fix tonight. Running with real ads is something I hadn't done until now. Thanks Barman.

  9. No problemo!

    Can you put a fix in so that I win every time...?

  10. Based on ip address? Yes, I could do that but how about an even bigger thanks than you've already got in the credits? Perhaps in sonnet form? ;)

  11. Another little bug I think...

    I just lost as crossboard...

    I got the animation 'shame your opponent won' or whatever but it was the wrong colour on the rostrum....

  12. And I don't know if this helps...

    But the side to side sensitivity is much greater than the up and down...

    So, when I am playing Sjoelen, I can barely get the puck to reach the gates with sensitivity at 20...

    BUT, if I try to launch the puck left or right I get much more speed and it clacks from one side to the other for ages...

  13. I'll double check the rostrum.

    On sjoelen, you can't move you finger past the bar. The knack is to pull back a little before you throw and to stop short of the bar. The throw should be device independent but I'll check that too.

  14. Can I just say (having just got around to downloading and not tried it yet), how nice it is to install an app and for it to not need "any special permissions".

  15. Thank you. I, admit, I was surprised when I installed it for the first time and realised it required no special permissions. Not that I want to access anything that needs permissions but I thought simple access to the internet, to post highscores and unlock achievements, would have counted.

    I guess you could call me naive but I hate modern gaming and the EA Dungeon Keeper style grind-unless-you-give-us-money or the hey-give-us-your-Facebook-login-and-we'll-tell-your-friends-what-you're-doing. I know these companies do it to make money (and they're a hell of a lot more successful than I'll be) but it's not what any of this should really be about.