A downloadable game

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A pinball x farming simulator game made for Ludum Dare 41 and UCLA ACM Studio Jam with the theme: combine 2 incompatible genres!

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CONTROLS

Left Flipper - A Key

Right Flipper - D Key

Pinball Spring - S Key

Farm and Menus - Mouse

Click on an item in your inventory to select it and then click on a farm plot to plant it. You can water a plant by clicking on it and harvest it in the same way when it's fully grown!

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This is our first Ludum Dare! Created by Kiana Mosser (@kianamosser) and Matt Fisher (@MattFDraws). Kiana did the art, Matt did the music, SFX, and menus, and both of us programmed.

Download

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Click download now to get access to the following files:

PinballGardener_v0.0.4.0.zip 4 MB
PinballGardener_v0.0.4.0.exe 17 MB

Development log

Comments

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(+1)

I really enjoyed this little game. I left my thoughts and first impressions on this video here. 

This is quite a belated response, but thank you so much for playing our early alpha prototype and sharing your thoughts! :) I also loved playing Space Cadet growing up, and Pokemon Pinball was one of our inspirations for this game as well because it's one of the few pinball games that adds mechanics beyond pinball itself.

I laughed when you realized you might be able to keep farming infinitely - in the early state where the ramps didn't work yet, balancing the game was pretty much choosing between letting the player infinitely farm or making them lose money (or break even) by farming.

We're working on overhauling the whole game with more boards and lots more to do! It may be a long ways off before the updated version is playable since the feel of the game is largely dependent on the design of the board, but for now we've made some tweaks to the game feel to make it slightly more playable (you can now semi-reliably hit the ramps thanks to aim assistance just like a real pinball game, and the variables related to physics were adjusted). Although there isn't even a week's worth of development in the playable prototype I'm really happy with the concept and I agree, it could potentially be really fun with more work put into it!

well I'm excited to hear from you and even more so with the idea of this game being updated. It was a lot of fun, and I think expanding the concept could be really cool. 

(+1)

Great idea! Love playing it. Maybe have it when you roll up the left side ramp it gives you 5% water and if you roll up the right ramp% it progresses a random crop by one stage. Just ideals. Once again I love this game and hope more gets added to it.

Great idea, that was actually the original concept for the ramps! We uploaded another alpha build where they now function (though the right ramp currently grows all crops rather than just one - I think it may be most balanced to grow more than one random crop but not necessarily all of them). Thanks so much for commenting! We're slowly starting up development again and plan on adding a lot more features to the game. It may take a while but I really like the concept of the game and am determined to not abandon it. :)

(1 edit) (+1)

The idea of mixing farming and pinball together is certainly creative. The artstyle and music all go together to create a strong consistent tone.

Gameplay wise however, I do have a couple of criticisms. 

Firstly, I'm not sure the tie between the 2 gameplay models is strong enough yet. I found myself playing pinball for ages, then farming for a while but the connection felt to vague. I never really knew which I should be doing, it was more of a "I guess I'll do x". I think perhaps it's because the purchasing and selling plants is too separate from the pinball. Perhaps if the bushes gave you random plants instead of money it would help the game flow better. Also, if plants grew over time rather than as soon as you water them this would help control the pacing a little better. 

The idea of buying a new ball certainly helps to enforce the connection though so nice job there, but perhaps this could be taken further. As there isn't much difference in the crops besides numbers, you could maybe have potatoes and tomatoes be balls or something like that, though I could see how that would require some bigger changes. My general point is that the plants could also affect the gameplay in interesting ways besides money. You could even have the plants need to be planted on the game field.

As for the pinball itself, it was a little off phyisics wise. The ball felt incredible fast compared to what it probably should, though at times it would be the opposite and feel slow (after hitting a wall I think). Also, sometimes when it felt as though I should have hit the ball it would just stop on the flipper. I'm guessing this was because it hit it just after the flipper stop it's rotation but you may want to consider having a rule that says if the the ball hits the flipper a tick or 2 after flipping, shoot it up as if it just hit it; similar to how some platformers allow you to jump a few ticks after falling off a platform.

I think that's everything. Hope this helps and good luck growing the game out further. 

Edit: I also think it might be a little too hard to get water at the moment, given that it's the only way to really aid the farming and make it beneficial as far as I can tell (else buying water means you gain and lose no money). The whole buying water thing can just leave you in and endless loop where you're forced to quit. I think if water was easier to get in the pinball (rather than buyable) then planting would be more reliable. 

This is a belated reply, but thank you so much for your compliments and for taking the time to write out such detailed feedback! I definitely agree with all your points and we'll be taking them into account as we pick up developing the game again. We originally had a lot more planned to integrate the pinball game and the farming more seamlessly, but because we only had a weekend to work on the game for LD41 we ended up having to prioritize just trying to make the game even playable over adding more features, haha. It will be a while before we're able to implement all our ideas and release a new version with everything, but in the meantime we updated the early alpha build to make it slightly more playable (easier to hit the ramps with the aid of aim assistance, tweaks to the physics variables, the ramps actually give you water/grow stuff now, etc.).

My hopes have been dashed with the message "not available on Windows"! (A friend sent the link to me, I don't know what platform it is originally intended for.) Looks like a super fun game--I love seeing creative variations on pinball mechanics!

Where are you getting this message? The game should be playable on Windows, as it was made in Game Maker Studio 2. However, it isn’t currently playable on Mac, because a Mac OS computer is unfortunately required to export for the platform even if you own a license to do so. (I’ve considered borrowing or purchasing a laptop to export later builds, so Mac users don’t despair.)

I have been using the itch.io app on desktop (in Windows 10). I prefer the desktop app over the browser site since installing games from the app keeps it all nice and tidy in a hidden folder instead of cluttering the downloads/desktop. 

I wonder if it's an issue with certain file types--shortly after I made the original comment ,I was looking at a friend's game that also showed this message in the app, even though it was definitely a Windows-compatible executable. Now that I am looking at your game on the web browser, it lets me download it just fine.

This seems to be a stupid bug that I encountered with some other games as well. Kiana, that is the reason why I made my post here some months ago. The problem still exists, the itch app says "not available".

That is really strange! I wonder if it's been fixed in the latest version of GMS2. We converted the project for the original alpha build recently and it broke some stuff, but we fixed everything and re-exported it with some game feel improvements.

Looks neat, how do I play this?

You can either download the installer and run it to have the game playable as an application (you may be more familiar with this method), or download and extract the .zip version so that you can run the executable for the game.

(1 edit) (+1)

i just publish this video. is it really hard to make money? 1 carrot 30$ + 3 water @10$ and sell maybe around 50$ 55$? i play it when it just release for a few hours :D

hope you enjoy it!

Thanks for playing! :) It was made easier to gain money in a later build, and there should be other methods of gaining money added in the future.

(1 edit)

I really like this idea. 

I feel like you are not rewarded very much for hitting the extremely difficult loops. I actually  made the most money by purely farming!!! 

I love the idea keep working on it!! I would buy this!!! It need work though for sure but I will pay!

The art is just fantastic and the sounds are clean. I don't want my comment to sound negative because I don't leave many reviews and I really liked this and its aesthetic and would love to see it go further and see you make more stuff!!!

Thank you very much! The loops aren’t functional yet, but there will be aim assistance like in real pinball games and you’ll be rewarded with nice stuff for hitting them. Props for being able to hit the loops unassisted, that takes skill!

(1 edit)

Interesting.

Aim assist at the site of the paddle? Or at the site of the ramp? 

I feel like I haven't really seen much aim-assist in pinball before, I'm curious how it works.

Even in big-name pinball tables, I usually just see ramps (or triggers) kinda aligned with the three main ways the ball can reach the paddle:

- Slow rolling ball (from gutter) [slightly wide, can go straight up, difficult to hit edge ] (typically see this aimed at main basic simple loops)

- Fast moving ball (from gutter) [goes very wide, easy to hit edge, hard to hit straight up] (typically see this aimed at edge/outside speed loops)

- Trapped ball (trapped in corner of paddle) [goes straight up, can hit basic loop, hard to hit edge] (typically see this aimed at combo enders (see medieval madness, theater of magic, etc) some kind of way trigger stuff or finish your combo or whatever.


Sorry, this came out long, all I'm trying to say is that a big of table rearranging and adding a couple ramps in satisfying spots that the ball ALREADY tends to go might prevent you guys from having to go crazy writing up some complicated aim assist mechanism and all that jazz.

Best wishes and positive thoughts with your guys' project.

In real pinball machines, aim assist is achieved through the use of magnets! Essentially, the ball is subtly boosted and course-corrected in select locations, but not to the point it's very noticeable. It definitely improves the game feel, though.

We ended up doing both in the alpha build that's currently up - we rearranged the existing ramps slightly so there's a clearer line of sight, and adding in some aim assistance (velocity of the ball is boosted when entering a ramp at the correct velocity). I think eventually it'd help to both overhaul the entire physics system (we used GMS2's default physics engine which I believe is based on Box2D because let's face it, coding slopes from the ground up during Ludum Dare is not a good time) and add more precise ways of controlling the ball in ways that aren't as noticeable to the player (like adding in "sweet spots" to the flippers that, under the right conditions, will always go to a particular area of the board). And of course, redesigning the board with much more thought put into the positioning of things in regards to the arcs of the ball will help!

P.S. Sorry for the belated reply! I want you to know we appreciated your comments :)

(+1)

Hello! I really enjoyed your game, it has such a cool concept and is very fun to play! (just ignore my not realising there was sound ^-^') I made a let's play of your game here~

What a cute Let’s Play! Thank you for making this! :)

I think you downloaded during version 0.0.2 when it was indeed very hard to make money! Besides tweaking the balance, we’re working on other ways to make money and get a good profit margin. Keep an eye on the devlog if you’d like to try it out when more features are added!

I'm glad you enjoyed it!! 

Ahh I see, well that's alright. I had a feeling my farm wasn't heading the way of profit anyway haha :D

(+1)

very cute and super fun! i think maybe you should add a little explanation that you have limited pinballs tho im mostly just a little stupid for not seeing the obvious haha mostly i really wish the game has reset button? sorry if it does and i just couldnt find it!

(+1)

Thanks! I can add it into the rules page in the next patch. :)

There's no “game over” screen yet - I’m working on one that will only give you a game over if you don’t have enough resources to farm yourself up to any more lives, and tally up your total score so you know how you did.  I’ve put a small “Back” button in the lower right corner of the screen as a temporary hotfix (effectively a reset). Please be careful, because you will lose your progress upon returning to the title screen!

(1 edit)

thank you! the updates you've done have really made it much more fun to play!

(+1)

I'm glad to hear that! I hope the features we're working on will make the game even more fun!

(+1)

Super fun and adorable!

Straight out of a storybook! 10/10 in mine!

(+1)

Thanks! I'm glad you found the game fun even in its basic state. I enjoy the cute and friendly look of storybooks, so that's nice to hear!

(+2)

I enjoyed this entry!

I'd love to play a more complete version of it!

Thanks! We're working on some more features, so keep an eye on the devlog if you'd like to try things out as they come.