Announcing “QBOB”

Badlogic Games is announcing the development of it’s super awesome, super secret new game, code named “QBOB” alias “Insane Spacepopes from Y-7”. It will be available for Windows, Linux, Mac OSX as well as Android some time 2011 (yeah, right…). Get excited now or else the kitten gets it!

So what is QBOB? Cuboc on steroids! For now we play around with concepts for the most part and use the old Cuboc as a prototype to figure out control schemes and the like. The endevour ties into the libgdx work i do. First of all, it’s all about eating my own dog food. Second of all, i have a super awesome 3D artist that helps us (Eric and myself) immensely with getting the 3D API for libgdx right, especially the asset pipeline. Here’s a nice little sample of the 3D API, using an asset from QBOB.

Some technical details:

  • We essentially go for a tiled world, but use 3D tiles instead of 2D tiles.
  • All animations will use keyframed models due to better performance characteristics as compared to skeletal models. The jury is out on that one still, maybe i can pull of GPU vertex skinning that works acceptably on lower end GLES 2.0 devices as well.
  • The gameplay will essentially be 2D which allows us to integrate Box2d for extra awesome sauce.
  • The “engine” will use the fullblown 3D API of libgdx, anything that is developed for them game will become part of libgdx and vice versa. Eat your own dog food ftw!
  • I’m creating a fullblown level editor with quite a bit a few bells and whistles like visual scripting support, insta-playback and so on. You should see the design doc for that sucker, it scares me to death.

On the artsy fartsy side there’s of course a shitton of work todo as well. Shiu is spending all his time on concepting, modelling, rigging, building blocks and so on and so forth. Here’s a sample:

We have quite a hefty design doc that defines the entire story (which is pretty elaborate if i might say so), fitting game mechanics, the art style, and so on and so forth which makes me confident that we can pull it off. We try to keep the scope manageable which also means that some of Shiu’s artsy fartsy ideas go the way of the Dodo.

Apart from all this design work we also have to reality check out stuff. For now we use the LD Cuboc version to come up with a proper control scheme for Android. And that’s where you come in!

We prepared a special Cuboc version for Android that should reflect the mechanic as it will be implemented in QBOB. You can find it here or alternatively use the following QR code:


We don’t give you any kind of instructions, you are supposed to figure out the controls yourself. What we are most interested in:

  • What do you think of the intertia, velocities, acceleration, damping and general feel of the controls?
  • What parts are intuitive, what parts aren’t?
  • What pisses you off to no end?
  • What makes you a happy kitten?
  • What do you think of the button placement?

Please do not judge the following:

  • The art style
  • Bugs, this is a hacked up thingy that is bound to crash every now and then.

We are aware of those short comings and will make darn sure they are not included in QBOB. We’ll have such public tests every now and then. No need to sign up anywhere, no need to pay up-front. Just look for news in this space every now and then. Looking forward to your feedback!

With love,
Team Douche Canoe

10 thoughts on “Announcing “QBOB”

  1. Hi,

    Just tried the new Cuboc version and loved it! The only complain that I have is that I had some (little) trouble figuring how to make the cube stop on the desired position after moving it ( press the cube button again ). I think that changing the button sprite would be more intuitive. Another point is the initial acceleration for the player, as sometimes I wanted to be very close to the laser beans and he suddenly bumped over it.

    Alas, great work!

  2. What do you think of the intertia, velocities, acceleration, damping and general feel of the controls?

    I love the physics. Feels very easy to control the character.

    What parts are intuitive, what parts arenโ€™t?

    What in the hell is that button under the cube control supposed to do? From my understanding it’s some sort of running jump? This was the only part of the game that wasn’t straight forward.

    What pisses you off to no end?

    The inability of the cube to keep up with the character.

    What makes you a happy kitten?

    Controls are great, gameplay is solid.

    What do you think of the button placement?

    As good as it can get on the 4” screen of mine.

  3. @Jake
    Thanks for your input.

    The button under the cube is to release the cube and send it back to the boy, the graphics for that were something that was done in a few seconds and doesn’t really “work”

    By keeping up with the character do you mean having the cube at the same speed as the boy or just following him. The “release” button is meant to do this ๐Ÿ™‚

    Over the next couple of days we will add some more polish to the controls and possibly also implement various control schemes so we can get a general feel for all of them and see what works and what doesn’t

    Your input is much appreciated, thank you once again.

  4. @Victor thanks for the input, the sprites for the controls are all just placeholders for now, they will all be changed ๐Ÿ™‚ glad you like it

  5. What do you think of the intertia, velocities, acceleration, damping and general feel of the controls?

    The controls are good, but could be better. The movement of the character feels fine, however the movement of the cube can be weird at times. For example, when moving it up or down, sometimes I just want to move it a tiny bit. I will set it, and realize I can’t jump on top of it, so I try to move it a tiny bit down, but it goes a little further down than I’d like.

    What parts are intuitive, what parts arenโ€™t?

    Moving and jumping for the character were straight forward. Had to mess around with the other two buttons to get what they did. But after 20 seconds or so of messing around, I understood the controls.

    What pisses you off to no end?

    Well, it takes a lot to piss me off lol, but if there was something…I would say the cube controls. It just doesn’t feel right, for the example I gave above. It just moves too much for a small tap on the screen.

    What makes you a happy kitten?

    Believe it or not…the cube! (even tho the controls could use some work). I think the way in which you use the cube is very clever.

    What do you think of the button placement?

    Feels fine. The movement and jump buttons are placed fine, as it would be pretty intuitive for a person who is used to a console controller. The other 2 buttons seem ok as well, but maybe make the background on them more transparent so they don’t completely block the view of the screen.

    Btw…you can press anywhere above the left and right movement buttons and make the guy move left and right.

    Overall, it’s a cool little game, and I’m interested to see how it would play in a 3D environment.

  6. on a HTC Desire:

    Tried it, loved it.
    Controls are inntuitive and the movement/gravity feels fine.

    Dunno if that counts as bug – sometimes the jump is not recongniced while running (that was the only thing that pissed me off next to my clumsiness to dodge missiles)

    Cube Control:
    I tried to move the cube by drag-n-drop. That would be cool.

  7. Tested – Excellent concept!! You could do some super cool stuff with it! May I make a little suggestion though? Have more than just a movable cube. Introduce the player to a different secondary object in level 2, then another in level 3, etc, then make levels where you have to switch from one to the next mid-level to solve it. I love stuff like that.

  8. Looking forward to the next steps especialy with the graphic post that just poped up ๐Ÿ™‚

    Cons :
    – Buttons on the right top side… when heading toward them with protagonists…
    – The box arrows and movement are not fun, rather slow compared to the guy
    Pros ;
    – Guys responsiveness.
    Suggestion :
    – while going right it might be fun to have a scroll toward this direction with some kind of inertia to avoid going back on forth to no end.
    – for the box, point and click or drag drop plus a scroll taking into account the direction aimed might be pleasant. Especially with a nice 3d design (ah the new post)
    – any chance to have 2 boxes ๐Ÿ˜‰ sorry (just focus on the interface)

  9. The controls are fine on a phone. However on a 10″ tablet it’s really inconvenient to use cube buttons on the right top side. It takes forever to move your finger from the bottom of the screen to the tops and kinda distracts you from the game.
    There’s also small concern with dpad buttons placement for the cube. Left/right buttons that control boy are lower than left/right buttons for the cube.

  10. Wow, thanks alexander for the awesome feedback. I never thought about the issue on tablets. We’ll take that into account for the final game. Thanks a ton!

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