I'll think about this some more. While there are ways for an advanced player to nullify enemy fire (the Goalie Dive, for one), it's true that by simply firing a lot you have a good chance of dominating the table. It's unclear whether the jurors were aware of the Lunge mechanic or other advanced techniques, or had time to learn them.
My takeaway is that Ping is definitely fun, and it's just some slight refinements and polish away from being a solid party game. None of the issues the jurors brought up were major. And with 4-player mode (which I do intend to introduce), Ping will be taken to the next level.
The Home Stretch
With the trailer nearly complete, it's back to developing the game. My goal is to finish the game in 4 weeks or less and release about a month after that. In order to facilitate finishing, I've decided to scrap Training Mode, replacing it with Practice Mode plus an online video tutorial series to introduce & demonstrate advanced moves. This way I don't have to program a scripted series of interactive tutorials. Instead, the player can practice the techniques they learn on the web against a dummy paddle.
So that means my basic objectives are:
- Finish the campaign & iterate the difficulty curve to satisfaction
- Implement the saving/unlocking system (trophies, medals, etc)
- Refine rough edges on tables that aren't balanced yet (like Dance Club) or have confusing background visuals (like Final Frontier)
- Add an options menu & other refinements
- Bugfixes, bugfixes, bugfixes
I don't know whether it's possible to finish all this in a month, but I'll crack down and see what happens.
Even though once these features are done I'll be releasing Ping for PC (and hopefully Mac), my job will be far from finished. Hopefully sales from the game will be enough to facilitate porting Ping to iOS and Android as well as expanding the game's features, including the feature I'm most excited about: 4-player mode.
PING PRO TIP: Check out the new How To Play page to see the in-progress instruction manual for Ping. This page will eventually feature video tutorials so you can master your Ping techniques.