‘Polarity Ball Rubicon’ Enters Private Beta
It’s been a year and a half since the original Polarity Ball was published in the Oculus Store. In that time, the game has been enjoyed by over 5000 people, which is not a lot, but among those who play, they seem to enjoy coming back and playing again. On any given day, around 100 people will play a quick game of Polarity Ball. My plan was always to create a sequel, if I thought there was enough interest from users. I never set an exact benchmark, but by fall 2017, nine months into Polarity Ball’s lifespan, I began work on the sequel.
Today, nine months into work on the sequel, PBR has entered private beta. Invites have been sent out to a small, select group of users whose performance data will be used to help fine-tune the game before release.
Polarity Ball Rubicon is not merely a visual upgrade to Polarity Ball; the game was re-imagined and rebuilt from the ground up. The new scoring system utilizes a pair of bull’s eyes, one on each end of the court.
Gone are the grid lines that turned on and off with possession. Possession is now indicated on the Scoreboard.
There are also now three types of Power-Ups that a player can collect and use to add variety, and potentially higher scores, given a certain amount of luck, and a certain amount of skill.
Gravity Toggles do exactly what they say. Using one will toggle the court’s gravity either on or off. Turning gravity off has a few advantages that can, in a round-about way, result in higher points and more Power-Ups collected.
Polarity Swaps can be used to throw the ball back toward your opponent’s side, when it’s already past your Paddle Zone. Use them wisely.
Combo Multipliers make the scoring behave much like it did in the original Polarity Ball, where the ball counts how many times it bounces, then multiplies the score by the bounces, leading to very, very high scores. But be warned: a Combo Multiplier remains active until it hits the center of the bulls eye. If the other player manages to take possession, such as through a Polarity Swap, then they too are awarded combo points.
The next big feature currently in development is the game tutorial. The current batch of brave souls in the closed Beta are playing the game without the benefit of a tutorial. Once the tutorial is ready, the game will move into Open Beta, and an opt-in form will be created so that curious owners of either an Oculus Go or Samsung Gear VR will be able to try the game before it is released.