Ball of Woe. A free to play, independent game for iPad, iPhone and Android

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The Mayor of Nicetown
The Woeful Zu
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Ball of Woe

It's Ball of Woe! The tap-style physics-driven thinly-veiled-visual-metaphor for touch devices (iPad, iPhone and Android) in beautiful, liver-crushing 3D. 

Pick the ball you wish to liberate, pick a power by which you will make your godly presence known, and get your sphere on! 
  • One-tap, physics-driven gameplay with a legitimately challenging level of difficulty. (I made it, and I still find it challenging).

  • Damned adorable, lush and colourful 3D graphics.

  • Dark, surreal humour.

  • Eleven glorious environments! Climb up - up - up!

  • Rich musical score! I composed my fingers to the bone to give each environment its own musical feel.

  • A fully-realised narrative adventure - talk to the Zus, interrogate the Woeful, read the mail of Nicetown - a rich, dark tapestry.
The Story

The Zus of Nicetown are sad. Life is hard.

For an immortal - given a long enough time scale, even the constant cycle of inhalation/exhalation becomes a crippling chore.

And so they pray to you. And you hear their prayers - for better or worse... a
nd so here we are.

They have constructed a ball made up of their sorrows - and you; benevolent and handsome as you are - must roll it away from Nicetown, up - up - up - into your dimension. Maybe it's Heaven... maybe it's something else entirely.

And along the way you will see the sights... you will speak with the Zus... you might even engage in a little mail tampering...

And the whole sick affair will gradually come to light.
The Visuals

With such a dark theme at its core, we wanted to bring the mood right back up to 'chirpy' with a lush, colorful visual design. 

We constructed a world with a broad range of environments and color palettes - something that will give you a really delicious sense of exploration and achievement. 

We also love playing with the contrast between cute and dark - so we've created the citizens of Nicetown to be pathetic, sad, lovable... and fun to "liberate".
The Sound Design

I'm an enormous sound enthusiast. Ever since I heard the motorcycle idle sound on Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories for PSP, I have been passionate about creating a tactile sound design for our games.

Ball of Woe is a real aural treat. Each environment has a different mood - a different soundtrack, with different instrumentation, all playing upon a central theme - seamless transitioning as you play. 

It really burrows into your brain and makes you feel the tone we were trying to capture.

I hope so, anyway. I'll leave the final word to you.
About Doppler Interactive

Doppler Interactive is a cosy, two-person development team based in Sydney, Australia. Doppler Interactive is composed of Joshua McGrath - software developer, beard-owner, occasional 3D-modeller; and Jessica Ellis - texture artist and designer of ultra-bizarre game concepts.

We divide our time between deep-space salvaging for scrap (figuratively), and developing games and tools 
using the Unity game engine.

Ball of Woe is the first entry in the greater "Welcome to Nicetown" universe.

Before Ball of Woe, we created Tidy TileMapper (a tool for painting game maps in Unity) and did a little Game Jamming at Global Game Jam 2012 with "The Life and Times of Pepper Jack".
 The Team  

Software developer, quasi-Game Designer, 3D artist and generally glitchy individual. It's Joshua's sweet, facetious tones you're experiencing via our blog and YouTube channel, and his eerily-calm demeanour that is constantly, half-heartedly apologising with: "I'm sorry, I didn't mean for it to
sound harsh, I'm just trying to give you my honest opinion." 

Graphic designer, concept artist and passive-to-the-point-of-non-existence, Jessica is the silent
engine responsible for our lush, strangely-retro and overall beautiful concepts and texture art. She
is also the doting mother of the Nicetown concept, feverishly guarding it against corruption via a
smut-centric co-founder.


Developer: Doppler Interactive
  Based in Sydney, Australia.

• Release Date: 3rd December 2012

• Price: Free

• Platforms: iPad, iPhone,    Android

Press Resources

Press Release: It's bizarre. It's dark. It's… Ball of Woe! Available for iOS and Android.

Or you can contact us!

Image Collections

Ball of Woe Image Collection
 Collection includes:

 Icon, screenshots, logos, titles (15.6mb .zip)

Press Coverage
Indie Games The Weblog 
"The storyline -- in which players roll a ball made up of pure, accumulated misery -- is original and worthwhile."

Kotaku Australia
We participated in Kotaku Australia's "Show and Tell" an interview where we talked about Doppler Interactive and Ball of Woe.

The Indie Game Magazine
"If you prefer your physics based puzzle games to have a dark and surreal sense of humour with a whole bunch of cute and cuddly visuals, than perhaps you should check out Ball of Woe."

Indie Statik
"Ball of Woe seems to be mighty interesting in just about every corner of its design." 

"From the oddball plot that unfolds as you play (and tamper with mail – you’ll see) to the bright, appealing visuals to the shifting music to the extremely sticky gameplay, Ball of Woe is something refreshingly different"

Bunch of Gamers 
"The game is a really great experience … the design, story and overall sense of strangeness that you’re going to feel, playing it, don’t really compare to anything else." 4 Stars

"The game is both easy to play, yet hard to navigate – the interesting obstacles are annoyingly difficult to move around and will have you trying again and again to better your progress through levels."

Android Mag DE
This review was in German, so I didn't want to include a translated quote, but they did give Ball of Woe 4 Stars!

Sticky Trigger Entertainment
"The game is hard, is possibly the simplest way I could say it, but in that challenge there is definitely satisfaction." 8/10