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Platform Panic Preceded by Fluffball Followed by Silly Sausage in Meat Land
Fluffball
Fluffball 2.0 icon
The game's Nitrome.com 2.5 logo
Description
The game that we were not going to release... now released!
Released Mouse version: Unreleased, but available online as early as 2007
Keyboard: March 5 2015
Play It Miniclip (Mouse), Nitrome.com (Keyboard)
Levels 20
Genre Action
Websites Miniclip, Nitrome.com
Controls
Instr-keyboard

Miniclip version: Mouse (PC Mouse Left Click) - push Fluffball
Nitrome version: UpLeftDownRight/WASD - move Fluffball

Development time Developed in 2007
Credits Design
Mat Annal
Programming
Aaron Steed
Heather Stancliffe
Music
Lee Nicklen
Music
Menu
Fluffball Menu
Game
Fluffball Main

Fluffball is a cancelled Nitrome game that was later released on March 5th 2015. The player controls the fluffball as they navigate him to the end of levels.

The game was developed and finished in 2007 for Miniclip, and even though it went through many revisions, it was cancelled due to dissatisfaction with the final product.[1] After a recent lineup of mobile games, later on due to a drought in browser games and known interest, a version was made available on Nitrome.com on March 5, 2015.

Controls

Controls were modified upon Fluffball's release to the Nitrome.com site.

Miniclip

Nitrome.com

  • UpLeftDownRight / W key A key S key D key Arrow/WASD keys - Move Fluffball

Gameplay

In each level of Fluffball the player has to guide the fluffball to the finish tile. The player must do this without letting the fluffball come in contact with any hazards or enemies, or letting it fall off the level. In order to unlock levels, the player can also collect gems along the way by pushing the fluffball over them. These gems are for scoring purposes only in the Miniclip build, but are necessary to unlock additional levels in the Nitrome.com rerelease.

Levels

The Moon Apple Logo Incomplete section

This section is incomplete. You can help by adding the missing info.

Level 1

This level consists of a winding path, mostly surrounded by a blue enclosure. The player is required to move fluffball to the right, then forwards, turning left at the corner. The path widens near at the start of the longest forward corridor, where the only borderless side of the level exists. Three bushes are scattered where the enclosure's boundaries end. Moving fluffball to the right, among the bushes, will lead to the goal.

Click [show] to see this video


Level 2

Level 2 introduces the first enemy encountered in the game, the circular purple enemies. One is first seen walking horizontally at the end of the diagonal before the path winds right. At the end of the right corridor, another purple enemy can be spotted, walking back and forth vertically as the path veers forward. Unlike the previous level, this level has mostly no borders that prevent fluffball from falling off, except for a few bushes near the start and end of the level and a couple blue walls at the end of the path before it changes direction.

This level also introduces disappearing tiles, which must be crossed to reach the grassy patch on the left side. On this piece of land is the goal, which can be reached by moving downwards.

Click [show] to see this video


Level 3

This level mostly consists of moving along a horizontal strip of land that branches upward and downward, forming multiple intersections. Most of the path is scattered with pieces of blue brick walls, while the outer edges of land have no barrier. The gems are mostly scattered along each branched out path, with some gems on the edges where Fluffball could risk falling off. The finish is designated at the far right end of the main path next to a section that protrudes upward in view of the screen.

Click [show] to see this video


Level 4

Mud is introduced to this level. The path is long and narrow, and involves weaving up and down while preventing Fluffball from veering off to the sides. Fluffball starts by moving downwards, then turning right at the bushes. Avoiding the purple enemy over the patch of mud, Fluffball continues upwards until a pair of bushes is encountered.

The player should now move Fluffball slightly to the right and avoid the horizontally moving enemy as they proceed down. As no bushes are located at the turn of this path, the player must be careful to slow Fluffball near the end to prevent falling off the edge of the path. Fluffball moves to the right and should stop when a small puddle of mud is landed on. The player should continue moving Fluffball up, over another patch of mud, until the finish line is reached.

Click [show] to see this video


Level 5

This level introduces slippery tiles. Fluffball starts this level at the top of a vertically oriented path, just above a patch of slippery tiles. Two gems can be seen on the slippery tiles, while one is close to Fluffball's starting position, next to the edge of the slippery tiles. The player will encounter two sets of slippery tiles down this path. The second one extends to the edges of the path so that no grass can be seen on either side.

After passing the slippery tiles, the path begins to make a down-right diagonal, with two purple enemies walking in the area. One enemy paces back and forth vertically, the other horizontally. The trail veers right, then pivots upward. A patch of slippery tiles is seen at the corner, with three gems on or around the edges.

As the path continues upward, it begins to shift to the left, where a section of slippery tiles occupies the right portion of the route. The player must pass three horizontally walking purple enemies before they can reach the goal.

Click [show] to see this video


Level 6

This level's track is diamond shaped and involves travelling along a thin path around a fence to get to the finish, accessed through the far right opening. The outer edge has no barrier, and players can stay close to the fence to avoid falling off. Gems mostly line the entire outer path of the level's route. Once the player reaches the right corner of the diamond, they can turn Fluffball left to land inside the finish.

Click [show] to see this video


Level 7

Click [show] to see this video


Level 8

Click [show] to see this video


Level 9

Click [show] to see this video


Level 10

Click [show] to see this video


Level 11

Click [show] to see this video


Level 12

Click [show] to see this video


Level 13

Click [show] to see this video


Level 14

Click [show] to see this video


Level 15

Click [show] to see this video


Level 16

Click [show] to see this video


Level 17

Click [show] to see this video


Level 18

Click [show] to see this video


Level 19

Click [show] to see this video


Level 20

Click [show] to see this video


Ending

Penguin 1

This navigational box contains a spoiler. Click [show] to open the box.

Fluffball is seen jumping up and down, happy. Confetti is seen falling from the top of the screen.

Fluffball_ending.gif


Game versions

There are two available versions of Fluffball: a Miniclip version of the game that was submitted to Miniclip and the final revision of the game that was made by Nitrome before the game was cancelled.

Miniclip version

Fluffball star trail

The star line

Fluffball was made back when Nitrome had a deal with Miniclip to make games, this version of the game, referred to on the article as Miniclip version or mouse version, was initially the finished version of the game and the one submitted to Miniclip to post on their website. However, due to both Nitrome and Miniclip being dissatisfied with the quality of the game, it was not released. After that Nitrome did more work on the game to improve its quality before abandoning the game.

The Miniclip version of the Fluffball game is different from the Nitrome version in several ways, the most notable being the controls. In the Miniclip version the player pushes Fluffball around using their mouse to do this. The player's mouse appears similar to a shining asterisk, clicking causing a shining bar of stars to form that is used to push the fluffball around. Although the bar will not tilt, regardless of where the player's cursor is, whenever they click the line of stars will always face the fluffball.

When pushing the fluffball the screen would not scroll, only shifting in one direction if the player reached the edge of the screen. There were a few glitches with the games due to the line of stars, one of these being quick pushing of the line into the fluffball causing it to go behind the line, and another that allowed the fluffball to move on air.

Aside from this, there were also a few other differences from the Nitrome version, these being:

  • The text for others menus of the Miniclip version is shifted more upwards than then Nitrome version.
  • The high scores for the game are briefly shown when the scores button is clicked.
  • The help screen is different, and so is some of the text.

Nitrome version

This version of the game was the final version of the game made by Nitrome in 2007 before the game was cancelled.

The major change to this game from the Miniclip version is that keyboard controls are used instead of the mouse. This change causes the help screen to also be changed to reflect the change into controls. Along with this, the menu is slightly changed to make "Play" more noticeable.

Because Nitrome did not intend to release this version but did so due to interest in the game, a message was added to the start of the game before the startup to notify the user that the game was initially cancelled.

Development

Fluffball was developed in 2007 as part of Nitrome's partnership with Miniclip, development at one point taking place in May 2007.[2] During development the game was called "Furball".[3] The game was finished and submitted to Miniclip to be released[1], Miniclip posting the game on the back of site but not linking to it anywhere on there[1]. Due to both Miniclip and Nitrome's dissatisfaction with the the game it was not released[1].

At this point Nitrome tried to revise the game and after multiple revisions Nitrome decided to cancel it, the final revision of the game replacing the game's mouse controls (used in the version submitted to Miniclip) with keyboard ones[1]. This cancellation happened in 2007[4] and was due to Nitrome not liking the game's controls (both arrow keys and mouse) and not being satisfied with the game's level design [5].

Despite the game's cancellation neither the game's Miniclip page[6] nor the Nitrome slider animation, Nitrome Google search image[7], or Nitrome.com 1.5 icon[8] were taken down, though the game's actual Nitrome.com page was mostly taken down (it redirected to Nitrome.com instead of redirecting to the games page)[9].

On March 2nd 2013, the game's musician Lee Nicklen shared on the NitromeMusic Facebook page how he had found the two tracks he had made for Fluffball and how the game had not been released[2], Nicklen subsequently releasing the tracks on his website[3][10].

The full Fluffball game was later discovered by Nitromians in August 2013[11], whereupon the "Fluffball" article (that had previously only had pertaining to what Lee Nicklen had said) was expanded with content pertaining to the game and a link to the game on Miniclip.

On January 1 2014 when asked about Fluffball Nitrome showed interest in writing a blog post or doing something about the game as it had underwent a "long and potentially interesting" development cycle.[12]

From the discovery of the full Fluffball game onwards Nitrome was consistently asking about the game, though not as much as the amount for other cancelled games.[13] It was due to all these messages that Nitrome in 2015 decided to release the full game on Nitrome.com. This was foreshadowed in the Magic Touch: Wizard for Hire release blog post on February 26 2015 and was meant to make up for the drought in browser releases[14], as there had been no browser game releases for the entire year.

Fluffball was released on Nitrome.com on March 5 2015[15], the version released being the Nitrome version, the final version of the game made by Nitrome before it was cancelled. The release of the game caused the game's page to be made functional, the game's slider animation to be used and Nitrome 2.0 icon created. Although the Google search image was used, it was updated, so it is different from the intended original one. Fluffball was Nitrome's last released Adobe flash game[16].

Assets

Fluffball oddly uses a large amount of assets from previously released Nitrome games, and not in the form of cameos. The amount of used assets is comparable to that of Jelly Beanstalk.

Cameos in other media

Fluffball appears on a balloon in Hot Air 2, on the balloon obtained through completing level 24 Follow The Leader. Finally, close to two years after the creation of the game, Fluffball appears in the Party skin. This appearance in the Party skin may have been added to fill space, or as a joke to Nitromians who actually saw the game (which was none).

Beta elements

Star line

The Miniclip version of Fluffball did not use arrow keys but instead a cursor of stars that when clicked expanded into a line of stars, this used to push Fluffball around. Because the Nitrome version replaces mouse controls with arrow keys, this line of stars is not used at all in the game. Also, it does not exist as a leftover in the Nitrome version of Fluffball's .swf .

Unused content

Nitrome.com 1.5 icon

Because Nitrome intended to release Fluffball when the game was submitted to Miniclip, a Nitrome.com 1.5 icon was created for the game. However, because the game was never released during Nitrome.com 1.5, and instead on Nitrome.com 2.0, the logo was never used.

Google search image

The image that could pop up alongside the Fluffball game page when the Fluffball page was found on Google was changed when Fluffball was released on Nitrome.com. Originally, it showed a small picture of the fluffball that had been expanded to fit the dimensions on the image. When the game was released on Nitrome.com the image was updated, and thus the old image was never used.

Trivia

  • In the Nitrome version of the game, a "warning" is added that informs the player about the game being seen by Nitrome as "rubbish".

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Game Developer's Blog - Nitrome: Play Fluffball!, 5 Mar 15, retrieved 5 Mar 15.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Facebook: Post by NitromeMusic, 3 March 12, retrieved 11 Mar 15. (the game was later revealed to be Fluffball)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Facebook: Post by NitromeMusic: (music is from Fluffball), 3 Mar 12, retrieved 10 Mar 15.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Nitrome on Facebook: Comment by Nitrome: It's a game that we started and canned about 5 years ago., retrieved 13 Mar 15.
  5. Game Developer's Blog - Nitrome: Play Fluffball! → comment by Nitrome: I would say level design was part of it and controls were the other., 7 Mar 15, retrieved 7 Mar 15.
  6. Fluffball - A free Action Game on the Wayback Machine (archived 17 Oct 07)
  7. http://www.nitrome.com/images/jpegs/fluffball.jpg on the Wayback Machine (archived 10 Jul 13)
  8. http://cdn.nitrome.com/images/thumbnails/t_fluffball.png on the Wayback Machine (archived 10 July 13)
  9. http://www.nitrome.com/games/fluffball/ on the Wayback Machine (archived 6 June 13)
  10. Facebook: Post by NitromeMusic, 3 Mar 12, retrieved 10 Mar 15.
  11. Nachospy14490: Nitrome Fluffball Gameplay (August 11 2013)
    NitromeNOBODY: Nitrome Fluffball - Menu [Miniclip]
  12. 12.0 12.1 Nitrome Blog - Wiki Collaboration → Comment by Nitrome:
    Fluffball was never officially canceled or released. It is a long and potentially interesting story and for that reason we may do an article or something about it so I'm going to leave it there....but we do read all these posts so if we don't comment there is usually a good reason.
  13. Nitrome: Unfortunatly [sic] there are many games we don't reveal that don't come to completion. We would mention them but it leads to endless hounding from fans for us to return to them and finish them...

    NOBODY: Fluffball was originally found by me and since the creation of the article I think there have been only a few comments asking about it.

    Game Developer's Blog - Nitrome: New Year? New Games! → comment by Nitrome: I wouldn't say Fluffball hasn't been mentioned. Maybe not as much as some other stuff but it has came up lots of times., 1 Jan 15, retrieved 14 Mar 15.
  14. Game Developer's Blog - Nitrome: Magic Touch - OUT NOW!: Also we may have a special secret something lined up for you browser only folk that should make up for it a bit... shhhh you didn't hear that. (this was referring to Fluffball, which was the next browser game released) , 26 Feb 15, retrieved 14 Mar 15.
  15. Game Developer's Blog - Nitrome: Play Fluffball!, 5 Mar 15, retrieved 14 Mar 15.
  16. Nitrome on Twitter: [1]: but as for developing a lone Flash game, unfortunately no. As this isn't a viable option for us anymore to keep the lights on., 20 Jul 15, retrieved 7 Dec 15.

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