Here’s the current status on my Weekend Tower Defense game.
So the changes since the last video I posted are 2 new tower types, Wave and Laser. The Wave tower hits all enemy in range simultaneously and deals a lot of damage, but fires very slowly. The laser does very little damage per hit, but fires continuously, so it works well for lots of fast, weak enemies.
There’s also a wave counter showing all the upcoming waves so that the player can actually make plans instead of just reacting to what’s coming right now. I’ve finally balanced the amount of money the player has throughout the level with the strength of the enemies, so that you actually have to make a plan in order to finish the level without taking damage. It’s not too hard yet, but it’s a start.
I’ve been playing around this last week with Flixel. It’s an open source game-making library for flash that will hopefully make it a little bit easier to develop games in the future. I’m hoping it will also teach me the “proper” way to program a game, since it supports game states and automates a lot of collision detection, event detection and clean-up. This should at least eliminate my horrible AS3 event scripting in the future (events are a nightmare in AS3 because they can cause a lot of memory leaks).
I moved to Savannah, GA about a month ago and have been loving life in the city. We’re right in the heart of downtown, so I can walk to everything. Just filled up my gas tank for the first time in a month.
Today I went for a 3 mile walk over at Wormsloe Historic Site. It was a sunny 70 degrees and I’ve got a bit of a sunburn from spending 2 hours in the sun yesterday.
Now that I’m properly settled in, I’m hoping to spend some regular time working on my games again. I’ve been kicking around a few ideas for what I’d like to work on in the future, but I feel like I need to finish one of my existing games first. The tower defense game is what’s currently on my list. I’ll try to keep the updates coming.
The first set of changes I’ve made to the game were to add a tower design section. My current idea is that as you play levels, you will earn pieces of equipment for your towers. Then you’ll go into the tower design to equip each of your towers.
Players will only be able to use the top 4 towers at a time, but they will be able to design up to 8. Each tower will have a basic type, but the equipment will give customization, either to increase the tower’s abilities, or to decrease the cost of the towers. Currently, all you can do is reorder the towers. I think for a temporary fix I’ll implement the ability to manually adjust the tower stats so that I can test new builds.
Initial version completed last night
I’ve updated it slightly since uploading this video. Now the buttons slide into their new order over a 0.25 second animation, making it more clear which towers are moving and what the new order is.
The next things I’ll be working on are:
1. Actually allowing tower stats to be changed.
2. Saving the tower designs to the local machine.
3. Adding a couple different base tower types (such as an instant fire laser and an area of effect tower).
Well, we finished up around 5 and you can play the results for yourself here. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the chance to actually put a win condition in there for our one and only map. We also didn’t get around to making any additional towers, so you’re stuck with the standard tower. It’s currently getting a 1.85/5 rating on Kongregate.
Currently, our plan is for each of us to take the results and add on to it ourselves to see who can make a better game. Perhaps the updated versions will actually rate as games instead of just prototypes of games. We’ll see…
Overall, I’m very happy with the results of this weekend. This kind of tempts me to submit the current prototype of my TBS game, but I don’t think it’s quite ready. Hopefully some time soon.
Now that Ken is more familiar with coding a game in general and with AS3 specifically, I think we’ll try another one of these game jams in the future. It was incredibly productive and I felt like a learned a lot from the experience too.
Ok, so lot’s of coding done over the last 24 hours. The game now acts like an actual game, just without the help interface bits that make it possible to understand the rules. And without the restrictions of needing funds in game to purchase towers. And without any actual strategy because there’s only one tower type and one enemy type. But now it works.
Here’s a video of the results so far.
Next is making a more interesting map, more towers, more enemies and an actual game mechanic where you can win or lose.
My friend Ken and I started a game jam Friday night. I’ve been up working on this game for almost 9 hours now, and while what I have doesn’t look too impressive, there’s a lot of planning that’s already been completed as well as a few technological issues caused by Windows Vista (his computer, not mine). Also, it’s been mostly me on the programming because he’s both more sensitive to alcohol and less sensitive to caffeine.
I figured I’d post the results so far for all to see. It’s not much: a tiled map generator, a “Tower” that fires bullets at (0,0), sound effects, music and a mute button. But I think we’ve laid a good foundation and have a good plan of attack for the next 36-48 hours. Without further ado, here’s the game currently.
Hopefully we’ll have much more come tomorrow afternoon. Stay tuned!
I’ve completed re-coding my game from scratch and the code is much cleaner and much more reusable this time. I managed to add some background music and sound effects during attacks. I’ve also got a stage selection page working (though admittedly it’s not much at this point). I think it’s much more obvious now which units can still be moved, and the flow of each turn is much smoother (though you’ve lost the ability to attack before moving). The music and sound effects are just filler at the moment, I’m going to try and compose my own bg music at some point. As promised, here’s the video:
Please ignore the 2 spots in the video where the music skips forward. I had a couple bugs pop up that required me to review my code midway through the videos and didn’t have the time to figure out what was causing the errors.
I need some feedback on the control scheme. Currently, you choose to not attack anything by clicking on the unit again or by clicking on an empty attack square. I forgot to show it in the video, but if you click outside of the highlighted move/attack area, you cancel the turn (this can’t be done after an attack is completed). Should I change this? I found myself accidently choosing not to attack a couple times during testing. Would a menu that gives you the option to attack, end or cancel be more useful after the movement selection is complete? Your feedback is appreciated!
It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything and I think I can finally share what else I’ve been doing outside of work and programming my game. My wife and I are preparing to move out of state.
We’ve both lived in the Ann Arbor, MI area our whole lives and we’re making plans to move to Savannah, GA this summer. So most of March was spent getting the house ready for sale, applying for jobs and looking at apartments. We took a trip down there in the beginning of April, but weren’t able to anything productive besides relax. I think I’ve finally recovered from all the prep work we had to do and I’m ready to return to game development.
As far as the game goes, my reprogramming from scratch is nearly complete. The game is playable once again by two players and I’m in the process of rewriting the game’s AI. Once that’s done I’ll post another video (this week, I promise). So far I’ve added the ability to switch stages to the game and made it so you can move the screen with a click and drag instead of moving the mouse to the edge of the screen.
Upcoming list of changes:
-Auto end turn after all units have moved
-Highlight units left to move, darken units after turn complete
-Add zombie units to game
-Create unit images/animations (could be a while on this one)
-Add music/sound effects (trying to add temp music/effects soon)
So it’s another busy weekend, with little time for coding. But I did have time to create a gameplay video from the old code which is currently uploaded to Flash Game License.
Some of the features seen in this video have already been removed from the newest version. The two buttons that appear when you click on a unit have been removed in favor of automatically going to movement. The game no longer scrolls when you go to the edges of the map either, it’s now a click and drag interface.
Also, none of the images in the video are the final versions, they’re just pictures I pulled from Google to have something to work with. Let me know what you think in the comments.
So…. not much work has been done on my game lately. I’ve been really busy with house repairs being done last week into this weekend and my car needing to be fixed late this weekend up until today. On a positive note, I’ve been so exhausted when I get home that I’ve been getting 9-10 hours of sleep every day this week. So this weekend I should be good to go.
Also, it seems that computer issues are catching in my house. A week after I recovered my game code with the decompiler, my desktop died. I’m planning on using the desktop to create my game art, so this is yet another set back. I’m going to need to reinstall Windows XP on it, so I’ll do that once I get my installation disk back from my friend. Fortunately, I installed Windows XP on a separate partition from all my data in case of such an issue. So I’ll also start working on my game art this weekend.
I’m not going to wait this long for my next update. I promise something will be done for my game this weekend and if I can figure out my video capture software, I’ll post a video on Sunday.