Author Topic: Innovation in TD games  (Read 5291 times)

Offline RCIX

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Innovation in TD games
« on: July 12, 2010, 06:51:14 AM »
I was thinking about what the real problems were with TD and it's this: the creeps don't fight back. If you had the ability to dynamically place turrets wherever to make mazes, and also be able to block creeps in, then it would feel much more dynamic and fun.

Imagine the following scenario: You're playing Hypothetical Tower Defense game, and you slap down some cannon towers (or equivalent) in a pattern to make a long maze. The creeps will march the maze (as they refuse to stop if they can make it through otherwise), take fire, and go along. Let's also say you put down a tower that stopped up the maze (so the creeps wouldn't get through). They would realize that, and head for the towers on the shortest path to the goal and bash them down before continuing. You then have to reconfigure your defense line to stop this sudden creep hemorrhage and possibly re-tweak your design so it doesn't get "plugged" again.

Or maybe you do this instead: you design your defenses more like a line of tower "trenches" that creeps have to bash through, with weak spots and traps on them to get those that make their way through.

The game balance would have to have the following properties:
 * individual or waves of creeps can only slightly damage towers while on their way to the destination
 * When the maze is plugged, creeps can focus significant firepower on getting out (to prevent shooting fish in a barrel situations)
 * Healing turrets should be expensive (whether through expensive charges for direct repairs, or weak for their cost healing turrets)

Unique towers could include:
 * Barricade towers (which have more armor but no weapons)
 * More types of trap-like towers

What do you think? I'm typing this up as sort of an AVWW applicable idea, which i wanted to get to X before he got major mechanics in place. I don't expect any major "this will/won't go in" (he hasn't even started development), but i just thought it would be cool to do a little watercooler brainstorming for TDs.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Innovation in TD games
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2010, 10:00:16 AM »
Yeah, I used to play this game as a kid, an it was a favorite of mine. It was called Warcraft II. ;)

In all seriousness, you could do stuff exactly like this with walls and the two types of towers in that game. I found it fascinating.

And, yep, a major feature of AVWW will be that the AI will be more adaptive, etc. You won't be ae to place towers anywhere in that game, though -- I greatly dislike that style of td game at this stage, I feel like it makes all the levels the same except for the creeps. This would be more like pixeljunk monsters or ninjatown where you have only specific spots that you can build per level. But, based on what you do, the creeps would react to that.

This is waaaay off, though, as I doubt we'll be ven starting this game for another full year at least, realistically. But I am excited about it. :)
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Offline RCIX

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Re: Innovation in TD games
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2010, 06:52:03 PM »
Cool! I do have to say though, that my least favorite form of TD is that passive one. From your explanation, i take it there will be a setup more like Defense Grid (you get the tower slots but some sit in the path of creeps so you can shape their paths to an extent)?
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Offline x4000

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Re: Innovation in TD games
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2010, 06:57:05 PM »
Not having played defense grid, I'm not certain.  But the idea is that you have a certain number of slots only, yes -- but around 10x more slots than you would ever actually use.  See pixeljunk monsters for reference of what I mean, each tree in that is actually a tower slot.  That blends giving you flexibility on where to build and how to cluster stuff, without giving you free reign.

In PJM, you have absolutely 0% ability to affect the paths of the incoming creeps. In AVWW, that will also be true in a direct sense, but the creeps will indirectly react to what you do.  If you cluster all your towers over here, they'll go over there, etc.
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Offline RCIX

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Re: Innovation in TD games
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2010, 07:41:46 PM »
Sounds interesting. I have my own application of that idea i just came up with anyway :)
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Offline x4000

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Re: Innovation in TD games
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2010, 08:39:43 PM »
Neat!
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rubikscube

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Re: Innovation in TD games
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2010, 10:19:04 PM »
wait, baracade towers? isn't that called plants vs zombies? while real tower defense should be observing the awesomeness of your awesome weapons destroying defenseless but high health zombies

or immobile manpower against offensive army that attacks everything

Offline Ozymandiaz

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Re: Innovation in TD games
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2010, 04:41:55 AM »
I think the old TD games i played in custom StarCraft maps 13 years (or so?) ago had it so that the units killed your sturctures if you walled em in.


However, I am also fond of passive TD games. Passive do not mean you can not make a maze, I think Defence Grid allowed that, and would just prevent you from making a block to the path rather then killind the turrets.


In general tho, I kinda perfer that the creeps not fight back :P.


Not really sure why I like TD games either, maybe its the fact that I can play a game, think a little bit about strategy, and its all over in a few minutes without taking too long :).


I have high hopes for Arcens version tho, I know it will be among the best ;)
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Offline Ixiohm

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Re: Innovation in TD games
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2010, 05:33:19 AM »
I like TD games too :D

A personal favorite is bubble tanks TD: http://armorgames.com/play/1920/bubble-tanks-2, it has quite a bit of flexibility and you have to adapt your building strategies to obstacles in the different levels.

I also came across a another TD/RTS-hybrid a few weeks back were the monsters fight back - http://www.puppygames.net/revenge-of-the-titans/ -  it also got awesome retro space invader monsters  ;D

Offline CogDissident

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Re: Innovation in TD games
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2010, 10:57:08 AM »
A bit of a history lesson:
Tower defense games started with starcraft custom maps. People would have to build a base, and enemies with no attack abilities would walk around in a circle outside the bases and players would have to build whatever they could to stop there from being too many in the circle.

Later, people removed the ability for players to build units, and you had to do this with just towers

Then, users were allowed to place maps "in" the path of the units, and the units were given "move" orders to the next corner of the map. If the units couldn't get there, then they'd default to normal behavior (which is what happens if you give units an impossible move order in starcraft) and try to attack. This is where the "trapped units attack" rule comes from.

Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Innovation in TD games
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2010, 02:48:48 AM »
To enhance on the Original Posting - the 2nd Problem of all TD's is that Terrain and Light/Shadow/Environment does not make a difference.

You could have a map with a large shadow cast over parts of the field where creeps enter the light they phase into light beings (take *2 damage from dark towers) and in Shadows they become shadow beings (take *2 damage from light towers)

Also so far no TD (or even game) has yet integrated temperatures properly (is the illuminated side light and cold -> Fire Towers *2 and Dark Towers *2 ;P) this could be visualized via ice crystals or fire effects (Blur,Glow etc.)

The 3rd Problem is that there should be a REASON we are defending something - meaning that every creep left through should not only decrease a counter but have some kind of measurable effect on whatever you defend - be it you get more Money/Resources (because people get more scared and work harder ,p) or be it something else...

The 4th Problem - and looking at you, WC3 TD clones - is that when creep stands in water it better damn well take *5 damage from lightning and /5 damage from fire.

The 5th Problem is that no TD so far hath managed a proper Story - And speaking of Story, i want a Companion during Defense - one that not only is there to give stupid comments but point of things about the creeps - entertain me or simply do random funny stuff on the map (and even on the battlefield ;p)

Or better said - so far no TD ever made has innovated anything, they are all stuck in the WC3 TD mindset. Meaning, you seen 1 TD you seen them all (in wc and sc, anyway)

The Only PROPER Tower Defense game i have played is Immortal Defense - which is more innovative than all the TD map clones and TD Clones combined. (but looks horrid ,p)

(Its a Passive TD though - enemies literally follow a whatever shaped LINE but stuff gets very insane in later levels ,p)

-----

On Attacking Creeps

The Problem with attacking creeps is that its the opposite of TD - if creeps emit things that block your shots then thats ok - but doing damage and destroying towers is a big bad evil thing to do. The Creeps are infinite but player wealth is not - 1 lost high ranked tower means a potential loss (and how would you avoid such losses?)

So the Problem with attacking creeps is that they add a random game over event to your TD
« Last Edit: August 19, 2010, 02:58:10 AM by eRe4s3r »
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Offline RCIX

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Re: Innovation in TD games
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2010, 03:11:30 AM »

On Attacking Creeps

The Problem with attacking creeps is that its the opposite of TD - if creeps emit things that block your shots then thats ok - but doing damage and destroying towers is a big bad evil thing to do. The Creeps are infinite but player wealth is not - 1 lost high ranked tower means a potential loss (and how would you avoid such losses?)

So the Problem with attacking creeps is that they add a random game over event to your TD
But the thing is, unless it's a survival mode, the creep waves are limited, so you just have to do more strategic thinking on tower placement and upgrading to get the most out of your towers.

I like your thoughts on light and temperature though :)
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Offline zebramatt

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Re: Innovation in TD games
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2010, 03:36:04 AM »
I also came across a another TD/RTS-hybrid a few weeks back were the monsters fight back - http://www.puppygames.net/revenge-of-the-titans/ -  it also got awesome retro space invader monsters  ;D

Well thanks very much for wasting an entire afternoon of my time!  ;)

Offline CogDissident

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Re: Innovation in TD games
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2010, 10:52:38 AM »
The 5th Problem is that no TD so far hath managed a proper Story - And speaking of Story, i want a Companion during Defense - one that not only is there to give stupid comments but point of things about the creeps - entertain me or simply do random funny stuff on the map (and even on the battlefield ;p)

Immortal Defense actually has a really good storyline. You're basically a human who becomes an immortal being living in the warp space between worlds, and you attempt to destroy fleets mid-transit in order to protect (or harm) certain civilizations.

Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Innovation in TD games
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2010, 01:22:40 PM »
Yeah Immortal Defense has a really nifty Story...  ;) As i said - the only TD Game that really innovated new things ;/

Best is still talking towers - "Do you love me yet?" hehe - (Love Towers are uber kickass ;p)
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