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Innovation in TD games

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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.

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. :)

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)?

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.

Sounds interesting. I have my own application of that idea i just came up with anyway :)


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