• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
ZDG_Anthony

[Article] Tower Design in Tower Defense Games (and Game Design in General)

5 posts in this topic

Hello everyone,
 
I'm Anthony, and I'm super excited to post my second article here to GameDev.net. I am the lead dev for a game called Artifex Dei. I have been working on writing bi-weekly articles about some of the materials and experiences I came across while designing and coding this game.
 
This second article talks about a few gripes I have with Tower Defense games, where some of their pitfalls lie, and how they can be greatly improved. Most of the topics I touch upon in this article can also be applied to game design in general, since many of the same principles still apply.
 
You can read the article here: http://www.artifexdei.com/tower_design.html
 
Let me know what you think!
 
About Artifex -
Artifex Dei is a new concept; an open-world tower defense RPG. The player must balance their time between exploring dungeons and gearing up, and building additional towers to bolster their city defenses. Along the way, new abilities are unlocked, and new biomes are discovered. Poke around the website and check it out!
 
We have a short description of the game posted in our About Section,
as well as several screenshots in our Media Gallery
 
 
Keep yourself updated from our twitter account @artifexdei, and stay tuned for the next article, about creating In-Game Cutscenes.
 
Thanks everybody!

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting article. You bring up some very valid points.

 

However, the beginning of the second chapter is a bit weird. " In my opinion, this is a terrible mechanic for tower defense games. " I don't even know what that's referring to. Also, I'm not a fan of the font choice. It might be suitable for headings, but it makes the text a bit unreadable. And lastly, what would be nice is more examples of ways to be innovative - basically describing key concepts used in other tower defense games that make them stand out and what they have in common.

 

Anyway, good job and good luck with your game!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting article. You bring up some very valid points.

 

However, the beginning of the second chapter is a bit weird. " In my opinion, this is a terrible mechanic for tower defense games. " I don't even know what that's referring to. Also, I'm not a fan of the font choice. It might be suitable for headings, but it makes the text a bit unreadable. And lastly, what would be nice is more examples of ways to be innovative - basically describing key concepts used in other tower defense games that make them stand out and what they have in common.

 

Anyway, good job and good luck with your game!

 

Apparently, I haphazardly missed an entire paragraph when I coped it over into HTML.

 

Here is the missing entry:

 

One of these issues is known as planned obsoletion. You can see this mechanic in so many games,
where something that a player acquires early on is later directly replaced by a better version of
that item.

 

In my opinion, this is a terrible mechanic for tower defense games.

 

 

Thank you for the feedback, I will make some adjustments to the site's appearance.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One important element you overlooked are archetypal path structures.  The Loop, the Corner, Return Paths.  Without interesting levels, tower defense gets boring fast.

 

Another overlooked element is varied progressions.  Too many TD levels are over just as you are starting to establish a good set up, and you don't get a chance to properly enjoy it.  You need clear short term progression goals, mid term goals, and long term goals.  Short term, you have your levels, mid term you have your skill upgrades.

 

For long term progression, I'm keeping the layouts of completed levels, and epic bosses will work their way backwards through all the levels you've already completed, against all the defences you've already put up.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One important element you overlooked are archetypal path structures.  The Loop, the Corner, Return Paths.  Without interesting levels, tower defense gets boring fast.

 

Another overlooked element is varied progressions.  Too many TD levels are over just as you are starting to establish a good set up, and you don't get a chance to properly enjoy it.  You need clear short term progression goals, mid term goals, and long term goals.  Short term, you have your levels, mid term you have your skill upgrades.

 

For long term progression, I'm keeping the layouts of completed levels, and epic bosses will work their way backwards through all the levels you've already completed, against all the defences you've already put up.

 

Excellent points.

 

As far as your progression comment goes, the basis for my entire game comes from that argument. I probably should have brought that up, but my focus was on the towers themselves. Maybe a separate article for the remaining TD mechanics?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's also where you challenge comes from.  SOme TDs have reflexive gameplay where the player is hardpressed to maintain their towers.  Personally I prefer strict management TDs with time to consider your options.  The worst are the one where you can't look at anything while the game is paused.

 

You should probably decide on a theme early on too, as that will impact design decisions.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0