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CyberFlash

How to keep a Tower Defense game entertaining?

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I imagine a tower defense game isn't the kind of game that'd get like 500 hours of playtime by one person... or could it be?

Howdy!

I've been working on a Tower Defense game and I'm a bit of a brute, meaning I just come by and slap some walls up and there's a house. I lack the creative side 🤣 Sure enough I have ideas but those aren't hard to come by and don't necessary mean i'm good at stuff. 

I'm hitting a wall with my Tower Defense game as I need to get creative with it now.. I have enemies that come in, towers that can be placed and shoot at the enemies and the enemies go bye bye! As time progresses the enemies get tougher and a little bit faster and eventually/ultimately they'll get through the map and smack your HQ and you're done.. But I need to find a way to make sure you stay there long enough to lose... I'm working on an upgrade system for the towers as that must be somewhere near step 1 on the list..

Ideas for enemies as follows:

  • Small tanks that are fast but with low HP, that are weakest against the Gun Turrets
  • Medium tanks that have steady stats but are weak to the flamethrowers
  • Large tanks that are really slow but super durable, except to rockets.
  • Boss enemies that are the biggest, the fastest, with the most HP and that have canons of their own that can shoot and destroy the turrets.

So to create the requirement for different strategic placements... Perhaps randomizing the enemy so the player couldn't possibly know which one is going to arrive/how many of that type there will be so they can't just drop 2 Gun Turrets and be like cool I'll do something at Wave 5 now *Smirk*... 

I currently only have limited assets and I'm working on convincing someone to make more so maybeee I can add more tower variations otherwise I've got Gun, Flame, Rockets, I'm waiting on the new enemies but there's also only 4 types of those... Would that be 'enough' ? I won't be winning any awards with this but I still don't wanna 'just make something and leave it' I still want it to be 'Good' or maybe even 'Great' 

Could I possibly trouble anyone for some ideas? 😧

 

The current version of the game is here if anyone wanted to try it out. I would definitely appreciate any thoughts/discussions/ideas etc. 

 

Many Thanks!

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I get the feeling you haven't played many of these types of games?  Since I've already weighed in on a few specific things pertaining to your game I might make a suggestion that you download a few other tower defense games and try them out.  Just find some other free downloads or online games.  You can learn a lot by playing somebody else's game.  Especially if you pay attention to the timing and overall flow.  How much idle time do they give you?  Does it seem like the speed of events changes over time?  (Use a stopwatch if you need to.) Do new bad guys show up or do the same ones get stronger or smarter somehow?  What mechanics do they use to keep the player busy.  There was a time not too many years ago where these games were a dime a dozen, and most of them managed to be fairly entertaining because they all pretty much used the same basic formulas.  ;)

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6 minutes ago, Septopus said:

Since I've already weighed in on a few specific things

You've been my inspiration for my latest ideas like different tanks weak to different towers, towers getting shot at kinda thing, (I do listen I promise) 🤣 I have played Tower Defense games before like I used to really like em but I dunno brain hasn't really considered things like the questions I've currently had I suppose.

I mean like this is just guna sound dumb but hey, I've basically been trying to use my memory instead of going testing them like right now. Like those Bloons tower defense, I used to love those when I was in school but I struggle to make their strats apply to me because they have balloons inside balloons inside balloons.. Which I thought I could translate to as Enemy HP just going higher instead of a new balloon cuz a basic red balloon would equal 1 then a blue would be 2 (These being the number of basic dart throws to pop them completely)...

 

I then thought it'd be all about that math formula/equation so I wrote a post about math and someone suggested going to game design area so here I am lol I'm just bouncing around the place and off the walls too. I think I over complicate things or just get stuck/obsessed on something and don't make progress 😧 is it a motivation thing? But I like games :P 

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It's a common problem, analysis paralysis, or something like that, anyhow..  I'm sure you've played them, but like you said, it's been a while and you weren't in THIS mindset.  ;)  Walk down memory lane with some new eyes.  And, maybe pick a TD game that more closely resembles the mechanics you ACTUALLY want to create.  I guarantee you will have some "Aha!!" moments and then you'll just be stuck with the really really tough questions, like how to implement said mechanic, or how to improve on said mechanic. :D

 

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On 11/14/2018 at 3:13 PM, CyberFlash said:

I imagine a tower defense game isn't the kind of game that'd get like 500 hours of playtime by one person... or could it be?

Howdy!

I've been working on a Tower Defense game and I'm a bit of a brute, meaning I just come by and slap some walls up and there's a house. I lack the creative side 🤣 Sure enough I have ideas but those aren't hard to come by and don't necessary mean i'm good at stuff. 

I'm hitting a wall with my Tower Defense game as I need to get creative with it now.. I have enemies that come in, towers that can be placed and shoot at the enemies and the enemies go bye bye! As time progresses the enemies get tougher and a little bit faster and eventually/ultimately they'll get through the map and smack your HQ and you're done.. But I need to find a way to make sure you stay there long enough to lose... I'm working on an upgrade system for the towers as that must be somewhere near step 1 on the list..

Ideas for enemies as follows:

  • Small tanks that are fast but with low HP, that are weakest against the Gun Turrets
  • Medium tanks that have steady stats but are weak to the flamethrowers
  • Large tanks that are really slow but super durable, except to rockets.
  • Boss enemies that are the biggest, the fastest, with the most HP and that have canons of their own that can shoot and destroy the turrets.

So to create the requirement for different strategic placements... Perhaps randomizing the enemy so the player couldn't possibly know which one is going to arrive/how many of that type there will be so they can't just drop 2 Gun Turrets and be like cool I'll do something at Wave 5 now *Smirk*... 

I currently only have limited assets and I'm working on convincing someone to make more so maybeee I can add more tower variations otherwise I've got Gun, Flame, Rockets, I'm waiting on the new enemies but there's also only 4 types of those... Would that be 'enough' ? I won't be winning any awards with this but I still don't wanna 'just make something and leave it' I still want it to be 'Good' or maybe even 'Great' 

Could I possibly trouble anyone for some ideas? 😧

 

The current version of the game is here if anyone wanted to try it out. I would definitely appreciate any thoughts/discussions/ideas etc. 

 

Many Thanks!

I think that a tower defense game needs action and lots and lots of strategy. Take plants vs zombies for instance or last stand. Those games have been played for generations. Don't make your game a stand and place game though, because people have been making those types of games for years. Try make it to where you can walk around, make it to where you can also defend whatever it is that your defending. People want to be apart of the action, people want to be constantly in the game, not just standing around and watching. People want the constant panic of defeat being imminent if they don't do something. I hope that helps.   

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I appreciate your input!

That's been a concern of mine for a while, The idea that the player is doing nothing. I think I might have enough of an idea to keep them active for now. Otherwise they can place towers and then just go away and then it'll be hard enough getting them to try it again :P.

I like the idea of making them walk around as if to give them a controllable defense thing... I'm not sure how i'd implement that right now but I'm definitely going to work on it. Closest idea I've had to keeping them active would be to give them a 'trap unit'.. They can place something like a wall on the path that'd stop a certain amount of enemies then its destroyed so its like a last minute backup option if your tower won't do it...

I'm working on adding in 'boss units' (I dunno if there would be a better way to call them) these are supposed to 'mess up your day' but have a low chance of spawning each wave... and originally it was to have them destroy certain towers as they roam the path .... That would mess up your 'strategy' a lot but some mixed reviews on their ability so far... Another idea is to just have them disable towers within a certain range so you don't lose them but their inactive whilst the boss is right in front of them... Will need to think about range here so other towers can still hit the bosses but not making it too easy also... That might give them some feelings of "You need to be active like right now" 

And also working on an upgrade system which will require me to increase enemy stats more drastically but if they keep actively upgrading towers they're keeping busy.. Then I need to figure out decent math so it becomes a strategic decision to either place another tower OR upgrade an existing one... 

 

52 minutes ago, DoomGuy said:

Don't make your game a stand and place game though

But, I feel like the entire feeling of this is that its a stand and place game :/ ... I'm thinking of trying to get other maps done for this so there's variety so whilst implementing these I might be able to work out a new tower that you could control and maybe you can only place one of them and it shoots where you dictate or something.. Or have the HQ able to spawn a plane for a cost that you'd fly around and drop a few bombs or something like that... Trying to figure out a good idea for putting them into action.. 

I really appreciate your input! Its real cool :)

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Maybe make it kinda like Age of Empires. Instead of giving them money to buy things, give them workers which they can use to gather recourses and build defenses. Your game will be much more interactive and you could also give the player the option to choose a specific religion, each religion has pro's and con's for example religion 1 gains 50% more wood and religion 2 builds 25% faster.

Edited by Cheetaah
Grammar

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