Thursday, September 29, 2011


Oh my, such a long time since the last post! Stuff happened though. Treasure chests were added, levels were adjusted, a Gauntlet mode was implemented, and lots and lots of tuning occurred.


That was it for the update.

Also, the Binding of Isaac is awesome.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

OK, so I've totally ditched a mechanic from the game. Chickens no longer produce more cash in larger groups. It was fiddly, and annoying, and too hard to explain to new players, and so I've removed it and rebalanced accordingly. I think it is definitely better.

New chicken - snooty banker chicken. Automatically gathers gold produced around him, but produces nothing of value himself. People have been asking for this one for a while!

Some further interface refinements to help you pinpoint in zoomed-out states exactly what you are picking up.

Various minor bugfixes or adjustments, and also a 'vanguard' monster that comes out halfway thru warmup to remind you to build some offensive stuff before the crowd shows up.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tweaked level 16 a bit - shortened range, added a quicker way to change monster probabilities per type ( exciting, no? )

Trying to figure out a mechanism I like for non-buildable spaces. Webbstre suggested mud, and I like that ( or quicksand ) but is mechanically problematic. If a brick is half-sunk in quicksand, can you pick it up? What if only 10% sunk? And if you can pick up and re-place objects on it, does that perform its intended purpose?

May have to do lava or something - a mechanism that performs irreparable damage. Leaving things there results in destruction. Given that you can throw objects it is hard to prevent you from tossing something there, so contact or placement within the vertical band has to be the limiting factor.

Spiky trap ground that stabs things? Thorns? A crusher that smashes stuff? (hmm) Timed explosives? ( volcanoes? geysers? ), thinkety thinkety.

Need to play an 'error' sound when trying to grab burning objects and failing. Or a red exclamation particle. Or both.

Also, revising thoughts on 'almanac'. Thinking of having a spotlight shining on a little walking version of the monster, maybe some goofy french music, and then details spew on the bottom of the screen in silent-movie style title cards.

Dev Update

After a short hiatus while I did 'real job' stuff, a new build went out tonight.
Some fundamental changes to game structure ( must destroy all enemies, not just survive time limit, waves of monsters, monster speed acceleration toward end of round ), and a new monster, and 3 or 4 new levels ( replacements for old ones ).

Back in the saddle again!

I really need to tackle a UI polish pass soon, too.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Boo. No Win Phone 7 for me - all managed, no unmanaged. Sad!

Windows Phone?

I'ma take a crack at a Windows Phone build tonight. Will I be lucky?

green eyed monster

Days gone by....

You know what I miss? Space sims. Back when men were men, and computers were metal - they could cut you. Back when you had to read the goddamned manual. Back when games came with keyboard overlays. Back when configuring UMBs was just part of starting up the game. I may blink back the tears and go play some Tie Fighter. *sniff*

Saturday, August 6, 2011

New Website is now a little LESS temp - at the very least it has information about the game, a handful of screenshots, and a little video. Things are rattling on down the road.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Challenges, exploit fixes, oh my

Challenges are now in the game - you can complete special objectives for cool global perks.
Also, fixed several exploits with cannon-camping at the edges of the map, and made monsters smarter about killing nearby cannons.
Still churning!
Got a temp website set up at - will probably start doing more official stuff there and dev blog stuff here.

Monday, August 1, 2011

More adjustments

New stuff -

*Chickens now start to cry/sweat the more damaged they get
*They also animate faster to help you pick them out
*When chickens die, little angel chickens float up with a harp sound
*Better 'lose' sound
*Blocks do damage based on their type and size, instead of just general damage ( cheap blocks to crummy damage ). All blocks do less damage overall.
*You can now retry or exit on a level fail, and on level win, you can retry, exit, or advance
*You can now exit from the loadout menu directly
*Star requirements lowered across the board
*The Sun now operates as a timer/stopwatch, with the points of the sun showing you how much time is left in a gameplay phase

Next up - need to add a ghost deterrent. I'm thinking spotlights. Or a priest chicken.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Repair Chickens

Got some good observations from Bill Harris and started working on some solutions.

Today, Repair Chickens were added. They slowly 'heal' any blocks nearby to them, and you can use them to keep your carefully constructed fort from falling into total ruin.

Also nerfed some monster weapons to make your structures less fragile.

Been meaning to do this for a while, ever since I entertained ( and discarded ) the idea of health bars on monsters - comic-style 'biff', 'pop' particles on impact that are color and size coded to correspond to hit potency. Makes it easier to tell if you got a 'good' hit.

Lots of other stuff to do!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Now that I think about it, the 'warring castles' style should definitely go in.
I think I'll make levels that are divided down the middle - you are unable to control or 'hold' objects in the 'dark side' of the level ( where the monsters have their own little fortress of blocks ), and they troop out toward you. You can only throw things into their side, or set up weaponry to fire into it - and the level should be wide enough that it is tough to aim properly. And of course, once you throw something over there, you can't recover it to re-throw.
I like it.

Other short-list stuff I need to add -

*rubber blocks - bounce back objects that strike them ( probably triangular )
*Firebreathing monsters
*'swallowing' monsters that suck down objects thrown at them from the front and spit them back
*jumping monsters
*paratrooping monsters
*zombies on at least a few of the graveyard levels
*crazy chickens - If damaged, countdown and explode, but very fast producers
*Magician monsters that throw fireballs you can't grab
*Magnet object to auto-gather eggs in a region
*Cows. Something has to throw cows. I don't really care what.
*Treasure chests - feverishly tap them to open for a sudden blast of gold ( unless they are a mimic and spawn monsters? )

UI stuff -

*Need hold-descriptions on items in item loadout
*Some better ingame tutorial stuff.
*POW BIFF SMACK style popups when you hit monsters. Color and scale correspond to potency of the hit.

Other Minigame ideas
*Bridge builder - must build a bridge over a valley and have a siege tower successfully reach the other side.
*Chicken skee-ball. Use a swing-arm on a pivot that you drag up and let go to 'kick' them down the ramp.
*Monster convoy - must bomb and destroy X percent of the convoy
*Tornado level - must save chickens before they blow away - strong horizontal gravity, have to set up blockers to keep chickens in. Debris blows in and shatters the defenses you set up.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I've taken the Missile Command-style minigame a good bit farther.
I'm trying to decide if I want to really insert these into the normal progression of levels, or put them in some other 'bucket' of stuff.

For a game like Plants vs Zombies, I think minigames work just fine in the flow - they interrupt a progression that you otherwise can't alter.

Monster tower lets you play any previous level, much more in line with Angry Birds or something like that - you can repeat them for stars.

I sort of feel like minigames that play substantially differently from the main deal really belong in a separate menu. They are too different to just plop into the regular flow. I think they need to be unlocks for hidden achievements, or for just reaching certain levels. The mechanics change SO fundamentally when you switch to them that it is jarring if you don't expect it.

I still think there are plenty of big variations that can be done in the normal level flow ( conveyor levels, which are in, and maybe a warring castles level, immovable chicken levels, low-gravity, objects raining from the sky, so on and so forth ) as long as fundamental touch interactions don't change for those.

Missile Command

You know what works pretty great as a minigame?

Missile Command.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Android Support

After a little bit of work, and the purchase of a Galaxy Tab 10.1, I'm going to go ahead and commit to Android support too. It looks nice, runs pretty well, and why not? It's working just fine and isn't a big deal to deploy at all with Marmalade. Hooray!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Monster Tower!

I should preface this by saying that this is a personal project, and nothing to do with my day job ( which is also making games ). It's more of a fun diversion for me where I get to work on the entirety of a game by my lonesome, which is singularly rewarding.

So, I've been working on this for a couple of months in my spare time off and on, and have now gotten to the stage where it's about time for some alpha testing out in the wild. The mechanics are all in place, the visuals have had a couple of passes, some performance optimization has happened, and there's been lots and lots of love applied to basic mechanics and interface.

It's pretty fun!

So, what is Monster Tower? I'm glad you asked.  It's a sort of physics based real-time strategy game combined with a little bit of tower defense, playable in 5 minute sessions - for iPhone and iPad.  I don't think there's anything quite like it around - it has changed and evolved a lot over its development.  If you combined Plants vs Zombies, Angry Birds, and Plunderland, that's about the best approximation I can give.

In Monster Tower, you have until nightfall to keep a gaggle of royal chickens alive. You can produce gold by purchasing smaller chickens, and you can protect your critters by building walls and setting up cannons or traps to fend off approaching monsters.  Monsters of various types will attempt to breach your defenses and destroy the chickens. It doesn't make any sense, but who cares!  Monsters want your chickens!

You can take a very active role in play - swiping enemy spears out of the air and hurling them back at them, or picking up chunks of rock or wood and throwing them at your enemies. Toss bombs, set up bear traps, freeze your enemies, or catch them on fire.  As you progress new monsters and tools are introduced - ghosts, siege towers, flame cannons, trooper chickens, and so on and so forth.

Take a peek -
Click on an image to see a bigger one.