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.