View Full Version : Making a game, want your thoughts

29-01-2012, 05:56 PM
American Indie and long time daily RPS reader speaking. To cut to the chase, I wanted to ask people what they would like to see in the type of game I'm working on. RPS is the first place I thought of. You are who I want playing my games.

Screen (Most of this is working right now, lifebars and cursor aren't in yet.)


I have been working on a defense type game for nearly a year. The most similar thing I know is Orcs Must Die but it's not that similar. (maybe a touch of Atom Zombie Smasher too.)

It has units you use to defend a point (Along with other types of things) There are elements of CCG (Deck building.) and light RPG elements. It plays out in real time. I am attempting to put emphasis on smart strategy.

Once you place the Units down they act with their own AI, it's a bit like watching a battle in an RTS game.

It's for PC only right now. The alpha should be out in the next few months, I hope.

I'm sure you have a good enough idea. Now I need you to spill your guts, anything goes!

What are the type of things you would like to see? What kind of game mechanics? What settings can you not do with out?

What are the types of things you hate to see? What are you sick of?

29-01-2012, 06:08 PM
Add a VS mode, symmetrical or asymmetrical, doesn't matter.

29-01-2012, 07:00 PM
I am not sure if I fully understand what is going on in your game. So I don't know if this idea will make any sense.

So your units behave like they do in RTS games. My main issue with RTS games is that units are dumb. They only follow commands. Some things go automatically, like when they are attacked they return fire. But a lot of times units do weird things like following a unit they can't catch up. Or attacking aggressively when they only have 1% life.

Can you control the units in your game?

Maybe it would be cool if it's possible to create a custom behaviour for the units. Typing code in a game is something you probably want to avoid, but wouldn't it be cool if you could program unit behavior in a game like Starcraft 2?

if health < 10
end while

30-01-2012, 03:00 AM
You can not control them beyond where you set them down. As of right now, different units have different behaviors, but everything acts pretty dumb. The action should be pretty fast and frantic and units are pretty expendable.

That being said the programming behaviors is pretty awesome. Final Fantasy 12 on ps2 had something like that? I forget what they called it. Really interesting idea. I am going to think about it hard, It does introduce a game design problem though.

If you want to balance the game, you have to imagine that the player will be good enough at programming the behaviors, because no doubt winning combinations will be found. The units you get to work with are a bit randomized so this helps this issue but does not get rid of it entirely.

The person who does not want to delve into tweaking behaviors will have a more difficult time. (Similar to how if you don't tweak your ships in gratuitous space battles.. though not nearly as severe.) I don't think that this is necessarily a bad thing, but it is a thing.

VS mode would also be awesome design wise there is no problem. Of course there are technical hurdles for that one.

This is a great start!

30-01-2012, 03:10 AM
You could take a page from the Overlord games (love those) and have place-able points that units will be attracted to. Or to take one from Dungeon Keeper, the ability to pick up off the ground an already placed unit for the purpose of dropping them down somewhere else.

30-01-2012, 03:59 AM
wow. this reminds me of BattleForge. a lot.

Vexing Vision
30-01-2012, 10:09 AM
I would like to see a non-freemium version of Battleforge. A lot.

Baldur's Gate and Dragon Age have programmable UI types. Basically it's a set of conditions. "If Health is <20%, drink potion." "If nearby friend is attacked, flee." Add a couple of templates ("Melee", "Skirmisher", "Range", "Coward") and you've got the newbie players covered, too.

More fiddly = more good.

30-01-2012, 04:01 PM
Yup, thats the gambit system from final fantasy 12 (as described by Vexing Vision). Complex commands from simple building blocks and defaults for different character classes (healer,melee,archer etc.). For those who like programming their chappies to be autonomous units, its fun. The idea of a CCG tower defence with programmable units sounds good to me - it might be piling on a lot of mechanics, but I like the depth.

Suggestions... Hmmmm. Makes sure there's lots of different 'cards' to unlock through the game? The old MTG:Duels of the planeswalkers game was great for this, many happy hours deckbuilding all around one new card with a whole different mechanic.

Make sures there's a good number of options on the units for commands? The FFXII gambit system was a good balance between complex and easy to use. They didn't need pathfinding or anything though - would you plan to add that in to the 'programmable' nature?

Variety in cards? You mention units, but what about global cards that apply to the whole field, direct attacks on your 'opponent', attachments (items etc. for units). I'm basically just stealing MTG ideas wholesale here, but they're popular for a good reason, and could be fun in a tower defence game.

I wouldn't worry about RPG elements if you have enough variety in cards and a card collection/purchase mechanic as you go through the game, it will probably make it a bit unwieldy? (I am not an expert, maybe there's a way to marry the two without breaking it!)

There you go - some ideas for you. Even if you ignore them completely it sounds good nonetheless, I hope you manage to get something we can take a look at soon :-)

30-01-2012, 04:09 PM
Yup, thats the gambit system from final fantasy 12 (as described by Vexing Vision).
This used to be a genre of video games back in the 70s and 80s.

30-01-2012, 04:11 PM
VS mode would also be awesome design wise there is no problem. Of course there are technical hurdles for that one.Truth be told, I have played your game before in many incarnations, so work on your army building or whatever design twist you have, because that has to be your strength.

31-01-2012, 12:07 AM
This used to be a genre of video games back in the 70s and 80s.
i agree to Wizardy

31-01-2012, 12:47 PM

If you look at the screen I posted, the card types are... units (guys who walk around) Direct attacks, Traps, Walls, Towers, Buffs/DeBuffs. There's also plans for a giant unit that comes together with a combination of cards.

I am trying to do interesting things with the buffs/debuffs, my favorite is fire. I can set anything on fire, and then anything that touches the thing on fire will also catch fire (which does damage over time for a set period.) So example, One of my recklessly behaving skeletons is almost dead, I can set him on fire as he charges into a pack of enemies. and then they are all burning for a bit. That can easily back fire on me though.

The biggest thing so far is BE MORE FIDDLY. Which I think is a message I needed to hear.

I'm going to think about how I can do this, since my cards are about half units it complicates things, do I attempt to extend a programming type behavior to other types of cards, some cards just can not be programmed (walls.) Maybe it's possible to program a sort of battle plan that works for everyone on the field.

Thanks for all the awesome comments!

31-01-2012, 01:26 PM
Change the name. 's bad.