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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsSpace - Tower Defence
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paulisere
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« on: April 06, 2014, 02:38:18 PM »

Hi all

I am starting on a game in Javascript that I am calling Space at the moment.  Here is a link:

http://www.paulspokerproject.co.uk/Game/v0.0.0 (it is nothing to do with poker, it is just an address that I own).

It is a tower defence game set on a space station.  Aliens will get dropped onto the map at various positions and try to run into the space station's power source to destroy it.  

The interesting twist that I am trying to put on this is that all actions will be controlled by the press of a single button (which will eventually be the Space bar).  There is a scrolling set of buttons along the top and when you click on the action button the selected action is applied.  I am still working on timing and speed of the game to make it playable.  I want to make a game that is easy to play for anyone without having to do a series of complicated button presses and needing to know a series of hotkeys to become any good at it.  All you need is to put the mouse in one place and keep clicking the button, later only the Space bar will be needed, but I am not there yet.

At the moment it is not much of a game, there is a map with some red dots on representing aliens that charge to the light green area, which is the base.  You are the blue thing. You can put down towers (dark green) that block the path of the aliens but don't fire yet. I am very much in the concept stage trying to get down my ideas and then polish it off.

I have quite a bit of experience with OpenGL and I have done a bit of WebGL so I plan to do this in 3d where the characters are like tokens on a board game that slide across the board and are animated as they move.  This is quite a way away yet while I am just trying to get the basics of the game done.

I hope you like the idea and I will continue to post as I do more.

Paul
« Last Edit: June 21, 2014, 02:10:03 PM by paulisere » Logged

paulisere
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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2014, 01:09:47 PM »

Ok, so it has been a long time since my last post but I now have a screenshot that is worth an update.  I'm still not ready for a "Screenshot Saturday" though.



Across the top are the controls for the game.  The options are highlighted in sequence and when the user clicks on the Action button the highlighted action is carried out.  The grey section in the centre of the screen is the space ship's core.  The badly drawn person is the Spaceman defending the ship (this image will be improved :-)).  The green and red chip is the alien making it's way to the core.  I have been playing with textures so the image shows some pipes running from a grid toward the core.

I am planning on making the game look a bit better by adding some more texturing to the floor and walls so that the level looks more like a space ship.  It would be nice if it had a board game feel about it.  That is what I was going for with the "tokens" representing elements of the game.  I hope you like it.

Tip I found during my coding:
If you want to use a texture in WebGl use base64 encoded images rather than relative path references to image files.  Some browsers (I found this on Chrome) won't allow textures to be created from relative path images due to safety concerns but I have found that base64 encoded images are acceptable.
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Quarry
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« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2014, 01:33:34 PM »

The security measurements are in place due to you running it on your filesystem. Use node.js or something similar to set up a file server at your computer and connect to it over localhost. That way you won't be needing to encode everything in base64
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btmura
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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2014, 10:07:07 PM »

I tried out the link in your introductory post.  Smiley

The idea of using only the space bar is quite intriguing. I was able to quickly pick up on how to move, but it took me a while to understand how to plant a tower by moving to the second set of menu options. I saw  the enemy squares move around the tower I had planted which was cool, but I'm not sure if the tower was doing anything to the enemies yet.

Anyhow, I look forward to playing the new 3D version and see how you resolve the timing issues to make it more playable!



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paulisere
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2014, 09:02:15 PM »

I tried out the link in your introductory post.  Smiley

The idea of using only the space bar is quite intriguing. I was able to quickly pick up on how to move, but it took me a while to understand how to plant a tower by moving to the second set of menu options. I saw  the enemy squares move around the tower I had planted which was cool, but I'm not sure if the tower was doing anything to the enemies yet.

Anyhow, I look forward to playing the new 3D version and see how you resolve the timing issues to make it more playable!

Thanks for taking the time to have a look and providing feedback.

Do you think that if the initial state of the menu was at the top level with "Move", "Build", etc, it would be clearer than with it already on the Move menu with "Left", "Right", etc visible?  That was a change I have been planning on making since it would indicate to the user what high level options are available but I have not gotten round to doing it yet. 

In the 2d version the towers were still a bit of a work in progress and so all they did was act as a wall.  In the 3d version the towers will fire at the enemies when they get too close.  I will try and put up a post of the latest version within the next week.

Thanks again.

Paul
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paulisere
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2014, 09:02:48 PM »

The security measurements are in place due to you running it on your filesystem. Use node.js or something similar to set up a file server at your computer and connect to it over localhost. That way you won't be needing to encode everything in base64
Thanks for the tip, I'll look into it.
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btmura
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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2014, 09:27:59 PM »

Do you think that if the initial state of the menu was at the top level with "Move", "Build", etc, it would be clearer than with it already on the Move menu with "Left", "Right", etc visible?

Yeah, I think that might be good.

If there aren't going to be many build options, maybe you could lump them into one menu.

Or maybe once you move, it switches to the build menu to give you a chance to put down a tower before switching back to the move menu.

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paulisere
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« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2014, 03:07:01 PM »

Here is a link to the latest version with:
- fancy 3d graphics
- towers that fire at aliens
- a more interesting level layout

Link is here: http://www.paulspokerproject.co.uk/Game/v0.0.1/.

I obviously have way more to do but my next steps are:
- Building towers will have a cost associated with them
- You gain money by killing aliens
- Tokens slide across the board

Paul
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btmura
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« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2014, 10:15:56 PM »

I setup three towers at the entrance of the room and took care of all the baddies. Wink

I discovered I could repeatedly hit space bar Hand Any Key to keep moving in one direction. This allowed me to get to the room with the three green cubes. I entered one of the cubes, but it didn't do anything.  Cry

Other observations:
- Wasn't sure what triggers the enemies to start moving.
- I didn't know what the starting room's red/green/blue stripes meant and what the gray platform was for. I'm guessing you don't want the enemies to go there.
- Seems I have to press the action button first to get the space bar to work. This might be good to fix, since most players may not be patient enough to figure it out.
- Might be nice to overlay the movement arrows and tower control onto the board near the players, since the 2D movement arrows don't match up with the isometric view.
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paulisere
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« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2014, 01:56:22 PM »

This allowed me to get to the room with the three green cubes. I entered one of the cubes, but it didn't do anything.  Cry

Yeh, the green cubes don't do anything yet.  They are supposed to be drop locations for the aliens.  Waves of aliens will be dropped into those zones but the areas will be bigger when they are finished off, maybe covering 9-12 tiles for each zone.  The reason they are there at the moment was me just playing with rendering 3d semi-transparencies.  I was thinking about maybe having a partially transparent texture of mist/twinkley stars/something to make it look like the aliens are teleporting in.

- Wasn't sure what triggers the enemies to start moving.

It is on a delay of about 1 minute before they start moving.  Once towers start to cost money and the dropzones are put in I think I will make it up to the player to say when they are ready for the wave to start, like in Orcs Must Die!.

- I didn't know what the starting room's red/green/blue stripes meant and what the gray platform was for. I'm guessing you don't want the enemies to go there.
The grey platform is the spaceship's core that the player needs to defend.  I've made a note that it needs to be more obvious.  Maybe I need to add a bit of a blurb to describe the aims of the game.  The stripes are supposed to be like pipes/cables that supply the spaceship's core, but they don't actually do anything.  I was playing around with 3d rendering to try and make things look fancy.  I want to be able to put textures on all of the tiles to make the level look more like a space ship but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

- Seems I have to press the action button first to get the space bar to work. This might be good to fix, since most players may not be patient enough to figure it out.
Yep, definitely.  I'll make sure that is sorted next time I finish off a build.  Added to my list. :-)

- Might be nice to overlay the movement arrows and tower control onto the board near the players, since the 2D movement arrows don't match up with the isometric view.
Doh, I've not updated the images from the early 2d version.  I want to do it but I am not sure I am happy with the camera angle yet. I need to mess around with that to work out which is the best looking projection and then create the images.  The layout really does need looking at and I'll try and come up with something better.  I will be adding a little player status section that has information about money available and stuff so I need to think about how these things fit together better.  Having the cycling options across the top is an interesting challenge because that part does take up a lot of the player's attention so it needs to fit in with the other parts of the game that the player is going to want to look at at the same time.


Thanks for playing and all of your suggestions.  I have written them down on my todo list and I will try and get something done in the future.

Paul
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paulisere
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« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2014, 03:01:17 PM »

I haven't posted for a little while so I thought I'd put a bit of an update.

I have made a few changes that have turned the last version into something much more enjoyable. 
- Towers now cost money, so it isn't possible to just dump a whole load down so that aliens get annihilated.
- Killing an alien generates money, so you can afford more towers.
- Aliens now drop into the "green cubes".  Aliens are dropped in waves and the rate of the drop and number dropped increases during the game.

It is cool that it is starting to feel like a proper game.

I've also changed the aliens and bullets so they now slide rather than snap between squares on the grid.

I am planning on making a few interface changes before I post a new version.  I am finding it a bit annoying having to keep clicking or touching the screen or tapping the space bar to select one of the options.  I am aiming to make it so that you just need to hold down the button and while it is held it will carry out the current option. 

Here is a doodle of an alien that might make it into the game:


Paul
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paulisere
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« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2014, 02:38:29 PM »

The security measurements are in place due to you running it on your filesystem. Use node.js or something similar to set up a file server at your computer and connect to it over localhost. That way you won't be needing to encode everything in base64

I finally got round to trying out node.js and I am really impressed with it.  I managed to get a simple server set up in a couple of minutes.  I used the little snippet of code from the top answer here: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/6084360/using-node-js-as-a-simple-web-server.

I wanted to test running the playability of the game when running through a browser on my phone and so I wanted to set up a local server quickly so I could test over wifi rather than upload to my website.  I haven't gotten round to replacing the base64 stuff yet but it is on my list of things to do.  Thanks for the suggestion Quarry.

Paul
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paulisere
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« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2015, 08:16:01 AM »

It's been a long time since I posted anything on this game.  I parked it for a while when I was working on other things.  Here it is now:



Link to play is here http://www.paulspokerproject.co.uk/Game/v0.0.2/.

I have added a bit of a start menu and added some images for the characters.  One of the big changes introduced is the amount of money available.  It is now a limiting factor on the number of towers that you can build and increases when you kill an alien.

Paul
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