November 23, 2019, 02:53:59 AM

Author Topic: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry  (Read 4813 times)

Offline curtastic

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Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
« on: July 02, 2018, 09:54:58 PM »
This is a Match-3 game. You create matches to make towers/catapults to defend the castle from dragons.

Click to play, no download required. Also works on updated mobile phones and tablets.
http://touchbasicapp.com/6/play

Highest scores:
#1 day 98 by andy lee.
#2 day 95 by my wife. She's addicted to this game.
#3 day 70 by Holzchopf
#4 day 40 by BasicBoy

Future plans:
- Show high scores.
- Bosses.
- Dragons that attack your towers.
- Sounds/Music. DONE
- New simplified style graphics.
- Native mobile apps.

Offline Holzchopf

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Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2018, 12:27:41 PM »
Day 95? :o addicted seems to be an understatement! Meanwhile, I made it to day 70 8) You know what would be cool? If there was any possibility to gain lives

Offline Derron

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Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2018, 12:40:50 PM »
Played it a couple of times these days. Had about 10 times that level started with a stone combination not enabling me to secure all lanes (eg only ballistas and slowdown hills). So that meant lost lifes right at game start.

Wanted to play it now again and thought of some bug as I got some "placeholder-ish" arrow towers now - seems you plan to replace the different upgrades with individual sprites. They look "2x scaled" now (and of course they look alien compared to the other stuff). Any reason not to use the sprites by Reiner?



bye
Ron

Offline curtastic

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Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2018, 08:29:32 AM »
Quote
Wanted to play it now again and thought of some bug as I got some "placeholder-ish" arrow towers now - seems you plan to replace the different upgrades with individual sprites. They look "2x scaled" now (and of course they look alien compared to the other stuff). Any reason not to use the sprites by Reiner?

Yep I'm currently paying a pixel artist to redo everything. It's turning out okay but not as good as I'd hoped. I think he's using too much detail and too many shades of color like Reiner's graphics.

The problem with Reiner's graphics is that they are only good for fixed resolution games, like 800x600, which is rarely used nowadays. If you stretch them either down or up they look bad. Also their style is to look as real as possible with a limited amount of pixels on a screen. You wouldn't want a 2D game with as realistic as possible art style unless you have rendered different images for every possible screen and device size. Most 2D games nowadays use either cartoon-ish vector graphics or pixel art so they they can scale well. Unless you have the best team of artists it's best to go for "unrealistic looking on purpose."

Also Reiner's graphics are not pixel art, they are just low resolution pictures of 3D models.

Offline Qube

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Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2018, 08:38:46 AM »
Quote
Yep I'm currently paying a pixel artist to redo everything. It's turning out okay but not as good as I'd hoped.
Then redirect him / her on what you want. Don't forget that you are paying them to make something you want. If they are not creating what you asked for then don't be afraid to say its not right. Any professional will not take offence and update what they are doing for you. A decent artist would of sent you some early work to make sure that they were heading in the direction you wanted. Don't be afraid to work with the artist on what you want :)
Until the next time...

Offline Holzchopf

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Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2018, 02:48:32 PM »
Funny how the graphics look different every day :D I think it's definitively going the right way. I especially like the current ground texture and the gold and iron materials.

Offline curtastic

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Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2018, 09:34:23 PM »
Ya it's starting to look better.
I had in mind a more simplified pixel art style where each color only has 1 or 2 shades, but somehow not cartoony, but I don't know how possible that is. Maybe what I'm doing is best. I guess you have to go slightly cartoony. Like this https://i.redd.it/zbkvapl8lp601.gif

Offline Holzchopf

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Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2018, 10:48:32 PM »
Yay, got to day 86! Kinda hoped the highscores would already work :'( keep up the good work!

Offline Steve Elliott

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Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2018, 11:01:28 PM »
Quote
I had in mind a more simplified pixel art style where each color only has 1 or 2 shades, but somehow not cartoony, but I don't know how possible that is. Maybe what I'm doing is best. I guess you have to go slightly cartoony. Like this https://i.redd.it/zbkvapl8lp601.gif

Yes, that's a good style...Maybe you should have told your artist about your vision.
Windows 10, 64-bit, 16Gb RAM, CPU Intel i5, 3.2 GHz, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 (2Gb).
MacOS Mojave, 64-bit, 8Gb RAM, CPU Intel i5, 2.3 Ghz, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 1536 MB.
Linux Mint 19.1, 64-bit, 16Gb RAM, CPU Intel i5, 3.2 GHz, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 (2Gb).

Offline curtastic

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Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2018, 01:53:15 AM »
Well I thought that any pixel art would be more simplified than what I had, because Reiner's art is not pixel art, it's low res renders of 3D models. So I let my artist just do whatever he does best. Now I'm having another artist make the towers with less detail but I don't know if it's better.

Which is better? I guess the first 2 old ones and the last 4 new ones right?

Offline Derron

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Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2018, 06:42:06 AM »
I like both - but only on my smartphone display (because of its size). On my desktop the scaled versions look "blurred" because of the scaling method (bilinear filtering?):


(left: screenshot, right: non-filtered-2x-scale of the shot).


New "block stones" look better than before BUT: while different visual looks / enhancements in the levels of a tower/blocker/... help distinguishing stuff it needs some experience with the game to tell if a tower is of a higher level than another. The cannon for example gets more and more "fortified" so this helps already. An arrow tower could receive more and more slots for bow man. A blocker can grow by 2-3 pixels in height each time (depends on maximum level because of ...) .


... because of sometimes elements block the visuals of items on "top" of them (a row less) ... So pay attention that tall/high elements cannot block the visually important details/decoration of another item. Means: you should always be able to identify an item and its level.


Another "annoyance" is: if you "accidentally" swap tiles in a way that eg. 4 level 2 arrow towers get connected, they become 1 arrow tower level 3 and you gain 1 extra move. 1 single extra move?! I mean, you get the same if you just connect 4 base tiles.
Maybe give at least 1 extra move per "level". So connecting 4 lvl1 arrow towers = 1 lvl2 tower + 2 extra moves, connecting 4 lvl2 arrow towers = 1 lvl3 tower + 3 extra moves. Another option - but of course a "powerful" one is that
XXXX (X = level 2 arrow tower)
becomes
0YY0 (Y = level 3 arrow tower)


suggestions (from Tower Defenses...):
- poison tower/tile - inflicting X damage for Y seconds every Z second
- trap - completely stopping movement for X (milli-)seconds
- AOE/area of effect - a cannon tower could hit enemies right next to the target (aka "hit multiple enemies with one shot")
- other enemies
- - enemies ignoring slow-downs
- - enemies not attackable with poison
- - enemies ignoring arrows or bullets or ... - or at least get less wounded by them (needing more hits)
- - bosses every X rounds (they only move along 1 or 2 lanes but need more hits)
- - mobs/bosses which can switch lanes (so building "at the top" is needed too)

special mobs should be rarely used to not annoy.

bye
Ron

Offline curtastic

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Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2018, 01:40:11 AM »
I like both - but only on my smartphone display (because of its size). On my desktop the scaled versions look "blurred" because of the scaling method (bilinear filtering?):
Oops I had smoothing on and didn't realize because I keep testing in low res. Thanks for the find.

Quote
A blocker can grow by 2-3 pixels in height each time (depends on maximum level because of ...)
The wall is already growing each level but I could extend it a little. There's 5 levels.

Quote
Another "annoyance" is: if you "accidentally" swap tiles in a way that eg. 4 level 2 arrow towers get connected, they become 1 arrow tower level 3 and you gain 1 extra move. 1 single extra move?! I mean, you get the same if you just connect 4 base tiles.
Maybe give at least 1 extra move per "level". So connecting 4 lvl1 arrow towers = 1 lvl2 tower + 2 extra moves, connecting 4 lvl2 arrow towers = 1 lvl3 tower + 3 extra moves. Another option - but of course a "powerful" one is that
XXXX (X = level 2 arrow tower)
becomes
0YY0 (Y = level 3 arrow tower)
Ya I've been thinking about this. Any extra bonus adds a little complexity to the rules. Too much bonus would make you only want match-4s, and I don't want people to avoid match-3s. I just changed it to give you 3 extra moves, since the tower is made of 3 materials.


Quote
- AOE/area of effect - a cannon tower could hit enemies right next to the target (aka "hit multiple enemies with one shot")
I've been thinking about making cannons shoot everything at once that's in a triangle shape area, only the way they are facing. And you tap them to change their direction only when not being attacked.

Offline Derron

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Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2018, 11:54:16 AM »
@ cannons
If you would want more complex rules: the direction of a cannon is defined with the opposite of the last tile-movement (or kept if only moved up/downwards).

So moving a cannon from left to right will turn the cannon "towards left" (as they were "pulled" by some horses). Moved from right to left will then let it face to the right.
Of course this makes stuff more "complex" and adds some "think ahead" stuff which might not be wanted.
Nonetheless it might be worth to think about all this ... and eg. add it in a "advanced game mode" compared to a "simple game mode".


@ new animations
the blinking iron mine animation looks nice.
the "opening chest" animation ... hmm maybe it could be a bit "snappier".

Regardless of this nitpicking: animating the whole stuff is adding a lot of polishing and "pleasing for the eyes" (of your potential new users). Trees could "shake in the wind" - when moved or vanished. Cannons/Ballistas could turn their wheels, towers could "rotate" (as if you move a upwards-standing barrel), ...


@ unknown highscore
You might consider giving the "unknown" at least a random appendix ("guest XYZ") on each load (so it stays the same if you play multiple games). You might even store it in a cookie (or so) - so it is kept until someone hits a "reset user data" in the "cog wheel"-menu (which is not active yet).


@ grass tiles
Why not have one single grass tile - which is seamless/tileable/repeating - and draw it it tinted (like "setcolor 200,200,200") to darken it a bit (or precreate it in a painting programm). Might make the map look more "natural".


@ night mode
Nice addition to make it "night" during attacks. Pay attention to darken all sprites (except hud and "particles" like "extra move" notifications).
also: from day to night is "faded", from night to day is "instant"...



Keep up on improving - I like to look at the website on a more or less regular base just to see what sprites got added.


Offline curtastic

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Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2018, 12:00:29 AM »
@cannons
If you make it face left and shoot left only, you'd want it on the right edge of the board and that shouldn't be impossible.

@animations
I don't know how to make the chest animation look better besides add more frames, I could speed it up.

I can try trees shaking in the wind.

@highscores
It's using a canvas only, so I can't use HTML inputs so I have to code my own text input. I think I will do that soon.
I'll give you a random name for now.

@grass
That's what I'm doing, I darkened one and tiled it. Should I made the seams straighter, or more blended?

@night
Unless I recode with openGL I can't alter image color on the fly. I could put a semi transparent black rectangle over the screen at night but that would cause lag on android.

Offline iWasAdam

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Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2018, 08:31:10 AM »
Have you thought about a macos/windows version of this?