SyntaxBomb - Indie Coders

General Category => Showcase => Topic started by: curtastic on July 02, 2018, 09:54:58 PM

Title: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: curtastic 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.
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Holzchopf 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
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Derron 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?

(http://i.imgur.com/9tbGQdS.png)

bye
Ron
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: curtastic 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.
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Qube 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 :)
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Holzchopf 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.
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: curtastic 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
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Holzchopf 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!
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Steve Elliott 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.
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: curtastic 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?
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Derron 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?):

(https://abload.de/img/swapkecg7.png)
(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
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: curtastic 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.
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Derron 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.

Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: curtastic 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.
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: iWasAdam on August 06, 2018, 08:31:10 AM
Have you thought about a macos/windows version of this?
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Derron on August 06, 2018, 08:54:33 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.

I did not really get it... of course it isn't impossible?
moving to the most right tile only is possible when coming from top/bottom (keeping direction of before) - or coming from the left (making it facing to the left).


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

Yes ... maybe speed the animation up a bit, this makes it "snappier".


@grass
That's what I'm doing, I darkened one and tiled it. Should I made the seams straighter, or more blended?
Yes now it looks proper - I am not sure but it was different some time ago... or.... my mind is tricking me.


@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.

So how do you do the fade-to-night then? Can't you do the same for the items?


(https://abload.de/img/towerswap68cr1.png)
This is how it scales on my small HP Laptop (Windows 10, 1280x800) - pay attention to the black outline and how poor they look.
Other items do not have such harsh black outlines - and therefor they might scale up a bit better (less contrast between item color and outline color/pixels)


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: curtastic on August 06, 2018, 08:15:02 PM
@cannons
So if you swap a cannon right it faces left? I guess people could get used to that.

@night
To turn to night I have a darker version of the ground. When getting dark I draw that behind everything then fade out the regular ground. To make everything darker I'd need a darker version of every frame of every object.

@cannon image
Ya I want to get the cannons redone, they are the ugliest thing in the game. For now I'll make the border gray. The game is built for 320x432, so any screen in which the shorter dimension isn't an exact multiple of that, some pixels become bigger than others. It's hard to notice though. I probably should have made the game 32x32 tiles so it's harder to notice. My desktop browser has height 974 so each image pixel is drawn with either 2 or 3 screen pixels, which is a 50% jump. I could lock it at 640x864 for screens that are taller than 864.

@steam
Yes I want to get the game into Steam. I'm currently working on this every day so it should happen.
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Derron on August 07, 2018, 07:38:24 AM
Experienced some odd situations:


1) When tapping on tiles during a "lag" (eg. system updates or so) results in tiles switching places
I tapped during an update and suddenly a ballista was placed 4 tiles away from its original position (other row, other coloumn)


2) Item creation slot differs when match3 created by falling-blocks not "swap"
I for example had this layout

Code: [Select]
--x----
--x----
xxooo--
-------

when "ooo" got removed (and some other blocks collapsed too)
-------
--x----
--x----
xx   --
-------

they moved down to fill the gaps ... and you would assume the tower item to get created in the 3rd coloumn ... but it was created in the first one!
Code: [Select]
-------
-------
--X----
T  ----
I assume only "manual swapped tiles" get marked as "create there" instead of storing the last "moved in" block position. Suggestion is: for each cell in the game store the last "occupied" time (so when an item got attached to it - by a swap or by a fall-down). Use that time to choose at which spot of a match-X you create the tower/item.


3) Sometimes things do not get created
I had some tiles, swapped them and it created a 4 in a coloumn and a 3 in the neighbour coloumn - but it only created one of both items.


4) +move item is odd
The gold-item does not decrease swap-count when creating a match3 - shouldn't it cost a swap-turn but provide +2 as benefit? (it's a minor but it might be more "logical" if it behaved so). 


5) Still got difficult start situations 
Got start scenarios in which it was not possible to cover all lanes properly. So eg. you are able to get 2 ballistas (+ a cannon?) and then you have 2 dragons flying on a lane without ballista. The cannon (lvl1) is only able to kill 1 ...


6) boss fights
I would suggest to add some boss enemies - which provide you bonus lifes. Of course you could then increase difficulty a bit so that bonus lifes are not just decreasing difficulty of the game.


7) HUD
While the HUD is work in progress you might consider adding a "dark to transparent" background on top (height = HUD height) to make the HUD a bit more "distinguishable" from the background. A slight darkening might already help.


8 ) Bitmapfonts - SpriteAtlas
Instead of storing each character image separately - couldn't you use a simple spritesheet (all chars in one image) and then draw a sub-rectangle of the image? Will decrease initial loading time as file requests are rather expensive (especially on the web-platform). Rendering speed could benefit too, as less texture switches are needed.

Same of course could be said about every sprite in the game. If you want to replace stuff very often, consider at least to store "animations" in a sprite sheet (so all treasure sprites in one image, all dragon sprites in one image, ...).


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: curtastic on August 07, 2018, 11:47:02 PM
1) Or you're crazy. jk. I don't know how that's possible.
2) Good idea. Okay it upgrades the one tile moved now, if some moved and some didn't. If they all moved it still defaults to first in the array.
3) Oh they are all the same type? That counts as a match-7 if they're all the same type and all connected. I guess it shouldn't count as one unless they are connected by a 3-in-a-row.
4) Haven't you ever bought a Scratcher and it just says you win 1 free Scratcher? It's the greatest pointless thing. The chests are going to open up with gold in them as the main way of farming in-app currency also. Almost always 1 gold.
5) Ya but if you have infinite lives to keep restarting it's okay. I'll have to balance it if it costs a life to start a new game and you can run out.
6) Yep I want to try this.
7) Good idea I'll do that for now. I want a font with a border and have the icons be outlined better.
8 ) Right now it's drawing with the CPU so it would actually draw slower with a spite map because it would have to clip it each time. I'm likely going to port the game to Unity because you can get good ad deals and some of the publishers around here get picky. I just met with a puzzle app publisher / friend in Mountain View by the new Facebook building because we're that cool.
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Derron on August 08, 2018, 07:30:27 AM
@ 3)
Nope, were 2 different types.

@ 1)
Happened multiple times when I played via chrome browser on an android device doing some "updates" in the background (also afterwards it had some slowdowns here and there...maybe postprocessing updates / recreating some stuff in the background).


@ CPU
Wrong programming language / engine then ;-)


@ Unity
If that helps out... at least you learn something new.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Derron on August 11, 2018, 04:36:48 PM
@ Lags
When I have a lagging phone (display off during game, then unlock after a while - so previously suspended stuff get re-awakened) I can move a tile without any higher costs.


@ FPS rate and logic rate
Seems logic rate and render rate are connected instead of separated.
So when rendering with 20fps the whole game gets slower instead of just skipping some renders.


@ missiles get removed
Imagine a >lvl1 ballista is firing 4 arrows ... the first three hit an enemie, the last one (the 4th) is now not trying to hit the next enemy but just vanishes.
This means that higher level items loos efficiency - especially if other towers hit too (so only 2 of the 4 arrows would be needed).


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Derron on August 12, 2018, 12:19:29 PM
@ bonus moves on multi-matches

When you have a multi-match-3

Code: [Select]
  x
  x
xx x <-
it sometimes gives 2 bonus moves (2 extra solved "x")
and sometimes it gives 3 bonus moves (as if it dissolves a tower).

Maybe this happens when logic already created a tower at the spot but the spot is marked for deletion ? Happened just once yet (3 moves).


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Pingus on August 12, 2018, 03:45:14 PM
Excellent game design ! Is it made with MonkeyX ?
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Derron on August 12, 2018, 07:17:23 PM
Excellent game design ! Is it made with MonkeyX ?


No... Touchbasic seems to be used.

Bye
Ron
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Derron on August 13, 2018, 06:56:49 AM
@ floating point issues
Seems you are not rendering at fixed coordinates - or scaling is not properly done

(http://i.imgur.com/Smreutg.png)
Borders around the tiles - on some more (see on the right) than on others (next to it) or just barely visible (tiles outside the map).


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: curtastic on August 13, 2018, 08:11:39 PM
@ missiles get removed
Ya every projectile has a specific target enemy. Would be too slow to check collision of every enemy every frame since its a web game. Will work on a way for projectiles to re-target.

@ FPS rate
When it becomes a native app, the app will not be available on any device that it lags on. I could do frame skipping for web and just in case.

@ bonus moves
A match-5 of materials should give 2 extra moves unless it's a treasure chest, then 3. A match-5 of level 1 towers would give 6 extra moves.

@ Lags
what do you mean without higher costs?

@ floating point issues
What is your screen resolution? Does it happen with a smaller browser window?
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Derron on August 13, 2018, 08:40:31 PM
@ missiles get removed
Ya every projectile has a specific target enemy. Would be too slow to check collision of every enemy every frame since its a web game. Will work on a way for projectiles to re-target.
Just had this again - Ballista lvl 4 (?) ... and it was not able to shoot at 3 dragons as they were far away (near top, tower at bottom and just a single "hill" on the lane). While the tower would be fast enough the dragons were faster than the "arrow refresh"...
So I died (again ...) while the towers were upgraded far enough to go past some more levels without further upgrades...



@ FPS rate
When it becomes a native app, the app will not be available on any device that it lags on. I could do frame skipping for web and just in case.
Do not make apps inavailable just because your "loop" is flawed. Not all of us need 60fps - you need to do your logic fast enough (eg. 60 logic updates per second) but it should never matter if you are able to "render" fast enough. Render is "optional", logic is "required".
Split Logic and Drawing apart and use "tweening" ("I am at 0.4 of 1.0 to the next update" -> so draw dragons as if they moved 40% further already).
 

@ bonus moves
A match-5 of materials should give 2 extra moves unless it's a treasure chest, then 3. A match-5 of level 1 towers would give 6 extra moves.
As said I had sometimes different numbers - think it processed stuff already which it should not - so it processed tiles twice.


@ Lags
what do you mean without higher costs?
I even had it on my desktop machine (multi core, not "limited" by your game). During a "tiles collapse and build a tower" I was able to move the "in that moment getting created"-tower to another tile - without loosing one of the "switch tile"-turns.


@ floating point issues
What is your screen resolution? Does it happen with a smaller browser window?
1980x1200
When manually resizing the window "some pixels" the borders are gone.
Nonetheless: do not scale your stuff to "non integer" pixel values. Also all tile positions should be integer based to avoid any "gaps".

Side note: without moving the browser window I see items "flickering" during their renders. not the whole tile but the "borders" - as if the scale is not fixed and sometimes it needs to render 1-2 more pixels to the right or left. And nope, it is not an animation being offset - I am talking about a non-animated/static tile.
If there is interest, I could create a little recording/animation of it.
 


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Pingus on August 14, 2018, 03:18:37 AM
That game is pretty addictive  :D, it really deserves to be polished, improved (with different creature waves) and adapted as a native app for generating few bucks (IOS/Android).
I suggest to add a button 'shuffle' for the start, that way the player can shuffle the first board until he get a 'good' start, that would be less annoying than restarting the page.

Any strategy hint to score more ;) ?
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Derron on August 14, 2018, 07:13:14 AM
@ hint
I think the difficulty got increased somewhen - I most of the time loose all of my lifes in the waves 33 and up - it just "suddenly starts". Most of them are based on "deleted ammo" (flying arrows get removed when the initial target is killed).

So until that is fixed, a "high level ballista" looses against "multiple low level ballistas" on the same lane.

Arrow towers do not need to get put lane after lane, use the space inbetween for "ballista + slowdown" lanes.
Arrow towers' range is too low to have multiple slow-down-hills.

If you have ballistas, just put a "high level"-hill at the bottom of this lane. For ballistas every slow-down means another shot.
Neighbours of slowdowns are cannons - the higher the slow down level the better for a "horizontal shooting" item like the cannon.

Do not match-3 level x towers into level x+1 towers if you are barely able to kill all dragons in a level (I know, the spawning-lanes are random and sometimes you have 40+% of the enemies in one lane...so you need luck too).

Avoid "single base tiles" at the ground. The more you progress in the game, the more towers/hills you will have - and the less matchable-tiles will exist. The game makes sure that you can match something (at least I think so) but this might mean to move a bottom tile way to the top (2-3 rounds).

Before switching tiles check if the "collapse movement" could match-3 another one - so sometimes moving a tile up instead of left will create another match



@ switch start scenario
good idea.
I had game starting with match-3s until I got 12 "turns" to switch tiles - but I was not able to secure all lanes. Such games most often have nearly all start dragons in one lane. So if you get only 2-3 ballistas and 1 cannon you will loose already 1 life if more than 1 dragon flies on a non-secured lane (only cannon shoots at it - but a level 1 cannon only kills 1 dragon of a dragon-group).


@ Deleted ammonition
Couldn't one just speed up the ammo a bit?
And another - better idea - could be to have a "shot ammo at me"-counter per dragon. If that amount equals to "hitpoints" then a tower will target another dragon. That way less ammonition will get lost - albeit "simultaneously shooting towers" will still try to hit the same dragon.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: iWasAdam on August 14, 2018, 10:23:49 AM
After playing this for a while I had thoughts that something was 'not right' with the balancing...

Quote
Ya every projectile has a specific target enemy. Would be too slow to check collision of every enemy every frame since its a web game. Will work on a way for projectiles to re-target.

A. thats the dumbest thing I've ever heard
B. If you cant do it properly and check everything then start reducing things

I've seen things (arrows, etc) disappear for no reason, etc. All make sense now  >:D

Fix it or get someone to check the code to make it work correctly!

And...
Deron is quite right about black edges appearing round the background tiles - whatever you di recently really screwed things up there too.
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Derron on August 14, 2018, 01:17:02 PM
Seems you changed some stuff

@ Cannon hint bug ?
(http://i.imgur.com/g3yLOH2.png)
... not as I thought of. Bullets just do not visualize the now "funnel"-style shooting.
The "funnel" together with the slower shooting rate means, you can miss a single dragon quite easily: the horizontal bullet misses already, the one "above" still misses. Then on next shot, the "previously above bullet" already misses and so on... a bit annoying ;-)
So I had in the 5th of 6 lanes 2 cannons ... and they were not able to hit 2 dragons in lane 6 a single time. Means I lost already 2 lives in (this case..) 4 levels.
 
So for now "cannons" are more feasible in the later levels.


also: bullets have a "range" now - so a cannon in one of the two "right lanes" cannot hit dragons in the first lane. Is this "by intention" ?


@ black borders
seems to be fixed.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Pingus on August 14, 2018, 08:49:54 PM
Ah ah, I ranked 1 :) (Toto) !
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: curtastic on August 14, 2018, 11:02:22 PM
Fixed the tutorial, and fixed cannons shooting too early. Yesterday I fixed the ballista missiles disappearing when the target dies.
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Derron on August 15, 2018, 07:11:36 AM
@ misalignment
(http://i.imgur.com/T2J9mRp.png)

Maybe after "animation" (collapse, creation...) you should re-align (reposition) tiles. In this case it looks as if only arrow tower lvl1 is borked up.


@ bad start levels
I got collapses leading to 12 "turns" ... and was able to produce a lot of towers - but then all dragons start at a single lane - the one with the cannons.
(http://i.imgur.com/2MXdEZG.png)
(screen is of level 1 ... it shows "day 2" when the dragons start to fly).

Such game starts _really_ ... _really_ demotivate. Maybe you should try to avoid "all in one" dragon-setups during the first level. Maybe even try to distribute them in a way that the first level is always solveable (if there exist 2 towers).


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: iWasAdam on August 15, 2018, 10:49:39 AM
still miss-aligned bg with black borders
cannon balls go right through dragons without killing them.

Slowly this is going downhill  :-[

cannons shooting multiply ways with one cannon is non-sensical. hit detection is getting much MUCH worse
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Derron on August 17, 2018, 06:53:49 AM
Cannons do no longer switch directions - they only shoot in the direction in which they initially look.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: iWasAdam on August 17, 2018, 08:32:47 AM
getting less and less fun!

serious issue:
dragons coming up rows with no possible way of defeating them! Check out Plants vs Zombies for this - it never does this.

This is a no win situation. using this is poor practice/programming. as it gives the impression that the game is deliberately detecting where this can happen and manipulating the results so the player can't win!

Also as with Derron. the cannon no longer shift direction - again this is seen as a 'not fair' situation.

TBH I think I'm done with this. what made me smile and want to go on, now makes me cross and want to turn off - so that's what I am going to do.

Good luck with it though  :-X
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Holzchopf on August 17, 2018, 10:49:50 AM
You sound a bit harsh. Curtastic is obviously working hard on it (at least he keeps working on his project, so don't let us destroy his motivation) and where dev work is done, decisions have to be made and they can be wrong and even if they're not they can be realised unfortunate. TBH Ron's and Adam's critics are valid and they show exactly where you should put priorities - maybe you already did, in that case: keep going! But please consider removing "bad luck" completely from your game. Distribute dragons more evenly among the lines that can actually be defended (yes, that's a bit like cheating but in the player's favour). It will be more fun in the beginning (important!). Of course it will then get boring after a while if the player doesn't experience any level of difficulty. When you reached that stage, put *some* of the "bad luck" factors back in. Yes, this also means that you might have to make the factor of "game cheating in player's favour" depending on progression. That's balancing and it's super hard. But you can do it! If you chose to ignore it, you risk to lose the players early on out of frustration. And you don't wont that!
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Derron on August 17, 2018, 11:53:13 AM
You can be almost sure that at level 3 all lanes could "somehow" get secured - so a good "bad luck" modificator is
1 - Max(0, (3 - level)) / 3.0
You can increase that 3  (and 3.0) into something better.
It defines how much you can ignore tower setups.
If the modificator is 0, only place on lanes reachable by weapons - if no weapon was created, use 2 lanes to make it not look "cheated".

The higher the mod becomes, the less fair the game can become. Fairness is calculated like "shooting power per lane" / "hitpoints of all dragons in the lane".
It is not perfect, as towers can shoot in multiple directions, so not all projectiles hit the dragons on this lane - but other items will hit multiple at once ... so things can "average out".


@ changelog
Feel free to add a little changelog when you upload new stuff. So people see what changes and where to put their attention to (when testing / checking the changes).


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Pingus on August 18, 2018, 04:49:14 PM
Alghouth it seems unfair and frustrating to have big rows of dragons, I find the challenge very interresting. I sent the game link to few friends and they are all addicted (and they squat the top 5 ;). Seeing their score I assume that there are strategies that produce efficient defense against dragons and that's what maintain the game interrest to me.
More evenly distributed waves of dragon would make that a game would last much longer and could become boring.

I still regret the lack of a 'reset' button to avoid starting the game many times before getting what I think is a good beginning.
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Derron on August 19, 2018, 09:01:51 AM
We did not suggest to make evenly distributed dragons in all levels ... just the first levels need this kind of "starter help".


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: curtastic on August 31, 2018, 09:49:51 AM
Okay I changed the cannons back so they shoot the whole row, so you shouldn't get many starts where you can't hit some columns.

There is a quit game in the menu which resets without a page load. I will also speed up page load for if you do refresh for a new game.

I sent the game link to few friends and they are all addicted (and they squat the top 5 ;). Seeing their score I assume that there are strategies that produce efficient defense against dragons and that's what maintain the game interrest to me.
More evenly distributed waves of dragon would make that a game would last much longer and could become boring.

I still regret the lack of a 'reset' button to avoid starting the game many times before getting what I think is a good beginning.
Thanks for sharing it, ya I should have a changelog so people don't wonder why their scores are gone. I clear the leaderboard every time I make an update that affects difficulty.

- Added boss
- Changed cannons to shoot the whole row.
- Removed cannon splash damage, but not splash knockback (level 2).
- Fixed lightning (level 3) projectiles.
- Added better lightning (level 3) images.
- Added collectible gold.
- Fixed music and sound volume settings.
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Derron on August 31, 2018, 10:52:44 AM
You also added an "show ad"-continue thingy.


@ coins
What do you plan with it?
Now you can choose to use coins _or_ viewing an ad to be able to continue the game a single time. So you cannot spend coins _and_ watching an ad (to receive 2 continues).
An option would be something like
1st continue 50g
2nd continue 75g
3rd ... 100g
4th ... 150g
and so on


@ mother of all dragons
The first text line is done with a "typewriter effect". The second line is instantly shown.

When you reach second boss, same effect is used - while you already know what happens next (so instantly show both lines?).

Another idea is to "warn" a level before: "WARNING: next level is a boss level".
Boss levels could have a slight red glow at the border of the game (like a warning screen).

Next to boss levels you could have "difficult" levels every 4th wave - which means you have some dragons which need more hits. This also means that level 20 is a "difficult boss level" (4*5 ...).

Tower defences also had "invisible mobs" which needed special towers to get seen. Might be a bit too difficult ("needs level 3 arrow tower on each lane" or so) but just keep the idea in the backyard of your brain.


@ coins
For now you collect the coins "towards the hearts" - maybe animate the collection movement towards the coin indicator.


@ improvements
Good improvements for now.



bye
Ron
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Pingus on September 05, 2018, 02:52:56 PM
New additions are fun, but I think that you should reset the highscore table more often. There seem to be a treshold that makes any progress impossible (> wave 45-46) and once few people reach it and fill the table (I still dont know how :)) it becomes much less incentive to play.
Or maybe increase the table size to the 20 th first and reset every week.
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Derron on September 06, 2018, 08:55:13 AM
I think the problem is balancing.

When you reach level 30+ you mostly have level 2 towers. They are pretty powerful. Level 3 towers add special abilities (stun etc.) but are way less powerful than 3 level 2 towers.
So each progressing level you build more and more towers - until you somewhen are enforced to switch to a level 3 tower. You might still be able to survive next rounds without loosing a life but somewhen you will not win ... somewhen you will have a level with some more mobs on one lane so you won't just loose 1 life, but 4+ (aka gameover + continue).
Afterwards you still have the same towers - and the same problem if there are lanes with "oops more units this time". So most of the games I used the continue in levels 30-35 I finally game overed  2-3 levels later (depending on luck-of-lanes).

The games I were able to achieve 40+ (best for now 42) were the ones with pretty good starts (10 moves or so, starting level 1 with 2+ level2 towers already) and the ones where I was able to keep many level 2 towers (and at least one level 3 cannon, so to pretty easily stun the bosses right on the first row).

I think the #1 highscores do it similary: not trying to upgrade towers as fast as possible, but to have as much as possible level 2 towers (as you will not have 10+ level3 towers in that stage). And if that was this way, you have a natural "stop" to not reach any further: somewhen items collapse ("upgrade") and you will suddenly loose lifes.
This gets even worse if you need to pass 2 waves to rearrange items to _not_ collapse. Else you sometimes end in multi-collapses (multiple items connect to 3 or more - so multiple towers get upgraded). Or even worse: it collapses and you suddenly join 5 towers into one lvl+ tower plus some moves. This is your death shot in later stages.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: therevills on September 10, 2018, 10:48:45 AM
Some time ago I noticed that the game was playing faster than before, I thought you had enabled fast forward mode or something for testing... but just noticed in the top left corner there is an FPS counter and one my PC it was 120FPS... so I changed the monitor settings from 120Hz down to 60Hz and the game now plays at normal speed again.

So you need to add some frame limiting code which is not linked to the vsync of the monitor.

I still like playing this game now and again :)
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: Derron on September 10, 2018, 11:08:12 AM
I suggested some long time ago to split logic from rendering. if you eg. play on a very slow (gpu wise) device like an old smartphone or IGP-intel-laptop from the early 2000's you will have also slower game mechanics. Means you need longer to finish levels.
Separate logic from rendering and you could pretty easily do better collision checks etc.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: curtastic on September 17, 2018, 08:43:51 PM
Some time ago I noticed that the game was playing faster than before, I thought you had enabled fast forward mode or something for testing... but just noticed in the top left corner there is an FPS counter and one my PC it was 120FPS... so I changed the monitor settings from 120Hz down to 60Hz and the game now plays at normal speed again.

So you need to add some frame limiting code which is not linked to the vsync of the monitor.

I still like playing this game now and again :)
Thanks for the bug find. Let me know if it's fixed now. I don't have a faster display myself right now. I just realized there is a 120FPS phone, the new Razer phone. So that would be an issue. It's the only non-60FPS smartphone/tablet.
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: curtastic on September 17, 2018, 08:46:30 PM
I think the problem is balancing.

When you reach level 30+ you mostly have level 2 towers. They are pretty powerful. Level 3 towers add special abilities (stun etc.) but are way less powerful than 3 level 2 towers.
So each progressing level you build more and more towers - until you somewhen are enforced to switch to a level 3 tower. You might still be able to survive next rounds without loosing a life but somewhen you will not win ... somewhen you will have a level with some more mobs on one lane so you won't just loose 1 life, but 4+ (aka gameover + continue).
Afterwards you still have the same towers - and the same problem if there are lanes with "oops more units this time". So most of the games I used the continue in levels 30-35 I finally game overed  2-3 levels later (depending on luck-of-lanes).

The games I were able to achieve 40+ (best for now 42) were the ones with pretty good starts (10 moves or so, starting level 1 with 2+ level2 towers already) and the ones where I was able to keep many level 2 towers (and at least one level 3 cannon, so to pretty easily stun the bosses right on the first row).

I think the #1 highscores do it similary: not trying to upgrade towers as fast as possible, but to have as much as possible level 2 towers (as you will not have 10+ level3 towers in that stage). And if that was this way, you have a natural "stop" to not reach any further: somewhen items collapse ("upgrade") and you will suddenly loose lifes.
This gets even worse if you need to pass 2 waves to rearrange items to _not_ collapse. Else you sometimes end in multi-collapses (multiple items connect to 3 or more - so multiple towers get upgraded). Or even worse: it collapses and you suddenly join 5 towers into one lvl+ tower plus some moves. This is your death shot in later stages.


bye
Ron
Okay I made level 3 towers shoot faster now. And I removed the extra knockback from level 2 towers because sometimes they would just stop a whole group of dragons entirely by constantly pushing them back when on a wall.
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: curtastic on September 17, 2018, 08:53:03 PM
New additions are fun, but I think that you should reset the highscore table more often. There seem to be a treshold that makes any progress impossible (> wave 45-46) and once few people reach it and fill the table (I still dont know how :)) it becomes much less incentive to play.
Or maybe increase the table size to the 20 th first and reset every week.
Okay for now I increased it from 9 to 12 scores. I'm going to have to ditch the leaderboard at some point because there's no good way of making it not hackable, since I want you to be able to keep playing when your internet is spotty, and I don't want to spend the server resources for my server to be playing everyone's game.
Title: Re: Tower Swap - Endless Puzzle - Competition Entry
Post by: curtastic on September 17, 2018, 08:59:37 PM
@ coins
What do you plan with it?
Now you can choose to use coins _or_ viewing an ad to be able to continue the game a single time. So you cannot spend coins _and_ watching an ad (to receive 2 continues).
An option would be something like
1st continue 50g
2nd continue 75g
3rd ... 100g
4th ... 150g
and so on


@ mother of all dragons
The first text line is done with a "typewriter effect". The second line is instantly shown.

When you reach second boss, same effect is used - while you already know what happens next (so instantly show both lines?).

Another idea is to "warn" a level before: "WARNING: next level is a boss level".
Boss levels could have a slight red glow at the border of the game (like a warning screen).

Next to boss levels you could have "difficult" levels every 4th wave - which means you have some dragons which need more hits. This also means that level 20 is a "difficult boss level" (4*5 ...).

Tower defences also had "invisible mobs" which needed special towers to get seen. Might be a bit too difficult ("needs level 3 arrow tower on each lane" or so) but just keep the idea in the backyard of your brain.


@ coins
For now you collect the coins "towards the hearts" - maybe animate the collection movement towards the coin indicator.
Right now it's competitive so I don't want to let people pay to win. Since gold is attached to your account not your current game. Everyone gets 1 continue.

I was thinking gold is stored in your castle and that's why dragons are attacking. But it's displayed on the right. And you don't lose your gold when they destroy the castle so idk.

That's a good idea for invisible mobs. I think I played one like that in a Starcraft mod where you had to build turrets to see the wave of cloaked wraiths. I forgot all about that.

Ya maybe it's better to say the mother of dragons is coming next rather than right now.
SimplePortal 2.3.6 © 2008-2014, SimplePortal