8/28/2016 - Brickout Defense

After being in a closed beta for so long, I decided to at least link to the Brickout Defense game for anyone interested in playing it.

Brickout Defense

3/15/2012 - Game Basics

Recently I touched on some game background, concepts and some visuals. Now, I think I should describe the basics of the game.

Your goal is to stop the enemy balls from reaching the bottom of the screen. In the vein of many tower defense games, you must purchase and build towers to shoot at the incoming enemies. Unlike many tower defense games, there is contact between the enemies and your towers. If the balls impact your tower, the tower takes some damage. If you take too much damage, the tower is destroyed. The tower provides an obstacle so the balls can't reach the bottom of the screen.

When you destroy a ball, you usually get more money to buy and upgrade towers. Upgrading a tower gives it more firepower and makes it more durable. It is usually more cost effective to upgrade instead of building a new tower. If you destroy all the incoming balls before all lives are lost, you win the level.

3/7/2012 - Why Flash

Since I considered my game skills to be a bit rusty, I first tackled some simpler game concepts. That's why I developed the games Rootbeer Maze and Air Hockey. During those releases, I noticed that it was extremely difficult to distribute games written in Silverlight. In an effort to improve distribution, I converted Rootbeer Maze to flash and improved it a bit. Add in high scores and reasonable music and I went from around 300 plays in a year to over 10,000 score submissions plus over 30,000 plays in a year. While I am not completely convinced that flash is a good game development tool, it is very hard to argue with the current marketshare.

3/3/2012 - Progression of Game Designs

Several years ago, before I released any of my online games, I knew I wanted to make a tower defense game. I played Desktop Tower Defense and Desktop Defender for more hours than I care to admit.

Just making a clone of an existing game didn't sound too interesting. I wouldn't go for that as a player and developing it doesn't sound like something to be proud of. There are a few directions I considered going with the tower defense. They are all mash-ups of two genres, which I thought would provide a distinct game feel.

First, I considered making a parody tower defense game. Could you imagine building towers and having a giant gorilla start stomping on them, throwing barrels to bring towers to the ground? How about a couple bomber men dueling, or a very structured attack grid of aliens? While it could be interesting, I didn't think I had the ability to make it look good, be balanced... and avoid legal issues.

Since I had some experience with a physics engine, another avenue I considered was a tower defense game in the middle of a pool table. The idea was to keep the AI from shooting the balls past you. A couple reasons I avoided this. Normally you only have an action every few seconds and I couldn't think of a way the AI player's strategy could appear interesting to the tower defense player.

Finally, I came up with an idea. One portion of the parody game I didn't mention was the paddle + ball genre, often called Breakout clones. Having an AI opponent (the paddle) could work in this case, even though it wasn't a major strategic point. A variety of enemies (balls) could be provided and it looked like it would be reasonable to set up for a strategy. I'll try to go into this a bit more as the game progresses.

3/3/2012 - Little Image Teaser

I previously showed what the prototype looked like. Things tend to improve a lot when a designer is involved.

TD Teaser

12/11/2010 - A Simple Introduction

Hello everyone!  I finally got around to starting this blog.  I intend to show off some games before release and provide thoughts on game development.

To provide some sort of value, I included a picture of my new game.  Ok, this is a prototype with standard (or sub-par) programmer graphics.  I tinkered with the fun part of the game (gameplay) on and off for about a year and came up with this:

TD Prototype

Be thankful that I didn't leave it at that point.