Project Faery and The Grass Tower

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A little development talk

The most difficult thing about this project has been really nailing things down. Without a doubt, this has become an incredible learning experience. Work on this project was started about a year ago. Of course, as I write this article now I’m remembering one year ago (practically to the day) writing a prototype for GooMonsters and watch little solid colored circles chase a block around the screen. GooMonsters was an intentional derailment from this game, mostly because I’ve found making decisions on how to address aspects of the game to be incredibly difficult. This game has depth at a level that nothing I’ve developed in the past could have, probably because strategy is a huge key. Figuring out how to balance the game and incorporate a sense of achievement has always haunted me. I have multiple pages full of numbers and organized thoughts trying to pinpoint how this game is going to work, flow, and balance. And while I will be balancing until right before the game is released I definitely think it’s coming together.

The past two weeks have been huge. Two of the biggest mental hurdles I was cowering behind finally came down. Mostly because forcing a decision and going at it full force produced results. Hurdle 1) Get the Faeries in game and working. Hurdle 2) Make this game a TDRPG not just another TD game.

Since the beginning I knew one thing about this game was certain, I wanted a story. I think back to the first Digitally Bold release, Fly Away Rabbit, and am saddened I didn’t give that poor rabbit a good solid reason for flying into the clouds. I know that game could have been twice as successful if I had cultivated a desire in the player to see this rabbit succeed. But I digress, Project Faery needed a story because I want this TD game to feel like you have a purpose for helping these forest guardians save the day. And I wanted the levels to progress ultimately to a final goal. It’s TD but with a purpose.

So all that said, RPG elements just make sense. Why not be able to upgrade as you progress through levels. Who doesn’t like upgrades? After all there’s a popular flash game Upgrade Complete where you quite literally upgrade everything. So while upgrading has always been a goal, how to do it has been a complete mess of ideas that went from blatantly simple to so complex my head hurts thinking about programming it. At the moment I’ve happily stuck with blatantly simple for the user and just mildly complex programmatically.  Also at the moment, I love the upgrade system, I can’t wait to show off some examples as it gets more fully developed, but for now know it’s a definitely inspired by some of the Final Fantasies.

The Grass Tower

This was the first tower designed for the game. While its function has took some overhauls in recent days due to its naturally tesla looking shape (becoming a lightning tower), it’s still a fundamental tower in the game. This tower works fantastic for weakening (and taking out) unarmored enemies due to it’s fast reload and wide spread attack. Above you can see it attacking a “Goober” with both a damage and burn enhancement added to the tower.  Many enhancements such as burn, will effect the target over time resulting in color tinting. This lets you track what attacks are currently affecting your enemies.  [A little development note on tinting: this is an effect I was able to achieve using just OpenGLES that I will write a blog post on later. If you want some details now be sure to check out this thread]

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About the Author:

Jonathan Parsons (Par) is the lead developer & designer for Digitally Bold. Jonathan began working with web and graphic design back when Photoshop 5.5 (not CS 5.5) was the cool kids weapon of choice. Likewise, he was introduced to programming and started game development back on the original TI-83. The flash game Blueberry is a throwback to his first attempts at game development with the TI-83.
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  1. td games  December 17, 2011

    This seems like it will be a really fun tower defense game. When will it be released?

    • Par  December 20, 2011

      Thanks! Hopefully late winter / early spring 2012 🙂


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