Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Game Cow Week: Day 3

I stopped early today, about 5:30, because it was new years, and because I was starting to get burned out. Although after nearly thirty six hours of programming in just three days, it’s not much of a surprise.

I got some good stuff done today. I added barricades, two varieties, that can easily be expanded into three. I set it up so that when you place a barricade it barricades all four sides of the tile, with an empty space inside which you can place defenders. The defenders can then shoot out of the barricade at the passing zombies. I also got the zombies to chase defenders, so if a zombie sees a defender it will attack it, meaning that packs of zombies will move out and swarm around defenders. So if you have a defender behind a barricade, then the zombies will swarm the barricade and beat on it until it falls apart. The path finding works so that the zombies will sometimes decide that it is faster and easier to beat their way through a barrier, rather than going around. Also at times the zombies will be going around a barrier, except for a few who are trying to get at a defender who is inside. When they finally get through the barrier the other zombies will start following the shorter route opened up by the destruction of the barrier.

I also added a water tile. Water tiles slow zombies down, so they will avoid them if possible. I’m thinking it would be fun to have zombies randomly get washed away in the current, and that shouldn’t be too hard to implement. Maybe I’ll do that tomorrow.

Another new feature is two additional types of zombies. Now there are the standard slow zombies, a faster variety that moves about three times as fast, and a big powerful zombie that moves slower than the others, but is much tougher. The big zombies are giving me a little bit of trouble, because they move slower they don’t flow through the level as nicely as the other varieties. I’m going to have to play around with them some to see what I can do to get them to work better.

Tomorrow I’m going to dive into developing the humans more. I think it could be fun to have the human units be unique, something like your units in Fire Emblem, which would better facilitate a story and be pretty unique for a tower defense game. But I don’t know if that will work out. Usually tower defense games require you to have lots of towers out on the play field, and if I have the units be unique I’m probably looking at only about thirty or forty units total over the course of the whole game. A possible solution might be to have a mix of hero units that are unique, and generic grunt units that aren’t unique. I guess time and playtesting will show what will work.

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