Thursday, May 21, 2015

Champions TD 2.0 - Meet the Druid

Want to get the Shiny Starters? Shiny Zorua? Shiny legendary dogs? Shiny Mew? or any other shiny pokemon in the game? Adopt them today using SnD coins! Click here for more info.

Visit the PTD: Pokemon Center - a place to trade pokemon, get your Daily Code, adopt Pokemon, view your items and change your avatar!


Welcome to the Sam and Dan Games Developer Blog!

PTD2 Trainer Pass! Get it today!

A great way to support us while getting amazing rewards!

What you get:
  • Increased chance for Shiny/Shadow pokemon to appear in the wild
  • No ads while you play the game
  • Get a copy of shiny giveaway pokemon automatically every week
  • Faster Breeding - Breed with only one extra visit instead of 2, essentially breed something every other day!
  • Faster Leveling - Get twice the experience on every battle!
  • Giveaways for pass holders only
You get all of this for only $1.99! One time payment! Get it today!

Champions TD 2.0

I hit a point in Champions that the game wasn't going in the direction that I liked. I wanted units to stand out more and play more of an individual role, rather than have a massive zerg/army.

This lead to a big overhaul of the game that is currently underway. I still need more time to show you guys the fruits of this overhaul but I wanted to start presenting you guys with some of the content that I had finished this past week.

One of the biggest changes is the way the units in the game will work now. The current model is that units would gain attacks and specs as you leveled them up. Similar to Pokemon, where you gain attacks and evolve as your level up. While this model can work, I wanted to try something different for this game. With a name like Champions every unit must feel complete like a Champion even when it is low leveled. Also I have been playing some Heroes of the Storm and I had previously played some League of Legends (not very much) and I really enjoyed the setup of their abilities.

Each unit in those games has a clear role. I thought this was missing and not very emphasized in Champions but that is changing. Now when you pick your class and when you get a new unit it will show you very clearly what is the intended role.

Meet the Druid

This week I worked on and finished the Druid Class and so I will show you using this class as an example.
Descriptions now quickly point to the important details.

Units will now have a passive ability, an ultimate ability and three active abilities that you get from the start. Very similar too Moba games. Let's look at the Druid's abilities.

Druid's abilities

We can see the 5 abilities the Druid class has. Some of them are similar to the ones in the game right now but most are changed in some ways and then you have some completely new ones.

The first 3 are the Active Abilities:

  • Nature's Fury - A buff to all party members, that increases their strength and intellect.
  • Bear Form - Transform into a Bear! It also multiplies your armor and stamina x2.
  • Refresh - An instant heal over time spell that can be used on self and allies.
Then we have the Passive Ability:
  • Thorn Skin - When ever hit by a physical attack, deal damage back.
Last and definitely not least we have the Ultimate Ability:

  • Roots - When activated, enemies around the druid will be rooted and damaged every second for 20 seconds.
Roots in action


You may have noticed that the Ultimate Ability is something that is activated. This is something that is true for all Ultimates. You can activate them by pressing on the corresponding button on the bottom right of the screen. You will have to figure out when is the right time to activate such a powerful move.

On top of everything these moves can be upgraded! Using Valor points that you get for beating enemies and clearing waves you can upgrade your unit and its abilities for the duration of the level.

There are three levels of upgrades that you can get with each unit. Each level cost more Valor Points than the last. Let's look at each level for the Druid class.

Level 1 Upgrades for Druid
Pictured above is the menu you get when you press on your unit's profile. You get a quick view of their attacks, their stats and possible upgrades.

Before I get into each upgrade I want to note that on top of upgrading your abilities each upgrade will also boost your stats a decent amount. For Level 1 Upgrades all using will get a +10 or 10% Stamina increase (whichever is better).

As a note in this screenshot I have (505) Valor for testing purposes, in most levels you start with 0 and earn them as you defeat enemies.

Level 1 Upgrades will always upgrade your Passive Ability.

In this case you can read the picture to see the different ways you can upgrade. My hope is that on some stages some upgrades will be better than others. It is up to you to find out what are the best upgrades to get for each stage.

Level 2 Upgrades will always  upgrade one of your 3 Activate Abilities.

Level 2 Upgrades for Druid
As we can see the cost of Valor doubles for each level. Sometimes you won't be able to reach level 3. Or you might just want to upgrade all your units Level 1 upgrades. Or maybe upgrade one unit all the way.

The previous (current) design doesn't really allow for such descision which is why I'm excited for these changes!

Level 2 Upgrades will upgrade their your Strength or Intellect (this is based on what is better for the Unit) by + 10 or 10%, whichever is best.

Each Level 2 Upgrade will target one of your 3 Active Abilities.

The first upgrade applies to Nature's Fury making it also boost your Stamina and Armor. Useful for tanking purposes! The second applies to Refresh, making your Refresh instantly heal on top of the over time component. Very useful for healing purposes!

The third choice lets you change your Bear Form ability completely! Instead of a Bear you transform into a Wolf. Instead of Armor your Strength is multiplied by x2 and your auto attacks will deal damage to all nearby enemies! Giving the Druid class to also deal decent damage!

Druid in Human Form (doesn't stay long like this)
Druid in Bear Mode - Your armor will still show when transformed
Druid in Wolf Mode - Available when you upgrade it via Level 2 Upgrades
As you might have guessed Level 3 Upgrades always upgrade your Ultimate Ability!


Not shown in the picture is the fact that Level 3 Upgrades will either increase your Haste, Armor or Magical Armor (depending on your Unit) by +10 or 10% (haste always 10%) whichever is best.

My goal with Level 3 Upgrades was to really make things exciting with the Ultimate and maybe I made things too strong but that's okay! You have to use up a lot of Valor to reach Level 3 so I want it to be rewarding.

Wanted to briefly talk about each on of the upgrades. The first one is one of my favorites because essentially it make the Ultimate be always on for your character yet it's not as predictable as the regular version since it pulses every 10 seconds instead of every second. Seems like it would be good for long fights with many small weak units.
The second one is really fun because for twenty seconds your party becomes REALLY STRONG! Not only are they healed constantly, but their attack stats are doubled and their haste is increased by 50%! This seems really great for waves that have strong enemies that deal a lot of damage but need to be controlled.

The last one is also very fun cause it gives you the ultimate (no pun intended) control! Not only will enemies around your Druid will get rooted but you can put your root power in another lane at the same time!

So that's the Druid class! The great thing is that all units in the game will have their own set of abilities and upgrades! I'm hoping to have about 60 units in the game all with their own little twist! So far I have designed on paper the abilities and talents for 20+ units and I'm really looking forward to sharing more with you guys and most importantly building it in the game so you guys get a chance to enjoy them for yourselves!

Next week I'll be working on the Rogue class (my class in World of Warcraft that I played in Vanilla!)

Thank you for reading and all your support! Much love! - Sam

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Purge

Want to get the Shiny Starters? Shiny Zorua? Shiny legendary dogs? Shiny Mew? or any other shiny pokemon in the game? Adopt them today using SnD coins! Click here for more info.

Visit the PTD: Pokemon Center - a place to trade pokemon, get your Daily Code, adopt Pokemon, view your items and change your avatar!

Welcome to the Sam and Dan Games Developer Blog!

PTD2 Trainer Pass! Get it today!

A great way to support us while getting amazing rewards!

So let's talk about what you get:
  • Increased chance for Shiny/Shadow pokemon to appear in the wild
  • No ads while you play the game
  • Get a copy of shiny giveaway pokemon automatically every week
  • Faster Breeding - Breed with only one visit instead of 2, essentially breed something everyday!
  • Faster Leveling - Get twice the experience on every battle!
  • Giveaways for pass holders only
You get all of this for only $1.99! One time payment! Get it today!

The Purge
Why can't I play the game? What is this purge that Sam keeps talking about in Twitter? Is my account going to be purged? Will you purge my account? Those are the questions on everybody's mind.

I'm here to answer. For years now the PTD1 and 2 database (where all the user accounts, pokemon, trading information are stored) has been pilling up without any sort of maintenance done on them. The result is databases FULL of data that is no longer used and all it does is slow everything down.

A week ago the servers just couldn't handle it anymore and strange problems started occurring in the game. After talking to my webhost's support team. They told me the problem resided in my side, it was not a hardware issue, and so the PURGE started.

Over 6 months ago I created a code that will write down everybody who logged in ptd2 and stored it in a list. The purpose was that after 6 months we would purge out any other inactive accounts. After talking it over with Dan we decided to also save accounts that had bought the trainer pass or had snd coins (even if they hadn't played for 6 months.)

This would ensure that players that are active can have an even faster experience and all server problems can be resolved a lot quicker.

However one does not simply purge millions upon millions of pokemon in one day. It is a process that takes planning and more importantly TIME.

So I set about creating a script that would automate the whole process. My first attempt could only delete 10 accounts every 20 seconds. We have 7 million account! Lets do the math!

First lets figure out how many attempts it would take if you only do 10 at a time. So 7million divided by 10 = 700,000. That's 700,000 attempts at 20 seconds per attempt. How many seconds is that?

700,000 times 20 = 14,000,000 seconds! Now how many days is that? 14,000,000 seconds / 60 (seconds per minute) /60 (minutes per hour)/24 (hours per day) = about 162 days!

So at that rate the whole purge would take about 162 days!!!!!!

So I worked on making the whole thing faster, instead of deleting a whole account at once I would go thru each database and delete each one individually. This turned out to be a much faster method (can handle over 3000 entries per 10 seconds and many times even more!), but it will still take some time.

So what I will do is update you on how many databases are left to purge that way we can keep track and see how close we are getting. Please not that some databases are smaller than others so some will go a lot faster, some might take a whole day.

So please bare with me and give a moment of silence to all the purge pokemon. Thank you!

Until then I will be working on Designing Champions TD, that means figuring the game out so that we have a clear idea of how long it will take to finish. My hope is that we can finish Champions in 6 months! What do you think?

PTD 2 - Trainer VS Complete!
  • Pick your avatar (100%) - from the ones you have unlocked
  • See more opponent info (100%) - See their wins and their trainer ID
  • Win Streak Mechanic (100%) - Win 7 battles before losing 3 to win a random TM from 10!
  • Win Streak TM Rewards (100%) - Win one of the following Hone Claws, Dragon Claw, Psyshock, Calm Mind, Toxic, Bulk Up, Venoshock, Sunny Day, Rain Dance, Earthquake
Purge Progress Complete!

(Most PTD2 Data is finished, except for trading data which will be last and shouldn't take very long, because all data is held at one server I can't re enable PTD2 until everything is done.)

Complete PTD1 Pokemon Storage Database 5 - about 25 million entries
Complete PTD1 Pokemon Storage Database 6
Complete PTD1 Pokemon Storage Database 7
Complete PTD1 Pokemon Storage Database 8
Complete PTD1 Pokemon Storage Database 9
Complete PTD1 Player's Items Database
Complete PTD1 Player's Achievements Database - about 200k entries
Complete PTD1 Player's Game Corner Database - about 546k entries
Complete PTD1 Player's Daily Codes Database - about 549k entries
Complete PTD1 Player's Pokedex Database - about 4 million entries
Complete PTD Player Account's Database - about 7 million entries
Complete PTD1 Trading Center Database - about 211k entries
Complete PTD2 Trading Center Database - about 600k entries

I'll be updating this during the day as the process moves from database to database. Thank you for your support!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Champions TD is evolving! Trainer VS: Picking your avatar, wins streak!

Want to get the Shiny Starters? Shiny Zorua? Shiny legendary dogs? Shiny Mew? or any other shiny pokemon in the game? Adopt them today using SnD coins! Click here for more info.

Visit the PTD: Pokemon Center - a place to trade pokemon, get your Daily Code, adopt Pokemon, view your items and change your avatar!

Welcome to the Sam and Dan Games Developer Blog!

PTD2 Trainer Pass! Get it today!

A great way to support us while getting amazing rewards!

So let's talk about what you get:
  • Increased chance for Shiny/Shadow pokemon to appear in the wild
  • No ads while you play the game
  • Get a copy of shiny giveaway pokemon automatically every week
  • Faster Breeding - Breed with only one visit instead of 2, essentially breed something everyday!
  • Faster Leveling - Get twice the experience on every battle!
  • Giveaways for pass holders only
You get all of this for only $1.99! One time payment! Get it today!

Champions TD is evolving!
These past few weeks I've been really thinking about what Champions TD is becoming and where it is headed. Game Design is such that it is an evolving living thing. Game change direction all the time. Mostly in secret where only developers see but here at Sam and Dan Games we try to be really open about our process so that you are involved in it.

Also I'm looking at how the game performs in different platforms. We want to release the game for mobile devices and so the performance of the game is important.

In an effort to really focus the game and give more meaning to individual units the game will have some big changes.

  • New Valor System (Unit Upgrade system) - This Valor system will work like the resources in most Tower Defense game. You start off with some amount of Valor each level and you use it to temporarily upgrade units for that level. As you defeat enemies you will earn more Valor that you can use to further level up your units. Very similar to how you would upgrade a "tower" in most tower defense games.
  • Only 5 units can be used on a level - Similar to PTD1 and 2 you will only be able to bring in a certain amount of units to a level. This is to increase the strategy involved in who you bring, make each unit much more important and to make performance much better.
  • Tent will only hold one unit/levels will have more tents - Each tent will only hold one unit and so you will usually have 5 tents each level.
  • You will only have 1 of each class of unit (but can keep the ones you have!) - You will no longer be able to get an infinite amount of Bandits, you will only unlock one unit as you play the levels. For example you can have multiple healers but only one timothy or only one Cave Mystic. In the future I will add different types of healers that you will be able to use. Including some hybrids. After some thought and your feedback I think it will be okay to still have some units be able to be recruited more than once. Thanks for the feedback!
  • Player Activated Moves - Some units will have attacks that will be player activated and aimed. An example is the Yeti's Avalanche move.
  • More Skin Selections when creating your character - Finally got around to adding more skin variations for your character.
Due to all these changes most levels will change. You will be able to keep your units and the items you have collected so far.

Trainer VS: Picking your avatar, win streaks!
For Trainer VS I will be adding the ability to pick from avatars that you have unlocked, I will also add a new win streak mechanic. Win a number of fights before losing 3 times. If you lose 3 times then the win amount resets and you start over. If reach the goal then you will win new TMs for your account.

Weekly Progress

Champs TD - Evolving

  • Valor System (0%)
  • Only 5 Units per level (0%)
  • Tent will only hold 1 unit (0%)
  • Only 1 of each unit/Unlock units by beating levels (0%)
  • Player Activated Moves (0%)
  • New starting levels to unlock units and better tutorial (0%)
  • New Graphics for menus and UI components (50%)
  • More Skin Variations when creating your character (100%)
  • More Hair Colors for the existing styles (100%)
  • Human characters will now have a shirt on when you remove their chest piece (100%)
PTD 2 - Trainer VS Moved to next blog

  • Pick your avatar (0%)
  • See more opponent info (0%) - See their wins and their trainer ID
  • Win Streak Mechanic (0%)
  • Win Streak TM Rewards (0%)
That's what I'm working on this week if you have any questions or comments please please please contact me by email, twitter or in the blog comments. Thanks!