Hero Tower Defense Tuesday: Day 8 - Character Creation

Go here to read the Day 7 of Hero Tower Defense Tuesdays.

This week we're going to take a look at Kevin's WIP human female design, talk about character creation, and answer some related questions that are likely to be asked after reading this.

Kevin has started working on the human female character which I know some of you have been waiting for. It's still early in development though and we're making adjustments as we go. Check out Kevin's blog, KXN @ HTD for some additional information and concept art he's working on. He'll also be starting on some hair styles and is interested in some suggestions for them from you guys. Here's the latest version of the human female character:

Early render of a human female in full plate armor

You might notice the usual characteristics that distinguish a female from a male are absent in this initial image. We intentionally started out this way because we want to be sure that you can easily tell the difference between the genders just from their contour and shape even when they are fully suited in armor. This is important for being able to glance at things quickly and knowing exactly what it is.

Male characters can also share a lot of the same features that are typically used to identify females, e.g., long hair, light colors, etc so we don't want to be restricted by these things by fixing them to a specific gender for the sole purpose of differentiating them from eachother. Another thing that falls into this category is having all the females showing a lot of skin regardless of how much armor they are wearing. To me that's a cheap way out for making a female identifiable in heavy armor.. or lack thereof. It makes more sense for lighter armor to look that way since it allows you to be more agile.

Another reason we don't want to restrict specific colors, hair styles, etc to genders is because we want there to be as many options available as possible during character creation so you can create the characters you want. We're still figuring out what you'll be able to customize exactly but right now we're thinking race, gender, skin color, hair style, and hair color (remember this is just for your character, not their armor, weapons, effects, etc). We would like to have some facial features as well at some point but it's a lot for a little so it's not a high priority right now.

Now I'll address a few questions that are bound to be asked eventually:

"What about eye color?"

The style Kevin is current going with doesn't really involve significant detail to the eyes so they are generally just black ovals. They will be quite small as well so only a few colors would be really be noticeable and the rest would kind of all look the same as those.

"Can I change the character's height, size, or proprotions?"

This is very unlikely unfortunately because all our graphic assets are sprites and changing any of these attributes, even a little, would cause all kinds of conflicts with the armors and such.

"Will you see the hair when wearing a helmet?"

This is an interesting topic because it's one of those simple things that is actually quite complex to implement. As of right now we are going with no visible hair while wearing a helmet, even if you have long hair. However, we would allow you to turn off the helm graphic without actually unequipping it and thus still taking advantage of it's stat bonuses.

The reason for this because you'd not only need to create the hairstyle itself but you'd also need to customize every hair style for every helmet in every angle and that adds up to a lot of work very quickly for something that isn't really that significant.

Although something that just came to mind is maybe we could have just a generic "long hair" look while wearing a helmet and that would be applied to all long hair styles and their share their color of course. Shorter hair styles would just show no hair while wearing a helmet. A problem you might realize though is that if your character has a ponytail and it switches to this generic "long hair with helm on" look it wouldn't be in a ponytail anymore. A possible solution could be to just have a couple different "long hair with helm on" looks to cover the majority of the hair styles but we'd probably only start with one for now. We'll have to see, I'm rambling now though so I'll stop there :P

As always feel free to leave us feedback, give us suggestions, ask us questions, or just let us know what you think in the comments!



  1. third please i hope sam wont beat me......oh names neil

  2. I like that the girls get real armor. =)

  3. Hey Sam I know this may seem little weird. If you think about it a ponytail is used to hold hair up because there is to much. So if you put on a helm then you take the ponytail out and you will have long hair. So the ponytail to long hair thing you were talking about would make seance.

  4. We should have a contest between sam and dan on a nuetral post to see who REALLY is first.

    also this game sounds great! looking forward to it!

    -Entei bound

  5. Reminds me of Megaman for some reason :)

  6. I am glad the focus is on contour as opposed to skin because that definitely fits a more realistic approach to armor. Also, given the level of detail these sprites will show, the art is not going for a very sexual overtone so it is better to achieve proper defense than eye candy. Great work on making it obviously a female even while in heavy armor. :)

    As for when the hair comes into play, I hope they have some level of detail to them, even just a little because I have played some games with character creations so bad that hair pretty much looks like a solid chunk of rock sitting on top of my head. If I want something hard on my head I'll wear heavy armor. :P

    Alright, that's it. Can't wait for enough work to be done on it to where we get a countdown of sorts. Loading screens are always more bearable when it measures the progress instead of just sitting there waiting for something to change. :)

  7. I kind of like the idea of having no hair showing from the helmet. Gives the her a Samus-esque feel to it. Seriously, if you hadn't told me it was a girl under that armor, I would have assumed it was just an alternate pose for the human class.

    Will there be any stat differences between male and female? For example, in Pokemon, the female version of a generic Pokemon generally has higher HP and speed (I think) while its male counterpart has higher attack and defense (I think, correct me if I'm wrong folks). In Fire Emblem, men of a specific class/class tree generally have better strength, HP, and defense growths/caps than women, who generally excel in magic, speed, and magic resistance growths/caps.

    I know it may seem wrong to create those gender differences, but, to me, its what makes Soldier A different from Soldier B besides stat growths and natures (and the fact that Soldier A is indeed the unsung hero of anime and is never, ever Soldier B. Ever. Hip-hooray for Soldier A!).

  8. Woohoo nice stuff!!!

    About proportions: if male have large shoulders and female have nice boobs all is well =P Players love BIG boobs lol

    The less armor and more skin the better =P All hail the all mighty chainmail bikini!!! =D

    About the hair, dunno how many hair sizes there will be but i think 1 long free and 1 long ponytail will do the trick for the helmet on ;)

    ps: from Kevin's img with the girl without armor... can't wait to see a succubus =P

  9. Talking about armors .... the armor will change apperance?

  10. Haiku's are easy
    but sometimes they don't make sense

  11. Seeing as you're moving away from one stereotype with the female armour, maybe you could try with another that annoys me. Why is it that mages can only ever wear robes, most of which look like pyjamas? Surely they can have some armour. You often get a reason like "It interferes with casting spells" but why should it? Gauntlets with gaps would bypass this entirely. Anyway, sorry for rambling, I just wanted to put the idea of having a fully armoured battlemage out there :)

  12. Reality is Boobs aren't designed for combat. Male and female plat armors are essentially the same. The sizing of leather padding's and underclothes and chains probably not but outward appearance is identical. Example Jone De Arcs Paintings and such.
    Even then there most likely strapped down to remove jiggle. You don't need counter motion wile running jumping dodging exc. As for leather to lighter armors more figure can show but even at Studded leathers it shouldn't show and that makes sense cause you only have to make 1 piece of armor that works for everyone assuming same height. With that said women do tend to be smaller than men.
    Now there are examples of women's plate were there are Metallic Skirts that circle outward like those absurd dresses but that's and attempt to make a woman proper in combat or some BS like that. Not relay suited to a fantasy world where women play a larger combat role.

  13. QUESTION! how will you get MORE guys? like you will prob getone at the beggining but how do you get more? boss wins? whu?


  14. Finally! A game where women aren't always wearing pras and panties! YUSSSS!!!

    By the by, I really like it. Maybe make some more races... Please? Would love to see a lizardman or something. ;)

  15. @lulz2art: "There is a crane in the rain...and I am not in Spain. I am the best at haikus!" -- Marik Sebastian Ishtar III

  16. @ Anonymous (2:41PM) - Armor? In MY cloth equipment? It's more likely than you think. Consider yourself heard.

  17. "Arcane spell failure is the chance that a spell fails and is cast to no effect because the caster's ability to use a somatic component was hampered by armor. Divine casters do not suffer this form of spell failure." And this is the rule for most games and what I also agree makes sence. Armor that is not cloth disrupts arcane spellcasting.

    The awesomeness from caster robes doesn't come from metal plates, but come from the inscriptions/cuts/colours like this: http://www.khplanet.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=419&pictureid=4243

  18. @Anon 11:31 PM - Hah, yeah Kevin is a fan of Megaman so there's most likely some influence in there, the armor also is lacking highlights to make it appear more metallic but that's an early render.

    @Sly Kamaui - Glad you like the approach we are going for. :)

    The hair will have some detail to it but we can't make it too crazy because that'll take a lot of time. However, we definitely don't want it to look like a rock on your head like you mentioned so I wouldn't expect that lol

    Oh I agree on the loading screen progression, sometimes the static ones can make you think it froze or something.

    @Chris Tan - We're still working on it but basically if we just have a female and she can't be identified as a female with full armor on then there isn't really much of a point in having her really. People who choose to play a female typical want to see that represented in the look of their character at all times so we're trying to accomplish that.

    It's unlikely there will be stat differences between genders. It would make it even more difficult to balance and in reality there are a whole lot more factors that go into things like who is the better swordsman and we can't have that many stats in the game. So you end up just simplifying it by saying something like strength increases your physical damage whereas in real-life strength wouldn't really have a whole lot to do with it, it'd be more about skill, technique, etc.

    We want people to be able to make the characters look the way they want without having to consider things like stats and such. I think it'd be lame if nearly all the melee were males and almost all the casters were female just because that's where a simplified stat system suggested they would best be suited to go.

    @Gon - Lol, some players love it, others don't. I personally think it's a bit overdone.

    There will be lighter armors that will show skin and such because it makes more sense if you want to be agile but don't expect them all to be like that, there will be a mix. Think of it like this, the heavier the armor the less likely you are to see any skin but there will be exceptions here and there because all armor isn't the same.

  19. @Anon 11:54 AM - Err, yes? The hair is the only character feature that would change with a helm on if that's what you mean.

    @Anon 2:41 PM - I agree entirely. I actually use the example of a battle mage in full armor when explaining how I would prefer the armor system to work.

    @Anon 4:07 PM - While true, this also isn't reality so we can get away with it. The lack of armor covering for females is also something that we could get away with but I find it to be a bit overdone and boring. As I mentioned in the post it's important that you can tell the different between the characters by just their shape and contour so they can be easily identifiable. Also people like to see their character the way they created them, especially their gender. If both genders shared the same armor they'd all end up looking very similar with it on and this would make both problems worse. These are just game design things though.

    The human female image in the post actually has a metallic skirt, or at least what we'd imagine a plate skirt to look like. Again this is to help her stand out as a female character without showing a bunch of skin or using specific colors, etc. People pretty much just want to destroy things and look cool doing it. This let's them do that but I get what you are saying about it not being realistic.

    @shinycharlover - More characters will join you as you play through the game and do quests and things.

    @Anon 6:24 PM - Thanks! Don't worry there will be more races for sure. :)

    @Anon 11:04 PM - Is that a DnD rule or something? Diablo 2's sorceress didn't seem to have any issues casting spells in full plate :P The cool thing about making your own games is you can make your own rules too :D

    Some robes definitely look awesome, I agree. However, I disagree with calling it a "caster robe", a monk could wear a robe too and he would mainly be a physical melee character.

  20. wow its the best game i never play

  21. @Dan =( Poll for cloth %? ahah =P 4-6 diferent sizes of clothing to see what SnD players would like to see? (good things can't even become overdone neither pretty ladies nor dragons =D (((nor pets *cof*))) )

    @Anon 11:40 PM I see where you're coming from (I play D&D for 8 years now) and don't get me wrong I'm totally with you (cloth is cloth & plate is plate) but "caster robes" depend mostly on game system. Let's see how HTD will be.

    And speaking of polls... =P I'd vote for pure casters with cloth and phisical melee (read warriors/fighters) being full plated

  22. Currently playing a very fun TD game over on Newgrounds. It has some aspects of what HTD may be striving for, but it ultimately will have very limited replayability. Once I beat the game that will pretty much be it and I move on. It has a training center where we can buff up our units, but beyond that there is no steady upgrade system or any sort of customizability. Oh, and I do love the map artwork for the level select screen. Sets the mood perfectly.

  23. Hey Sam ;D, still waiting for a HTD teaser game

    i prefer my avatars to have hair tho,no offense.
    Long hair or short, helmets always look ugly..
    Girls usually have hair sticking out their hats

    why you cutting our hair? O:

    jk anyways will there be an option to toggle helmet view on and off? i dont just want to unequip my helmet just to look good ;D

    and might as well, will their be an option like that for all the armor? like you cant see the armor but you have it equipped.

  24. Hello Dan,

    I'm just a huge fan of your work and i'm very excited about HTD.

    To talk about look, what do you think of adding lootable color potion, to change the color of your armor parts.

    And another idea i've had from day 7, it could be great to loot artefacts that you could use to charm a creature.

    That creature will then join you in your team and evolve with it.
    For exemple...The evil cross of transylvania, you could use it to charm a vampire.
    The vampire will gain XP and you could use them in specific Skill table...here is Physical and magical dark skills.
    For a dragon, you have to loot a dragon skull to charm one...and he'll have only Magical skills table...

    It was just an idea but it would add another dimension to HTD

    Greatings from Belgium,


  25. @sam or dan

    When HTD is released, will it need constant internet connection to play? Also if you make it an app for ipods/iphones will you make a HD version for ipads?

    ??? (???? in PTD trading center)

  26. @ Anonymous @ 8:40 AM~ I totally agree lol

    @ Sam Otero/Dan Bell~ When will the game come out??? i really really really want to play it!!! lol, I'm so psyched to see the progress, and, i don't wanna see all armor... I don't wanna see naked but all armor to me is just plain boring and ugly. I wanna be able to see skin...Like Kevin X. Nelms showed that pic... that's the kind of thing i like to see... But more boobs...Also, will there be like necklaces and bracelets????

  27. For All/Para Todos:
    The Week on S&DGames / La semana en S&DGames
    Monday/Lunes: Day of Pokemon Tower Defense Progress List and Top10 questions/Día de Pokemon Tower Defense, lo que vendrá en la proxima semana y el top10 de preguntas
    Tuesday/Martes: Information day about the next game ''Hero Tower Defense''/Día de información sobre el próximo juego ''Hero Tower Defense''
    Wednesday/Miercoles: Work on PTD/Trabajo en PTD
    Thursday/Jueves: Work on PTD/Trabajo en PTD
    Friday/Viernes: Final day of Work on PTD/Trabajo en PTD
    Saturday/Sabado: Day of the publication of the new version of PTD/Día de la publicación de la nueva versión de PTD
    Sunday/Domingo: Day of rest for Sam/Día de descanso para Sam
    NOTE: Every day, Dan is working on the next update of ''Ninja-Ja''
    NOTE2: Every day, Dan, Sam and Kevin are working on the game ''Hero Tower Defense''

  28. @Anon 3:39 AM - Lol, we're working on it don't worry. :P

    @Gon - It's not like there won't be any skin showing ever, it just means you'll more likely see it with lighter armors since it makes more sense. And actually good things can become overdone. Even good things get boring after awhile because you get used to it since it's always there. Eat cake once a year, it's awesome. Eat it every day and you'll get sick of it.

    There won't really be any pure casters and pure physical melee in a sense. I mean you can make your character that way if you want but there's not a specific class for that. It'll make more sense once we go into talking aobut how the class system works.

    @Sly Kamaui - Cool, I'm sure there are many good games like HTD already out there but then again there were many games like Warcraft and Diablo also. The main thing really is making it better than those other games which we're confident we can do.

    @Ume - When there's something to release for HTd you'll find it here without a doubt.

    You'll get to choose your hair at character creation and if there's not a hairstyle available that you like you cna always sugget it and we'll try to put it in.

    There will be an option to toggle helm graphics on and off, I always liked that idea.

    Lol, you want to toggle off the graphics for all your armor and fight naked?

    @Valek - Thanks, the compliments would go to all three of us though not just me. :)

    Yeah, we definitely want things like dyes to allow you to change the color of your armor and such.

    Ah so you would need special, creature-related items in order to charm certain creatures? That could be cool, will consider that when we get to that part, thanks

    @??? - You may be able to play the single player offline but I can't guarantee you'll be able to use those characters online. Mainly because it's easy to hack and cheat when playing offline. The mainy reason for playing even single player online is because everything would be handled server side which is necessary to make it secure and prevent hacking and cheating. We'll have to see though, try to think of single player like playing solo in an MMORPG (or playing in Closed Realms in Diablo 2). You're playing by yourself but you still have to be online.

    The graphics should carry over from one platform to the another without loss of quality but it's hard to say at this point because we haven't tried our those other platforms yet. We're just starting with the PC verison first and that will certianly be the highest quality version.

    @191986 - There's no ETA yet but once we have something playable you'll find it here. :) I'm glad you're as excited to play as we are!

    There will be variations in armor, it won't ALL be 100% cover. You'll still see skin with certain styles but it's just more likely to be shown with lighter armors so don't worry. There will probably be necklaces and bracelets but they won't show on your character because they'd be too small to see, like rings for example.

  29. @Dan guess you don't believe in marriage muahah (I'd answer better , but since the blog is free for all...) You can have the same cake everyday, the trick is to also eat some other stuff and the cake with some other covers, and in some other ways =P

    Hm... so even the physical attacks will have "magic" attached generated buy the char, ok, more like powers or more like magic/buffs? I can wait till the class mechanics post if it fits better.

  30. Hello Dan Sam Kevin and the cat if there's one^^

    Talking about the charming creature, i just worked a little on a file, may i send you?


  31. @ Dan - Mmmm, cake.

    I don't really have a problem with adding a toggle for every equipment slot. If someone wants to make that badass drunken shirtless warrior who are we to stop them?

    I've never felt that it's been the developer's concern if a player wants to walk around naked and look ridiculous or noobish. Shouldn't punish the more creative for that. :D

    @ Anonymous (3:47 PM) - My cat appreciates being included!

  32. LOOOOL =D I'm more into sexy armor then naked characters STIIIIIIIIIILL have to agree with the drunken naked party hero idea ahahah whats best then after an intence week of raiding then the blured screen dancing in underwere juggling torches? =P

    ps: Don't forget your wolf pet also dancing in 2 legs =P

  33. Just some questions,would this be placed on the android market? Second,must we pay money for it or it is free? Third,when will it comeout,as i am excited about it? The game really caught my eye!


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