Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hero Tower Defense Thursday: Day 40 - Revised Graphics and Interface Progress!

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




Welcome to Hero Tower Defense Thursday!



HTD Logo


Go here to read Day 39 of Hero Tower Defense Thursday.




Hope you all had a good holiday weekend! We were all a bit busy visiting with family and such so no game update this week. However, we have been making good progress with all the revising we have going on. The graphics are moving along and the revised interface is just about finished so we should be able to release a new update next week. There's still some tweaking to do but overall it should be a big improvement over what we currently have which is mostly a bunch of placeholders.

Some of you have commented on how it felt clunky and a bit confusing and that's definitely one of things we've addressed. This new set up should make all the menu screens much easier to navigate and more intuitive. One of the main features is that you can change characters from any screen and the navigation buttons that let you go to other screens are always available. We'll also be making use of tooltips for further instruction as well as displaying things like skill and item details.

With the interface out of the way I'll be able to help Evan with some of the 3D assets which should also help speed things up. Evan is working on the animations for the Human Male character which requires rigging the model in order to make it easier to animate. I'm getting a render scene set up which will be used for importing any assets and then rendering out frames for all three angles, lighting, and position. Once we have those frames Sam can take and implement them into the new system which will allow him to proceed faster and easier since he'll have some reference graphics.

So things are moving along slowly but surely. As I mentioned before we hope to have a new version available for you guys next week which should include all the new interface menu screens. We hope you guys will like it and we'll definitely be looking forward to everyone's feedback!


In the Works:

  • Design

    • Pet System (50%)
    • Interface Revision (85%)

  • Graphics

    • Unit: Human Male - Revision (85%)
    • Unit: Fire Gecko - Melee Concept (75%)
    • Unit: Fire Gecko - Ranged Concept (75%)
    • Unit: Meerkat Non-Combat Pet - Concept (25%)
    • Unit: Goblin - Concept (25%)

  • Programming

    • Graphic Processing Revision (65%)
    • Saving Inventory and Equipment Setup (0%)


    Check out Kevin's blog, KXN @ HTD for HTD art-related concepts, WIPs, polls, and more!

    Suggestions and ideas are always welcome in the comments, thanks guys!


    -Dan

    Monday, May 28, 2012

    Weekly Progress: Memorial Day

    Want to get the 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!


    Hey guys this will be short and sweet, it's memorial day weekend here in the United States which means everybody is relaxing and not working. Including us! Dan was out for the week end, I barely touched the computer and I'm assuming the artist also did as they pleased.

    Progress is happening for PTD2 1v1 mode. I know a lot of you have been waiting and waiting and waiting but we are pretty close. If nothing else goes wrong (It did.. I deleted a bunch of files by mistake, but its taken care of now) I expect to have something to show you guys by this weekend! I might run into some issue that can delay the release so keep that in mind.

    Well... I said it was going to be short, so just have a good week and look forward to the weekend!

    Thursday, May 24, 2012

    Hero Tower Defense Thursday: Day 39 - Community Request: Playable Races!

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




    Welcome to Hero Tower Defense Thursday!



    HTD Logo


    Go here to read Day 38 of Hero Tower Defense Thursday.




    Just a short post this week while we continue to chug away at the next release which should be coming soon. Another benefit of the new graphics system is that it will allow us to more easily add additional playable races. Before it meant an exponential amount of more work when adding armor because of all the additional frames required for the new race. Now, since it's in 3D, it's just a little extra work fitting it to the model of the new race and then rendering out all the necessary frames accordingly.

    So, what this means is we have a lot more flexibility with what sort of playable races we can put into the game since the workload is far less significant. This works out because we weren't going to have much focus on race wars and factions but rather on good and evil. In other words it'll be a common occurrence to see a mix of races working together on everything from daily tasks to fighting a common enemy.

    This is where you guys come in. What are some races you would like to be able to chose from? Are you a fan of the tried and true trifecta of Human, Orc, and Elf? Are you more interested in an obscure race that you don't see so often such as Golems (like Kevin!)? Tell us what sort of races you'd like to be able to play as in the comments!


    In the Works:

  • Design

    • Pet System (50%)
    • Interface Revision (75%)

  • Graphics

    • Unit: Human Male - Revision (75%)
    • Unit: Fire Gecko - Melee Concept (75%)
    • Unit: Fire Gecko - Ranged Concept (75%)
    • Unit: Meerkat Non-Combat Pet - Concept (25%)
    • Unit: Goblin - Concept (25%)

  • Programming

    • Graphic Processing Revision (50%)
    • Saving Inventory and Equipment Setup (0%)


    Check out Kevin's blog, KXN @ HTD for HTD art-related concepts, WIPs, polls, and more!

    And of course, leave any suggestions, ideas, or other feedback you might have in the comments!Thanks!


    -Dan

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012

    Weekly Update: PTD 2 Mode: 1 vs 1, Title Screen Contest, Avatar chat is evolving!

    Want to get the 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!


    Hey guys and gals! Sam here giving you the weekly update for Sam and Dan Games. I just released a new alpha version of Pokemon Tower Defense 2. This release doesn't give you anything to play but it does reveal the subtitle for the game! Drum-roll please!...... Pokemon Tower Defense 2: Johto's Shadow!

    I think this game will be slightly more darker than the previous one. I will still have funny moments and all the colorful stuff but I think the characters will be put into more dangerous situations than the last. But overall it will still be rated E for everyone so you don't have to worry about it.

    If you have been following my twitter you might have noticed my dislike of making menus... I really just don't like them.... XD. They take a long time to make even if they are simple. If you look at the new version you can see that there isn't a lot there but all of that took me two days of work to get. I can't tell you how many times I tweaked something because it didn't look right or changed a color or tried something different. Now that I've finally revealed what I want in the title screen it's a good time to talk about the title screen contest!

    Title Screen Contest
    Okay so I know a lot of you worked on your submissions but you will have to tweak it to include all the buttons and the subtitle from this version. The idea this time around is to have multiple title screens, that either appear randomly or the user can choose his favorite and just keep that one. So that means multiple winners! I haven't determined the prize yet but. since there will be multiple winners the prize will most likely be SnD Coins that you can use on whatever you want. To submit your entry just email me at sotero86@gmail.com with your entry attached and subject "PTD 2 Title Screen Contest". The size should be 800width by 480 height. Make sure to include everything in the title screen currently on PTD 2 and good luck! I will post up the top 10 entries in 3 weeks and let you guys vote for your favorite!

    Avatar chat is evolving!

    I didn't mention our other game Creature Online Universe (Codename ANPO)  last week because I wanted to keep the focus on PTD 2, but this week I have more news on it. This game is a really long term project that will keep changing and evolving as it goes and in the end who knows what it will be like. It's like a living thing! Essentially this game will revolve around playing with other players online similar to an MMO but yet vastly different at the same time. Because of this, one of the first things that will show up in the game is just players chatting in a location, which sounds exactly like the Avatar Chat! So the avatar chat will be getting new avatars that will essentially be your character in Creature Online Universe.  Right now in the avatar chat you pretty much just have this one rectangle to live in and you can't leave it. So this first step is to have more room to walk around in. Then after that have building that you can go in. Then homes that you can buy, rent or sell. And so on. The Avatar chat will be evolving into what eventually will be Creature Universe! Just as a note: I'm mentioning this now but I don't have a specific date as to when this will actually happen. So just stay tuned every week.

    PTD 2 Mode: 1 vs 1
    Looking at the poll One vs One is pretty much the winner! So this is what I will focus on first. The idea is that you start with a very basic pokemon and as you battle more you will unlock more pokemon to battle with. Each time trying to get farther and farther earning more rewards to help you come back and try again. As I mentioned in the last blog this mode will be a nice way for me to give you guys something substantial to play while the story mode is worked on. But even this mode won't be made in a couple of days so please be patient. A good thing about this mode is that it rewards your account with some pokemon the farther you get. In the mode the pokemon that you will use will not be available to use in the story mode/pokemon center. But as you get farther and reach certain goals you will get achievements that will give you pokemon as rewards and those you will be able to use in the story mode and will count for your pokedex.

    This time around a lot of the rewards that you will get will not revolve around generation 2. My thought right now is that most mystery gifts and achievement rewards will be pokemon from other generations. So look forward to that!

    That is all I have for you guys this week, follow me on twitter for constant updates and come back on Thursday for some new Hero Tower Defense news. As always let me know what you think! 

    Friday, May 18, 2012

    Hero Tower Defense Thursday: Day 38 - New Weapons! Revised Player Controls! MOAR Artists!

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




    Welcome to Hero Tower Defense Thursday!



    HTD Logo


    Go here to read Day 37 of Hero Tower Defense Thursday.




    Alright well we're back up and running after some technical difficulties. Hopefully that doesn't happen again but you never know. You tend to run into some speed bumps no matter how much you plan ahead. Speaking of speed bumps, the transition to the new graphics system is going well. Evan just finished up a nice 3D model for the Human Male and will now start implementing the animations. We have to take things one step at a time since this is our first go at setting things up this way but once we have a system in place things will speed up. I'll also be helping with some of the 3D assets once I finish re-arranging the Interface and some other design and management tasks.

    Kevin and Bill have been working on some new Creature concepts and we've also picked up Josh, another enthusiastic artist who is excited to work on some concepts for us. We've also picked up some assistance from Sam's brother, Joel. He'll also be helping with some art concepts and assets.

    So you've probably noticed by this point that we've only been picking up additional artists, and lots of them. There are a few reasons for this. Primarily it's because art tends to take more time than everything else because of the sheer amount of art work required for video games. They have to create concepts with multiple views, then they have to be modeled in 3D, textured, rigged for animation, animated, and then rendered. And all throughout that process thing have to be tweaked, changed, and approved. In other words, it's time consuming. It's also better for the art to be done before programming so that when the programmer (Sam in this case) codes in something new he has the art assets to go with it. As you've probably seen we currently have a lot of placeholders scattered around HTD. That's because programming is ahead of the art right now. Granted we have to redo a bunch of art now with the new system but that is something that's pretty unavoidable and necessary, but it's a logical move in the right direction and we all agree it's worth the extra time and effort.

    Now then, on to more fun topics. We put a new version up with some new weapons! These were some of the last assets done with the old graphics system so we decided we'd just throw them in. And yes, some are massive, but who doesn't like swinging around huge weapons? The Boomerang is a melee weapon for now, but don't worry it won't stay like that, it's just a temporary arrangement. We also couldn't add the Ranged weapons we had made because we don't have a ranged animation yet and it'd look pretty silly trying to make it work with one of the current animations. So we're leaving those out for now.

    Lastly, we're going to change the way the player interacts with the game a bit and make you more of a commander and less of a 5 person entity. Right now you have access to 5 characters and all of their active skills which you can use manually at will. We've come to the conclusion that this is too micro-intensive for what we want to do so we'll be removing that aspect of interactivity. They skills and everything will still be there to setup your characters with but they'll just do them automatically in combat and will be affected by the behaviors once we have those in. All we're really doing is removing the manual override you can do during combat. We will, however, be adding some new skills that only you, the player, can do. These skills will be along the lines of the Class Native Skill (the same for all heroes, it lets you transfer charges to another Hero), a skill that lets you temporarily power up a character, perhaps a skill that absorbs all charges your heroes have and then unleashing a powerful attack, and probably combination attacks where you'll select multiple heroes to perform a powerful attack that differs depending on the Native Elements of those heroes. I'll elaborate more on this later but we think it'll free up up the player to focus on more fun tasks like strategy and power moves instead of trying to micromanage every hero.

    So, as we continue to catch up again on the new art and graphics process have fun with the new weapons and let us know what you think about the idea for the new player skills. Thanks guys!


    In the Works:

  • Design

    • Pet System (50%)
    • Interface Revision (50%)

  • Graphics

    • Unit: Human Male - Revision (75%)
    • Unit: Fire Gecko - Attack Concept (75%)
    • Unit: Meerkat Non-Combat Pet - Concept (25%)
    • Unit: Goblin - Concept (25%)

  • Programming

    • Graphic Processing Revision (25%)
    • Saving Inventory and Equipment Setup (0%)


    Check out Kevin's blog, KXN @ HTD for HTD art-related concepts, WIPs, polls, and more!

    Be sure to leave any suggestions or ideas you might have in the comments!


    -Dan

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

    Pokemon Tower Defense 2: Creating replayability

    Want to get the 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!

    Well that was fun... not! We are finally back up and running here at Sam and Dan games. We had outgrown our GoDaddy Shared Hosting server and had to move to a new Virtual Private Server over on Wired Tree. The process was very painful. This was mainly cause I myself had very little access to the server. I did have access to the files and database so I managed to manually move millions and millions of pokemon over to our new server. They did not like it! But they seem pretty happy now in their new home. As one might expect we went from a really low 7 dollars a month to a bigger 50 dollars a month on web hosting cost. Thankfully you guys have been very supportive and thanks to you guys we are able to cover the cost with no trouble. If we continue to grow you can rest assured that we will continue to upgrade to meet the demand.

    Spring semester ended about 3 weeks ago around the time when PTD 1 was finished and I think mentally it put me in relaxed state. After finishing a race the last thing you want to do is start a new one. Now 3 weeks later I've had time to relax, spend time with the loved ones, and think about the next steps.

    The reality is that Dan and I wanted Hero Tower Defense to be much farther a long at this point in time. If that would have happened there would have been more time to really get PTD 2 developed and ready to go. As you can see though HTD is still in very early stages so it means that for us to continue surviving PTD 2 and Creature Universe (ANPO) must move forward. This is something that a lot of you wanted so I think it works out for everybody.

    For PTD 2 my main priority right now is to create a mode with high replay value. The reason for this is that the story mode will take longer than a week this time around and I want something that you guys can continue to play even when you are done with the story. For these modes I have two different ideas:

    One on One Mode: This mode would be very similar to the Champion level in PTD 1. You and your opponent can only use one pokemon at a time. In this mode you would be able battle against a computer character or against other players. You would also be able to do two vs two and three vs three. You would start out with some very basic pokemon and then as you play more you will be able to get new pokemon to use in this mode.

    Survival Mode: This mode will be more like a traditional Tower Defense game and more like the traditional levels of PTD 1. Your pokemon won't retain their levels so when you play this mode your pokemon will start at a base level and you will level them up to battle against computer waves coming at you that get harder as time goes on. As you play more you will be able to get new pokemon to use in this mode.

    Both of these modes would feature pokemon from Generation 1 to start with but can grow to have pokemon from many generations.

    So which mode do you want to see first? Let me know on the blog poll!

    Also if you have any questions or comments I would love to hear them, as always let me know what you think!

    Thursday, May 10, 2012

    Technical Difficulties

    Want to get the 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!

    UPDATE 5/15/2012 2:46AM EST
    The game and the pokemon center should now be up and running! I'm still transferring some pokemon from inactive accounts over but that will be good to go in a couple of days. It's good to be back!
    -Sam


    As many of you might have noticed, if you are an avid Sam and Dan Games fan, the Pokemon Center and the game will not load or save. This is due to our current host GoDaddy. We pretty much have outgrown their shared hosting plan so in order to not cause problems they added a filter that will block very active users from the sndgames.com server. The solution to this is to move to a more capable hosting service. This process is not an easy one and it takes a large amount of time to complete due to the vast amount of data that needs to be transferred . I ask for your patience in the matter. We will still be working on our games HTD, PTD 2, and ANPO while this is happening so it doesn't mean all progress has come to a halt. We will keep you updated on Twitter and here on the blog on the progress for getting PTD back on its feet and ready to go. Even if we had a 100 people this process would take a couple of weeks. We will get it working asap. Thanks for the support.

    P.S. You will not lose any data that was saved.
    P.S.S. We can't process any orders for the SnD Coins as well since that involves accessing the site which we are both currently blocked from. We'll respond with an email accordingly to any orders that come in and will process the orders as soon as we can.

    HTD: Since the latest 3 posts are all rather significant I'm just going to post a small HTD update here in order to keep them all on the front page. As noted above we're having some issues that we need take care of ASAP. Since Sam has heavy involvement in that process we are pushing off the next HTD release till we get this server issue resolved. The next HTD release will contain a bunch of stuff that we've be working on (Not including reworked graphics) and we'll be continuing to work on everything in the meantime. Sorry about the delay guys!
    -Dan

    UPDATE 5/11/2012 7:17PM EST
    Good progress has been made, I'm in the process of moving the databases to a new server. I moved the user database which has over 2 million entries on it today. Along with the small HTD database that only has 60 thousand entries. There are 8 different pokemon databases, the biggest one has 11 million entries in it. Smallest one has over 1 million. Sadly I can't automate this process since I don't have direct access to the server. I have to slowly take chunks of the database (about 200k entries) and import them on the new server. So we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel but we still have to dig for quite a few days and then test everything to make sure it works. In the meantime since I moved the user database and the HTD database (which was tiny and took a few minutes) HTD is now playable again!
    -Sam

    Friday, May 4, 2012

    Hero Tower Defense Thursday: Day 37 - Decisions, Decisions

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




    Welcome to Hero Tower Defense Thursday!



    HTD Logo


    Go here to read Day 36 of Hero Tower Defense Thursday.




    This week we have some good news and some bad regarding the current state of HTD. As some of you may have noticed the game has started to run rather slow as we've been adding more and more to it. This was a worrying sign as we knew it would only get worse as we continued to develop the game. We also want to release HTD on other platforms, particularly the phone markets. The phones run far slower than the PC so we knew we were in trouble and needed to start looking into a solution.

    After some research we did find a solution and did a few tests which were giving us some positive results. However, in order to take advantage of this solution it requires the graphics to be processed a different way than how we've been doing it. There are a lot of little details involved in this that affects how the graphics are drawn and animated but essentially we have to revise the majority of the graphics. So with that in mind we started discussing our options and other concerns that we might be able to fix since we have to adjust the graphics. This led to the concern of the armor requiring a lot of work, which we were already aware of but if we could somehow make it easier it would save a lot of time. We didn't want to reduce the amount of character customization that the players would be able to adjust using equipment and other items because we know a lot of people enjoy that aspect of the game. Plus, it was something we really wanted to have as developers.

    We spent some time thinking about it and discussing it and decided that perhaps the easiest path to take would be to make all the graphics in 3D instead of 2D. It would still have a similar cartoony/anime style to what we have now because the 3D graphics would be rendered out using a cell shading method. The reason for going to 3D is because it removes a lot of tedious work after the upfront work is finished. Here's a few numbers to give you an idea of what we're talking about here. On average we have around 3 frames per animation and estimate to have about 8 animations for the characters. So right there we have 24 frames, now that's only one angle. HTD has 3 angles (Front, Back, and Side which mirrors) so now we have 72 frames to draw, per item. So take a helm for example, that requires 72 frames ot be drawn. A full suit of armor (6 parts) is 432 frames that have to be drawn and that's just for one character, one race, one gender. The female would require a different set of 432 frames for the same suit of armor. A different race would require another 864 frames for both genders, etc. As we add more more races the amount of work required for adding a single piece of armor increases by a lot.

    So with that in mind let's go back to 3D. I work 8 hours a day doing 3D for my full-time job and Evan has been working in 3D for awhile and taking some classes in it as well. Kevin and Bill are more specialized in 2D but their talents aren't lost because we need lots of concept art for both designs and animations, and both of them are very good at it. So how does 3D help us solve our problem? Let's take the helm as an example again. First, we'll have to model it based on concepts. Then we set it up on the character. That character would be animated to match the concepts. Once he is set up with the animations we never need to deal with them again. Since it's 3D we can just attach the helm object to it's proper location on the character and it'll position itself for all the animations automatically. Sometimes we might have to manually adjust it for certain frames but it's still a one-time set up. After that we have cameras and lights set up for each angle all we have to do is hit the render button and it'll give us all 72 frames or 432 frames for a full suit within minutes. Adjusting it to work on another gender or race is also far easier, just some slight adjustments and it'll be all set. Also making different colors and such will also be much easier and faster.

    While 3D does require a bit more upfront work, in our case it's very much worth it and we'll be able to keep all our customization that we wanted to have available to you guys. Now, this isn't like we're redoing the whole game, it's just the graphics really. Sam has to implement the new method of processing the graphics in order to speed up the game, which he's working on now, but once that's done we'll be right back to developing the rest of the game using placeholders and whatnot. We'll be leaving all the current graphics in as is for now. We may or may not add them as we go or just wait till we have a bunch done and do it all at once, we'll see.

    So that's where we're at. It's a speed bump but worth working through. This is just part of the developing process, it's nearly impossible for a small team to prepare for every obstacle and plan everything out perfectly. Plus the way we are doing it with giving you guys updates as often as possible through the whole process can complicate that a bit as well but it's more fun for us. We should be able to catch up graphically in a reasonable amount of time since all the concepts and animations are already done for the assets we have now. There won't be an update this week and maybe not next week but we'll still be posting about our progress as we go. We're certain this is the way to go so bare with us while we make this transition, it'll be worth it!

    In the Works:

  • Design

    • Pet System (50%)
    • Interface Revision (25%)

  • Graphics

    • Unit: Human Male - Revision (10%)
    • Unit: Fire Gecko - Attack Concept (25%)
    • Unit: Skeleton - Concept (50%)
    • Unit: Meerkat Non-Combat Pet - Concept (25%)
    • Unit: Goblin - Concept (25%)

  • Programming

    • Graphic Processing Revision (10%)
    • Saving Inventory and Equipment Setup (0%)


    Check out Kevin's blog, KXN @ HTD for HTD art-related concepts, WIPs, polls, and more!

    As always any feedback is welcome, let us hear what you have to say in the comments! Thanks!


    -Dan

    Thursday, May 3, 2012

    Pokemon Tower Defense's Final Release! A postmortem, and looking forward to the future!

    Want to get the 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!

    It has been a long time coming but the end of Pokemon Tower Defense is here! From start to finish it has been a year and a half. Blood, sweat and tears! But the outcome has been more than worth it. We have leveled up, and evolved so much from the beginning. We went from hobbyist to full time game developers. From no fans to thousands of fans. This is only the beginning of our long journey and we want you to come with us!

    As you move forward in any stage of your life it's important to look at your successes and your mistakes. There is a lot of valuable information in these things, especially your mistakes. In our case we will examine what I think went right in PTD and what went wrong. These things will help me with the development of PTD 2.

    What Went Right

    1. Crossing Pokemon with Tower Defense - This was the most critical element to the success of the whole game. Fortunately we got it right. I knew just the name Pokemon Tower Defense would catch many people's attention but the combination of elements will make them stay. From catching pokemon and using them as your towers, to having your towers stay leveled up and evolved between levels. This is something that I plan to continue and expand for the sequel. Adding breeding and pokemon holding items among other things will help the game move to the next level.

    2. Community Involvement - Adding the feedback button and asking for help to improve the game, especially in the early stages of the game really helped to build the community. This is something that we will continue to do with all our games. Your feedback from comments, emails, votes on polls heavily influences the direction that our games take. Votes usually affect the games directly.

    3. Weekly Updates - Waiting for the game to be completed was something that I couldn't afford to do. Releasing a game is similar to rolling a dice. The odds are mostly against you. The longer you take to roll the dice (release a game) the more risk you take on. Working on a game for some months and releasing it as an Alpha helps me to see if people are into a game and see if its worth spending more time on. Once the game was a success people just wanted more and more. I thought it would be great to have a new release each week almost like a TV series. Fans would be looking forward to the release each week, keeping the interest in the game going while being able to expose the fans to new ideas that I have for future games.

    4. Pokemon Center - The Pokemon Center, most specifically the Trading Center was a great success even though it is very basic right now. It gave a chance for you fans to trade each other. I was also be able to add other options like the game corner to add other things to do in the game. The Pokemon Center will get improvements for the sequel that will make transferring and trading a whole lot easier. The ads on the Pokemon Center also help to fund the development of the game.

    5. SnD Coins and Adoption - Snd Coins and Adoption really help fund our future games and also gave you the fans a chance to support us more directly while getting something in return. This system will be used for all our future games including PTD 2. In the near future we will add more ways to get the coins.

    6. Game Story - Adding the story to the game (most Tower Defense don't have a story) really helped to make the game more compelling and gave a lot of chances to add cameos for characters from the anime and game. Also it added the opportunity to add references to other media that I enjoy. PTD 2 will have a new story that is loosely related to the first game.
     

    What Went Wrong

    1. Weekly Updates - Yes, I know I put this on the what went right section but it also went wrong in a lot of ways. I really think the quality of the game suffered due to the quick update schedule. While I'm proud of how the game turned out as a whole I know that if I had more time the quality would have risen drastically. Many times I found myself with a lot of interesting ideas but not having the time to implement them in time. The story suffered a lot also do to quick updates. Epic fight scenes were turned into just something mentioned in the dialog instead of me being able to show it. For PTD 2 we plan to take more time to make sure everything is like we want it while still trying to maintain a good schedule. More on that later.

    2. The Grind - I felt that while some grinding was acceptable it was impossible to continue playing without having high level pokemon. This resulted in many people using the hacked version or having to grind out their characters while doing something else. I don't think this is fun and I want to reduce the need to grind in the sequel as I don't think it adds anything to the game. Shiny hunting will remain relatively the same but that is something that is optional.

    3. Multiplayer - I had many grand ideas for multiplayer but I never got the time to fully realize those ideas. Also the way I set up the attacks in the game didn't lend themselves for multiplayer which affected how synched the levels are (not very). For the sequel I want to rebuild the attacks to work for a multiplayer setup. Also focus more on the multiplayer as it adds re-playability to the game.

    4. Updating the game - Another big part that went wrong getting the update to the players. A lot of sites probably have older versions of the game that don't even work. For the sequel I want the game to check for the latest version and update itself so that everybody can get updates instantly as I put them up and I also won't have to be sending out updates to 5 different sites.

    What else do you think went right and what else do you think went wrong? Let me know.

    Now for the future!

    My main focus now will be working on Hero Tower Defense, but that game will not be moving at the same fast pace as PTD so that will allow me some time to work on PTD 2 and our Creature Universe game (Project ANPO). I know some of you just want me to work on PTD 2 but the reality is that I also need to focus on original games that can take Sam and Dan games farther than a pokemon game can. Since we don't own the rights to pokemon I can't put the game on the different app stores and sites like Kongregate. Also PTD can get shut down at any point and I wouldn't be able to do anything about it so putting all my eggs in that basket is not a good idea.

    I'm sure Dan will mention on this week's Hero Tower Defense blog but HTD is going to be getting some significant changes in the graphic department that will help speed up the development.

    For Project ANPO Dan and I got to talk a lot about how the game will work and we made good progress on that. What I hope to do this month is work on a prototype so that I can start testing out the different mechanics that we have in mind and so that you guys can check it out and give us your feedback.

    For PTD 2 the question I get asked the most is "When is it coming out!?" Well to be honest I don't even know when it's coming out. I will keep you guys posted. I did have an idea which is to make a special mode that has a lot of re-playability that will use the generation 1 pokemon (since I have all their stats and graphics already created) and release that first which will give you guys something to do while the game is in development. But even this mode will take a while to build so I don't have any specific dates to give out. Just follow me on Twitter and follow the blog for weekly updates to the game.

    Alright guys, I really appreciate all the support for this past year and a half. I hope you enjoyed the game and if you want some more then I will be working hard to keep it coming. Thanks for everything you do!

    As always let me know what you think!