Saturday, June 30, 2012

Hero Tower Defense: Scheduling

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Alright, time for a update on some HTD related stuff. First off as you may have noticed from the title and date of this post is that I will no longer be sticking to a new HTD post every Thursday. Reason being is that sometimes there just isn't much to report since we are taking our time with the new releases even though we are continuously working on it. So it would seem to make more sense to just make a post only when there is something worth posting about rather than trying to fill a weekly requirement. Plus it uses some valuable time that I could be using to work on the game instead. With that said I'll still be posting about HTD fairly often just not as consistently as before.

Now onto business. Sam and I put on our business hats and decided that the best thing for us would be to let Sam focus on getting PTD2 going and put the programming for the new HTD graphics setup on hold. The reason is a pretty clear one, more people want to see PTD2 than HTD and we're all about giving you guys what you want. However, don't mistake this to mean HTD progress is stopping. That's not true at all, all that's on hold for now is the programming part, the graphics are still being worked on. If you've been following Kevin's blow you probably already know this (linke at the bottom of this post). In fact, once Sam gets a playable version of PTD2 out he will be dedicating some extra time to HTD in order to get everything moving again. Another thing to keep in mind is that since the graphics are still being worked on in the meantime that the next release of HTD will contain even more reworked content than we originally planned for.

For those of you that have been looking forward to the next HTD release (like me) and have been patiently waiting, I apologize for the temporary delay but it's ultimately a better route for the company to take. It shouldn't be too much of a delay though really. And for those of you who want to point out Ninja-ja I'll assure you this is a different case because there is more than just one person (me) working on HTD. Plus, a new version of Ninja-ja WILL come out eventually. I just need to find time for it which is scarce these days.

Thanks for all the continued support guys!


In the Works:


  • Design

    • Commander/Player Skills (25%)
    • Stat Progression (5%)
    • Pet System (50%)



  • Graphics

    • Unit: Human Male - Animations (90%)
    • Unit: Race #2 - Concepts (20%)
    • Unit: Race #3 - Concepts (10%)
    • Unit: Fire Gecko - Concepts (80%)
    • Unit: Creature #3 - Concepts (20%)
    • Unit: Creature #4 - Concepts (10%)
    • Weapons: Batch #2 - Assets (20%)
    • Armor: Batch #1 - Assets (10%)



  • Programming

    • Interface: Setup (75%)
    • Unit: Setup (10%)


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

    Be sure to leave any ideas, suggestions, or other feedback you might have in the comments! Thanks!


    -Dan

    Monday, June 25, 2012

    The return of the progress list! Personal matters!

    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!


    Hi guys, I'm feeling a lot better thanks for your concern and support.

    So last week I talked about making a non-gaming announcement this week. After 6 years of being with my girlfriend I proposed to her this weekend! and she said yes! I actually made her a very small game as part of the proposal since I am a game developer after all. She loved it and we are very happy, next step is to plan the wedding >.< haha so lets get back to games!

    Okay so PTD 2, this week I'm gearing up to work all out on getting this ready. Like always I like to be very open about what I'm working on so I will post a progress list of what I have to do and will be updating it all this week as I make progress on it.

    Party Selection Screen (100%)- Slightly refined, added new sorting options that you guys requested, plus additional settings to each sorting option as seen in the pictures below.

    New Party Screen Sorting Options
    Showing the sub options for sorting options
    Pokemon Upgrade Screen (60%) - Adding the two suggestions that you guys requested, being able to change your pokemon in the screen and showing the pokemon's stats. Other additions are showing the nickname of the pokemon along with its name, showing the gender by symbol and background color. Also you can see that you can see your abilities and their description and also change them before the level. Finally I added a new pokedex button that will take you to the pokedex information of this pokemon. It will be more detailed than in ptd 1. You can see a work in progress shot below. (Note: I'm using pokemon with random moves in them for testing purposes, you can't learn these move on Onix without hacking)

    Newer version, female onix, pokedex button, and ability window

    Pokemon Store Screen (0%)
    Level 1 (0%)
    Any attacks that need to be modified (50%) - Setting up the new stacking debuff mechanics. No longer will stat changing attack run out. They will also stack so you have to keep applying it to get the max effect. Watch the video below for a small preview. The graphic will get slightly bigger and stack as the debuff stacks. Also your pokemon will prioritize targets that have the lowest stack or no stack at all.


    Level User Interface (0%)
    Saving (0%)
    Loading (0%)

    During the week I will keep adding more things and updating what I'm working on. This will give you a better look at where I am at with getting the release done.

    That is all I have for today, keep checking back for more. As always let me know what you think!


    Wednesday, June 20, 2012

    Weekly Short and Sweet Update

    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!


    I'm feeling a bit sick so I will make this short and sweet.

    Zorua won the poll!

    I'm still working on PTD 2!

    Still don't have a date for it to come out yet (good things take time to create)

    Next week I will have a non-gaming announcement to make.

    Thanks for all the support, let me know what you think!

    HTD

    I'll just add a small update on HTD here. There's not much to report other than we're continuing to make progress on the graphics front. Sam needed to postpone working on the new graphics system in order to take care of personal matters. I'll be making a more in-depth post for HTD at some point this coming week. Have a good weekend everyone!

    -Dan

    Friday, June 15, 2012

    Hero Tower Defense Thursday: Day 42 - Creatures Vs 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 41 of Hero Tower Defense Thursday.




    Progress on the new art and graphics system is still underway and is going well. We're doing our best to get a new release out to you guys ASAP but we aren't looking to rush it out just so we can have something. I never liked seeing that happen in other games and then having to deal with all sorts of annoying bugs. Granted we're a small group and can only find so much but we do what we can. :)

    Now, on to the topic at hand. Creatures Vs Races! In HTD when we say Creatures we are typically referring to enemy units and when we say Races we are referring to playable heroes. However, there will be units that are both playable races and creatures that you fight. The HTD world isn't one with race wars going on with one versus another but rather just a world full of all sorts of races and creatures that have various factions within different groups. Some are good, some are bad. This allows us to be a bit more versatile when it comes to designating enemies for maps because we can mix various kinds of units together and still have it make sense.

    You might be wondering why aren't all units just creatures and playable races. Well, because it would be difficult to make something like a slug into a playable unit. The playable races require far more animations and set up in order to work with the system we've established. The main reason is because they are dynamic and allow for weapon and armor swapping which requires a lot more assets and work. However, we can always use creatures as companion pets/combat pets since they are a more limited version of a playable unit. So some might end up being available in that respect.

    Another good thing about having creatures as pets and races as enemies is that we can reuse assets that we already have. It's a huge time saver and provides some additional diversity, especially the races. For example, we can use the human race as an enemy and have all the armor and weapons available to outfit them however we like and even give them variations among themselves. We can also use their animations to do different things with. All of this essentially for free since we already have them available for the playable human race.

    We're all looking forward to the next release and hope to share it with you guys soon. Thanks for the continued support!


    In the Works:

  • Design

    • Pet System (50%)
    • Interface Revision (100%)


  • Graphics

    • Unit: Human Male - Revision (100%)
    • Unit: Human Male - Animations (25%)
    • 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 (75%)
    • 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 ideas, suggestions, or other feedback you might have in the comments!


    -Dan

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012

    Weekly Progress: Working, PTD 2 improvements, small games, pick your first Mystery Gift!

    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!


    Working
    Work, work, work! That is what we are all about right now here at Sam and Dan Games. Let us look at what everybody is working on!

    First the artist, since all the graphics in Pokemon Tower Defense are taken from the actual games we don't really need artist for PTD2, I mean admit it you love my attack graphics! So all of them are working on Hero Tower Defense. Kevin, our first artist, made a great blog post about what the artist have been making this past month. Check it out here. Not in the blog is the work that Joel has done. Joel while working on the PTD Fan film and his other projects was able to complete some weapon designs and a weapon model. Dan will also be lending his hand at helping with the 3D models.

    Second the programmers. Yes there is more than one! I've been talking to him for a long time now about joining us and now he is finally ready. I would like to welcome Jonathan to the team. He will be helping with the programming starting off with some new game prototypes that I will talk about down below. I'm also a programmer, I'm working on HTD, PTD2, and also some prototypes.

    Lastly the designers. Dan as you might know is in charge of designing and managing HTD, with feedback from the team. He is also in charge of the HTD blog post and answering SnD Coin orders. I'm in charge of PTD, PTD 2, and the weekly progress blog. Dan and I work together to figure out what we should focus on and which paths should we take as a company.

    PTD 2 Improvements
    Believe it or not I can't just copy and paste all the code from PTD to PTD 2! A lot of it needs to be refined and some critical parts drastically changed. This is why it has taken so long for the 1v1 mode to come out. I'm here to tell you about some of the improvements that I have been able to make to PTD that I hope you will enjoy. So here we go.

    1. You can now swap tower positions by dropping a tower in the other tower's spot.
    2. Attack's cooldown won't reset if you change the move, return the pokemon or move a tower from its spot.
    3. Damage text will now be white and have a dark background behind it to make it easier to read the text. Also all types of damage will have the same color. Super effective damage will be larger, and ineffective damage will be smaller font. Also critical damage will show up as slightly bigger and in a yellow color. So that its easier to see when you get a critical hit or when somebody critically hits you.
    4. When you change the size of the map it will now center itself. (See HTD's map)
    5. You can't drag the map so that it will be off screen. (See HTD's map)
    6. Many other improvements to the level code.

    When you play PTD2 you will notice a bunch of small changes to almost every area in the game. I hope you guys will enjoy them when the time comes. (I'm still working on it!)

    Small Games
    So last week I talked about small games. Not sure if I mentioned it before but Dan and I are about big complex ideas. We like games with a lot of depth. I tend to go for the more easy to pick up and hard to master, and he tend to go for the hardcore from the start games. A good example would be my love for the Super Smash Bros series and Dan's love for the Street Fighter series. The problem is we don't have the money to make the big complex games, and even something of medium size (like HTD) will take us a good long while to make. So it is with this in mind that we want to produce some smaller but fun games for you guys to play. Three prototypes we are looking at are: A beat em up game designed by Kevin. A barrel jumping game (like the original donkey kong) inspired by the a concept from Joel. A simple RPG designed by me inspired by the 3DS RPG Find Mii. These will be fun games that will be connected in an interesting way that I'm not ready to reveal at this time.

    Pick your first Mystery Gift!
    So the 5th Generation of pokemon won for the first poll and you guys gave a lot of great comment as to who you wanted from different generations. I gathered up all the names and I picked the top 3 plus I added my own suggestion (Sandile) to the poll. Make your pick!

    That's all I have for you this week, thanks for the support and as always let me know what you think!

    Friday, June 8, 2012

    Hero Tower Defense Thursday: Day 41 - Show and Tell

    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 40 of Hero Tower Defense Thursday.




    Unfortunately the new release won't make it out this week because we were originally thinking we could set up the new interface menus using a mix of the old graphics process with the new graphics process. It seems now that we can't actually do that or it wouldn't be worth it because we'd have to redo it anyway. So we're taking the more efficient route by continuing to work on the new graphics process and then once we have that set up we'll be able to throw together the new interface and it'll be set for good. However, I wanted to give you guys a little bit of a preview in the meantime.

    Hero Customization Screen

    This is the Hero Customization screen where you'll be able to change things like your Race, Hair Style, Colors, etc. You might notice that there's no character roster at the bottom. This is because this screen won't always be available, it's more of a triggered screen that will become available when you are presented with the option to change some of those features. For example it'll appear when you start a new game in order to make your main hero and when you get new customizable heroes or items/quests that allow you change race or hair color. For testing purposes we'll be allowing easy access to this screen from the Party Management screen till we are at a more finalized version of the game.

    Party Management Screen

    Next is the Party Management screen where you'll be able to set up the group you'll take into battle, enter battle, and for now, access the Hero Customization screen. On this screen you can see the character roster, navigation buttons, and a preview of the currently selected hero. The preview will also show you the hero's name, native element (behind the character), and their currently active skills. The Enter Battle text and icon will light up when there's at least one character in your active party.

    Inventory Screen

    And lastly we have the Inventory screen. Your currently selected hero's equipment is on the left and the shared inventory (all characters use the same one) on the right. The check marks on the Helm and Cloak slots are toggles for turning those items visually on and off. In order to see the details of any items/skills you would just hover the cursor over it and details for it will pop up in a window.

    That's all I'm going to show for now, don't want the post to get too large. There are still some placeholders at work here but as you can see it's mostly an overhaul. Hopefully we can get a new release out for you guys soon so you can try it and provide us with some feedback. As you can see we're hard at work though and things are coming together nicely, the current content just takes some time to put together.


    In the Works:

  • Design

    • Pet System (50%)
    • Interface Revision (90%)


  • Graphics

    • Unit: Human Male - Revision (90%)
    • 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 (75%)
    • 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

    Tuesday, June 5, 2012

    Weekly Progress: PTD 2, E3, small games vs big games!

    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!


    Welcome all! Let's get right to it. If you are very into games then this week was a special treat for you. E3 is going on right now! Giving you a look at all the great new games and systems coming out this year and early next year.

    E3
    I saw all the conferences from Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo and all I have to say that while I wasn't blown away by anything I felt like there was still a lot of solid games shown. What was your favorite thing at e3?

    It might be surprising but I actually don't play a lot of video games. I tend to buy the really good ones but I never finish them. I like to get a taste of what the game is like but once I get the taste my drive to finish them goes away. I do find time to finish them eventually but rarely does a game suck me in from start to finish. Some of the games that I recently bought are: Diablo 3, Startcraft 2, Skyrim, Zelda: Skyward Sword, Xenoblade Chronicles. I did finish Zelda, played about 20 hours of Xenoblade and I'm in Act 2 of Diablo 3 (normal difficulty) but Startcraft and Skyrim I have barely played.

    Most of my time is dedicated to spending time with the loved ones and making games, blog post, answering emails for you guys! Oh and going to university... So lets talk about what I've been working on!

    PTD 2
    For PTD2 I wasn't able to get the 1v1 mode finished... :( that's my face! It was actually a bigger task that I had anticipated since there is a lot of changes to the base of the game but I am working on it. I still don't have a solid date for you guys so just hang in there while I put forth my best effort. If I had to guess I would say 2 more weeks. But.. sometimes obstacles are hard to predict so I can't promise you anything.

    Some good news is that I've decided that every Mystery Gift pokemon for PTD 2 will be a pokemon that will not be included in PTD or PTD 2 for regular capture. Making the mystery gifts very rare for those of you who are following our progress. So I added a poll for you guys to first decide which generation should the first mystery gift pokemon be from? (Note that future mystery gift can and will be from different generations 3-5) Also in the comments tell me which pokemon and why he should be the first mystery gift!

    Small games vs Big games
    So besides being the head programmer for HTD, sole developer for PTD and PTD 2, it's also my job to always be thinking about what direction Sam and Dan games should go into. When you think about a path to go into you are also saying that you don't want to follow the paths that you didn't choose. Sometimes choosing to make one game over another game you have to give up or put on hold something else. Life if pretty much about these difficult choices. One of the choices that Dan and I have been thinking about is about the scope of our games. As you know, we are a pretty small team right now. We have about 6 artist but most of them are freelance and they can't put in the same amount of time into working on games. So this impacts the size of our games. So the thought is that instead of thinking of big, huge games that require a lot of human resources (that we can't afford) we would try to think of simple yet deep games that don't require a lot of resources and that our current resources can handle a lot easier. What does this mean for HTD and PTD 2? Nothing! Those game while still pretty big are something that we can manage. Especially PTD 2 since all the graphics are essentially done (since they are taken from the games), HTD will still take its time being made but we have other things in mind that will help us generate resources to make future games for you.

    Sadly there is one game that will be put on hold.. Creature Online Universe (aka ANPO) will be put on hold pretty much indefinitely. While this is a game that I very much still want to create, it is currently out of our reach, resource wise. We wish we could drop everything and work on this but we also have bills to pay and food to buy... But there is a bright side!

    Because ANPO will be put on hold we will be free to think about smaller projects for you guys to play. Smaller projects means we can get them done sooner which means you get to play them sooner! While working on HTD and PTD 2 we are also working on very small prototypes and pitches for some smaller games. I can't wait to bring them out and show them to you guys soon!

    As always let me know what you think! Your opinions and feedback are greatly appreciated and affect the direction that we go in! Thanks again!