Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hero Tower Defense Tuesday: Day 11 - Melee & Behaviors

Welcome to Hero Tower Defense Tuesday!


Go here to read the Day 10 of Hero Tower Defense Tuesdays.

Time for another HTD update! This week I want to explain our thoughts on how melee characters might work and how enemy actions may vary.

Since HTD is a RPG/TD mix we want try taking mechanics from both genres when it comes to the placement of units and how they work in battle. Also don't forget that in HTD you'll have maps where you're attacking, defending, and some with a mix of both. We also plan to have set character (tower) placements but a lot of them. So while it won't be an open field you will have a bunch of option for placing your units. There will also likely be maps with more than one enemy path. All of these things play a role when it comes to the topics of this post so I wanted to give you all a quick refresher.

Now onto what we had in mind. In PTD the melee characters are basically just ranged characters but instead of a projectile covering the distance you have the character dashing up instead. For HTD we were thinking of having the melee characters just remain stationary in their spot and attack from there. However, they would most likely have a ranged weapon that they automatically switch to when an enemy is far away and some skills might be ranged themselves.

Since melee characters are strongest when they are in melee range having them in a spot that is off to the side of a path, like traditional tower defense, wouldn't be ideal because you would only cover a small area. Imagine a tower with a small radius on the side of the path, it's crappy unless it's in a nice corner or tight U-turn. So we were thinking of just having some placements directly on the enemy paths themselves. This way the melee characters get to be in the thick of battle where they should be while the ranged characters can be in safer areas.

You might asking yourself, "Wouldn't the enemies just walk right past him?" In Traditional TDs, yes, in HTD, no. You'll have skills like taunt that bring nearby enemies to you and keep them there for a time, you'll have skills that can temporarily immobilize enemies, you may also have a skill that acts like a hook that can pull a single target to within melee range from far away. And as I mentioned before there will be lots of locations for your characters so you can move him around a bit, whether it's to get close to an enemy or get out of trouble.

Another concept we want to try is to have enemies with different behaviours. You might see several enemies of the same type coming down a path but they won't all just be running for your base or whatever. Some might be aggressive and actually go after your characters and attack them, others might be defensive and go straight for you base while ignoring your attacks, and then there's always the option of having some with a mix. Perhaps they might run for your base at first but once they get low on health they start attacking your characters instead, etc.

This idea can be handled a few different ways. You can have all of one type of enemy (they would all look the same) with different behaviours which would take you by surprise. You can have different types of enemies with different behaviours so you can identify how they'll act just by looking at them. For example, a werewolf is an attacking unit that will go after your characters while a goblin might be a defensive unit that runs straight for your base. Another option is to have a mix, for example you have multiple dragon whelps coming that all look the same but some are larger than others or have some other slight distinction. The larger ones could be the ones that are aggressive while the smaller ones are defensive, etc.

For those you who haven't yet be sure to check out Kevin's blog, KXN @ HTD to get the latest on HTD art development! The female hair style poll has ended and the results are pleasing because there is nice diversity in the styles that won. Here's a nice update on the female progress with one of the winning hair styles that will be available at release:

Human Female

We'd like to hear what you guys think of these concepts and any ideas of your own that you might have. I've seen a lot of great suggestions from people in the past and all the feedback is very helpful so be sure to let us know what you think!



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