Thursday, May 17, 2012

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

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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!



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