doug-swisher.net

December 5, 2008

Tower Defense games in flash and silverlight

Filed under: Games — Tags: , — Doug @ 6:13 pm

Yikes, it has been eons since I’ve posted.  Taking two classes this semester is considerably more work than I anticipated.

In some of my limited free time, I’ve been playing a couple of flash games.  There are many collections of links to these types of games, including onemorelevel, flashgames247, and gameprison.  For a list of “Top” games by genre, I found the list on TechCult to be pretty good.

The ones I’ve enjoyed the most are in the “Tower Defense” genre, where you need to build a series of defensive towers to defend against waves of attackers.  This genre grew out of the Warcraft 3 Tower Defense multiplayer game (which I believe evolved from a similar StarCraft game).  I used to watch my son play the Warcraft version and never understood the draw.  I guess that is because I hadn’t played it; now that I’ve started playing games in the genre, I definitely see the allure.

I’ve also been playing around a bit with Silverlight.  I wrote a Silverlight version of Conway’s Game of Life that I hope to blog about soon.  As another learning experience, I’m toying with the idea of writing a tower defense game in Silverlight.  I may never get around to it, but doing the research is a lot of fun.

I’ve managed to find one version already written in Silverlight, called Mountain Pass Tower Defense.  There is also a pathfinding experiment that the author describes as an early step in writing a tower defense game.

In the Warcraft version, the critters could attack the towers and knock them down.  I haven’t seen that in any of the flash versions.  That’s something I think I’d try to include.  I also tend to like the ones that are maze-like, where the critters follow a path, as opposed to the ones that are open areas (for those, I usually end up building my own maze).  Most games only include a handful of maps; it would be nice to be able to generate random maps (perhaps based on a seed that the user can enter to retry the same map later).

Anyway, here are my four favorite tower defense flash games.  I’m not saying these are the best, just that they’re ones I’ve enjoyed.

Bloons Tower Defense 3

Bloons Tower Defense 3

Bloons Tower Defense 3

This is one that I’ve played quite a bit.  It is simple to play, humorous, challenging, and a lot of fun.

Vector Tower Defense

Vector Tower Defense

Vector Tower Defense

The graphics on this one reminded of the games I used to play years ago.  I also like the fact that it uses a grid layout, making placement of towers easy.  On some of the other games, it is possible to place a tower in a spot that prevents placing another tower nearby because you didn’t leave enough room.

Onslaught

Onslaught

Onslaught

One of the first, I believe, and very popular.  I’ve seen mention of a new version (Onslaught 2), but I’ve not played it.  Yet.

Canyon Defense

Canyon Defense

Canyon Defense

There were two things I liked about this game.  First, you needed to complete little “mini quests” to upgrade to better towers.  That not only helped with the learning curve (by limiting options in the early game), but it also forced me to build tower-types I probably wouldn’t have otherwise built.

Second, it included buildings (2 squares by 2 squares) that gave special abilities, such as building walls or launching big missles.  The missles have a cool down, but could be launched whenever you needed a little extra boost.

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August 28, 2008

Robin Williams demonstrates the Spore Creature Creator

Filed under: Games — Doug @ 7:34 pm

A funny video of Robin Williams demonstrating the Spore Creature Creator.  It’s been around a while, but if you like Robin Williams and/or spore, it’s worth watching.

Less than a fortnight until Spore!

Filed under: Games — Doug @ 9:41 am

It’s now less than a fortnight (which is 14 days) until Spore hits my doorstep.  Amazon says I should receive it on the 9th of September…just in time for the second week of school.  Oh well.

The self-proclaimed “Spore Supersite” (xspore.com) has a link to a review in the Australian magazine PC Powerplay.  It is a print magazine and someone scanned the article and created a PDF, but it contains nice screen shots and artwork.  The reviewers gave it 9 out of 10 stars after playing the full game, so they must’ve liked it.  Here is the summary from the end of the article:

Pros: Limitless custom content, varied types of gameplay, no more Sims #11

Cons: Not deep enough, all about the Creators, designed for non-gamers

I haven’t been able to find any new videos, so here is a look at the game from E3 2006.  If the game looked this good two years ago, they must have spent a lot of time tweaking and refining the game play…

August 18, 2008

More Spore Videos

Filed under: Games — Doug @ 1:24 pm

Looking for spore content again over lunch, I came across some nice video’s that I hadn’t seen before, from SporeMasterRob on YouTube.  There are very nice versions of the E3 demo in four parts:

He has a handful of other videos.  I haven’t watched them all yet, but based on the first four minutes of the first video, they are well worth watching.

Only 19 days left until the game ships here in the U.S. (according to SporeWiki).

August 14, 2008

Only 21 days until spore comes out!

Filed under: Games — Tags: — Doug @ 1:14 pm

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of Spore, the new game by Will Wright.  While eating my lunch, I came across this cool video, which gives a nice overview of the game, and then shows some details of the first phase of the game.

I pre-ordered my copy almost a year ago.  It should arrive the first week of September.  I can’t wait!

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