Hello people of the internet, Nathan here. I work on the art for Tower Storm. I don’t know if anyone will be reading this but I shall be posting up Tower Storm art and maybe running through some of the ideas floating around my cerebrum.
One of the hardest things I’ve found about doing the art for Tower Storm is deciding what kind of art style I am going to run. For me this is a super hard decision because I froth over so many art styles. It’s like pokemon but for art style I want them all!
I’ve pooled together reference images, videos and anything else I can find that will help me create the vision for this game. I don’t know exactly what it will look like in the end but I know that it will always evolve and what I have now wont necessarily become the end product. I
I’ve recently been creating the minion art, so today I shall there.
I create the minion sculpts in Zbrush. Something I find difficult to do is refraining myself from going to town on detail. I love adding detail and bringing objects to life, this can be as simple as adding chips into a sword or showing the weathered effects on clothing. I love detail! but… there is a time and place and you need to know when its needed and when its going to hurt your art.
The in game characters in Tower Storm are small and you never see them up close so I need to focus more on the silhouettes and colouring. Adding too much detail will create noise and will not allow players to easily read the minions.
The first minion sculpt I created was for the undead race. Just a cool little skeleton warrior. I kept the shapes basic and divided the geometry into segments for colouring.
Only a few minor updates to the gameplay this week as we’ve been working hard on the next generation of graphics for Tower Storm and also turning it into an Android app (if you’d like to test out the Android app when it’s ready let us know).
We recently realized that the Architects damage booster tower was super over powered when combined with a fast firing turret such as the shadow dragon tower. So we’ve now added a damage cap into the game. Towers are now capped at 3 x their base damage. As an example the dragons rage tower deals 8 damage per shot and so no matter how many Damage Booster towers you build around it it’s never going to have more than 24 attack damage (3 x 8). If you upgrade the tower it has 16 base damage so has a damage cap of 48.
We’ve also applied the same fix to speed boost towers, towers now have a speed cap of twice their base attack speed.
There were numerous bugs where upgrading towers and damage / speed boosters wouldn’t work correctly together, these have been fixed. The bug where you couldn’t sell a tower and place a tower in the same position again has also been fixed. If you notice any more bugs that still remain please let me know.
All towers now give information on their special abilities. Special attacks such as slow and poison from the druids race are shown in blue while auras that benefit nearby towers are shown in green.
It’s been another full on week in Tower Storm HQ. For the first time ever we finally have a real background. The map layout is exactly the same however the new art makes the game actually look like a real game. Plus it covers the full screen on mobile devices so you no longer have to endure ugly black borders around the playfield.
A smooth 60FPS
The game also runs far smoother than before with the addition of interpolation to the code. Previously no matter how fast your computer was Tower Storm would only run at 20 frames per second. This is because the network only updated 20 times per second and the game view only changed as new information came in from the network. Now with the addition of interpolation your computer will “fill in the gaps” between updates and use the full rendering power of your video card to render at a silky smooth 60 frames per second or more. At first you may get an effect similar to watching The Hobbit (or maybe that’s just me) where the game appears to look like a home movie but after a while your eyes will adjust and going back to the old 20 fps will look terrible.
Selling of Towers
If you accidentally throw down that damage booster just out of range of the rest of your defenses, or your friend starts bitching that you built your towers in an un-perfect layout you can now sell and start again. Selling towers only gives you 75% of your gold back, but it’s better than angering your friends right?
More info at your fingertips
Along with being able to sell and upgrade your towers the new tower info panel now shows you your towers stats as well as how powerful it will become after you upgrade it. It doesn’t yet show special abilities (such as how much slow ice shards does or how much boost the speed booster gives), this is coming very soon.
An in-game menu
You can now access the game menu via the cog in the top left of the screen. It currently only has a quit button which is useful for mobile devices but not so useful for PC’s.
Disabling of sound
If you wish to play with your own music rocking in the background or in silence on the train ride home you can now hit the speaker icon in the top left to disable all game sound and music completely.
Over the past 2 weeks we’ve made a multitude of changes to Tower Storm. Fine tuning the game-play until it’s perfect and making it as easy to understand as possible.
The first major change is you’ll now notice Tower Storm has a tutorial. We realized many new players were confused about attacking the enemy and what minion soulstones did so we added the tutorial to guide you step by step through the gameplay. Please let us know if you get stuck at any point during the tutorial or if anything doesn’t feel right and we’ll fix it up ASAP.
The second major change is the Imp and Water spirit minions have been removed. We discovered most games didn’t even go long enough for players to use the last 2 minions so we removed the least needed minions and adjusted the costs and strengths of the remaining minions so there is a nice power curve without any minion being too overpowered or weak.
The fog of war has also been re-added however it is now simply a shroud over the battlefield and you won’t see your opponents towers until you’ve scouted them out, though once you’ve scouted them you’ll see them forever. This makes it easier to see your opponents health and base layout while still allowing you to build a deadly fortress in secret.
The menu theme has been adjusted to be consistent with the lobby and game.
Finally higher level minions now deal more damage depending on what level they are, previously their damage was the same at every level.
There have also been numerous bug fixes and mobile UI improvements. If you previously tried the game on mobile and found bugs try it again and they should all be fixed. If you’re still encountering any issues please send us an email or leave a comment on this post.
Since the lobby overhaul is now complete I set about updating the game to match. I experimented with a few different layout styles including having the tower / minion buttons over the top of the battlefield and having the game go full screen even on HD monitors (which didn’t look so good unfortunately). Eventually I settled on the look and feel you see in the screenshot above.
Some of the big changes in this release are
- The game battlefield now scales to any resolution, so you can play it on small mobile or tablet screens and it should fit correctly. Unfortunately the sidebars don’t scale so minions may sometimes be off the screen on smaller screens, this will be fixed soon.
- Instead of having health levels in the top left corner each players health is now shown on their castles. There is now a final castle for each player that has 100 health and the aim is to kill all your opponents castles.
- Fog of war has been removed – This is temporary and I’m looking to implement a new fog of war system in the future where you can see the opponents battlefield through a dark haze but only see new towers when minions pass by them. I removed fog of war so you can easily see your opponents health at all times.
Let me know what you think and please give it a try on any phones / tablets you have. If it doesn’t work on your phone / tablet or feels off for some reason leave a comment on this post or send me an email and I’ll take a look on a similar model device and get it all fixed up. I want Tower Storm to run perfectly on every device!
It feels good to get rid of that old piece of junk I used to call a lobby. The new one features 3 vs 3 battles emphasizing that Tower Storm is supposed to be a team game, locking in your choice of race so the host doesn’t start without you, descriptions of each tower for each race, and being able to kick players / bots from the game.
Let me know if you find anything confusing or have suggestions to improve it. I love to hear your thoughts and ideas.
This new version of Tower Storm fixes a few desync bugs and general gameplay glitches that have been cropping up randomly since the last release. In gameplay I’ve also given a slight buff to the druids and fixed some issues with the aura and slow towers. There aren’t many gameplay changes as I’ve been working flat out on this new automated deployment system that will allow us to release updates much faster than we are currently and also a massive UI overhaul.
Because I love sharing sneak peaks of new content with you guys the screenshot today is a mock up of the new Lobby UI coming soon. Let me know what you think and if you feel anything needs to be added / removed / tweaked.
If you’ve been playing over the last month and been hit by the dreaded infinite refresh bug or had other issues they should now be fixed. Please let me know if you encounter any bugs in this release as I really want to keep the game as stable and fun as possible and having the game crash half way through a match is not fun at all.
I wanted to give a quick update to say that as of the end of this week I’ve finished up at my full time job at Wotif Group and am now 100% dedicated to working my ass off and making Tower Storm the best game it possibly can be. We’ve been seeing significant traction over the past few months and have a few big fans and lots of support and enthusiasm that has encouraged me to take the leap and do this full time.
So be prepared for some major changes ahead, I’m super excited to take Tower Storm to the next level and I hope you’ll join me for this crazy fun ride. As always if you have suggestions and ideas let me know, I’m all ears and love hearing from fans of the game (your comments and support are what keep me going :))
There haven’t been any game updates in September as I’ve been working with a friend on building out an awesome server management system and continuous release process that will allow us to release new versions quicker than ever before and on all mobile platforms without downtime or mobile clients going out of sync. But rest assured I’ve been fixing bugs and tweaking the game every single day and hopefully these updates will be rolled out shortly.
Today Tower Storm gets a major new patch finally making it a real Tower Defense game
Upgrading has been added to Towers, so you don’t have to spam them everywhere to destroy the oncoming onslaught of giants any more. All towers can upgrade a maximum of 5 times. Overall it is slightly more cost efficient to upgrade towers than it is to build more but the downside of just upgrading is you only have one of that tower instead of having it in multiple positions on the map. This creates an interesting dynamic where you can build powerful towers in a tight cluster or spread them out for more even damage over the entire map, which is better? Who knows, you’ll have to try and see.
You can also click on your opponents towers to see how much range they have.
Minion levels and experience bars
You’ll also notice your minions are now a lot smaller than they used to be, this is because they’re now only puny level 0 minions. Minions now start off slightly weaker (and cheaper) than before but as you collect soul stones of that minion type they gain experience. Once you’ve collected 30 soul stones of that minion type it levels up gaining:
- 6 x health
- 5 x cost
- 4.5 x income
Although they’re don’t produce as much income as before they become much stronger than before. They also increase in size so you can see them crushing your opponents defenses that much easier.
You’ll notice in the screenshot that there is now a purple bar below each minion, this is the experience bar and when it reaches the end the minion gains a star. The star signifies what level each minion is so you can see at a glance. Finally the grey box you can see over the ogre is the respawn timer for that minion so you can see exactly when more will become available.
The reason I waited to release these 2 major changes together is if I added one and not the other the game would become unbalanced, and keeping the game balanced is one of my top priorities.
I still need to add more information on Tower Upgrades so you can see what each upgrade does, but for now just keep in mind that upgrading is slightly stronger than building more towers and you can look at how fast the opponents minions are dying to see how powerful your towers are
Enjoy and as always let me know what you think good or bad.
Since posting that we’re now on the Firefox OS Store I’ve had numerous inquiries over why we’re already on Firefox OS yet have neglected to release Tower Storm on Android or iPhone (you can play it in the browser on both devices).
This means restaurants, shopping centers and even the local car dealership can turn their website into an app far more easily and cheaply than any other platform. This is very powerful in the countries Mozilla is targeting such as Brazil and Spain as there are millions of small mom and pop shops that want a mobile app for their shop and can’t because hiring a developer to build a mobile app for them costs a ton of money (have you seen prices lately!? iOS developers where I live get paid $80k minimum), while hiring a developer to write a manifest file and zip up their websites files is dead simple. I won’t be surprised if most web development shops in these countries offer customers the ability to turn their site into a Firefox OS app for a few extra dollars.
Sure there’s Phonegap and Trigger.io for android and iPhone (the latter of which I’ll be using to get Tower Storm on these devices soon) but the kicker is once the small business has gone ahead and ported the website to these devices it’s dead simple to get it on Firefox OS too. Thus Firefox OS will build a massive ecosystem of apps far quicker and easier than any of the other minor platforms.
So why Firefox OS? Because it was brain dead easy and I believe this platform is going to be very strong in a few years. I tried to port Tower Storm to Android (using Phonegap) a few months ago and it was fraught with complications. If you can make a website you can build an app for Firefox OS and get it into the store tonight. Frankly I’m surprised more web games haven’t already been ported to it, perhaps once they stop being sold out of phones this will change.