Sunday, December 1, 2013

Showcase : Chrono Defense

Chrono Defense is a game I made for the Ludum Dare 27 Compo, using the theme of 10 Seconds.  It was my first attempt at participating in the Ludum Dare challenge.  It's an alternative form of Tower Defense where your units move and have different AI, and it's up to you to put them in proper situations.



I wanted to make a game that used the theme in a less obvious way than most (oh look! Each level is 10 Seconds!).  I'd already committed to making a Tower Defense game, so I decided to change how you "purchase" the towers.  Rather than use a currency, I settled on using a periodic purchase time where you could buy new turrets.  The catch is, you only have ten seconds to "warp" in new units and larger units take more time to warp in.  So the game pauses, you choose what units you want to fill up the ten seconds, as well as the order they warp in, and then place them on the map.  The game then resumes and throughout the next ten seconds your units warp in.  The units appear in order, so if you chose a seven second unit followed by three one second units, the one second units won't start warping in until the seven second unit.  This allowed tactical judgement in not only placing your units, but the order that you choose them in as well as place them.  Players have to think ahead to when the unit will actually become useful.  I added another level of strategy by making the units not just towers, but moving and dynamic.  They each have their own AI that you need to take into account when purchasing them.  All in all I really liked these mechanics and would like to expand on them in the future.

The Ludum Dare 27 Compo had 1436 entries.  Out of those entries, my highest placement was in Theme, which was 141.  Over all I was proud of my placement, this being the first time I'd done anything like this.

My other placements are below.

Coolness50%
#141Theme3.68
#239Overall3.41
#271Fun3.29
#298Mood3.08
#415Audio2.78
#508Innovation3.03
#705Graphics2.64
#750Humor1.94

The version I submitted can be downloaded at:
http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=26403

The last few hours of the competition I spent working through deployment issues I hadn't faced before.  Because of this, I lost time I was planning on spending on content (new levels, extra enemies, actually balancing the levels).  So the competition version had only one level which was next to impossible (though I did find a way to beat it), and had only two different types of enemy.

I spent a few hours after the competition ended (the same amount of time I would've had if I hadn't run into the deployment issues) finishing these content additions, to the tune of two more levels and an extra enemy.

I've made this new version available at:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/85698531/ChronoDefense.zip
(If the game doesn't run, run oalinstal to install openAL, which is a dependency of Monogame)

One of the major time sinks I faced in this competition was GUI elements.  I spent a lot of time implementing buttons and screens instead of adding to actual gameplay.  Another time sink was the framework for entities and weapons.  I wanted to make something dynamic, and modeled it after the way Starcraft 2 handles units and weapons.  As much as this allowed me to be dynamic in my weapons and units, it took a lot of my time.

Either way, I'm happy with how the project came out, and I'm planning on doing a larger scale version of it sometime in the future!

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