3/3/2012 - Progression of Game Designs

Several years ago, before I released any of my online games, I knew I wanted to make a tower defense game. I played Desktop Tower Defense and Desktop Defender for more hours than I care to admit.

Just making a clone of an existing game didn't sound too interesting. I wouldn't go for that as a player and developing it doesn't sound like something to be proud of. There are a few directions I considered going with the tower defense. They are all mash-ups of two genres, which I thought would provide a distinct game feel.

First, I considered making a parody tower defense game. Could you imagine building towers and having a giant gorilla start stomping on them, throwing barrels to bring towers to the ground? How about a couple bomber men dueling, or a very structured attack grid of aliens? While it could be interesting, I didn't think I had the ability to make it look good, be balanced... and avoid legal issues.

Since I had some experience with a physics engine, another avenue I considered was a tower defense game in the middle of a pool table. The idea was to keep the AI from shooting the balls past you. A couple reasons I avoided this. Normally you only have an action every few seconds and I couldn't think of a way the AI player's strategy could appear interesting to the tower defense player.

Finally, I came up with an idea. One portion of the parody game I didn't mention was the paddle + ball genre, often called Breakout clones. Having an AI opponent (the paddle) could work in this case, even though it wasn't a major strategic point. A variety of enemies (balls) could be provided and it looked like it would be reasonable to set up for a strategy. I'll try to go into this a bit more as the game progresses.