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    Zekallinos
  Fri Oct 16, 2009 3:48 am
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Description

This entry is going to be a Tower Defense (TD) game. Yes, that's right. Not an RPG. This one, with a musical twist. You're going to be placing towers such as the Sound Suppressor and the Wave Blaster and sends all those musical notes gone frantic back where they belong. All that with XNA.

Concept

  • The creeps are going to be musical notes. Different notes, different proprieties.
  • The game is divided into stages, one for each difficulty. Each stage have a theme and a music genre. A stage consist of a certain number of songs (15-20 minutes each) and a given map.
  • Musical notes spawn with he music. Faster parts of the song have more small notes that move faster, and slower parts spawn "tanks". This is my main feature, as it should (I think?) keeps the player immersed within the game.
  • You do not control the "waves" of creeps. That wouldn't work with main feature. You can always pause though.
  • The creeps follow a specific path, like the Flash Element TD and unlike the Desktop TD variant. The corners of this path are rounded, to keep the smooth "flow" of music.
  • Higher levels will require maximum synergy between towers. The order of placements of towers and their ranges are important (more then just raw damage). Towers such as the standard "slow" tower will be present, but do not synergize well with every type of tower. This is the strategic part of the game.
  • Although no types of creeps/notes have a given weakness against a given type of tower, some towers will be more efficient against some times of creeps (ex : towers that deal % damage of remaining life are better against wholes. However, they will kill much faster if standard pellets towers are also added, since they chunk of the last remaining % faster.)

Aside from that, the game will work pretty much like other TD games. It's a genre, after all (just like the RPG genre).

Towers & Creeps

There are different types of creeps.
  • Semiquavers (sixteenth) and Quavers (eighth) are very fast.
  • Crotchets (quarter) and Minims (half) come in large numbers.
  • Wholes and Breves (double whole) are slow and though.
  • Chords and Triplets split into other notes following death.

There are also many kinds of towers (12!).
ImageImageImage Sound Suppressor I-III : These function mainly by focusing a laser on a note, depleting it by a percentage (%) of its life each second.
ImageImageImage Noise Maker I-III : These function by throwing sharps and flats at incoming notes.
ImageImageImage Distortion Wave I-III : These function with attacks that hit an entire area.
ImageImageImage Volume Tuner I-III : These function by slowing down or stopping completely notes.

Music

The game features 5 stages (hello quick photoshop :crazy:):
ImageImageImageImageImage

The latter one comprising music relevant to the forum or the RM scene.

Download

Alright, the file can be download here : >Click Me (67 mb)<

Installation procedure :
  • Download the file above to wherever you want, extract the .rar file (it already has its own folder). If you don't have winrar to open the .rar, get it now, we're almost in 2010.
  • Install the game by clicking on setup.exe. It will ask you to install the .NET Framework and XNA Redistributable if you do not have them already. Install both.
  • Launch the game by clicking on HarmonicsTD.application or through the start menu.

It know the .application is a little odd, but that's how Microsoft decides to publish games made in his framework, for some reason. Anyway, I tried this on a XP machine and it works, although Vista or Win7 may be preferable. If it doesn't work please tell me, I'll try to find another alternative to the distribution method.


Last edited by Zekallinos on Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:02 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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    Kipe
  Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:58 am
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Oooo cool! :smile:
The name is very suiting, your concept is fabulous, and your forum post layout is easy to read, and kept my attention through out the entire thing. I actually read through it all, which is something that I am rarely able to do, so kudos to you! :grin:

You included perfect examples with regards to the musical notes, their attributes, and how they move. It's very easy to visualize, and your concept is fabulous. I think your project will definitely stand out, as I believe it'll be one of the very few that actually use the Music theme.

The only critique I have about it is (if I'm reading this right), your level lengths are going to be 15-30 minutes each? (In my opinion) As with other TD games, I think it's probably best that you start off with short levels, and then progress to lengthier ones as the player progresses. Offering a break ever so often may be helpful for people looking to pause their progress, and upgrade their arsenal of weapons, or just looking for a save point. New stuff = more interest, and starting off with short levels can also allow the player to make strategic decisions, when choosing how to spend the "easy-to-get" points.

Again, good job, and I wish you the best of luck with your project.


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    Jason
  Fri Oct 16, 2009 3:29 pm
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Hmm, so what genres of music are we looking at here, surely it's not ALL classical Piano, right ?

You know what song you should do for a boss level or something...

Trivium - The Crusade

8 minutes of Instrumental, lol...

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    Venetia
  Fri Oct 16, 2009 3:41 pm
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:O What a cute idea, I love it :D

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    Zekallinos
  Fri Oct 16, 2009 9:43 pm
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@Kipe

Because each stage has a different map, you have to start from 0 each time. So stages can't be too short. I'll evaluate how long they'll need to be when I get to test it (read : in a while), but you are right in saying that the first levels should be shorter (no need to be able to buy the duper-tower right now). Breaks are between songs, and the player can always pause. I'll think about putting save points. Thanks for the comments!

I've also though about given certain rewards (ex : a special tower if you didn't lose any lives the previous song) which may or may not need to be considered in strategies.

@jъГìsт

I'll have to decide for the genres aside classical (that's 1 out of 6 only!). I like your suggestion, sounds like it would fit well for a lengthy boss, as you say.

@Venetia

Thanks!


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    Zekallinos
  Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:16 am
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Hey everyone!

I haven't given much of any updates so far. That's because it's mostly engine stuff, like drawing sprites, drawing windows, loading context from xml, game loop, game queue , etc. Most of which I've learned as I was working on it. Now things should hopefully go a little faster. Although it's missing a lot of small stuff, the following is what it should look like, in general (very rough preview).

Image

The RMXP's windowscreen is obviously not going to stay. Many of the towers tiles (graphics) haven't been done yet either, and I haven't given any descriptions to the towers, information when you hover them (see "To Be Written").

Things to do include : Interface stuff, which takes seconds (amount of $, exit/restart menu, song duration indicator), upgradeable towers, projectiles (that may take a little longer, as there are auto-follow projectiles, area effect, etc).

I hope to be able to finish it in time for December 5th (that's the deadline right?). In the meantime, I'm still open to song suggestions.


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    Jason
  Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:57 am
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Hmm, well I'm not too good with naming classical, lol...

But how about you throw in a couple of Daft Punk songs, seems like it'd suit the genre pretty well, especially if you have the enemies coming with the beat of the songs, one song I could think of being well would be Robot Rock or something o.O

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    hima
  Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:34 pm
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Apart from the rmxp windows, I'm loving that screenshot <3


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    Velocir_X
  Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:25 am
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I'm still open to song suggestions.


Grab a Mozart Collection, you won't be dissapointed


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    Zekallinos
  Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:29 pm
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Lol Mozart. Why not?

Here's another screen. It has more stuff than the previous, as you can see. I'm almost there! Oh, btw, I've seen the spelling mistake, thank you.

Image

Main things to do remaining: Animations (when a note dies, for example), area effect towers, more projectiles and beam towers, transitioning from one song to the next (yes, I've only used one so far), bonuses/powers (see explanation) in the empty window.

---

Tower Defense games give an certain amount of money when you kill a creep. However, that means you will always get the same amount of money every play through, which makes tower choices not that much relevant. That's why most of them have a thing such as Interest rates or such, to force strategy.

I think I'll do this in the form of bonuses, special powers you either have initially or acquire through the game. One of such could be the Cog. The cog is something you get once, and it upgrades all your towers once. Now of course, the more you hold it, the better it becomes, but how long are you going to do so? The ghost could grow grow grow until it becomes bigger than the screen and sweep off all creeps. That seems funny. Other could be acquired if you managed to lose no life after 2 minutes or whatnot.

I think I'll implement the Rec Room as a special stage or the last stage (depending on time). I've thought of putting music from the community's games in it, however there is no direct link between the two (it could go in another stage).

What do you guys think?


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    Zekallinos
  Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:59 pm
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Ok! New windowskin! It's not the greatest eye candy, but it can't be worst then RMXP's.

Image

Although it lacks content, you can see it's pretty much playable right now. The main engine's pretty much done, all that's left is to add more content (remaining towers/bonus, more types of creeps and songs).

There are 6 stages in the game. The genres I've though of are : Classical (piano to anything orchestral), Rock (all kinds), Anime (soundtrack and instrumental openings), Video Games (most if not all from Indie RM games tell me if you want a piece of yours in the game), International (from around the world) and Movies (mostly Hollywood soundtrack).


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    Kiriashi
  Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:25 pm
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.. That screenshot is very much not 640*480.. explain.

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    Zekallinos
  Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:57 am
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Well, it's not made with Rpg Maker, so any screen resolution can be obtained by changing a few parameters.

It's 800x600, actually. I needed space so I could fit everything in at a decent resolution without it looking too clumped together, so I carefully studied my needs in accordance to my design documents and evaluated that the best resolution is a value equal to...

Content Hidden


Oh, and I found a bunch of nice orchestral music that sound pretty epic at times so I think I'll change "International Music" to "To Imagine" or something (I'll put in all kind of tunes that creates images of far aways lands).


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    Zekallinos
  Tue Dec 22, 2009 7:03 pm
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Hello. I'd just like to mention I'm still alive. I haven't done much lately (extra deadline = extra procrastination), aside from timing a few creep/note spawns to the music (so long to do). Now here's the logo I've made up for it - it's not quite what I'm good at, so I'm not sure about the font of colors. What do you think?

Image


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    Zekallinos
  Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:13 am
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Hello! The game's complete!

Actually, not really. I've made the engine and set spawns to fit with each song. But since spawns are irregular (it's not like 1 every second for the entire game), I need to manually set the power and the money value of each wave of creeps (notes). So for now, be happy one-shooting all creeps.

So I guess this is a tech demo, if you're interested. Oh, and sorry about the filesize, but it does have quite a lot of songs.

Link outdated, see new version


Last edited by Zekallinos on Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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    Jason
  Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:26 am
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Ooh, what songs are in the tech demo ? :biggrin:

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    Zekallinos
  Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:08 pm
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All of them. Which includes the two you suggested, and a bit of everything else.


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    Zekallinos
  Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:04 pm
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Alright, this isn't a tech demo anymore, it's the real game. Balancing all the spawns in the different levels was a real pain, but I think it shouldn't be too bad. I just hope that the last levels aren't too hard (or too easy). Anyway, see first post and try it out!


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    Jason
  Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:38 pm
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Woo it's finished, I'm gonna' download it right now !

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    Jason
  Fri Jan 01, 2010 12:29 am
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... So it's IMPOSSIBLE to make it past the second song on the first set of levels, I finished In The End with like, 7 lives left, and died before halfway of the FFIX song o.O I've tried 5 times now lol, either I suck, or this game is REALLY hard, lol.

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    Zekallinos
  Fri Jan 01, 2010 1:55 am
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Hmmm...well, for each stage, the first songs tend to be the hardest.

Since you don't start with that much money, you're going to need to buy towers as soon as you have the money. That's why it's a good idea to place your towers nearest to the start of the path (the blue area) as possible. Some creeps will escape your first 2-3 Noise I towers, but you should get money to kill them quickly enough. Try to get the Noise II as soon as possible, and upgrade it as needed. Range upgrades are generally not needed in the beginning. Then, try to get a combo Wave + Slow. Slow is useful not for slowing creeps, but because they slow down when they get in range of the tower, they will accumulate, making slow towers more efficient. Noise III is pretty good against Triplet, if you can get one.

Don't forget you can pause. Also, maybe not in the first level, but at some point you will need to use the ghost bonus to kill all notes on the screen. Don't worry, you still get the money. Careful though, it takes 3 seconds to take effect.

Oh, and don't forget you can set targeting priority. FAR targets the ones that are near the end, it can be useful. All sound suppressors should be set to STRONG, too.


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    Glitchfinder
  Fri Jan 01, 2010 5:13 am
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The rock stage lags horrifically on the faster notes. Aside from that, this is turning out to be very fun.

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    Jason
  Sat Jan 02, 2010 6:48 pm
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Can someone PLEASE tell me how they beat the first stage ?!

I've been playing it for the last 2 hours, I'm VERY lucky to make it past the FIRST SONG with more than 4 lives, and then I can get like, 1/2 into the second song before I die... and that's if I'm lucky !!!

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    Zekallinos
  Sat Jan 02, 2010 7:34 pm
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...You must be tired of hearing In The End :tongue: . This should help some.

First level walkthrough



P.S. Please stay in the game window while playing. Leaving it for too long may result in crash. I've yet to find out whether it's because of me or the XNA framework.


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    Jason
  Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:12 pm
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I think we're playing totally different games here, I mean it was good that I managed to get through the first song with 22 lives left, but had to put almost triple the amount of towers you suggested AND upgrade them, but I STILL couldn't make it past 50% of the next song...

And there's a wierd glitch, when the first song is finished, the notes that are still on carry on going, and the notes from the next song appear, so I'm fighting notes from 2 different songs for the first 10-20 seconds or so, which can get REALLY fustrating...

I'm just gonna' admit defeat and stop playing the game, although it's a shame since I REALLY wanted to finish it...

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    Zekallinos
  Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:11 pm
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...Sorry about that. Bad design from my part.

But I think you should have upgraded existing towers rather than getting new ones. In general it's better to have quality than quantity because of the resistances of some creeps.


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    Jason
  Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:14 pm
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WOO

I managed to get past the first set of levels, then the second, and on the Anime one thingy... I died within 15 seconds of the first song, infact maybe it was quicker, not too sure... but seriously, how do we even START to kill those with such little cash ?!

And "The Crusade", I was like "oshit no...", but once I got like a third into the song, I had around 30-40k, and about two thirds in, I had over 100k, so I upgraded everything and was just killing EVERY note (Even those big yellow star/flower thingies) before it got off the straight...

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    Toams
  Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:22 pm
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downloading at the moment, i'll give this a spin later
also i'd like to mention i really like the logo, or at least the general idea
(shadow could be a bit more transparent, and the gradient on the font is a bit messy)

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    Zekallinos
  Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:44 pm
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Congrats JBrist!

Now, that one. You have to be really quick to place towers as soon as you get the money. Pause as necessary. Noise I can one-shot the pale-blue semiquavers, so it can be alright to get a third one before Noise II. Just don't forget the dark-blue notes that are coming, so get an area blast, too, before the they are past the second bend, if possible.


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    Glitchfinder
  Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:18 am
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So, is there anything that can be done about the lag? I mean, it really should not be lagging on my comp. Especially since I can play RMXP at max framerate with all but the worst of scripts. As for the game itself, it is a lot of fun. I tend to go for quantity, but I'll try upgrading the next time around. (Oh, and in the first stage, I tend to place that green one in the center of the bend, to maximize coverage)

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