I'm not sure if this topic should rather be in a project discussion forum or a recruitement forum. I wan't you to present the map, but somehow I want to recruit you all.
If you don't remember me, I am the creator of Castle Fight, which is quite well known I guess and eeve! TD which is not too famous I guess, but still I can consider it one of the top 10% of tower defenses.
So, as you see, I am a quite experienced map maker seeking a totally new type of project. And I guess I have found it. This map will, and already is, no longer comparable to any other Tower Defense ever made.
Finally, I am the Author of the tool called "GMSI" which is a tool for procedurally reading information from maps / altering maps / inserting stuff into maps. This tool made this project possible.
Read on, this project is no additional towerdefense with just a few new features. It is rather a totally new style of creating games.
This is so innovative that I could convince my Professor to let me make this map as my Bachelor's Thesis for my Studies in Computer Science.
The idea is, that I create the template for a high quality tower defense. I've created a nice environment, gamemodes and diversified random creep waves.
The towers and items of this TD however, are not created by me, but can be created by ANY user who has some map making skills.
You might wonder: "Okay, you let other people help you with your project, what's new about that?"
The answer is: New is that this helping process is totally automated. People who want to create their own tower for this map just have to download a "tower creation map" from me. There, they can easily design their tower. Then, they start GMSI, which reads the tower from that map and transforms it into an XML format which you can upload at YouTD's web page. When you do this, the tower will automatically appear in a tower data base where every user can see your tower in his browser, discuss about it, view its values and description and so on.
People will discuss your tower to make improvements. If the tower has become flawless, due to users helps, and Admin will approve it (just like resources are approved here). Then, the tower will AUTOMATICALLY be in the next version of YouTD.
This process is called "Open Innovation" and is a big topic in many areas of today's business. However, Open Innovation is not used much in Game Developement yet. This map is a prove of concept that Open Innovation works also in Game Design.
No more copy and paste work for me, new towers are automatically injected into the next version by GMSI. And this is the big difference!
You know, for DotA Allstars, thousands of people have suggested heros. But there is no interface to create them! So Icefrog cannot include many new heros each update, because HE has to do them himself. If DotA used YouTD's concept, it could have 100 new heros each version. Even 100 new heros may not be good for an AoS style map, 100 new towers is surely cool for a tower defense!
The map, for players
Before telling you the details about the Open Innovation process, I will tell you about the map features itself, just if it was a "normal" TD.
YouTD uses randomly generated creeps as enemies. In your scoreboard, you can always see the next 6 levels. So you can prepare for the creep specialities:
As you can see, creeps of different sizes engage you. Possible sizes are: air units, normal units, mass units (many units in one level, near together
- Air: take the direct path to the finish.
- Normal: Normal creeps, up to 10 spawn, may have champions in their rows (champions are stronger and may have auras)
- Mass: Many (20) small creeps near together. Splash damage tower will help you against these. May also have champtions
- Boss: One strong unit
- Challenge: Every 8 levels. Strong unit(s) which don't hurt you if they reach the finish. Tests the damage of your towers and gives many points.
Creeps have one of 5 armor types. The first 4 use a Rock, Paper, Scissors system. The last one is a special type comparable to "divine" which gets low damage from everything except essence (=chaos).
They are also from one of 5 races: Human, Magical, Undead, Orc, Nature. The race has basically no influence. However, there are special towers which deal more or less damage to different races. Astral towers for example often deal bonus damage to undead.
Enemies may also have one or two special abilities. There are around 20 abilities at the moment and many still to come. Abilities include:
- Heavy Armored
- Spell Resistant / Immune
- Rich (grant more bounty)
- Wisdom (grant more experience)
- Relic Raider (increased chance to drop an item)
So really, no game is like the one before. You must adapt to special abilities, sizes, armors and races. Planning all that will require tactics and will make the long term fun of this map very high.
Creeps also have a chance to drop items. Items can be used to power up your towers.
I should also mention here, that there is no final level, the TD is open end. So the goal is not to beat the whole TD but to reach a high level and gain a big highscore. Many people complained at eeve! TD that a final level is unsatisfying, you have just built your cool towers and then the game ends... Now you can play as long as you survive. Of course, the game gets more difficult each level, so you won't be able to play forever.
The map uses the "assembled models" concept for towers as you might know from some buildings of Castle Fight. That means the model is assembled from different other wc3 models, allowing beautiful new models. Here are some tower models already used for towers:
As you can see, thse models are much more innovative then other TD models which consist of always the same tower models that every TD player knows by heart.
Even if the towers are user created, I want to tell you some facts that every tower shares. The most important one is that YouTD uses an extremely sophisticated, I dare to say THE most sophisticated engine, including projectiles, damage detection, buff, aura and many other systems. This allows towers to have abilities that you have NEVER seen in any other TD.
Here are some facts which are possible for towers, which will make TD players go mad:
- Towers can critically hit, the critical hit chance can be altered by items, BUFFS & AURAS. So it would be possible to have a tower which grants +5% critical hit rate to surrounding towers. In addition, towers are able to "multicrit": If a tower critically hits and hasn't reached its multicrit limit, it can crit again, adding the crit damage bonus to the tower again. You will see two exclamation marks on the critical hit text then.
- ALL spells can hit critically
- Towers gain exp. Exp makes towers gain levels which makes spells and attacks of this tower stronger and may even add new abilities at certain levels.
- You can alter MANY things about towers / creeps. Examples: damage, attackspeed, crit chance, crit damage, spell damage, item drop chance, bounty ratio, exp ratio. So there could be for example an aura that increases the item drop chance of surrounding creeps. Have you seen something like that before?
- Spells can be altered: There could be a chainlightning that stuns all units it hits and grants +50% bounty from creeps killed with it.
- Many more...
Players can view the stats of their tower. Here is a screenshot of the "tower info multiboard".
As you can see, towers really have many different values that can be boosted:
Towers are from one of the seven elements: Nature, Fire, Ice, Storm, Iron, Astral, Darkness.
Each round you have a chance to get a tower from each element. Towers are categorized common, uncommon, rare and unique. While common and uncommon towers appear frequently, rares and uniques appear only rarily, but they have mightier abilities in exchange.
Players put skillpoints into the elements. These skillpoints increase the chance to get a tower of the skilled element. In addition, skillpoints also increase the chance to get a high quality tower (rare, unique). So, you will always also get towers from elements you haven't skilled. But this won't be many, and most of the time it will only be common ones.
You can browse the already uploaded towers HERE. As soon as you upload a tower, it will also be displayed there.
Most TDs have a crappy environmoent, or lets say, no environment at all. YouTD is settled at an ancient pyramide with a portal on its top. I have tried to make the lanes look nice. Here are some screenshots .
The engine, for creators
The last chapters showed you how the map will be like. This chapter will enlight the trigger engine that makes all the effects possible.
(this is an excerpt from the YouTD introduction page)
The map offers an extremely sophisticated trigger engine that allows tower creators to make really unique abilities with just a few lines of JASS code.
Here are a few examples of what can be done with this trigger engine and how many lines of code (approximately) will be needed for it:
- Creating a chainlightning that can critically hit: 0 Lines of code(!) Every spell in YouTD is able to critically hit by default.
- Creating a chainlightning that stuns all targets it hits and is automatically cast on 20% of all attacks: 12 lines of code
- Creating a chainlightning that
- stuns all targets it hits
- deals 6% damage to undead units
- deals only 80% damage to air units
- gets 10% stronger with each tower level
- is automatically cast on 20% of all attacks
- Creeps killed by this spell grant 50% more bounty
- Creeps killed by this spell have an increased chance to drop an item
You will see towers with effects that have never appeared in any TD.
If you are tinkering with the thought of creating a tower for this TD...
I have written a HowTo that tells you everything you need to know, starting from the basics of creating your tower, assembling the model and uploading it. Next, it contains a documentation of the YouTD API. This are the functions and methods you can call to use features of the engine.
There are some other topics in the YouTD forum that tell you other stuff about tower making and a growing community of creators that helps other fresh creators with implementing their tower.
Even if towers have to be triggered in vJASS, also beginners can create towers. Why? Because of this:
- We also need common towers without much (or even without any) triggering. These can be made by users that have no vJASS skills.
- I have written a small vJASS tutorial that will tell creators the basics of vJASS (because you only need 10% of vJASS's features to create your own tower)
- The engine makes triggering much easier. Abilities that would normally require deep knowledge of WC3 triggering can be coded easily by just calling an API function/method.
- You can download each already submitted tower and just check its triggering. This makes players able to learn from other already made trigger effects.
- The always growing community of creators and admins will always help creators with their issues.
- Two of our current submitters have never coded JASS or vJASS before in their life. However, since the engine makes stuff easy and the community helped them, they could also create wonderful towers!
- It is a shame that so many new map makers start with ugly GUI and then have to adapt to JASS. Maybe this project can encourage new map makers to start JASS without the ugly indirection of GUI.
The current state of the map
This is the first public release of the map. Even if the map wasn't released before, there were 7 people who already uploaded 120+ approved towers, which are contained in this beta release.
Even if 120+ sounds like many towers, inserted into the 7 elements and 4 rarities, this ain't much. So there is always the need for new towers!
If things continue like they do at the moment (even without a release, daily new towers are created), we could reach 1000+ towers in the map. Again this looks like WTF so many towers, I will not see anything twice, I cannot adapt the strategy . However, if we devide this value through 7 elements and 4 rarities, that is only 35 towers per rarity and element. Since towers are arranged in "families" which represent basically the same tower but in different price versions, that is only about 10 families per rarity and element.
So don't be afraid that there will be too many towers!
Next, I will code a creation interface for items. Then, creators will also be able to create items which can be dropped by creeps. At the moment there are only some basic items in the map, just to have some.
Epilog and links
I hope this presentation could convince you that this might get one of the best TDs ever made. With YOUR help! So download the beta, play it a few times and then think about creating your own tower.
However, don't let you scare from this beta! Often you receive ten times the same tower, have no options and thus the game might get boring fast. But this will be changed with every new uploaded tower.
This beta is more or less not a final TD but just a version to show future creators for what kind of map they might create towers.
As soon as we have more towers and some items, the game will get replayable a hundret times without getting boring because there are so many towers / element combinations / items / random creeps that make every game totally different from the one before.
Finally, here are the promised links:
[*]YouTD's webpage (containing links to every useful topic)
[*]YouTD Stats (how many towers were submitted for which element, who created the most towers and so on)
[*]YouTD beta map download
I hope you liked this presentation and I would appreciate any kind of feedback.
Thank you for reading
This presentation is mirrored at wc3c, hiveworkshop and eeve.org to reach more players/creators.