An action packed tower defense and puzzle game for Android, Win, Mac and Linux. We are far into development, but we need your help!
Imagine... You are a newly appointed CEO of a small company responsible for the manufacturer of weapons and other artificial destructive forces. And like all good companies, you have a QA and Research department. But not just any type of QA and Research is performed here. Your company's research is geared at seeing how effective your products are at blowing stuff up.
Mainly stuff like poor, innocent, weapon test dummies
As CEO you will perform many roles. You will direct the testing of many different types of weapons; blowing up many Weapon Test Dummies along the way. You will then use the results of these tests to choose which avenue the company will continue researching.
Pic of the research screen available in the game now.
Well, hopefully you can do this, if we are able to finish our game!
About the Game
Weapon Test Dummies (WTD) is an action packed tower defense type game that has been in full time development since late 2011. It is expected to be released for Android, Windows, Mac and Linux.
Our team consists of only two members, Ryan(me), who does the programming, game design, game art, and web design and his brother Zach who also works on game art and level design. We've been living on a minimal budget to get things going, but in order to meet our goal of creating the game we really want to create and still continue our full time effort on the project, we need some help. So whats our goal?
Our goal with this project is to create THE tower defense game that we felt was missing. We want an action packed, well polished and epic experience that so many other games approached but seemed to lack.
So how are we making the game more action packed than other TDs?
We wanted to avoid things like fast forward gameplay, and instead favor a more interactive player experience. Placing a tower and waiting for enemies to traverse your maze of turrets can be fun for newer players to the genre, but after awhile you begin to feel like something is missing.
So, there are several things that we are doing to make our tower defense game more action packed than other TDs; here are a few examples:
First, our game will feature a large variety of abilities that synergize well with the different turrets in order to enhance gameplay. For example, we are adding abilities like covering your enemies in oil, which makes your flame thrower turrets much more powerful. We also have abilities that do things like shatter frozen enemies when used on them.
Another example of a complementing ability we have in the game currently is a bolt of lightning. This ability actually serves two purposes. One, you will be able to directly damage enemies with it, but you can also use it to energize your turrets, and other cool things. We also have traditional things like mine placing and other cool stuff.
Secondly, one thing we noticed is that there are many tower defense games with cool abilities, but they severely restrict or limit how they can be used or purchased. The resource system we have developed for this game will hopefully fix that. Using the same currency to purchase towers as you use to purchase abilities? Wrong. Using a resource system that doesn't force compromise from improving your towers and using your abilities? Right.
We also want to add in fun new game modes to switch things up. For example, in one game mode, we want to add, rivers of sludge which mutate our dummies, so you are best to try to prevent them from reaching the sludge before hand. There may be ways to turn on certain parts of the sludges and turn off others, so you will need to choose the best times to press the switch. So, we want to add little puzzles to our TD to make things more interesting.
A sewers level, which we hope to make a cool game mode where the weapon test dummies get mutated when they touch the water.
So, you mentioned well polished earlier, what do you mean?
We don't mean "well polished" only in the visual sense, but also in an overall sense of fun, uniqueness, and variety within the game. We aren't going to have 40 turrets in the game with minimal differences between them. Each turret we add to the game will have distinct differences from the others. Right now we have 4 distinct families of turrets that will have at least 10 turret types each. Each turret family has a specific theme, such as elemental, but there are large variations within that will allow you to vary your gameplay choices. We already have unique gameplay mechanics for over 20 turrets in our current alpha build, as it has been our primary focus for development thus far. We have flame throwers, ice launchers, ion cannons, poison turrets, laser guns, solar towers just to name a few; each with different types of attacks.
The same thing that applies to turret variation also applies to our ability and level variation. I've developed a system that makes it easy for us to create many different types of levels and abilities, and we are going to make full use of it.
Also, we have a few "out of combat" mechanics that can be accessed at your headquarter buildings to make the feel more in depth. For example, as you progress throughout the game, you will be able to research many different types of abilities, turret types, and upgrades to keep the game interesting, and add a lot replayability to the game. So you may have multiple game saves with entirely different research trees, and this will effect how you actually play the game.
And what did you mean epic experience?
Another way we'd put this is to ask a few questions. How awesome does the game feel to play? Does it pull you in and make you interested? It doesn't need to be a 3D game developed by hundreds of people to feel epic. It just has to make you say, "Wow, this game is really cool". We hope we are able to create a game that makes people say this, and we feel that there are several things that we are doing that will help us succeed in this.
So whats currently functional in the game now?
Our main focus has been on creating the game engine and easily allowing us to add in abilities, turrets, levels, menus, upgrades, researches and other data. The engine itself is probably about 85% complete, with the other missing 15% mostly being ability and unique level mechanics. So after creating the game engine, we focus on actually adding our content into the game and we've set up a system to make it very easy for us.
So far we've added over 25 turret types, several abilities, levels and their tilesets, many of the gameplay menus and buttons, dozens of researchable technologies, and much more. But we still have a long way to go.
To give you an idea of how we can easily we can add new stuff, here's an example. Normally when you program a small game, a lot of stuff has to be changed in the game code. I've moved all of it into easily editable xml files, which are basically structured text files.
A list of all our configurable files.
Because of this, we can add new types of turrets, levels, abilities and much more without ever changing the game code. This will also be very awesome if any modders choose to play with the game, as they have easy access to the game data. We aren't sure if we will officially release a map editor or anything yet, but if we do, this makes it much easier to do so. Right now, someone with no programming experience can open the levels.xml file above, change a few lines, and make themselves a new level.
So, you have all these turrets, what is left to finish?
To complete our goals there are still many things that need worked on before we'd consider discussing a definite release date. Here's the short list:
- Levels - We have the engine built and we have an easy way to add levels to the game, but we have been focusing on creating the game mechanics first. We would like the finished game to have at least 20 levels, preferably more.
- Abilities - We've just started adding in abilities into the game. Like levels, we have an engine created for easily adding in abilities, but it still needs tweaked, and many abilities still need to be added.
- Polish UI, level selection interface, and other out of game elements. We have decent controls in place already, but I feel like we can do better in some parts.
- More turrets, enemies and balancing.
- Expanding our research tree.
- Puzzles! We want to add puzzle type elements to levels in order to give more interesting ways to play through the game. Stuff like the river sludge we talked about above, but also stuff like moveable turret platforms, conveyor belts, and other interactive elements that control or alter gameplay.
So the goal of $12,500, what does this go towards?
If we are successful, 12,500 goes to pay our basic necessities. We lose approximately 10% of this off the top for fees, and we also have to pay taxes on this. So, for two people, this gives us enough to continue development for another 4-5 months living plainly. We think this is in line for how long it will take us to complete the game, but any additional definitely gives us some breathing room and help insure that the game will be of high quality.
So what if you exceed your goal significantly?
If our project exceeds 20,000, we will add in a multiplayer vs mode, which will be available on all platforms the game is launched for. We have a great idea how to implement this, and I have the programming experience necessary for to make it work. Multiplayer may still be added well after release, but this would make sure we were able to add it in. Given the potential to try out your custom company research build vs another players would be too cool for this type of game. Multiplayer would likely be access Via IP input or blue tooth for android.
If we get even higher than 20,000? We want to put all our kickstarter cash into delivering the best game possible. Some of our ideas: hiring an indie artist to compose a soundtrack for us, possibly hiring another artist to help us out on making some more high quality graphical assets and animations, flesh out the game's story in a more detailed and presentable way, and other such things.
We may even open up some polls and let our fans decide what is added next. For example, if we hit 25k, we can allow everyone to vote on whether they want more levels, content, a more detailed story, or an indie composed soundtrack. So let us know what you want!
What if you don't reach your goal?
We aren't posting this as a supplementary income for this project or anything. We really need your help to finish this project. We are two twenty somethings who so far, have been completely self funded on our savings since August 2011.
We only have enough funding to continue on this project for another 1-2 months or so, which is barely enough to get us through our kickstarter fundraiser. After that, if we aren't successful we won't have the funds to work on the game full time anymore. So instead of us both putting 50-60+ hours a week into the project, we most likely could only put in 10-20 hours a week, which severely impacts how long it will take us to release the game, and also effects the quality we are able to provide.
We really think our game is worth finishing, and hope you want to help us finish it. We really think our game is the tower defense game that is missing. We have great ideas for future projects as well, so help us get off to a great start as game developers so that we can share our games with you.
So even though this is our first game to be released, we hope that our working demo of the game and our progress we have shared with you this far shows us that we are determined to finish and deliver a quality experience for our players.
Nothing that we have shared with you is crazy or a pipe dream for us to do. As you see in our demo we have many of our game play mechanics already working well. Its true that we are just two twenty somethings, but I do have bachelor's in CIS and 4 years of professional experience in programming. I've also spent several months researching and learning about the best ways to create the game we want to create, and I'm confident we will be able to deliver what we say. So while we don't have as much experience as some of the game devs on kickstarter, we do have a lot of progress to show on what we have completed already, which we hope would set us a part from others.
That's not to say we don't have a lot to learn, we definitely do, but we are confident that we are able to deliver what we say. We still have many challenges to face in order to complete our project, but we feel that many of the greatest hurdles have been passed. We have a working game engine with most of the functionality there, at this point we are finishing things up and adding in our game content. So, while there is still a lot left to do, many of the hardest pieces of the puzzle are completed.
Future Plans, DLC, etc.
All updates for this game will be free. We won't charge for DLC or updates or any other gimicky stuff like that. You pay for the game once, that's it.
All $5 contributions and up:
We expect our game to be released on Desura, but we haven't made arrangements with them yet. No matter where it ends up being released, we will make sure you receive the game and beta access too if you contributed the requested amount.
*Android - You may see this in the sidebar and wonder what this means. All supporters 5 dollars and up receive a copy of the game for Windows, Mac and Linux. We also want to give you a copy for Android, but its not easy to give away paid android apps without making both the users and the developers jump through a bunch of loopholes to do so. And even then, you still won't have access to automatically update the game or any of that fun stuff. I have sent a request to google to make this process easier, and allow us to give away product keys for our game, but unfortunately I received no response yet. We found a link where you can vote on new functionality for google play. Please voice support for "Support give-away, promo codes, or gifting of apps" so we can get you your copy for android. http://support.google.com/googleplay/android-developer/bin/static.py?hl=en&page=suggestions.cs&bucket=1238454&issue=1238108
So, when google allows us to do this at some point in the future (hopefully), we will retroactively give you a copy for android. Since we are estimating our game will be released in December, maybe we will get lucky and by then there is a solution available.
Sponsorship Tier Clarification:
You can see in the sidebar that for a sponsorship, it requires approval. We are in general pretty flexible, we just don't want any shady stuff or anything that would reflect poorly on us or our game. If you are unsure, please contact us before.
Android Device and Computer Compatibility
We are using a cool java library called LIBGDX(we aren't endorsed or affiliated with them) that allows us to make our game for android, PC, mac and linux simultaneously with minimal code changes between systems, which allows us to target a broad range of devices.
The focus of our testing so far as been on Android and PC. As far as android goes, we've tested with the fascinate, nexus one, tf101 tablet, optimus lg, and a few others. We expect to support most android devices on android 2.2 and beyond, with a few exceptions. Lower end devices or those devices with WQVGA (extra wide 240X400, rare but some phones like the intercept have them) won't run the game well. This shouldn't be too big of a surprise because most other games won't run well on these phones either.
The PC, Mac and Linux requirements shouldn't be too high, but we haven't tested on much older systems. If you have at least 2 gb of ram and equivalent video card/processor, it should be okay.
We haven't done much testing around Mac and Linux compatibility yet, so it runs, but hasn't been thoroughly tested. The java library we use supports these systems, and we don't rely on anything else that would prevent us to deploying to mac or linux, so we aren't anticipating any problems here. If any major issues come up, we will notify people if it will impact the release to the release date for these systems.
Feel free to visit our website to keep up to date on our project status as well as get some more info on the game:
We expect to keep our fans updated at least a few times a month and share our progress on the game, as well as new stuff that we add in, so be sure to subscribe to our RSS feed for our blog and bookmark us!
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $12,500 goal
seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on June 15, 2012.
May 16, 2012 - Jun 15, 2012 (30 days)
Pledge $1 or more
TIP JAR: Every dollar counts! We are working on a very limited budget currently. We don't have fancy cars or houses, we just need enough to pay for our basic necessities until the game is completed. Any contribution is appreciated. Thanks!Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $5 or more
PREORDER THE GAME: For your contribution of just 5 dollars you can preorder the game and help ensure that it is finished! At minimum you will receive a copy of the game for Windows, Mac and Linux which we expect to make available on Desura. We also want to give you a copy for Android* if possible, see description for details.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $10 or more
PREORDER GAME AND GUARANTEED BETA ACCESS: For just 10 dollars you will receive a copy of the game, as well as early beta access to help us test it before it is released. The beta is expected to be available for Windows, Linux and Mac about a month before the official release on Desura, pending arrangements. If we decide to have any testing earlier that is available to the public, you will also have access, including any Desura alpha testing.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $25 or more
BUNDLE PACKAGE: At this level you will receive 3 copies of the game for Win, Mac and Linux; as well as 3 beta access keys. Feel free to give out extra copies to your friends!Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $50 or more
BUNDLE PACKAGE PLUS AND NAME IN CREDITS: At this level you will receive 5 copies of the game for Win, Mac and Linux; as well as 5 beta access keys. You will also have your first and last name listed under Special Thanks in the official game credits!Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $350 or more
0 backers Limited (5 of 5 left)
CONTRIBUTE TO THE GAME: Have you always wanted a specific type of level, turret, ability, or enemy in a tower defense game? We will work with you through email to add in your idea, and allow you to review and add feedback along the way. There are some limits to what we can add, but we will do our best to accommodate. When your content is added, your name will appear directly under the creators of the game as a Contributor in the game credits. You will also receive 10 copies of the game as well as 10 beta keys that you may distribute.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $500 or more
0 backers Limited (10 of 10 left)
BECOME A SPONSOR: At this tier you will become a sponsor for our game. Being a sponsor means two things. 1) We will place your name or the name of your business (Pending Approval) listed in the credits of the game under Sponsors. 2) We will also put your name or the name of your business (Pending Approval) under the "Sponsors" page of weapontestdummies.com with a link back to your site, along with a small logo that you provide. "Pending approval" means that we have the right to refuse sponsorship if the business engages in illegal, extremely obscene or morally questionable behavior or business practices, as determined by us. We aren't too picky, but please see description for details. You will also receive 20 copies of the game as well as 20 beta keys that you may distribute.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012