Arcade Workshop Discussion: Shape War TD

Map Showcase
Welcome to our first edition of the Arcade Workshop.

Today, we want to hear your thoughts on Shape War TD. Please use this thread to leave your constructive feedback about the game and brainstorm other mechanics or features you feel might be desirable.
I tried this yesterday! It's a really fun game but it does need some tweaking. It starts out nicely, but after a few waves it becomes too difficult to keep up. Waves fly by and before you know it you're fending off more than one wave at once because the last wave or two haven't even reached the end. I will be watching the progress of this game in particular, it seems very promising!!

One thing I might suggest is giving players more tools to chew down the slews of creeps that fly by. I know you can slow them down, but that doesn't stop the timer for the next waves. I fear people may be overwhelmed too quickly and lose interest. We want to keep them coming back for more time and time again!
Document the entire data editor.
Il be sure to check it out in a few hours!
For some reason it got hard very quickly, The descriptions of what the towers should be more clear and easier to understand. Try naming the towers what they do, like for the freeze tower, name it, freezer tower lol.
Maybe have a small tutorial option for each tower? Was fun nonetheless!
Just play Entropy TD, if you want to play competitively tower defense game, which is randomly generated and you can actually maze.

Anyway, some tips:

    -Make terrain more randomized: Add areas where you cant build or areas where you build tower it gets buffed. Or areas where the waves get certain buff.
    -Display what is the difference between each wave and in which order they come after each other.
    -Make waves more different in a way that would encourage to use all tower types, simplest example: x wave the creeps spawn close to each other so it encourages splash tower and x wave the creeps spawn far each other so it encourages long ranged towers.
    -Use path display trigger action at start on the maze to show in which way waves will go.
    -Display some kind information about tower's effectiveness (like how much damage it done under the wave) by moving your mouse over it or by pressing something...


Btw congrats for the nice simplistic layout design.
Thanks for all the feedback so far here and in the map's review section!
I tried to address some of the points you guys have made and just released a new version.
Changes include (for complete changes look into the maps changelog):
  • Wave diversity: Depending on shape and color, spawns can now have special efffects like temporary shields and tower blockings, resistances to certain damage types and number variety ("boss waves" with less spawns but more hp)
  • A good amount of balance adjustments. Together with the last point they should work towards having an easier time using single-target towers and prevent lazy wins spamming AoE towers. I will have an eye on how the changes play out and try make further adjustments.
  • There is now a list showing all upcoming waves (shape and color) so you can plan more than just the next wave ahead.


Things that I don't plan to work on at the moment:
  • More time between waves / Less spawns: The idea behind the current system is to keep the action going. I played a lot of other TDs and I often disliked the fact that you have to wait so long between the waves or you had to harass the waves to death which made the game last way too long for my opinion.
  • Randomized terrain options: I don't think this would fit into Shape War. The space is already limited and you should think carefully about tower placing anyways.


I am currently thinking about adding more gas into the game as the current amount felt very limiting to me (atleast in this new version), aswell as adding support to show tower dps. Not really sure yet how to do that in a way that makes sense and fits into the game nicely.
If you guys have any suggestions about this or other parts of the game I would be glad to hear them!
needs more time in between waves. Fun though.
i was struggling until i found the upgrades menu.

then i wasn't struggling.
I'm not the fan of the Minerals and Gas towers in their current implementation. I always find it interesting when map designers add a way for you to get money and then make it not immediately apparent to the player. Economy\income is a huge part of any game, and if I player can get ahead in money early on they will have a huge advantage going in to the later parts of the game. Starcraft itself is a great example of this.

In tower defenses, waves often start out easier and get increasingly hard. In the earlier waves players can afford a "money tower" because they'll be able to beat the wave no matter what, and then when they get to harder waves they'll have to get towers that do more damage -- so if they don't realize they exist and get them early they'll have a bad time.

When I tried out this map recently; the majority of the players were confused how you got money (Was it from killing spawns? Surviving a wave? More money the faster you kill the wave?) much less did they realize you could get towers that give you more money by attacking.

I don't think you need to spoon feed your players everything, it's fine to let them explore and learn the game for themselves -- but I don't think it's a bit too important of a game mechanic to "hide" from the player. Sure, the amount of money you get from it is very small, but it's not making the tower perform any worse in regards to it's attack so you're not going to want to leave it white and the only other color implemented is green which has no attack -- so chances are you won't want it until you have some towers that can shoot. You literally have no reason not to color all of your squares blue, at least at the start -- not doing so is a needless disadvantage simply because you didn't realize.

Second: Better tooltips for coloring. When you hover over a color, the tooltip should say what each tower will be like if you color it that way. Right now the towers themselves have a tooltip saying what they do as each color, but the color tooltip needs to say it as well.

Furthermore, it would be super-cool if after you click on a color, when you hover over a tower on the map I'd say what your currently selected color would do to the tower you are hovering your mouse cursor over; maybe even with a comparison to it's current color. (If you can follow what I mean) Might be a little tricky to code but it would be really useful I think.

In general, players didn't really understand what affects coloring their towers had because they tended to build towers first, and color them later. When they build towers they didn't look at the tooltip, and when they color them the coloring tool doesn't say what it will do. As a result, many players had towers colored with a color that was not yet implemented!

I'm confused by your choice to have tower upgrades at the top-left. All other things that directly affect towers -- destroying them, coloring them, building them -- are at the bottom of the screen. The top left mainly has things like camera controls, player stats, and achievements. I really think you need to have game-play (towers) and miscellaneous (stats and achievements) separate.

The color-coding and shapes of spawns didn't really make sense to me. I expected, for an example, circle towers to do better vs circles and red towers to do better vs red spawns, but that didn't really seem to be the case. I thought the game-play was going to revolve around coloring your towers in advance based off of what wave was coming next. I guess not?

Maybe we just aren't big enough tower defense fans, but for some reason even though the concept looked interesting the gameplay wasn't that compelling. Needless to say when we all played this at Arcade Nights we got bored pretty quickly. (We lasted to around wave 44. The game says that's how far I got, but I think some others lasted a few rounds longer) We made a pact to spawn more waves to make it more interesting and spawned so many waves we almost died; waited a bit, got bored, did it again and died.

Walllllll oooooof teeeeeeeeeexxxxxt.

Anyway I only played it once and TD's aren't my favorite so take it with a grain of salt. :D
I'm not the fan of the Minerals and Gas towers in their current implementation. I always find it interesting when map designers add a way for you to get money and then make it not immediately apparent to the player. Economy\income is a huge part of any game, and if I player can get ahead in money early on they will have a huge advantage going in to the later parts of the game. Starcraft itself is a great example of this.


I would like so much games with original enconomy system that do not relies on getting mineral/gas/energy... a more developped idea of how the game mechanics could be. Trying to get rid of starcraft default economy to get into something all custom and interesting would be nice.

In tower defenses, waves often start out easier and get increasingly hard. In the earlier waves players can afford a "money tower" because they'll be able to beat the wave no matter what, and then when they get to harder waves they'll have to get towers that do more damage -- so if they don't realize they exist and get them early they'll have a bad time.

When I tried out this map recently; the majority of the players were confused how you got money (Was it from killing spawns? Surviving a wave? More money the faster you kill the wave?) much less did they realize you could get towers that give you more money by attacking.


First time I played, I got confused and just put a color of eatch on my squares without reading the tooltips. Later in the game I read those and found that I had unused colors and not attacking towers (green squares). Once I died at wave 41 I replayed the game and spammed blue squares in order to get more minerals and make more towers...actually I died much faster as it didn't work as intended. The mineral gain is pretty small. You won't be rich by spamming those as it will get you to mid-game with low tier towers and you will die anyway.

I don't think you need to spoon feed your players everything, it's fine to let them explore and learn the game for themselves -- but I don't think it's a bit too important of a game mechanic to "hide" from the player. Sure, the amount of money you get from it is very small, but it's not making the tower perform any worse in regards to it's attack so you're not going to want to leave it white and the only other color implemented is green which has no attack -- so chances are you won't want it until you have some towers that can shoot. You literally have no reason not to color all of your squares blue, at least at the start -- not doing so is a needless disadvantage simply because you didn't realize.


Something to prevent wasting money into towers not attacking in the early game would be nice.

Second: Better tooltips for coloring. When you hover over a color, the tooltip should say what each tower will be like if you color it that way. Right now the towers themselves have a tooltip saying what they do as each color, but the color tooltip needs to say it as well.


I totally agree with this. The thing is, one color might have different effect on different towers, making the same color having a bunch of different effects to read until you find the one matching with your tower.

Furthermore, it would be super-cool if after you click on a color, when you hover over a tower on the map I'd say what your currently selected color would do to the tower you are hovering your mouse cursor over; maybe even with a comparison to it's current color. (If you can follow what I mean) Might be a little tricky to code but it would be really useful I think.


This would be really really great. It might not be super easy to make, but surely will add alot to the understanding of the game.

In general, players didn't really understand what affects coloring their towers had because they tended to build towers first, and color them later. When they build towers they didn't look at the tooltip, and when they color them the coloring tool doesn't say what it will do. As a result, many players had towers colored with a color that was not yet implemented!


First time I played I made a bunch of those. Second time I played I took care to dont make those. In fact, you should NOT be able to build them if they are not yet implemented. This would prevent the actual issue of wasting gas on not implemented stuff. It would also allow the gamemaker to add new colors and prevent to use them if not implemented as well.

I'm confused by your choice to have tower upgrades at the top-left. All other things that directly affect towers -- destroying them, coloring them, building them -- are at the bottom of the screen. The top left mainly has things like camera controls, player stats, and achievements. I really think you need to have game-play (towers) and miscellaneous (stats and achievements) separate.


I agree with him. I would also change the UI so the colors and the towers are displayed at the bottom. So you won't have to cycle through 2 different menus to get your towers done.

The color-coding and shapes of spawns didn't really make sense to me. I expected, for an example, circle towers to do better vs circles and red towers to do better vs red spawns, but that didn't really seem to be the case. I thought the game-play was going to revolve around coloring your towers in advance based off of what wave was coming next. I guess not?


I didn't understand it either. There could be some work here too in order to simplify what is good against what or add tooltips somewhere... F12 maybe? Or not if you really want to don't use actual sc2 systems. Maybe your own menu?

Maybe we just aren't big enough tower defense fans, but for some reason even though the concept looked interesting the gameplay wasn't that compelling. Needless to say when we all played this at Arcade Nights we got bored pretty quickly. (We lasted to around wave 44. The game says that's how far I got, but I think some others lasted a few rounds longer) We made a pact to spawn more waves to make it more interesting and spawned so many waves we almost died; waited a bit, got bored, did it again and died.


Well, I got to wave 41, it was fine. There is constant action, but its like playing a Flash game on the internet. Same thing. There is an economy, you place towers, you upg them, you kill stuff, you die. That's how it goes. A way to actually really win would be nice. Like, instead of infinit spawn making you overrun overtime, a way to win would be nice. Then next game you play will be slightly harder and harder.

Anyway I only played it once and TD's aren't my favorite so take it with a grain of salt. :D


Personnaly I love TDs, I played this one twice and will probably try it again a few times to get more indepth feeling of the game. Usually you have to play at least 3 times a game to understand everything...or most of everything. I'll play it again and make my own comments instead of commenting on someone else comments. =P I love searching for issues and improvements for any game I play and I try to give the best feedback I can. This one aint the best but I'll make a new one in the futur.
You have a few good points there.

I am not so happy about green and blue cubes at the moment either and will probably make a few changes to them. The thing with blue cubes is, like Fenix said, they are low-tier towers and they take away a huge amount of both space and gas which are both limited and important resources. But with the Cube upgrade you can make them quite strong so they are not as low-tier anymore and you can gain extra minerals while still dealing good damage. I lowered the Range for blue cubes, so you can't place them far away anymore where your other towers wouldn't fit to anyways. But I will have a closer look on cubes.

Not sure about the tower color info on the color itself, as that would result in a wall of text when showing stuff for all 8 towers in one tooltip. I like the idea of showing it when hovering though, I will play around with that a bit.

Concerning the effects of shape type and color, there is information about that on the right side when you hover the wave images. I might add a summary button somewhere though to have a quick overview.

I also added a tutorial today that I hope will help with some of the issues players have.

A way to actually really win would be nice.

There is a way. Max wave is 70, if you survived that you have won the game. However, the intention is that this is not an easy task and you will not survive each time you play it. Especially not when playing the first times.
Concerning the effects of shape type and color, there is information about that on the right side when you hover the wave images. I might add a summary button somewhere though to have a quick overview.

Although I didn't notice it on my first play-through, I noticed it writing the post. It still doesn't seem to relate to your towers or tower color, though.

Once I died at wave 41 I replayed the game and spammed blue squares in order to get more minerals and make more towers...actually I died much faster as it didn't work as intended. The mineral gain is pretty small. You won't be rich by spamming those as it will get you to mid-game with low tier towers and you will die anyway.

Sorry, I didn't mean to say spamming blue squares is necessarily a winning strategy. But players generally start with squares since they are cheapest, and you're not going to want them any other color that blue at the start. Plus, since the mineral gain is so insignificant, it has the most impact in the very earliest stages of the game.

--

Anyway, I by no means claim to have written an in-depth or well thought out review. Just game 1 impressions.
Sorry, I didn't mean to say spamming blue squares is necessarily a winning strategy. But players generally start with squares since they are cheapest, and you're not going to want them any other color that blue at the start. Plus, since the mineral gain is so insignificant, it has the most impact in the very earliest stages of the game.

or you can put the early gas in the cube upgrades (+2 damage), making each cube significantly stronger so you survive the earlier waves with fewer cubes, "saving" you minerals in that regard, and i'm pretty sure that adds up faster than the blue cubes.

as soon as i found the upgrades tab and started making my cubes super duper i was able to hold on and win level 70 a few times in a row.
However, the intention is that this is not an easy task and you will not survive each time you play it. Especially not when playing the first times.

what i like is that you can send waves to make it harder for your opponents. I enjoy the challenge when some guy decides he wants to scuttle the ship and spams waves and you have to hold on for dear life. I also like the unpredictability this provides, so you can't just follow some build order that lets you barely clear each wave while investing/saving as much money for the future, because someone may double wave you and you die.

could there be a hotkey for switching between builder tab and upgrade tab?
I feel I over-reacted to the blue squares in my initial review. The only person in our party who had played it before all told us to mass Blue squares. When I briefly read the tool-tip and saw they granted money I put two and two together and figured it was a cookie-cutting strategy. Looking back they don't give enough minerals to be so huge of a deal; I think its just more of the same problem I mentioned later that its not very terribly clear to a beginner what color towers do what.

And being able to send waves to make it harder for your opponent was definitely one of the more interesting parts of the game for myself as well.

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