Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Version 1.0.6 Released

This is a bug-fix release.

Version 1.0.0 added a "prevent screen lock" feature. As coded, this feature could cause crashes when exiting the game. This update should correct the issue.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Robo Defense Instructions!

These have been a long time coming. Sorry to those of you who do not have a lot of experience with tower defense games and would have benefited by these much sooner. More details on towers and enemies are forthcoming!

Robo Defense Instructions:


Robots are trying to get from one side of the map to another, and it's your job to stop them by building and upgrading some defense towers. There is always at least one entrance, and there is always an exit directly accross from each entrance. The robots will always exit directly accross from where they entered. Should a robot reach the exit, you can assume that it does something terrible, because it reduces your health by 1. Your health is that little number inside the heart near the top of the screen.

Stay off my lawn!


To start a game, tap "New Game" from the main menu and choose a level. In the full version There are several maps to choose from. The basic level is the easiest, and each map after that gets increasingly harder, with the exception of the VR Training level. From this selection screen, you can also pick a difficulty level. There is no maximum difficulty level. Each time you complete a difficult level ending in 0, you will gain access to the 10 difficulty levels that follow. Be warned that in order to have a prayer on higher difficulty levels, you must upgrade your stats (more on that later).

Since this game uses open maps, you can place the towers wherever you want, as long as there is nothing currently occupying that space and the robots still have a path to the exit. If you want to create a straight shot gauntlet of death, go for it. If you want to make them walk a little, that's an option too. Part of the fun is trying different tower configurations that punish the 9 different kinds robots appropriately, so that they can't escape.

He doesn't like you


The three basic towers can be placed by dragging a tower from its icon onto the play field and releasing it onto an open square. Once a tower has been placed, tap it, and it can be sold or upgraded into different kinds of towers or more powerful versions of the current tower. To close the upgrade window, simply tap anywhere outside of it. There are 9 different types of towers with varying degrees of upgrades. Be sure to experiment to discover which types of towers and tower layouts work best against the various enemies.

At the bottom of the play screen are two red buttons that you can go through a whole game without touching, but they are useful nonetheless. The first is the pause button. When you press this, the action stops and you can scroll around to see what's happening around the map and admire the killer visuals. You cannot place towers while paused, because that's just not very sporting. The second button is a fast forward button it will make time go three times as fast so that you don't have to wait for robots to walk to their doom. To restore normal time, simply hit the play button that appears.

If the situation looks dire, that's because it is

Sweet Rewards

You'll notice that when you destroy a robot, you get two things, cash and points. Cash is displayed above your health and can be used to buy additional towers or upgrade current ones. Points, however can be used from the main menu to purchase permanent upgrades that will apply to all future games. Even if you lose a game, you can have the consolation that the points you earned will make you more powerful for the next game! Keep in mind that you will get bonuses for playing higher difficulties and completing rounds without letting robots through. If you are having trouble completing a level, try earning some more points for upgrades. If you are a master tower defense player, maybe you want to challenge yourself by completing as high a difficulty level as you can with minimum upgrades.

You may have noticed an achievement section accesible from the main menu. From here you can view all of the various acheivements that are available to earn while playing. You'll know when you unlock an acheivement as a congratulatory message will tell you so. You will also get some sweet, sweet bonus points added to that game's score! Each acheivement will also add to the bonus of every game you play. Acheivements can be great ways to challenge yourself to try new strategies and really learn the game.

Whoa, a lot of work to do


- Plan ahead. Remember that you can pause at any time to survey the situation and decide what you are going to do next.

- There is no penalty for losing a game. Playing a throw away game to figure out the strengths and weakness of different towers and tower configurations can be a very useful method for becoming a stronger player.

- Even if you think you've found the perfect tower layout for a given map, keep trying new ones. It keeps the game fresh and you might find something that works even better.

- The longer you can keep a robot on the screen, the more damage you can do to it. There are more ways than one to accomplish this.

- When deciding which towers to upgrade, spend money on the towers that robots will spend the most time around.

- If you spend all of your money trying to defend against ground units, air units will ruin your day.

- In the VR Training level, the number of entrances and exits are determined by the letter at the beginning of the code you are asked to enter. The remaining four digits of the code will create a unique set of obstacles, meaning that there are 40,000 possible layouts. If you played this level with fast forward on, 12 hours a day, every day, it would still take you over 5 years to play all of the combinations. When you can't decide what level you want to play, this is a good place to start. If you find a combination that you feel creates an especially sick level, feel free to share that code with others so that they can try it.

VR Level B0639, in case you were wondering

Friday, June 26, 2009

Version 1.0.5 Released

This version adds range display for towers. If you don't like the display, you can turn it off in the options menu for old behavior.

A couple of bugs were also fixed:

- If you have the upgrade dialog open for a "loaded" teleport/mine tower. The dialog will now refresh if the tower happens to fire.

- There is a long-standing logic bug that will not allow you to place towers if those towers blocked onscreen enemies from reaching an exit they are not targeting anyway. Now you can place towers that completely block enemies from these exits.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Version 1.0.0 Released

Version 1.0.0 is released to the marketplace.

This version adds two new unlockable towers:

- The mine tower creates a large explosion. Multiple mines will chain together for more damage
- The teleport tower instantly transports an enemy back to entrance for another run through your towers.

Both towers types allow the enemy to walk over them. Both tower types also need to be reloaded each time they fire.

Other changes include a "prevent screen sleep from activating" option, and a new end-of-game bonus that rewards points for unspent money.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Version 0.9.1 Released

This version fixes two bugs.

The first is an "Events > 500" error that can occur if you play the game on very high difficulty settings. Basically too much is going on and the game engine is asserting that its being overstressed. We now disable rocket smoke when events go over 400, which should clear the issue. Those playing at very high difficulty levels, please let us know if you still see issues!

The second rewords the newly-added option "Leave fast forward between levels" to "Disable fast forward between levels". The original wording can be interpreted as intended and the as the opposite; sorry about that!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Version 0.9.0 Released

This version has a new map for the full version (VR Traning).  This map is special in that you get to enter a code which determines the map layout; where entrances, exits and obstacles are located.  There are 40,000 codes total!

Changes that effect both version include a new in-game options menu where you can toggle sound and fast-forward behavior.