Hero Tower Defense: Scheduling

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Alright, time for a update on some HTD related stuff. First off as you may have noticed from the title and date of this post is that I will no longer be sticking to a new HTD post every Thursday. Reason being is that sometimes there just isn't much to report since we are taking our time with the new releases even though we are continuously working on it. So it would seem to make more sense to just make a post only when there is something worth posting about rather than trying to fill a weekly requirement. Plus it uses some valuable time that I could be using to work on the game instead. With that said I'll still be posting about HTD fairly often just not as consistently as before.

Now onto business. Sam and I put on our business hats and decided that the best thing for us would be to let Sam focus on getting PTD2 going and put the programming for the new HTD graphics setup on hold. The reason is a pretty clear one, more people want to see PTD2 than HTD and we're all about giving you guys what you want. However, don't mistake this to mean HTD progress is stopping. That's not true at all, all that's on hold for now is the programming part, the graphics are still being worked on. If you've been following Kevin's blow you probably already know this (linke at the bottom of this post). In fact, once Sam gets a playable version of PTD2 out he will be dedicating some extra time to HTD in order to get everything moving again. Another thing to keep in mind is that since the graphics are still being worked on in the meantime that the next release of HTD will contain even more reworked content than we originally planned for.

For those of you that have been looking forward to the next HTD release (like me) and have been patiently waiting, I apologize for the temporary delay but it's ultimately a better route for the company to take. It shouldn't be too much of a delay though really. And for those of you who want to point out Ninja-ja I'll assure you this is a different case because there is more than just one person (me) working on HTD. Plus, a new version of Ninja-ja WILL come out eventually. I just need to find time for it which is scarce these days.

Thanks for all the continued support guys!

In the Works:

  • Design

    • Commander/Player Skills (25%)
    • Stat Progression (5%)
    • Pet System (50%)

  • Graphics

    • Unit: Human Male - Animations (90%)
    • Unit: Race #2 - Concepts (20%)
    • Unit: Race #3 - Concepts (10%)
    • Unit: Fire Gecko - Concepts (80%)
    • Unit: Creature #3 - Concepts (20%)
    • Unit: Creature #4 - Concepts (10%)
    • Weapons: Batch #2 - Assets (20%)
    • Armor: Batch #1 - Assets (10%)

  • Programming

    • Interface: Setup (75%)
    • Unit: Setup (10%)

    Check out Kevin's blog, KXN @ HTD for HTD art-related concepts, WIPs, polls, and more!

    Be sure to leave any ideas, suggestions, or other feedback you might have in the comments! Thanks!


    Hispilis 211 BC part 2

    The Romans pile on the pressure with an almighty right hook. The Carthaginians, having bought some time skirmishing, are forced to attack Scipio's veteran infantry with frontal elephant charges.......


    ........whilst, in the centre, the Roman infantry begin to throw back Hasdrubal's Spanish foot; more of which are coming up in support. The battle is turning nasty.

    To relieve pressure on the left, the Carthaginians force an assault across the fast flowing river. Initially this is successful and temporarily throws the Roman line into confusion.
    On the Roman right, and in the centre, the action becomes general. The action goes one way then the other ...........

    ......until, finally, the Romans come out on top. The Carthaginians let their troops run - they are Spanish, they are expendable.

    At the end of turn 3, the situation is looking bad for both sides.

    The Romans have almost succeeded in crushing the last resistance on their right wing and have stabilised the situation at the river. However, they have almost exhausted themselves doing so (they have only 11 morale chips left).

    The Carthaginians have almost lost their left and are faced with the costly option of a full scale river assualt on their right / centre. They have held, through circumstance rather than design, much of their force in reserve and have let, unlike the Romans, a good number of their defeated troops leave the field rather than expend effort in rallying them (consequently, their morale chip count is much better at 34).

    The following pictures show the relative positions at the end of turn 3.

    Racked up like lamb chops: African infantry await the order to assault across the raging river.
    On the opposite bank: Grimly determined veteran Romans await the seemingly inevitable assault. 
    Balearic slingers trying to force the Romans back from the river bank in support of the African infantry. 
    The last Carthaginian infantry established on the Roman side of the river. Too few in number to launch an attack of their own they can be seen here skulking in the woods awaiting events elsewhere.

    The game turn clock - There are only two more turns to go.

    To be continued.....

    BTW: This is a MDF 'casualty' clock by Warbases, painted and 'terrained'. The little handle (at 2 o'clock) turns the number dial.

    Super Mario Bros 3 New Box Art

    The classic box art from "Super Mario Bros 3" with the modern 3D artwork from "New Super Mario Bros 2".
    Super Mario Bros 3 was my all-time favorite Mario game so I decided to recreate the box art of the game.
    I hope you like it.

    View the image on Deviantart.com

    The return of the progress list! Personal matters!

    Want to get the Shiny legendary dogs? Shiny Mew? or any other shiny pokemon in the game? Adopt them today using SnD coins! Click here for more info.

    Visit the PTD: Pokemon Center - a place to trade pokemon, get your Daily Code, adopt Pokemon, view your items and change your avatar!

    Hi guys, I'm feeling a lot better thanks for your concern and support.

    So last week I talked about making a non-gaming announcement this week. After 6 years of being with my girlfriend I proposed to her this weekend! and she said yes! I actually made her a very small game as part of the proposal since I am a game developer after all. She loved it and we are very happy, next step is to plan the wedding >.< haha so lets get back to games!

    Okay so PTD 2, this week I'm gearing up to work all out on getting this ready. Like always I like to be very open about what I'm working on so I will post a progress list of what I have to do and will be updating it all this week as I make progress on it.

    Party Selection Screen (100%)- Slightly refined, added new sorting options that you guys requested, plus additional settings to each sorting option as seen in the pictures below.

    New Party Screen Sorting Options
    Showing the sub options for sorting options
    Pokemon Upgrade Screen (60%) - Adding the two suggestions that you guys requested, being able to change your pokemon in the screen and showing the pokemon's stats. Other additions are showing the nickname of the pokemon along with its name, showing the gender by symbol and background color. Also you can see that you can see your abilities and their description and also change them before the level. Finally I added a new pokedex button that will take you to the pokedex information of this pokemon. It will be more detailed than in ptd 1. You can see a work in progress shot below. (Note: I'm using pokemon with random moves in them for testing purposes, you can't learn these move on Onix without hacking)

    Newer version, female onix, pokedex button, and ability window

    Pokemon Store Screen (0%)
    Level 1 (0%)
    Any attacks that need to be modified (50%) - Setting up the new stacking debuff mechanics. No longer will stat changing attack run out. They will also stack so you have to keep applying it to get the max effect. Watch the video below for a small preview. The graphic will get slightly bigger and stack as the debuff stacks. Also your pokemon will prioritize targets that have the lowest stack or no stack at all.

    Level User Interface (0%)
    Saving (0%)
    Loading (0%)

    During the week I will keep adding more things and updating what I'm working on. This will give you a better look at where I am at with getting the release done.

    That is all I have for today, keep checking back for more. As always let me know what you think!

    Update on my Colors3D Gallery!

    To get the best 3D experience, check out the paintings in your Nintendo 3DS using the Colors3D app.

    Hispilis 211 BC - Scipio and Hasdrubal fight it out for Spain

    Last night Peter and I only managed to get turn 1 finished. It was a long turn with lots of mmanoeuvring and skirmishing by the light troops of both sides. As the turn closed, the close order troops of both armies began to clash. Here are some shots of what has become the most confused action of the campaign. The thickly wooded, hilly terrain has created defiles, disorder and delay.

    On the Carthaginian left the Numidians skirmish with the advancing Romans......
    ....but they are pushed back as the steamroller comes on..... 
    Whilst  the skirmishing heats up on the Carthaginian left, the Carthaginian right begins its long march from the far hill to the battle area.
    The advance of the Carthaginian right is disrupted by the terrain: Units start to pile up. 

    The Romans meanwhile are establishing a strong battle line that threatens to roll up the Carthaginian line.

    The Carthaginians withdraw their left to form a new line, trading ground for time. But reserves are coming.

    Not all of the Carthaginians make it.....

    .........A unit of Numidian cavalry finds itself surrounded and is charged in the rear by Roman cavalry and routed. First blood to Scipio.

    On arrival of Spanish reserves the Carthaginians counter -attack on the left. They are outnumbered in infantry by a considerable margin.

    Do the Carthaginians now intend to trade cheap Spanish lives for time?
    Carthaginians piling up on the right as they advance to the battle zone......
    Peter and I can see a blood bath coming, a battle of annihilation.

    During the turn Rome spent 14 morale chips (mainly due to Numidians javelins and subsequent rallies), the Carthaginians spent 7.

    Weekly Short and Sweet Update

    Want to get the Shiny legendary dogs? Shiny Mew? or any other shiny pokemon in the game? Adopt them today using SnD coins! Click here for more info.

    Visit the PTD: Pokemon Center - a place to trade pokemon, get your Daily Code, adopt Pokemon, view your items and change your avatar!

    I'm feeling a bit sick so I will make this short and sweet.

    Zorua won the poll!

    I'm still working on PTD 2!

    Still don't have a date for it to come out yet (good things take time to create)

    Next week I will have a non-gaming announcement to make.

    Thanks for all the support, let me know what you think!


    I'll just add a small update on HTD here. There's not much to report other than we're continuing to make progress on the graphics front. Sam needed to postpone working on the new graphics system in order to take care of personal matters. I'll be making a more in-depth post for HTD at some point this coming week. Have a good weekend everyone!


    Endless Ocean is really endless.

    Please check this blog post from Ant's ICT. He has been an long term supporter of Games Based Learning and has finally tried out some of the great ideas floating around the interwebs.


    Hero Tower Defense Thursday: Day 42 - Creatures Vs Races

    Want to get the legendary dogs? Shiny Mew? or any other shiny pokemon in the game? Adopt them today using SnD coins! Click here for more info.

    Welcome to Hero Tower Defense Thursday!

    HTD Logo

    Go here to read Day 41 of Hero Tower Defense Thursday.

    Progress on the new art and graphics system is still underway and is going well. We're doing our best to get a new release out to you guys ASAP but we aren't looking to rush it out just so we can have something. I never liked seeing that happen in other games and then having to deal with all sorts of annoying bugs. Granted we're a small group and can only find so much but we do what we can. :)

    Now, on to the topic at hand. Creatures Vs Races! In HTD when we say Creatures we are typically referring to enemy units and when we say Races we are referring to playable heroes. However, there will be units that are both playable races and creatures that you fight. The HTD world isn't one with race wars going on with one versus another but rather just a world full of all sorts of races and creatures that have various factions within different groups. Some are good, some are bad. This allows us to be a bit more versatile when it comes to designating enemies for maps because we can mix various kinds of units together and still have it make sense.

    You might be wondering why aren't all units just creatures and playable races. Well, because it would be difficult to make something like a slug into a playable unit. The playable races require far more animations and set up in order to work with the system we've established. The main reason is because they are dynamic and allow for weapon and armor swapping which requires a lot more assets and work. However, we can always use creatures as companion pets/combat pets since they are a more limited version of a playable unit. So some might end up being available in that respect.

    Another good thing about having creatures as pets and races as enemies is that we can reuse assets that we already have. It's a huge time saver and provides some additional diversity, especially the races. For example, we can use the human race as an enemy and have all the armor and weapons available to outfit them however we like and even give them variations among themselves. We can also use their animations to do different things with. All of this essentially for free since we already have them available for the playable human race.

    We're all looking forward to the next release and hope to share it with you guys soon. Thanks for the continued support!

    In the Works:

  • Design

    • Pet System (50%)
    • Interface Revision (100%)

  • Graphics

    • Unit: Human Male - Revision (100%)
    • Unit: Human Male - Animations (25%)
    • Unit: Fire Gecko - Melee Concept (75%)
    • Unit: Fire Gecko - Ranged Concept (75%)
    • Unit: Meerkat Non-Combat Pet - Concept (25%)
    • Unit: Goblin - Concept (25%)

  • Programming

    • Graphic Processing Revision (75%)
    • Saving Inventory and Equipment Setup (0%)

    Check out Kevin's blog, KXN @ HTD for HTD art-related concepts, WIPs, polls, and more!

    Be sure to leave any ideas, suggestions, or other feedback you might have in the comments!


    New Website - Teach Your Monster to Read

    Just been emailed about this new site that has just been launched.

    Some members of the network consulted and trailed this software in the school. We'll get their views up soon. Check out the video and then go and sign up.

    Teach Your Monster to Read (First Steps): Trailer from Teach Your Monster to Read on Vimeo.


    If you are in KS1 it looks like a great fun way to teach and consolidate phonics teaching. I look forward to using it with some children in my class next week,

    Punic War Campaign - The Battle of Hispalis 211 BC

    Carthage: Assert political control: Lucania goes over to Carthage. The 'allies' count is now 12 to 5 in favour of Carthage.

    Rome: Assert political control by converting two spaces under CUs. Spain and Sicily are slowly falling under Roman sway. 

    Carthage: Recruit in Spain.

    Rome: Major Campaign. Scipio to Hispilis. Marcellus to Bilbilis. Nero to Agrigentum.

    Carthage: Hasdrubal force marches to Hispilis (southwest Spain). An encounter battle!

    The campaign situation is shown below.

    The Battle of Hispilis - Initial Deployment.

    Scipio has 10 CU, Hasdrubal has 10 CU plus 4 allied CU for provinces in Spain. We decided to give Scipio a force something like his historical army. We decided he should have 5 'legions'. This totalled 97 Unit Integrity points. Hasdrubals force consequently totalled 136 Unit Integrity.

    For a change, and as the two armies had moved on the last card played, we decided to call this an encounter battle. A simple way to create this as a tactical situation is to allow free deployment anywhere along the table length / side of table. So that is what we did.

    After the armies had deployed we carried out the characterisation card draw, Rome 8 cards, Carthage 10 (they lost 1 for the difference in command quality). The Romans drew 68 morale chips plus a Deft Cavalry card. The Carthaginians drew 78 morale chips, an Aggressive Melee Up 1 card, a Wild card, and a Stratagem - which drew a 7 to define it as 'Thickets in Woods'.

    Although Rome is outnumbered, they are led by Scipio (later Africanus). This gives them a very tough veteran army. The morale chip count is similar. We expect this battle to be very hard fought.

    Here are some deployment shots, with Rome tucked up in the corner; hmmmm, no flanks!:

    Seven Years War upgrade update - The Russians

    Following the decision to upgrade 16 man units up to 24, my Seven Years War collection is moving on quite nicely. Furthest ahead are the Russians; all existing units have been upgraded and rebased. Cavalry have remained the same strength, at 8 figures per unit.

    Line infantry. 11 units, plus 3 (not pictured) grenadier regiments. 
    Command stands. 
    Cossacks: 5 units 
    Line cavalry: 4 units.
    Artillery: 3 batteries.
    Grenadiers: 3 units

    I've decided to go on with the Russians for a while. I have 2 units of line infantry, 4 x units of Observation Corps infantry (36 figs per), 2 units of grenadiers, 2 units of Hussars, and a battery of guns in stock. I'll purchase the missing cavalry (3 units) and crew for the 5th gun battery shortly.

    Thankfully, Foundry Russians are VERY easy to paint.

    Weekly Progress: Working, PTD 2 improvements, small games, pick your first Mystery Gift!

    Want to get the Shiny legendary dogs? Shiny Mew? or any other shiny pokemon in the game? Adopt them today using SnD coins! Click here for more info.

    Visit the PTD: Pokemon Center - a place to trade pokemon, get your Daily Code, adopt Pokemon, view your items and change your avatar!

    Work, work, work! That is what we are all about right now here at Sam and Dan Games. Let us look at what everybody is working on!

    First the artist, since all the graphics in Pokemon Tower Defense are taken from the actual games we don't really need artist for PTD2, I mean admit it you love my attack graphics! So all of them are working on Hero Tower Defense. Kevin, our first artist, made a great blog post about what the artist have been making this past month. Check it out here. Not in the blog is the work that Joel has done. Joel while working on the PTD Fan film and his other projects was able to complete some weapon designs and a weapon model. Dan will also be lending his hand at helping with the 3D models.

    Second the programmers. Yes there is more than one! I've been talking to him for a long time now about joining us and now he is finally ready. I would like to welcome Jonathan to the team. He will be helping with the programming starting off with some new game prototypes that I will talk about down below. I'm also a programmer, I'm working on HTD, PTD2, and also some prototypes.

    Lastly the designers. Dan as you might know is in charge of designing and managing HTD, with feedback from the team. He is also in charge of the HTD blog post and answering SnD Coin orders. I'm in charge of PTD, PTD 2, and the weekly progress blog. Dan and I work together to figure out what we should focus on and which paths should we take as a company.

    PTD 2 Improvements
    Believe it or not I can't just copy and paste all the code from PTD to PTD 2! A lot of it needs to be refined and some critical parts drastically changed. This is why it has taken so long for the 1v1 mode to come out. I'm here to tell you about some of the improvements that I have been able to make to PTD that I hope you will enjoy. So here we go.

    1. You can now swap tower positions by dropping a tower in the other tower's spot.
    2. Attack's cooldown won't reset if you change the move, return the pokemon or move a tower from its spot.
    3. Damage text will now be white and have a dark background behind it to make it easier to read the text. Also all types of damage will have the same color. Super effective damage will be larger, and ineffective damage will be smaller font. Also critical damage will show up as slightly bigger and in a yellow color. So that its easier to see when you get a critical hit or when somebody critically hits you.
    4. When you change the size of the map it will now center itself. (See HTD's map)
    5. You can't drag the map so that it will be off screen. (See HTD's map)
    6. Many other improvements to the level code.

    When you play PTD2 you will notice a bunch of small changes to almost every area in the game. I hope you guys will enjoy them when the time comes. (I'm still working on it!)

    Small Games
    So last week I talked about small games. Not sure if I mentioned it before but Dan and I are about big complex ideas. We like games with a lot of depth. I tend to go for the more easy to pick up and hard to master, and he tend to go for the hardcore from the start games. A good example would be my love for the Super Smash Bros series and Dan's love for the Street Fighter series. The problem is we don't have the money to make the big complex games, and even something of medium size (like HTD) will take us a good long while to make. So it is with this in mind that we want to produce some smaller but fun games for you guys to play. Three prototypes we are looking at are: A beat em up game designed by Kevin. A barrel jumping game (like the original donkey kong) inspired by the a concept from Joel. A simple RPG designed by me inspired by the 3DS RPG Find Mii. These will be fun games that will be connected in an interesting way that I'm not ready to reveal at this time.

    Pick your first Mystery Gift!
    So the 5th Generation of pokemon won for the first poll and you guys gave a lot of great comment as to who you wanted from different generations. I gathered up all the names and I picked the top 3 plus I added my own suggestion (Sandile) to the poll. Make your pick!

    That's all I have for you this week, thanks for the support and as always let me know what you think!

    New Italian Wars buildings made up

    I've just knocked up two more buildings for my Italian Wars battles using building blanks from Warbases, Modular Buildings Range (28mm).

    They can be found at: Warbases.co.uk

    I picked these up at Sheffield Triples this year. Among the new additions to the range  is a very useful pack of balconies (thanks guys). These take away a lot of balsa work, and they look great.

    Chimneys and bits are balsa, Tiled roofs are by Will's Building Materials

    So first up is this 'double tower' with central gate and connecting balcony.  I thought it was a good way of getting two tall towers into a single town section in a interesting way.

    Although Warbases actually make a stable block, I decided to do my own using blanks I had in stock. The stable block has been half-built for months, but I wasn't sure how to finish it. In the end I decided to use a small blank with an extra half floor (balsa) - somewhere for grain storage and for the grooms to sleep. This completes it nicely as a stand alone town block.

    As a final touch, I added two big piles of stable sweepings. I might add a trough, hmmm.

    This gives me 7 buildings including the Church. That is plenty for now.

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