, along with a forum. We're looking forward to any feedback. "/> Processed Tower Defense 1.0

Irrational Exuberance!

Processed Tower Defense 1.0

June 9, 2008. Filed under javascriptptd

After three weeks of work I am happy to announce the creation of and the release of Processed Tower Defense V1.0. On that website we will be maintaining a stable but up-to-date copy of PTD, and are also running a simple forum for any PTD related discussion (including bug reports, feature requests, or good old-fashioned bragging).

For those of you who haven't seen the game in a while, it has changed in a number of important ways. It will keep changing, but most of those changes will exist in future versions, and the 1.0 release is frozen except for bug fixes. (Don't worry, we plan on keeping playable copies on of all significant versions, so even once 1.0 is surplanted you'll still be able to play the version that hits your personal sweet spot.)

  1. Pathfinding. Peter Burns began his numerous contributions with the implementation of some excellent pathfinding code that singlehandedly catapults PTD from playable to worth playing. You can now use towers to build complex mazes that the creeps must navigate before pillaging your castle.

  2. Terrain. The addition of terrain has added a new layer of tactical consideration to PTD. Different squares affect towers and terrains differently, and the success of your defense rests heavily upon utilizing terrain's various characteristics. (A more helpful description of terrain can be found in the in-game help files.)

  3. Creep Varities. For a while now there have been four types of creeps: normal, quick, strong and boss. But, no longer must we suffer such boredom: each wave of creep now has a type (normal/quick/strong/boss) and also a randomly assigned trait as well. The available traits are water-loving (move quickly on water), water-hating (move slowly on water), mountain-loving (move quickly on mountains), mountain-hating (move slowly on mountains), immune (ignores terrain bonuses), and flying (can move over towers).

  4. Tower Updates. There are now four types of towers, each with their own role in annihilating creeps. Cannon towers lay waste to swathes of creeps with their splash damage (however, unlike other weapons, cannon balls don't home on targets, making them a bit inaccurate at long ranges). Laser towers are cheap building blocks for your mazes (but are cheap to upgrade, and can be quite helpful at times). Missile towers deal absurd quantities of damage, but fire slowly. Gattling towers deal heavy damage and fire quickly, but have long pauses to reload.

  5. Complete Framerate Independence. The game is now completely framerate independent, including all creep movement, weapon movement, firing rates and other game logic. This makes the game play consistently across platforms, even if their javascript engines vary dramatically in effectiveness (the original version, despite partial framerate independence, played much faster on Safari than most other browsers, but no longer).

  6. Hotkeys. Peter has been relentless in making the hotkeys work well, and the results of his efforts are joyful indeed. The game is largely playable from the keyboard now, with the mouse used primary for aiming. Of course, you still can use the buttons if you prefer.

  7. Minified JavaScript. Thanks to some work on a deployment script, it is now easy as pie to create a single minified JavaScript file containing all the necessary code for PTD (it was getting a bit too big to work on it as one file). The code running PTD (including JQuery and Processing.js) boils down to a fairly svelte 116K.

The Future

As I've mentioned pretty often in the past few paragraphs, PTD is still undergoing daily development. There are three upcoming releases that should prove to be interesting:

  1. Version 1.1, which is expected sometime this week, will include some minor visual improvements and one important feature: score submission and a high score list.

  2. Version 1.5 will feature the core gameplay of Version 2.0 without the other fundamental changes that V2.0 will include.

  3. Version 2.0 will have more directed gameplay, with tower upgrade paths, predictable creep waves, difficulty levels, support for sound, and much more (vague because its a bit vague exactly what will happen ;-).

Anyway, thats all we have to share at the moment, and I hope that everyone enjoys Processed Tower Defense v1.0.