how to get sandbox
step 1: get a high speed high health combined bully
step 2: get the big zombie that gives more zombies
step 3: dont collect keys
congrats you have infinte money and cant lose no matter what
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v1.3 RELEASE NOTES
The stupid elves have captured you, the most powerful sorcerer in the kingdom, and locked you in a tower!
Transform into a Tiger-Snake to create a path to the exit, and your minions will follow it. You can't be hurt in Tiger-Snake form, but you also cannot pick up items. Create a path that will allow your minions to collect treasure while keeping them safe from harm.
Unlike other snakes, a Tiger-Snake can loop back on itself just fine, and won't be hurt by running into walls.
To exit the level, you will need to collect keys. If none of your minions make it to the exit alive, you will lose a life. Multiple waves will be required to collect enough keys.
Spend money between waves to grow your cadre of monsters. Before you begin Tiger-Snake mode, click and drag their cards to rearrange their deployment order.
|Health ||How much damage the minion can take before it dies. Damage is displayed on impact. Approximate remaining health is displayed in the heart icon on the minion card. Health resets after each wave.|
|Speed ||How fast the minion moves along the path. Higher speeds go faster.|
|Delay||The delay before this minion is released. A higher delay means a larger gap in front of this minion.|
|Cost ||Cost to add this minion to your team.|
There are three types of Defenders opposing your army: Archers, Knights, and Wizards. Each time they deal damage, Defenders gain experience and become even stronger. There are four levels of each Defender that increase in damage and range!
This game is under active development with a huge list of features on the way. Add it to your collection and follow our developer account for updates. If you download a build (even if you primarily play on the website), itch will notify you when we update.
|Game Design||Ben Sarsgard & Mike Callahan|
|Sprites based on work by||0x72|
|Music & SFX||Joel Steudler|
Join the Discord to suggest ideas, report bugs, or discuss strategy: https://discord.gg/gSX5Svk5fp
Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.
how to get sandbox
step 1: get a high speed high health combined bully
step 2: get the big zombie that gives more zombies
step 3: dont collect keys
congrats you have infinte money and cant lose no matter what
Ha, that's very clever! You can definitely push things with the permanent upgrade minions and free zombies. You do have to be careful though, as each wave gets harder so you could potentially get yourself into a bad situation if you delay too long. I really don't mind "broken" combos in the game (they can be fun), but anything that seems like too much of a "grind this optimal strategy every game" is a negative gameplay effect I'd like to address so I'll review this one.
I love the game. Tower Defense is one of my favorite game genres and this is an insanely interesting riff on the theme. I also can not tell you how gratifying the mouse mode is; my hands tremble sometimes and the mouse makes this something I can play even when I can't reliably get my fingers to do what I want.
I've run into a bug on three play-throughs now. One or more minions froze on the map rather than dying not letting the wave complete. It happened with different minion types and on different floors so I don't know how helpful this will be.
Thank you, can you offer any more information that might help me reproduce? I don't usually play with the mouse mode, so I'll do some extra testing there to see if it's related. Is there a particular strategy you usually use? Do you usually put on fast-forward? Is the minion still animated and do they get targeted by the towers? Could there have been a particular minion on the screen at the time, like maybe lich?
edit: Also, do you play on the web or windows download?
I play on the web. I tend to vary my strategy based on the level one deck, but I always buy the vamp and jack when they come up. The minion was stuck in place on the path with red spurting off of it - like the hit animation - but the defenders did not continue to attack and the heart that shows its health was completely black. I know that it happened on different floors each time but it was always below the fifth floor. I do usually put on the fast forward. I don't remember if there was another minion that was on the screen at the time.
I'll try to keep a better record for you if it comes up again.
Thanks so much, I'll try to reproduce! I've seen similar things happen as a result of a minion special ability erroring out, most likely one with an on nearby death effect. I've also thought about adding a cleanup script that will detect a stuck minion in case something like that ever does happen, and remove them so it doesn't prevent the level from completing.
Thanks for your help!
Love the game and the new updates. The introduction of gems is a game changer and i like the new enemy skins and combining mechanism.
I noticed a glitch when you have the game at double speed and you finish a level, the following round your snake will move at double speed. Which threw me off and made me die cuz it was difficult to maneuver at that speed.
Ah, thanks for catching that, I'll get a patch together asap!
first win on easy
zombubba is super op and when u give it health reducing gems so it makes more zombies its even better plus if you upgrade the zombies you get stiches from them best strategy
Great strategy! With the gems' ability to push delay and speed one way or another, it should also open up more synergies with getting various units to walk together who wouldn't before. Let me know if you find any more good ones!
wow im an idiot i thought 3 zombabies = 1 zombie hah
I find more often than not, if a game makes you feel like an idiot it's probably because something could have been communicated more clearly. If this was confusion around the combine function, I can understand that assumption. I plan to add a bit more messaging and help to the game around that function in particular as it's a bit lacking right now.
i wonder if they will ever make a sandbox mode OvO then you could test builds when you go for a real run
Sure, I'd consider something like that. It might be a bit tricky though, since in addition to giving access to every card, we'd have to give all crystals too, as well as the relics when those are in, since they can affect synergies quite a lot. I'll give some thought to how it could work though, thanks for the suggestion!
i like the new mechanics like gems and how you have to reroll instead of it auto rerolling and losing a good shop.
Right? When I made the reroll change I thought I was being mean, but then I played it and it's actually less frustrating haha!
It's awesome how fast are this growing, and the idea of this Not Tower Defense it's just awesome, keep going! I'll stay playing every version till the end
insane update wow, thanks for your work:D
I love the mouse mode. It makes this game much more fun and easy to replay. You don't have to think as much or let user error kill your runs.
Have you considered giving manual mode a slight speed bonus to encourage people to use it? Making your minions move quicker while on it.
It rewards the difficulty of aiming the snake, and the mouse mode allows perfect precision.
This is a great game, and I'm looking forward to the updates. It provides a very fun experience.
Thanks for trying it, and yes this is the sort of thing that keeps me up at night! I feel like the traditional snake mode is more interesting and rewarding gameplay, but at the same time understand it's more tedious and some people would prefer to play with the mouse.
My current plan is to add bonuses that are disabled in mouse snake mode. They might give you extra coins, or may just add score (but score could be tied to unlocking things in-game, so this would be a real bonus). For instance, one bonus would be for making a path without your snake ever overlapping itself.
The idea would basically be that the traditional snake mode is the "main" gameplay mode, and you should play it to unlock progress in the game, but that the mouse snake will be an optional more casual option for a quick game or to try out a new strategy.
Is it possible to play older versions of the game? I'd love to play 1.1
I'm back to try out the newest changes!
1) Baiting the snake with a mouse:
Honestly, not that bad.
Not having to deal on the fly with errors in my pathing felt nice.
Also, the fact that I could see the enemy range was even nicer.
A small issue I found is that I felt troubled by the automated pathing.
Like, I get that it tries to choose the shortest path (or something similar), but I found myself in melee range of an enemy at least 2-3 times, this because maybe I didn't notice it re-adjusted.
All in all, an interesting experience I will definitely try again.
2) A real captain guides it's man.
I will need to get used to it.
Honestly, I suffered quite a bit and it almost felt like a different game.
Still, I will win next time :D
3) You sure this is the right direction?
Honestly, the Maze is ROUGH.
Let me just tell you that the floor that killed me had a final stretch before the stairs with a level 2 melee on one side and a level 2 + a level 1 on the other.
I honestly felt it was a doomed situation.
I have a feeling Maze Floors will be one of the greatest challenges.
4) General thoughts, no cool catchphrase here,
Honestly, I didn't dislike all of this cool new shields, but they definitely felt less worth to go around to get them.
As a start, I feel like the Gold Shield should be worth more.
It can only take one hit, so I feel like making it be worth something like 2-3 coins would encourage players to take more risks.
Could I ask you what the "Stealth" ability does? I suppose it might give the unit a lower stage of aggro, but I feel like I might as well ask.
I tried a Swarming army this time, with goblins and imps and it did not work as well as the previous patch, so I guess next time I'll try to use some big dudes and go in waves.
Have a great one!
Thanks for your hard work!
Something to close off, before I forget.
I had the feeling that, from time to time, Mushrooms showed a delay of 2, instead of 3.
I might have just hovered over another unit, but I don't know if there is any way to check this.
I believe it might have happened in the shop.
As soon as the unit got added to my army the delay was the correct one.
I am not completely sure if it actually happened, but I believed it might be better to tell and be wrong, than not tell at all.
Have a great one, once again!
Thanks for trying this stuff out. I could probably alter the pathfinder on the mouse snake to have a bias toward straight lines, since I think that's generally what people want to do.
The mazes are definitely meant to be a challenge, I actually have been experimenting with an even nastier algorithm for Level 1.
The magic shields need balance, for sure. I've found that they can be great in certain situations but 90% of the time they poof as soon as you pick them up. I may just add durability to them as well to take multiple hits. You're also right that the gold shield should be worth more.
Stealth is the opposite of Aggro, I'll explain them both. Aggro means that when there are multiple possible targets for a defender, they will always pick one with aggro (so if a defender has someone targeted and an aggro minion enters their range, they will switch to that minion). Stealth is exactly the opposite, so if there is ever any non-stealth minion available to target, the defender will not target the one with stealth.
I'll keep an eye out for the Shroomy issue, but I can't think of any way that could happen.
It was super fun, but would you consider putting maybe a x3 speed? Zombie vampire strat takes literally 15 minutes to finish one wave xD. Also the collapsing menu, but I see you've addressed it already.
Tbh, Chadpire and Pumpkins seem a bit strong, since you can keep farming the same level over and over. I think selling units or discarding units can help the game. It doesn't have to be for coins either just because you can go over the menu amount.
I also think since it is a rougelike there could be a unit typing skill tree that could be cool to help with an endless run
We could probably add x3 speed, although I think I'd rather give the player something more interesting to do with a deck like that because it's kind of a boring and tedious (but effective) strategy. Our next big push is going to be into minion management, where we'll probably be adding ways to upgrade, sell, and maybe even break down or combine units.
The cooldown/delay update nerfs vamp a bit (although jack less so), but I think they're still the best minions in the game. I'd like to keep it potentially just as broken but make it a little trickier to accomplish, so it's not guaranteed best strategy every run.
Thanks for playing and for your feedback!
A great game concept that has a unique set of strategies. My favorite wave is a swarm of goblins followed by the uh gnoll? yeah gnoll. The monster that gives shields to nearby monsters.
I'd love some kind of cooldown reduction with monster synergy. I beat the demo, but I was having issues getting my troops to stay clumped due to the inherent long-cooldown nature of the bigger monsters. I got to a point where buying monsters was not a good idea because their cooldowns would throw off the timing on my line-up. The last half of the game didn't include much buying because it would be disadvantageous. That might be the intended gameplay, but the game entices me with the store at the start of every level.
Gnoll is a bit OP in the current build, and sorry to say, but he's getting a slight nerf. The shields he spawns will now be "Buckler Shields" which can only block 1 hit and if they're dropped they are removed from the game instead of being left on the map. I think he'll still be a very strong choice though.
I agree with the uselessness of late-game money right now. We'll eventually be adding minion upgrades and relics to the game, which will give you something more useful to spend your money on after you've got a perfectly balanced minion deck.
Thanks for playing and for the feedback!
minion upgrades! I knew it was missing something. I love the idea. Keep up the good work.
Yeah the shields were a strong. I just liked seeing all the shields on my goblins before they grab the gold. 1 hit bucklers sound like a great alternative
and a few more ideas :D
1)monsters that can carry multiple items.
2)monsters with hooks, so basically with a few seconds cooldown they bring items that are scattered around them to the path, but they can't carry multiple items just bring them closer.
3)monsters that are stronger then the normal ones, but they can't carry any items and if they are the only ones that made it to exit, it doesn't count as a win, basically monsters that are stronger than regular ones, but you can't have army made just from them.
4)maybe bring some interesting things into snake stage as well, multiple types of snakes and upgrades for them, for example snake that can make portal once a wave, it teleports them let's say 7 blocks away, or snake that can place buff area 2-3 times a wave, in this area monsters receive certain buffs. upgrades will obviously enhance their skills.
5)monsters that get stronger after each death and reverse, monsters that are stronger but get weaker after every death, eventually getting useless if you are careless.
6)funny idea but I think it's too specific and hard to make I guess, so basically it's unit that can move only in a certain way, by jumping, it jumps from one turning point to the other, while airborne he can't be damaged, he can jump only 5 blocks, if he can't detect turn within this 5 blocks range he just walks and is vulnerable , so you need to make a turn with your snake once in a while for this unit to be useful...it's kinda complicated so I think we can reduce this to just a unit that "jumps" instead of walking and is invincible while he's jumping.
7)I'm not talking about new types of defenders, because it's too obvious but what about traps? areas on the map where there is some kind of bonus(chest for example) but it is surrounded by traps, traps can be elemental(slowing, poisoning, stunning), or they can just damage your units.
8)maybe bundle of units? so when you buy one unit it's actually a bunch of them that are deployed simultaneously.
9)monsters that can interact with each other, so for example goblin and some kind of blob monster, when blob monster dies it leaves behind some substance, when goblin touches it, he becomes empowered. or goblin-lord, while he's alive every goblin-unit becomes stronger, lich-every undead unit becomes stronger and so on.
10)or a kind of unit that becomes stronger every time once of his kind dies, but only for this wave.
...yeah so many ideas, I hope some of them at least make it to the full game, good luck once again ;)
1) We've talked about this a lot, but it's a tricky one to balance. The only way to make such a minion not completely OP is to make them weak, in which case there's no real point in them carrying so much stuff. Still, we're considering it.
2) Really interesting idea, but again hard to balance right, and could potentially result in them picking up things the player *doesn't* want.
3) Giving this a lot of thought, it's a great idea!
4) We've talked a lot about this. Top on the list of snake abilities is dropping buffs, and doing either damage to defenders or being able to break walls.
5) Cool idea! Not sure how I never added this seeing as we have so many similar abilities.
6) Hard to envision how this would work but I like the idea. I've thought a lot about how I'd add flying minions and maybe it would be close to this.
7) If we add traps they will likely be hidden during snake phase too, because we're extra evil.
8) Interesting idea, but I'm not sure I see the difference between this and, say, several goblins.
9) Definitely the sort of synergy we'd like to end up with, thanks for this idea!
10) Another great idea!
Thanks for all these!
A fun little game! I do wish there was a way to redo my path when I eventually mess it up, but maybe that's just part of the challenge. Also I get to about midgame and find my minions just get too separated and so blown up one by one by the defenders. Probably just need to "git good"
It's part of the challenge for sure, but we're exploring some options on a few changes to the snake mode, potentially based on difficulty setting or different game modes.
1)maybe after completing the game you unlock sandbox mod or something like that where you just can have fun with all the units in the game, manually place defenders e.t.c
2)having debuffers would also be nice, monsters that can disable defenders attack, reduce damage or attack speed, make them miss attacks e.t.c
3)maybe some more information while choosing monsters? for example Nearby Death, how much is the radius exactly? btw I feel like it needs to be buffed for everyone because it's extremely hard to use it.
4)maybe some upgrades besides monsters? for example: "recharge time of first 10 deployed monster is reduced by 1" maybe it should depend on cost also, for example golem's recharge time will be reduced by 3 instead of 1, but it can't be reduced below certain amount.
5) being able to sell monsters also would be helpful.
6)about boss monsters, I had an idea that boss will spawn after certain amount of dead monsters, depending on their prices, for example: you buy a boss, it costs 25 gold and to summon it, enemies must kill units for 100 gold in total.
1) We've discussed an infinite play mode that gets unlocked after winning, that does down underground and gets progressively harder. A sandbox mode is a cool idea too!
2) There is currently a debuff in-game already (Rocky stuns attackers), but it's not communicated very well visually yet. I'll be adding more for sure, maybe even from special items and not necessarily the minions themselves.
3) Great suggestion, I plan to add a mouseover on the minions like the defenders so you can visualize their ability range. I could also add it to the cards.
4) Upgrades will definitely happen. Right now I'm thinking they'll be finite and potentially share a system with equipment slots.
5) We'll definitely be adding either selling minions, combining them into upgraded versions, or breaking them down for parts (gruesome, I know).
6) Really cool idea! Maybe a relic could summon a very powerful minion after certain conditions that's not directly purchasable!
I feel like some kind of upgrades for monsters would be cool, maybe evolutions/mutations or something like that, i also had an idea about monster like slimes which if you have enough will merge into one more powerful slime, or something like combo, where if you have certain number and type of monsters you will get bonuses, this will bring more tactic and deck building aspect into the game, maybe some random events, or events that we could buy for money, or for new currency like mana, for example: event - graveyard, every third death will spawn skeleton, cost 2-3 coins(i think new mana stat would work better with this).
maybe more boss-like monsters, which are much stronger, have many abilities but are expensive as hell, there can be only limited amount of them, maybe in order to summon them you have to meet some requirements or something along this lines.
this game has huge potential, I'm in love with the concept and I want this game to success, huge props to developer/s ;)
Thanks for playing and for the great ideas! We'll be adding relics soon which could have abilities similar to the ones you're describing. Also would love to add more big boss monsters too!
Something that would help is if you could unlock more slots to select minions. Or select a minion as your favorite so you get it more often in the shop.
Like if you could spend cash to upgrade your shop and with it get access to better minions more often. Or to get two rows of minions, so you buy the upgrade and see 8 guys instead of 4.
If I want to do a themed build, I have to restart around the stage where you have treasure chests start to spawn because going further and saving my cash just means I'll get obliterated and lose.
The ideal strategy is when your favored minion both shows up, and you have enough cash to buy them.
The fact that the price increases by 1 to reroll, and it never goes down again means you should reroll a few times and then never again, as it's always worth it to simply buy another minion over trying to get a specific one. If you've survived long enough to have enough cash to keep rerolling, you might as well keep doing what you're doing.
Perhaps you could provide some sort of passive reward based on the amount of cash you've spent rerolling? Maybe a gacha system? A certain number of rerolls buys you a ticket to spend on rolling and earning a random minion. Or some other reward, such as the amount of cash you spent on rerolls X2.
These tickets could be another item that appears in the overworld on missions. Perhaps when you complete levels, too? The prospect of guaranteed minions and cash means people will have fewer burdens on their cash flow.
Have you considered adding resistances? Possibly certain minions could be resistant or immune to different kinds of attacks which will have a major effect on your strategy. So the bone minions could shrug off damage from archers while being weak against knights and neutral to wizards.
A similar deal for the mushrooms, being resistant to physical damage from swords but neutral to arrows and weak to wizard magic.
Another idea I had was “equips” where you have items that remain with you and can be given to a minion. Like a flag that makes the person holding it run faster and is dropped when they go down. So people pick up the flag and get their speed boost.
In reference to the other person's comment about upgrading minions or them providing bonuses for you having a lot of them. You could have a camp of some sort for each minion type that provides this bonus.
So a kennel or encampment for the dog types, and some sort of pit that the demons live in. A crypt for the undead.
These could be upgraded to provide progressively better bonuses and enhancements to units of their types as you invest more into them. You could also create a unity camp, where it provides a series of bonuses for a multitude of types. Rewarding you for having a varied crew.
Synergies, I mean. Like if you have mushrooms on your team, your undead will grow mushrooms on their bodies and become resistant to blunt attacks, removing their weakness.
Thanks for making this game. I enjoy it. I saw it on a youtube video that you posted in the comments of.
So many great ideas, thank you!
The favorite minion and theme build stuff will should be addressed when we introduce starting clan selection. Not exactly sure how it will work, but will help you build themed decks more easily. We also may add the ability to influence which clan the store has for sale.
I'm changing the reroll button so it resets every floor, since I don't think anyone uses it now.
Resistances are planned too. We'll be adding fire and ice abilities to defenders and some minions will have resistances.
Toying with various ideas around equipment. I'm considering giving minions equipment slots and you'll be able to pick up equipment and reassign it between waves.
The encampment and kennel idea is a cool one, I think we'll be doing this sort of thing with collectible relics that help with bonus synergies, but I'll keep your idea in mind as well.
Thanks for playing and for the great feedback!
The game is still super fun! The new UI is fantastic and makes a lot of things clearer. The biggest issue I have is that the lategame feels a bit dull compared to the early and midgame. This is mainly due to the fact that everything gets slaughtered unless you either have really good synergy, or jack/vamp scaled up from early. Maybe make it so that some stronger units are introduced in later floors so you can feel like you're actually buying something that won't just get eviscerated.
Can't wait for what this game has in store! Keep it up devs :D
Thanks for playing! One of the main ways we plan on expanding late-game play is with more gameplay elements you can collect like relics to help you find those synergies. We've also got some big changes coming that should make setting up your minion order more intuitive and help them benefit each other better.
It seems like I have become pretty consistent at winning.
One small feature that I think it'd be nice to have is the ability to see your army after either a win or a loss.
I went with a strategy that focused pretty hard on vampires and I was curious about what value of health they reached.
Also, related, I feel like including the amount of permanent buff a stuff got would be a nice implementation for things like the vampire and the pumpkin.
Have a great day!
You read my mind, I was literally just plotting out this screen! :D
I like this, it's very entertaining and combines multiple unique challenges.
I've noticed that you're missing a menu button and a pause shortcut, and a small upgrade for the UI to display and explain more information would be nice.
The gameplay loop is really solid though and really the only missing feature I can think about is setting a custom item priority for individual units (so your tanks won't drop their shields for coins).
ESC does open the Menu, but you’re right there should be a button. The next build is full of UI improvements.
Custom item priority is an interesting thought. We’ve been contemplating inventory slots or some other change in that area to allow both items and treasure to be used.
Thanks for the feedback!
The game just crashed (awesome game btw) but it won’t let me back in no matter what even reloading doesn’t work
Sorry to hear, you're playing the web version? I know there's a problem with the Quit and Play Again buttons so maybe best to avoid for now. I'm surprised a reload wouldn't work though, could you try Ctrl+Shift+R to hard reload?
tried that but still doesn’t work even exiting (I’ve never pressed the quit)
Can you explain exactly what you're seeing? What browser are you using?
This could be a minor bug, but whenever I lose and click on "Quit" or win and click on "Play Again" the game freezes and I need to refresh the page to play once again.
It's pretty minor, but I still felt like it was worth sharing.
This is on our to-do list, thanks for the report!
I managed to win again.
This time I tried an healing build with high health units.
Not that great.
What I found the least rewarding while playing was that units other than 3 speed undeads tend to mostly have 4 speed, so monsters like shamans, the tree and even the vampire got stuck in the middle of the pack with a limited ability to use the efficient goblins.
Also, more "demonic" monsters like Imps tend to have a bit too little health to be easily used, despite their speed making them useful while team building with the objective of a "healing, undefeatable army".
I feel like having healing units with different speeds among them could help for floors without "safe zones".
I recognize, however, that this might just be a feeling born from my choice of trying to avoid doing another undead army.
What will follow is just a feeling born while playing, so treat it like that, not as a serious request.
You could also just treat it as a rant.
Honestly, I would like something like a " Golden Base Unit".
With Base Unit I mean the 2 gold units like Goblins, Imps, Zombabies, etc.
I feel like, during my games, I WANT to take them as they help in delivering resources to the stairs and they act as a shield for other more important units.
At the same time, however, I can't avoid the feeling that I might be wasting my money.
I ended up feeling the desire for a chance of a stronger base unit with the same price.
Something that might tie back to the idea of "buying more of the same units give you certain bonuses".
Maybe, while stronger units give you certain buffs, base units give you something like 1% chance to find a Golden Unit of the same kind for each Goblin/Imp, etc you buy. Obviously, with a cap.
Something like :
I have 10 goblins, so I have a chance capped at 5% (10%?) of extracting a 2gold cost Golden Goblin whenever I would extract a normal goblin,
Golden Imp, Golden Zombaby, you get the gist.
What they would have as a difference?
Maybe they have slightly higher stats, but still no ability.
Maybe they have something minor that works in the menu and not in game.
I mean, every base units has its strength.
Goblins have cooldown, so maybe they give "-1 cooldown" to the unit just behind them (capped at 1, obviously)
Zombabies have health, so maybe they give " +2 health" to the unit just behind them.
Imps are fast, so they could give "+1 speed".
Fungi are Jack of All Trades, so maybe they simply give you "1 gold" back.
As I prefaced, this is just a feeling, an idea that came out while I was playing.
It's no big issue if it's unrealistic, but I still felt like it would be best to share it, even if just to get you to think about it before saying "No".
I hope it was not written too bad, I have not slept very well, so I might have explained myself to the best of my abilities ahahahahah
Still, I wish you a nice day!
These are really neat ideas, and I'll be giving it some thought. We'll definitely be adding some way to boost the rand-and-file units, either with a global bonus, or "leader" units that make others stronger. I do also like the idea of a unit who scales strength in large groups themselves. The idea of getting potential extra units based on the number you have is an interesting one, I'll experiment with that some more when we get into clan-specific focuses later on.
I have just beaten the game, after around 5 times that I reached 1-2 / 1-3 and died.
Something I'd say might be a bit broken are shield-giving units in huge groups.
Like, all I needed was to find a square free from aggro and run around for 10 seconds, so that my shield wolves could armor up my entire undead army.
Like, I probably halved my frames at a certain point, but I stomped through with no issues.
Probably a way to nerf it would be to reduce the amount of shields it could give.
Maybe something like " can only shield up X units with each proc" or something like that.
Or, for example " X units + 1 for every other Shield Wolf".
Still, it's a strategy highly dependent on both the presence of one of those units that give you permanent monsters and, most importantly, on the presence of a safe square.
Honestly, this is the reason why I had previously noticed the presence of "faulty" range.
Still, I hope you have a great day!
I think you've found our first real exploit, congratulations! I'd like to strike a balance where we don't have a game that's easy to break completely (too easy, no fun) but at the same time still allow and reward clever synergies like that. Great idea on adding a limit to the ability though, that could be a good compromise.
I guess I will need to do my best to find all of the other broken synergies ahahahaah
Thank you for the time spent on this game and replying to each comment.
I can truly feel the love for the game.
I am not completely sure about it, but I feel like the preview of the attack range of the enemy units might be slightly bugged.
I am 70% sure that it showed a certain area as "not targeted" and I got, immediately after, targeted in the same area.
During the next round preview, however, it was properly shown as targeted,
I have the feeling the reason might be found in the levelling up of the enemy units.
Does it happen after my path is done?
Maybe I was not shown that the enemy mage had a bigger range due to its evolution not having happened yet on the map?
If I am not imagining things, I feel like I should suggest making the evolution happen before my "shopping phase", so that I could plan accordingly my path.
Still, have a nice day and a great Sunday!
Thanks for the report, I'll give it a look and see if I can reproduce. Do you remember which defender unit it was? The defender upgrades happen after shopping phase, but before what I call the "planning" phase where you can view ranges before moving your snake. There shouldn't be any situation where the ranges shown while you can move your mouse and see them are different than the ranges experienced during the level.
I'm going to be making another pass on range displays soon, so let me know if you have any other suggestions. I'd like to add some more data to the planning mode like damage from towers and maybe even damage per second on the tile. I could also add a toggle to show all tower ranges at once, although sometimes when you have too many overlapping it gets hard to meaningfully understand.
I have the feeling it might have been a mage.
Still, I can't really say for sure.
To make the planning section easier to understand, I would however suggest the use of different colours to represent different units / different levels of units / squares targeted by more units.
Honestly, shades on red on top of other shades of red felt a tad overwhelming and I ended up relying mostly on instinct.
Also, as Melee Units felt the most dangerous, I would suggest something like a small white border around their range to make planning around them more explicit.
On the topic of showing every attacked tile at once, I am in disagreement.
Honestly, despite the issues I had with red on top of red, I felt like moving the mouse across the tiles looking for the best path was not bad.
I believe having the opportunity to already know every turret's range with just a click would probably feel less rewarding than moving the mouse across the tiles.
Really enjoying the game so far, I think adding a button to fast forward or being able to set fast forward to on more permanently would be a really great addition.
Looking forward to future updates! :)
Also, jack's ability says it permanently raises speed but it is only for the round. To compare this, vampire also says permanent and it lasts the whole game.
Thanks. Jack was definitely working correctly in the past, but it's possible he's getting reset now. Jack should definitely work the same as Vampy, and you should be able to make him go very fast. I'll check it out.
I am here with a few other comments - probably because I am not good enough to beat the game (despite gradually getting closer to the end, Floor1-3 with 8/9 keys is my PB)-.
At the moment I feel like potions are really not worth it.
Like, they are tasty bait for my compulsive gluttonous Tiger Snake, but they certainly don't really help my troops.
I feel like they would be more useful to the player (not necessarily better for the game, I'll leave that to you) if the effects were more spread out.
Idk, maybe a Shrine of Healing instead of a Potion?
Something that heals a lot of monsters instead of just one, to be more clear.
It could heal everybody for a flat amount, for a percentage amount or heal to full until exhausting the healing (ex. it only heals 50 hp, they could be 50 on just one monster or 5 each on 10 different ones).
This brings me to my next point.
At the moment the only way to go forward is to get bigger and bigger, but it doesn't really feel that useful.
I feel like there should be incentives to getting more monsters, other than just having more monsters.
I feel like the constant push towards quantity gives a certain feeling of lacking quality.
There could be various solutions.
Of course, this will be all random examples.
1) Maybe the ability to sacrifice monsters of the same type to upgrade one of them? Or all of them? Like : 5 goblins in exchange for each goblin from now on having +3 to each stat.
2) Maybe the solution could be bonuses for having a certain quantity of monsters of the same type?
The Zombie build seems like a viable one, but I end up reaching the point where they are essentially spawn killed by 6 units all around a choke point.
It would be cool if, maybe, they gained a bit of stats because of the fact that they are in a group.
Something like "+1 to all stats for every 8 monsters of the same kind" just to make up some numbers with no basis.
3) What about Synergies? Everyone like Synergy!
Or, at least, that's what office comedy from the early 2000s wants me to believe, but that's beside the point.
Necromancers + 5 zombies = Necromancers getting + 5 health and Zombies get +1 speed, but they also come out together with a shared , summed cooldown.
2 Stealth Wolves + 2 Shield wolves = All 4 of them coming out with a shield.
I do realize that those ideas will probably be too much and that they could risk making the game too easy, needing more floors to be balanced.
Still, they could be an inspiration for something good.
I am already grateful for the time you spent reading this comment and for the opportunity to play this entertaining game.
I hope you will keep up with the great work.
I will continue trying to win.
From a Defeated Loser,
The difficulty is ever-evolving. I felt like the version Retomation played was too easy. At the very least, it was easy until 1-2, which is when you'd go on to win or get stopped dead and lose all 3 lives. When we added abilities, shields, and potions, that just made it even easier, so we had to ramp the difficulty significantly. It is probably too hard right now. I can beat it with some extremely cheesy tactics (because I know all the tricks), but without doing that I do not win very often.
New people will never know what the older versions were like, so we're always trying to keep the posted version difficult enough. If it's too easy, someone will play it once, say, "That was neat" and never look at it again. The long term goal is to have progression unlocks (like most roguelikes) so that even a failed run will be worth it.
What I love about your feedback is the specific examples. Anyone can say, "You should put in synergies," but giving us cool ideas for them is what is really helpful. Synergies, clan bonuses, and unit combining/upgrades are all on the list of potential features. Eventually you have to sit down and come up with them though and you run out of creative ideas. Those are all really creative ideas that are going in the idea bucket.
Here's a little secret (don't tell anyone): the minions are already divided into 4 distinct clans in the game code and have thematic stats and abilities: The Fiendish, The Enchanted, The Corrupted, and The Undead.
The positive and polite attitude you showed in this reply almost made me blush, you Casanova!
Jokes aside, that makes me really happy.
It's always nice being useful.
I will comment some more if something get stuck in the ol' Mind Cogs while playing.
I just wanted to say I absolutely love this game already, and am so excited for what it could be in the future. It's so cool how open you guys are to suggestions and how you've been interacting with comments and whatnot. Plus the soundtrack is great!I have a few minor suggestions I haven't seen brought up yet, so here they are;
More specific stats on certain things, such as specific info on firerate and damage of the defenders would be cool to know. Also as you brought up in another comment changing the description of the on proc stuff.
Some way to spice up the snake section could be fun (personally I enjoy it but I'm a bit biased as I love snake) Maybe add different types of pathing like ones with walls to block shots or tunnels to completely block that you could either buy or obtain some other way.
Also more of an unrelated thing but a public discord for fans to suggest stuff and whatnot could be cool, but then again that could also be a pain to manage lol.
That ended up longer than expected but I'm just really excited to see where this game can go! :D
"Different types of pathing" is a totally new suggestion. Maybe you hold down the space bar to activate/deactivate your "alternative pathing" mode? Good stuff. Keep it coming.
As I've said a few times, we were completely caught off-guard by the influx of players from Retromation's channel. I'm glad people are commenting here on itch. I was scared we'd lose all of this engagement because we didn't have social media accounts for the project yet. We will probably start a Discord soon. I've never run a public Discord before so there will be a bit of a learning curve.
just 'cleared' the game! what kept me going was the super catchy soundtrack :D give my thanks to Joel.. these songs are gonna get stuck in my head for weeks lol
like many others have mentioned, not really a fan of the snake pathing phase. very hard to properly manage pinpoint movements
late game, when i have so many minions (4+ rows when i hover over the left side), managing them becomes very tedious. i also found it very hard to clump all minions together and they were trickling out one by one, causing all of them to die quickly.. partially my fault because i didn't read about the 'Cooldown' stat :P but the fact that i still managed the clear the game says something i guess? everything else is quite intuitive tho :D
took me one failed run to figure out i should hold off on clearing the earlier stages by not taking the keys and instead try to collect all coins to be able to afford beefier minions. but the coins don't respawn, correct? this strat isn't possible in the later stages tho since the Defenders spawn a lot more and if i tried to 'farm' too long i might not have been able to finish those levels
minions i was most happy to have (other than the big golem guys) were the wolf boys that spawn shields to all nearby minions when something dies. most underwhelming minions were the heals nearby units ones, maybe i just didn't realize how much they were actually healing, but it certainly wasn't noticeable (also my inability to clump up minion spawns might have contributed to it also)
great experience overall, excited to play this again after more stuff are added ^o^ thank you so much and keep up the good work!
Thanks for the feedback, the snake is a tough one, as its movement will have a slight delay due to being grid-based, but I'll see what I can do to improve that experience. I'm also considering undo/redo actions when in that mode.
Better minion management is definitely coming! It's very important to get right, as you've discovered, so I want to make it as painless as possible.
Yes, great strategy with delaying the keys! It's extra reward, but of course some risk as well. Coins (and power-ups) are added in each wave, but you get fewer each time until eventually it will stop spawning new ones.
The shaman can be really powerful if you stack a couple goblins in front, but we're going to be revisiting balance across the board. Some are pretty worthless right now while others are seriously OP (I'm looking at you, Vamp and Jack).
Thanks so much for playing and for the great feedback!
This, has the quality and fundamentals that all Instant "Classics have" a a Passion for the craft, by the devs. a repeatalble entertaining Loop of euphoric splender!
Thank you, your kind words warm my heart! If we keep getting so much great feedback from players like you, I think we can make something awesome!
very fun but unfair when every guy(defence) is right at the start... 10/10 would reccomend
Very true, the nature of procedural generation means sometimes you're going to get screwed, but I try my best to avoid anything completely unfair. The defender AI tries to place them in the best locations, but I can add a bias against the entrance and exit because that does get pretty brutal. Thanks for the feedback and I'm glad you enjoy it!
LOVED this game. Won on my second run through with a zombie-build. My thoughts / suggestions in no particular order:
- I also had the menu collapsing on me all the time (Had a bazillion units), and I think it happens when the cursor pass over the corner between four thumbnails, where the rounded corners makes a tiny hole.
- In my very limited experience, mana / boost potions were rarely worth considering while pathing, but treasure chests created really interesting risk vs rewards dilemmas (which made me sad that you can only get one per floor). Maybe have smaller and bigger treasure chests for more variation?
- When I lost my first life on the first run, there was nothing I could do (I had simply fallen below the curve). I couldn't complete the level, so I didn't get any money, so I couldn't improve my deck, so I just lost again and again. Maybe set the difficulty back a couple of stages whenever the player loses a life?
- I had multiple units that had incrementally improving stats, and it was a bit of a chore to mouse over each one to see how far it had improved while rearranging. Maybe those units could have the stat in question displayed in the corner of their thumbnail?
- I have to admit I wasn't a huge fan of the pathing-phase. Primarily because I felt the dexterity challenge didn't mesh all too well with the strategic parts of the game. The fact that you can't see enemy attack range while moving, means I have to remember the entire path before starting to move. With the snake being a bit unresponsive on top of that made it a bit annoying.
- The shop selection being completely random meant I sometimes had few, if any, choices. During the later floors I was so rich I always just bought the most expensive unit available every time. Maybe adjust the selection based on how much money the player has? Or do the snrx thing where you can upgrade the shop itself.
- Two things that didn't feel very intuitive to me: 1). Items reset with each wave, but not items that has been moved by a minion? 2). You don't fail a wave even if you don't get a key, as long as one of your monsters survive?
- It was really frustrating when the key I needed was ON the exit tile :p Don't know if that needs fixing, but...
- The "proc" abilities are a bit hard to work with. It's completely random? In that case, I would personally be more intrigued by "once every 10 sec" or something.
- In later, bigger levels, multiple exits could be interesting.
Great job, look forward to re-visiting!
Thanks so much, I'm glad you enjoyed it! Menu collapse issue is top of my priority list, sorry that's such a hassle right now. I agree about the potions, one plan we have soon is to add persistent powerups that heal or boost as long as they're carried (similar to shields), which will be more useful since multiple minions can benefit. We have some exciting ideas for chests as well, stay tuned!
The difficulty curve still needs work for sure. I think once the power-ups are expanded on like I said above, we can use them to give the player some solutions to tricky situations.
Very true about the stat views, I will eventually be adding a minion management screen where you can more easily rearrange them, and will make the stats easier to see at a glance there.
The snake-mode will get some love soon. It definitely needs some tweaking to feel more responsive somehow, and I have some ideas about how to make that stage more interesting as well, with actions you can perform in addition to just drawing the path. I am also exploring different approaches of making more information available there, but I did try it at one point with tower range visible and found it to be too distracting. It's worth another look though.
Great ideas about the shop! One thing I'll definitely be adding is a reroll button with a cost, so that should solve the issue of having money with nothing to spend it on.
Items shouldn't be resetting each wave, although new ones are added. If you don't pick up a potion or coin on the previous wave, it will be there the next wave (and then everything is reset at the next level). I'll keep an eye out on that to make sure there's not a bug somewhere you're seeing with disappearing loot. And yes, as long as 1 minion makes it to the exit, you won't lose a life, but it will advance the wave counter which means more defenders, so you can't do this indefinitely. At one point at least one key was required in order to advance, and I think some text in-game may still reference this, so I'll check that and make sure I'm not confusing people.
There's a bug in the current build where a minion can be killed while they're exiting the stairs and it will leave the key behind there. This will be fixed in a patch update shortly, so hopefully that resolves the stairs key issue you're describing.
The "proc" is exactly that, it happens automatically on an interval. I will revisit this and figure out a way to convey that information better. Probably more clear to say "Every X seconds: Do a thing".
Multiple exits is a cool idea! I also have thought about the idea of dynamic and even hidden exits. I'll play with this at some point in the future.
Thanks so much for playing and for the amazing feedback, it's so helpful! I'll be posting regular updates so check back often!
Oooo! Exploration with secrets sounds really interesting! Looking over my comment now, I realize I didn't mention any positives. The last few rounds being more of a victory lap was actually satisfying rather than anti-climactic. Also loved the cute, boxy pixel-monsters, elegant rules and novel idea.
You got yourself a fan who'll buy the game on launch cx
Really nice game!
Came here from Retromation's youtube video.
Is it a bug or a feature that Pixies (I believe it might not be spelled in this way, I mean the "10 speed/ Drops an Health potion" monster) can't bring the keys to victory?
At first I believed they might have died as soon as they got to the tile with the stairs, but they kept reaching the stairs and leaving the key on the tile, instead of carrying it to victory.
I lost 2 lives that way.
Just thought I'd share it in case it's a bug!
Thank you for the bug report! We have squashed a few bugs with keys left on the stairs. Whenever I see that, I’m concerned something is wrong. The pixies absolutely should take the keys down the stairs. Sometimes, it can just be perfect timing of a hit that kills them a frame before they descend… but if that were the case, you’d see a health potion there too. Sounds more like a bug the more I think about it. We’re going to look into it.
Thank you for the quick response!
The lack of dropped health potions also made me lean towards it being a bug!
I will comment some more if I notice anything.
Still, regardless, I hope you'll have a nice day and a relaxing end to the week!
I have noticed the same bug while using an extremely fast monster (The one that permanently stacks speed, can't remember the name).
I am starting to wonder if fast creatures might be the problem.
Thanks for this report! We tracked it down and just fixed it!
You were right! Speed kills! We just fixed it and posted a new build.
i like your game quite a lot!
it's simple yet fun.
i do have some minor issues though...
first, there is some lag, especially in later levels with more units. looks to me like the game stops a few frames whenever a unit gets hit, which happens a lot. while i do use a pretty low-end machine, lagging on this kind of game should not happen.
second, there seems to be some minor input delay during snake movement. i already figured out that the snake seems to only accepts inputs the frame it completes the moving to a new square and that seems to be the mayority of the issue. i think a change from checking only on that frame to queueing up an input or maybe even two inputs would make moving the snake feel a lot better.
third, sorting units gets kinda difficult once you hit multiple rows. the menu sometimes collapses whenever i move over the border of a unit portrait. i think they don't quite line up borderless.
...could also be a fullscreen issue. if you press alt+enter in this kind of gamemaker programm, you can make the window fullscreen even if that is not actually intended. i use that a lot and some games show some strange issues only in this forced fullscreen mode, so i thought that may also apply here.
forth, the difficulty scales a bit too steep in the late levels. i mean, i didn't even get that golem to beyond halfway to the exit on the most direct path in 1-3.
i think an upgrade system and maybe the ability to sell units would improve the game quite a bit.
i don't mind if you restrict that to only between floor transitions, but it definitely should be added.
so, with that wall of text out of the way, i say it again, i like your game quite a lot and those issues are only minor.
Thanks for playing! You'll be happy to know that I've fixed all the performance issues in the last build, so please give it another try.
I'll look into the snake input issues, I think I know what you mean.
Agreed on the unit sorting as well, I need to seriously rework that and will likely be adding a new screen to handle that better.
Difficulty scaling is completely changed in the new build (which is harder overall but you now have a lot more powers at your disposal), I hope you find it more enjoyable!
Minion upgrades are on our planned feature list, thank you for the suggestion!
And yes, thank you so much for the wall of text! This kind of feedback is pretty much the most helpful thing we could wish for at this point!
i like the added special abilities and items. makes the game a lot complexer strategiewise and makes me want to take extra risks.
the new enemie types are appreciated as well.
keep up the good work!
...oh, and i had actually found another minor issue in the previous version i had forgotten to mention. my minions seemed to get confused which item to take when multiple items stacked on the same field.
if there were lets say five coins and a key as the third item, they would grab the coins that were first in line but not switch to the key.
Thanks, I'll look into that one. There was a bug that would cause a delay in dropping items on death as well, which could cause what you were describing if a minion had just died and dropped it. That will be fixed in a small patch hopefully tonight.
the lives dont go down lol that would make a good gamemode tho