Sparticle, I know this is a super late reply, so sorry about that! I wanted you to know that I did read your feedback when you first posted it and am just revisiting old posts that I never replied to. Most of these have since been fixed, but others remain on our to-do list. Peter and I have been very busy preparing for our Kickstarter, so not working as much on the game itself. However, I wanted you to know that we're still aware of the issues that we need to address and do plan to get to them later this fall after the Kickstarter. Thanks again for taking the time to write such a thorough post sharing your thoughts and feedback ❤
Thanks for the in depth response, @snarlynarwhal, and thank you for considering my suggestions.
"Change enemy AI so they don't attack towers unless they are blocking their path to the player (or some other goal)"
We thought long and hard about this one and decided that while we could certainly do this and make a great game, it does make Dwerve less unique and more similar to other tower defense games.
The current (0.0.5) game-play and level design of Dwerve seems to be about scrambling to keep a few towers alive and in place. It's a one-tower thick wall between you and the enemy at multiple choke points; a thin veil between the enemies and your inevitable death. Is this tension (scrambling to rebuild dying towers) something you devs want Dwerve gameplay to center around? (If it is, I'll find ways, as a tester, to support that goal)
I don't hate this tension and I definitely don't want it completely gone, but I have mixed feelings about it.
Personally, I find this tension pretty intense -- which isn't automatically a bad thing -- but if it's the primary play-style, it seems to remove that oh-so-satisfying feeling as you slowly amass an army of towers, and sit back and (or scramble behind the scenes and keep working to) watch your towers wreak havoc. It also deminishes the strategic potential of the game. I don't want to remove the action, I just would like a little more of the TD-style strategy.
Does anybody else have thoughts on this? (I'm totally okay with being the only one that feels this way)
In my mind, what I mean by "more TD-style strategy" is something like this:
1. More creative tower placement. There's some in there already, but something like mazing (weather it's player-created mazing or level design) would add way more potential. I like the kinds of towers you have, but 0.0.5 doesn't give a ton of ways to utilize them that I came up with. e.g. the floor traps with the timers on them make them nearly impossible to use, since you wall off your access to them with towers. (of course, more time between waves might solve this) 2. The per-battle grind of building up the number/strength of towers. It sounds like the yellow gem idea mentioned elsewhere will add to this concept. Mazing could also add to this concept. Even if the only thing your mazing-related-towers do is make the enemies take longer to get to you, the player abilities (boomering & anything else planned) plus ranged towers have more time to do their job. Which would be my preferred play-style, if given the option.
The above (original post) suggestions are, of course, just one way these could two things could happen. For example, here's some other (possibly simpler) changes that could add in some form of mazing:
Barricade towers, that have a unique trait -- they aren't targeted by enemies unless fully blocking the enemy path.
Add a tower that aggros enemies, causing them to prioritize attacking that tower, provided they can get to it.
I hope this helps!
So it seems that you'd prefer the game to play more like a traditional tower defense game, and I think making such changes would certainly make for a really fun game! But, I think it would also cause Dwerve to become a little more generic and blend in with other tower defense games. I think that you pointed out a lot of serious issues with our current design, but Peter and I feel confident that we can address these issues without having to default back to more traditional tower defense mechanics.
In some ways, I suppose that's true. But I'll clarify that I definitely don't want Dwerve to be just another TD game (there's more than enough of those on the market). As I said above, I don't want to remove the action, I just would like a little more of the TD-style strategy. When I first came across Dwerve, my first impression was it would be a game similar to Orcs Must Die, (which I don't consider a generic TD game) but maybe with some more open Zelda-esque gameplay throughout. Now that's a game I'd love to play. But perhaps that's pretty far off from your vision. And if so, that's okay.
Ah yes, I need to fix those double doors - the "inner wall" does not extend as far as the "outer wall" does, so there's an awkward gap you can slip through and, consequently, bypass the trigger that hides/shows the roof. I'll fix it by the next build, thanks Lisk!
We plan to add control support and will consider that control scheme as the default mapping.
Charging the boomerang is a cool idea, we'll consider adding that in!
We plan to add more puzzles, exploration, and story in the future.
We will make sure it's apparent when the dash is ready, I too look at the bottom right and it's annoying to do so.
We'll make sure the sound effects have proper limits so they do not stack and become loud or annoying.
We'll make it more obvious when a wave ends and the next one starts. In general, I think we have a lot of work to do in regards to conveying incoming threats or when the battlefield changes.
We plan to replace the red spawn progress circle sprite with an icon for what creature spawns next (it will still act as a timer).
@Scubadoo2 thanks for your first impressions, this is immensely helpful to us 🙂
First off, the practice level is entirely placeholder and was designed to let people try out turrets that were not in the first 3 levels. We might have a similar practice level in the final game, but we would make sure the player accesses it after completing the tutorial so that they learn the core mechanics first. We also plan to revisit the tutorial and make sure it covers everything more clearly. For example, a lot of people missed the recalling part. We also do not mention how the game decides which turret it recalls, or explain how the workbench works. We plan to make the tutorial much better in the future.
In regards to knowing where to place the turrets, we plan to have the player use newly unlocked turrets in multiple easy battles that show different placements or strategies. In a way, each battle will not only be a challenge, but also a tutorial in which the player is learning or practicing using a new turret. We also plan to add more indicators for when and where a garrison is spawning, what monster a garrison will spawn next, and when the environment is about to get destroyed. Level 3 was wayyy too hard for an early level. It plays more like a mid/late level in regards to difficulty. I think that adding the indicators and making the difficulty level-appropriate will make for a much smoother experience.
Also, we did not have the workbench in level 3 since we wanted to showcase multiple towers. In the actual game, you will be able to access it frequently so you can change your loadout.
Thanks Lisk! I think a combination of graying out the turret icon and making the power stone icon larger (and animating it when you use/retrieve power stones) will help. I definitely agree that the UI needs more clarity - the number of power stones available needs to be obvious and easily ascertainable.
BreadSlice, revisiting old posts that I read but never replied to. I added the confirmation to the main menu buttons that leave or restart the level, but I still need to get to the other two, but that won't be until later this fall unfortunately. Sorry for the late reply and thank you for always testing our builds so thoroughly ❤