First impressions

  • First thing that I did when I started was to go to the practice since I prefer to know what I am going to have.

    It was a bit confusing at first since I didn't get the tutorial part of the actual game. I could get a basis of what I could do from the screen, but it took me some time to figure out that the workbench wasn't a pause screen but the actual tool bench in the game. It also was confusing figuring out how to get different towers assigned to to my loadout. Also, when going to one of the highlights of where to put a tower, it completely disappears so I wouldn't remember which tower I was supposed to place. Maybe if they came back if nothing is placed there it would help.

    Then I finally tried the Story Mode.

    This was definitely more of the tutorial than what I thought the practice realm would be. The first level was able to teach me what to do with the towers, especially with taking them down. Was able to get pass the tutorial parts with ease until the big trolls showed up and started taking down my towers. With them I ended up doing ring-aroun-the-rosie, placing towers down to eventually kill them.

    After the part where you flip the switches to open the gate (and tried to let those bear-guys pass by, but they just stop half way down the path) is when it started getting tricky. Since I'm not that skilled in tower defense, I didn't know good placements of towers unless they were specifically shown or hinted at. Even with my lack of skill, I didn't feel like it was too difficult. Sometimes I would feel cheated when spawn points would appear where I wasn't looking and get surprised when they run up right next to me.

    They're just... standing there

    In the castle is where I felt like the tutorial left and it now was showing me what the game was supposed to be about. Yes, there were some places where it would show me how to use a new tower, but that wasn't bad since it felt like it was just showing what the new tower did. with a complete roster of towers it felt like I was going to do the battles my way and not just the "right" way, but many of the battle rooms still felt like there was a "right" way; especially when I felt cheap-shotted when walls would break down and I wouldn't realize it until they were destroying my towers. It also felt cheap when the camps would change the units that spawned.The new waves required a different set of towers to take care of them and I wouldn't realize they were there until they were already on top of me.

    Where did the tables go?

    The very last part right before you ended story mode was pretty good, but since there was no tool bench to change my loadout, I felt limited on what I could do (and I missed my spin blades). The changing waves also made it feel like you were supposed to die to figure out what to do the next attempt. It was satisfying when I would figure out one part, but then the next one would show up and start destroying my towers because they couldn't reach or were too tough for them to get killed quickly. I don't mind the change, but there is no warning when they change so it requires quick reflexes to put down new towers before the old ones are destroyed. The very final wave also felt like a cheap shot because they all spawn down at the bottom part of the map, but then start going up since the wall is now destroyed.

    Overall, I think this is a great game so far, and the only problems that I have I think can be fixed with these changes:

    • When a camp spawns in, put some sort of emphasis on it so that we know it is there.
    • Have some sort of symbol over the camps to show what they are going to spawn, like swords and axes or bows
    • The walls are only destroyed when the previous wave is completely gone and then put some sort of emphasis on it so that we know they are now gone.

    Hope that this helps.

  • @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.

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