Defender's Quest 2 Progress for August 2020: Electric Four Square

Once again emphasizing visual communication: - Energy shields - Show buff zones more clearly - Ultimate is now a 2x2 sized unit

Defender's Quest 2 Progress for August 2020: Electric Four Square

Hey there Defender's Quest fans!

Version 0.0.12 is up on Steam for Windows and Linux for our early backers.

We're continuing on last month's theme about emphasizing visual communication.

First of all, we're playing with turning the defensive "thorns" status into more of a an "energy shield". This is a status effect that retaliates against any enemy that strikes them.

We haven't 100% committed to a final theme for this particular effect, but the point is that it should be something incredibly obvious:

Previously, you just had a tiny easy-to-miss "thorns" icon that would appear. This is just a placeholder image, but it demonstrates the basic effect we're going for – an obvious, enveloping field of protection. It seems like it would be natural to overlay certain flavor effects for different ones – electricity, fire, water, maybe even the weirder stuff too. We'll see.

Second, we're trying to make it more clear how buff ranges work:

Not only do we now show a blue radius that represents the buffing character's effective range, we also draw some small connection lines to ensure "yes, this character will be buffed if you place them there", because a circular range can leave some ambiguities around the edges.

Third, we've been working on the design of the Black Hat "Ultimate" character class, the super-expensive-but-super-powerful unit. This character is meant to be able to carry a large part of the battle by themselves, but, we realized they were starting to put a chokehold on our level design variety because you'd wind up using them to just cover three lanes at once. One evergreen challenge with tower defense level design is to break the player out of "always use the same strategy and basic placement for every level" mold.

To that end, we're making the Ultimate a 2x2 character unit (for now). That means that they occupy a full four squares on the battle map instead of one, and adjusting their melee range upwards to compensate.

We're not 100% sure if this is the right way to go, so we may reverse it in the future, but it already makes things feel a little better. It also gives us a natural opportunity to make this character more visually impressive when we get the art in.

Here's the changelog for this month:

  • Replaced "Thorns" icon with "Lightning Shield" visual
  • Change Ultimate to a 2x2 character
    • Update placement preview to show illegal placement for 2x2
    • Increase Ultimate melee range to accomodate 2x2 size
    • Update all black hat levels to accommodate 2x2 character placement
  • Add healer placement previews
    • Show effective healer zones when placing other characters
    • Show connection lines between the healing/buffing defender and the healed/buffed defender so it's 100% obvious when they're in range
  • Collector shouldn't buff themselves
  • Fix icon placement in equip menu
  • Fix "need psi" graphic to say "need juice"
  • Introduce APC enemies in level 12
    • Modify spawn load of APC's
  • Fix some language regarding collect projectiles
    • Update attack / skill descriptions
    • Update tutorials
  • Updated White Hat Boss battle:
    • Add more fast/weak enemies to test AOE
    • Tweak stats of white hat boss
  • Update Black Hat Boss battle:
    • Remove water
  • Fix some null crashes
  • Define effect offsets for defenders so we can position them arbitrarily
  • Fresh new bugs!