PDA

View Full Version : (Feedback request) Azgard Defence - PC Tower Defence game



jaguard
02-18-2008, 09:12 AM
So we have finally completed our port ofpreviously Windows Mobile only game. We have improved a lot of things, and it really is pretty nice looking, well I hope.

Game is now released, but you are still welcome to test it and write feedback.

http://moregames-pc.com

lennard
02-18-2008, 10:43 AM
Well, it's gorgeous. Here are the issues as I see them:

1. Not clear (and I play Tower Defense games) at the start what is going on - you need a simple tutorial and a slightly bigger or more obvious castle to defend.

2. Here's the big one - it runs too slowly (about 9FPS right now - my game is running in the bg while I type this but when bosses come out it feels like 2 FPS). Two things can fix this - a hardware cursor is a must - the big one is beautiful but as a player I don't care - I want a smooth moving cursor. If you do that and have frame rate adjusted critter motion then the rest of your speed problems are not nearly as important. You guys seem pretty capable but if you want guidance on how to speed this up more then feel free to email me directly.

3. Crashed while I was typing this - about 20 levels into the log .exe playing the first, easy level with an unhandled Win32 exception - was running so slowly I would bet lunch (I like a cheeseburger with bacon) that it was a divide by 0.

If you have an affiliate program I would be interested in carrying this (or if Reflexive picks it up so I can use their's). Great, great, looking Tower Defense game, I really hope you address these issues as this could be a classic.

lennard
02-18-2008, 10:46 AM
I'm going to rescind that whole lunch bet thing... it came up in VC++ 2005 with this message:

Unhandled exception at 0x00430c11 in azgardefence.exe: 0xC0000005: Access violation reading location 0x00000080.

jaguard
02-18-2008, 11:10 AM
1. Not clear (and I play Tower Defense games) at the start what is going on - you need a simple tutorial and a slightly bigger or more obvious castle to defend.

Hum.. Yes, I was going to add a tutorial. There actually is an instructions button, which is much like the tutorial, but is static..


. Here's the big one - it runs too slowly (about 9FPS right now - my game is running in the bg while I type this but when bosses come out it feels like 2

This is really odd - what hardware do you run it on? We have a PC with some pentium 3 dinosaur, and it still runs smooth. It only has slowdown with the weather effects on.

You may try going fullscreen though - it should run much smoother.

Oh, OOPS! I know what was wrong. Play version without logging - azgardefence.exe. Logging is done pretty bad, just for localizing the problem. I had a reports that game hangs when people restart the level, so this exe was to help this solved.


If you have an affiliate program I would be interested in carrying this (or if Reflexive picks it up so I can use their's). Great, great, looking Tower Defense game, I really hope you address these issues as this could be a classic.

Cool. We are going to sell through Plimus, so if you have an affiliate account there, this shouldn't be a problem for you.

lennard
02-18-2008, 11:46 AM
Will try the non-logging version.

Reflexive offers 40% to all of their affiliates which might be a bit of a shock coming from the handheld markets where dev. percentages are higher but sales are abysmal. What affiliate rate are you going to set?

lennard
02-18-2008, 12:14 PM
Non-logging version, at least windowed, is still really slow - it's whenever there are a lot of particles on the screen.

Why do my fire cannons not shoot at Goblins Engineery?

Sorting issues - the green gun turrets seem to be blitted seperate from the base part of the guns. The turrets are being displayed on top of my dirigible.

Died on level 26 - maybe this is the same as last time because I recall seeing Goblins Engineery before.

Still very frustrating to use the cursor - 3 times I have had cash to spend and a boss was near the end of his trail but I couldn't use the cursor properly because of frame rate issues. You can use a translucent hardware cursor under XP and Vista - this would be a huge upgrade from a gameplay POV.

jaguard
02-18-2008, 01:08 PM
Reflexive offers 40% to all of their affiliates which might be a bit of a shock coming from the handheld markets where dev. percentages are higher but sales are abysmal. What affiliate rate are you going to set?

I believe 40% are ok. I'm even fine with 50% or more if it gives a lot of sales. I'm not shocked with this percentate, it is actually the bigs' (Yahoo, real, BFG) cut what may sound shocking. When they take like 70-80% it is a bit frustrating.


Still very frustrating to use the cursor - 3 times I have had cash to spend and a boss was near the end of his trail but I couldn't use the cursor properly because of frame rate
I still wonder what kind of hardware do you run it on. It should NOT be so slow. I will however, add a "use system cursor" feature.

OremLK
02-18-2008, 01:08 PM
I played it to about level 60 on whatever the default level/difficulty is. Then the game crashed. I didn't have any performance problems, but my PC is really top-notch, so I'm unlikely to notice any in a 2D game.

I thought the graphics were nice, gameplay was fun, and the overall polish was good. Just seems like you need to put some attention into figuring out the technical problems.

lennard
02-18-2008, 01:17 PM
P4 2.4 Ghz Celeron w/1GB.

Yeah, the portals take quite a cut - not to sound like a broken record but Reflexive do pay a decent 40% with no fine print.

I've noticed you sell your PPC stuff for less than normal PC casual stuff. Some people sell at less than $19.95 but personally I haven't seen that it makes any difference - I would recommend testing the waters at the normal casual/indie. price and see how it goes. I offered Battle Castles at $19.95 and an ad. version for $6.95 and it didn't make any difference - people mostly either want the software or they don't.

Hope you can fix the crash bug, would be happy to test more.

jaguard
02-18-2008, 01:33 PM
P4 2.4 Ghz Celeron w/1GB.
This game would give you like 200 FPS on this hardware (though it's limited to 60 right now). VERY ODD.
Maybe it's time to reboot? Just no ideas. The game uses HGE as a graphics lib, and its proven to work fine in many casual projects. It also runs for a decent 40 FPS on an old Pentium 3 machine.

I'm really interested in solving this random crashes here and there. I guess I'll add an exception handling to actually solve it.


I've noticed you sell your PPC stuff for less than normal PC casual stuff.
Well, just some of it. I also like the 19.95 number, so I will definitely try it with Azgard Defence. The game actually missing the story mode, but I hope its not this crucial.

lennard
02-18-2008, 02:06 PM
Story mode isn't nearly as important as a quick tutorial.

Rebooted and the game started slow again. Went full-screen with weather effects turned off and it got better (around 15 FPS) but still not great. Still crashes, this time I think it was level 24.

jaguard
02-18-2008, 03:19 PM
I think I solved this random crash issue. Would you please check it?

Swattkidd
02-18-2008, 03:42 PM
Hmm, that is really odd that you are getting performance issues. Im running it on a 1.8ghz solo core laptop and getting just about 58fps in windowed mode.

The game is pretty fun from what ive played so far and the graphics look amazing. Although I do agree at first I was completely lost.

Also, IDK if i found a bug or what, but after I would kill all the enemies in 1 wave, lets say its wave 11 and then i push space it says "WAVE 12" and then nothing happens and then in a couple of seconds it pops up with "WAVE 13" and the enemies come again..and it turns out i can do it multiple times, so i just keep pushing space and i get higher level of waves..Dont know if you did that for testing or what but yea..

I won, reached level 257 and got a score of 6630:):P

Maupin
02-18-2008, 03:44 PM
I really like tower defense games, and enjoyed this one as much as any I've played. However those have all been free Flash games (haven't tried Master of Defense or Garden Defense yet). The only problem I see with selling to the PC gamer is that there are so many free browser-based games just like this already out there, though perhaps not with as slick particle effects. In particular I like Vector Tower Defense (http://www.candystand.com/play.do?id=18047).

The game ran fine on my system, no slowdowns whatsoever, though I did experience a few odd crashes. The 2nd time I played I used the logging .exe and didn't notice any odd logged output after a crash... the last few lines were the following:

Draw Buttons.
Pmanager.
Explodes.
Draw Weather.
Begin Scene.
Draw Land.
Draw Enemies.
Draw Towers.
Draw Birds.
Draw Coins.
Draw Bullets.
Draw Flytext.
Draw Flyobjects.
Draw Tools.

Also, I made it to wave 100 and won, then on my next game somehow I had negative gold. Soon after the game crashed and I'm not sure if the negative amount of cash was a cause or not.

My only suggestions (besides a lack of tutorial) are that sometimes the weather effects make it hard to see the screen. And once I clicked on the speed up icon and then was unable to figure out how to slow the game back down to normal speed. (I thought the >> icon would skip ahead to the next wave instead of increasing the speed.)

Also, the score total is updated before the gold flies into the coin icon next to it, which is a really minor nitpick but something I noticed...

Enjoyable game, but as I'm sure you know it's got a lot of free competition for $19.95.

jaguard
02-18-2008, 04:01 PM
Swattkidd
Yes, this was made for testing purposes.

Maupin

The only problem I see with selling to the PC gamer is that there are so many free browser-based games just like this already out there,

This is probably what scares me most :).


Soon after the game crashed and I'm not sure if the negative amount of cash was a cause or not.
Most likely no. Would you bother to check the new version please? (see the first posting)

lennard
02-18-2008, 04:16 PM
Yeah, but there are free Bejewelled games in the world too. This is the most polished Tower Defense game - I wouldn't lead out with a weak price point or you will be stuck with it - you can always drop later.

lennard
02-18-2008, 06:49 PM
Doesn't crash, still pretty slow. I'm wondering if you are doing a lot of floating point in your alpha blitting - that may be the kiss of death for my Celeron.

After awhile I couldn't place anymore units even though I had space on the board, cash and my little icon would turn green. Turns out this was a good time to start upgrading anyhow... but it still seems like a bug.

I also found that the game started out hard and seemed to get easier - could be this was because I was getting better but I'm not sure of that - anybody else have this experience?

Maupin
02-18-2008, 07:06 PM
Didn't crash for me, so maybe you've fixed it. Still runs fast with no slowdowns that I can see.

Lennard, the game did get a bit easier for me, too, but I only played easy maps and got my corrosion and poison towers near the monster starting path and my inferno and doom towers at the end of the path... ;)

I noticed the same bug as Swattkidd - pressing space advances the wave counter without a wave being released. Oddly enough the same bug as in the first tower defense game I ever played, the one by Roman Sanine.

jaguard
02-18-2008, 08:11 PM
Doesn't crash, still pretty slow. I'm wondering if you are doing a lot of floating point in your alpha blitting - that may be the kiss of death for my Celeron.


I don't do anything besides what HGE (http://hge.relishgames.com) does. All blitting is done with Direct 3d (the engine uses 3d accelerated surfaces, so it's actually 3d), and no tough stuff is there. The engine is very fast - I'm getting 200 FPS in demo with 2000 sprites renderred at once on a screen.
No tough gameplay logics either.

Hoooorray it doesn't crash!


After awhile I couldn't place anymore units even though I had space on the board, cash and my little icon would turn green. Turns out this was a good time to start upgrading anyhow... but it still seems like a bug.

Wow. Actually, there's a limitation to 100 towers, but if you reached it, then I'll probably increase it. It's funny though - there shouldn't be so many towers anyway.



I also found that the game started out hard and seemed to get easier - could be this was because I was getting better but I'm not sure of that - anybody else have this experience?

Actually, every level has it's own difficulty set, and they are all split into 3 categories - easy, normal and hard. They don't have exactly equal difficulty even in the same category.

lennard
02-18-2008, 09:16 PM
I don't do anything besides what HGE (http://hge.relishgames.com) does. All blitting is done with Direct 3d (the engine uses 3d accelerated surfaces, so it's actually 3d),

Wow. Actually, there's a limitation to 100 towers, but if you reached it, then I'll probably increase it.


I think that's the problem, I have onboard video w/no acceleration.

Maybe, I was on the first level and had just about every spot filled and, well, it just wouldn't let me place any more.

Would work on the difficulty ramping - seems tedious I know but for the end user it's the whole game.

OremLK
02-18-2008, 10:34 PM
I think that's the problem, I have onboard video w/no acceleration.


Off-topic, but ouch, man. You should try and do something about that :) Although I guess it's good for testing purposes on casual games.

jaguard
02-19-2008, 06:25 AM
I think that's the problem, I have onboard video w/no acceleration.
Well, you can't have a video without acceleration, there is no such PC in a world :). But yes, this explains the whole thing - these onboard cards are awful. They are even worse than some Riva TNT2, released 9 years ago..

PS: With this card, you won't probably be able to play anything 3d except some casual games, I'm affraid. But yes, people who has something like this are in trouble - and so I am, as they won't buy the game.

lennard
02-19-2008, 08:31 AM
Well, the simple fix would be to add a thing to the options, detailed, moderate and light particles. The game would not be quite as beautiful but I think a lot of us would still play it - limiting your audience in the casual/indie PC market over an issue like this isn't a good idea. Lot's and lot's of low end PC's in the world.

jaguard
02-19-2008, 11:12 AM
Will it help? Does it run smooth enough if there're no particles involved?

lennard
02-19-2008, 11:34 AM
You can make me a special build if you want to have me test and make sure (ie just turn off particles all together)... but I'm 99% that it's the particle systems. The interesting thing is that it tends to bog rather than degrade - usually it runs full screen around 17-20FPS but if there are two long lines of critters then it will bog until the last critter in a line dies (I would expect it to ramp as critters die off but it doesn't - there is a noticeable jump up in speed). Also the next waves thing (I expect it's the big translucent circle blit) really slows down as well.

RyanB
02-19-2008, 11:48 PM
I've had a crash both at home and at work. It's happened when I play two games in a row. When I start the third game it crashes. Could be coincidental.

jaguard
02-20-2008, 07:30 AM
RyanB The latest version? I.e. after when I updated it to solve the crash?


lennard
Thanks, well. I guess we'll just release it as it is right now, I'm currently too tired to add anything else into this game.
I am going to update different things later, if it actually sells.

lennard
02-20-2008, 08:58 AM
Sorry to hear that - would love to be able to play the game on my desktop box.

Would strongly encourage you to leave the game alone for a few days, go for a long walk and do what you do to recharge. I love this game and think it could be a huge seller - the last little bits are critical and you guys have already done so much. Anyhow, sorry you are where you are - been there myself - but you should know that you have made something great and it's worth the last bit of effort. Myself? I would load up on junk food, throw on The Police, Rush or some heavy metal and bang out the last bits on adrenaline.

Also, instead of taking my advice you may want to submit to a few of the portals and get their advice. Once again, I would look at Reflexive and see what they think.

RyanB
02-20-2008, 08:59 AM
Whatever version is linked to in your first post, that is the one that is crashing.

jaguard
02-20-2008, 09:30 AM
Sorry to hear that - would love to be able to play the game on my desktop box.



I think there's no way out. Either the game suffers from limitations, or it doesn't run smooth on some 1-5% of users PCs. I don't believe there are many people with such mediocre hardware, ready to purchase the game.

It's not the best example, but Luxor 3 demands much better hardware, and I believe it sells well :).


seller - the last little bits are critical and you guys have already done so much. Anyhow, sorry you are where you are - been there myself - but you should know that you have made something great and it's worth the last bit of effort.

I think everything what should be done is already done, and it's a decent complete game. I've even added the tutorial.
Stuff that really should be added requires a lot of work - i.e. Story mode, more creeps abilities, more towers, more challenges like few roads instead of single one, global upgrades, etc..

lennard
02-20-2008, 11:20 AM
I would say the tutorial and a particle scaling system (pretty trivial to add) are far more important. You've got tons of creeps and depth already. Selling into the downloadable market is selling into consumer level machines, I'm not sure why you wouldn't add a three way option that just ratchets your particles.

jaguard
02-20-2008, 12:33 PM
Tutorial is there already.

Particles are not important - of all the people who tested the game, you are the only one who noticed slowdown. I would have added this option though if it was as trivial as it seems, but it isn't.

RinkuHero
02-24-2008, 01:36 AM
My tower defense game is selling better than I expected (averages about 1 sale a day with next to no marketing and just selling it from my site) so I wouldn't say that tower defense games won't sell because of all the free ones, provided the game is better than most of the free ones. It's good to see more shareware ones being created in any case, it's an under-explored genre if you consider only the substantive ones and not the 10 minute free ones.