Tag Archive: strategy


Intro Picture for Tower Defense games - showing Defense Grid: The Awakening and Plants vs. Zombies

Tower Defense games have, in my opinion, stagnated – but there’s hope!

Think of what a tower defense game means these days – a top down view of a field of play, where AI controlled agents enter from one or more known directions, seeking to damage your critical resource so much that you fail.  The way you counter this is by spending a renewable resource to strategically place specialized buildings that will neutralize certain types of these AI agents before they can damage the critical resource.  Neutralizing an agent results in a gain of renewable resource, and the cycle starts anew.

Sound like a tower defense game?  Yup.  However, it could also be describing…

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A few scripting examples in Stencyl, showing my 'Click to Select' behavior

Event based, drag-and-drop, pretty colors and asset pipeline simplicity - scripting in Stencyl

I keep wanting to make more games – tiny, little, niche games that would have a market of one (me) – but, as it has been pointed out to me in the past, I have been irreparably scarred for life by a love affair with BASIC.  Try as I might, more ‘grown up’ languages like C++ (or even C#) just baffled me with their convoluted asset pipelines and frustratingly long-winded setup and grammar.  Even dabbling with something accessible like XNA had me throwing up my arms over scope, types, and constructors.

Lately, I wanted to dabble with some Flash game making – 2D specifically – and after failing to find all the correct versions and up-to-date tutorials for Flixel, I discovered Stencyl.  Oh, my word – how it’s been a balm to my BASIC-crippled mind!

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Nifty, somewhat mind-bending (if you’re not used to it), live-action video of two cloning/time travelling opponents sending their duplicates out to fight each other.  First, they can only send out one copy each, but with each round’s end, they can send another (differently colored) clone out to accompany the first.  The fun is when the clones start setting up opportunities for each other.  Then, when actions of later clones, interrupt the behaviors of earlier clones (the “Unlinked!” effect over their heads).  Think of it as squad based combat, where you are the entire squad.  Single player co-op, even.

Some people, who know who they are, might recognize some of the ideas here 🙂  Either way – it looks fun!

(Seen over at Reddit, in the Gaming subreddit).

I admit; I’m terrible at chess, so I find it somewhat peculiar that I have a love of, and some small amount of skill in, top-down, turn-based, strategy games like XCOM and Valkyria Chronicles.  While the royal game has me getting lost in permutations, games like Frozen Synapse have me bluffing and double-bluffing my opponents like Sun Tzu himself.

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I’m sorry the video above with rather overblown guitar soundtrack can’t convey the spine-tingling sexiness of the UI in Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars.  The 3d screen on the new 3DS had been very well designed for – the semitransparent portrait windows hover above each other, tastefully distinct, letting your own eyes do the focusing and letting things in the foreground or background fade tastefully into insignificance.  Even the lines of dialogue float serenely above the portraits, unconcerned with the painfully constrained 2d ancestors it’s had to deal with.

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