Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

Gratuitous Tank Battles Alpha Footage

Ok here is a video of me self-consciously talking about GTB and playing it. It’s one of those actual gameplay no-tricks no-bullshit videos rather than the ‘target-render’ bullshot crap and touched-up recorded at half speed then sped up to look smooth things that a lot of big name publishers do. I just ran fraps while I messed about shooting stuff, and talked over it. My voice is a little too quiet here and there, but I always underestimate the SFX noises, and I have to capture both audio to one channel so it isn’t editable. Damn :D

The video is just showing some battles, not the level editor or the unit editor, or any online stuff (still most of that to do…) so its only a snapshot of the traditional tower-defense side of the game, albeit playing as attacker and defender, and with a tad more detail and explodyness than most TD games I hope :D.
let me know your thoughts, and please retweet, link, share, tell your favorite news sites about it etc. I might start doing a lot more in-dev videos about the game, I think they are a bit More interesting than just a normal blog post. What do you reckon?

18 thoughts on Gratuitous Tank Battles Alpha Footage

  1. Looks great. Nighttime could be a bit less dark. Doom 3 demonstrated well that darkness does not play particularly well. WoW on the other hand has beautiful nights. I liked how everything looked when you click on a tower.

    And as for night-vision: Good gimmick, but I don’t want to play like that. Arkham Asylum had that issue a lot: You essentially want to use the Bat-Vision nonstop because it’s just better than normal vision, but it makes the game very ugly to look at.

  2. Hey Cliff,

    The post’s title says “Space”. You probably meant “Tank” there.

    I liked the interface a lot. It looks very responsive.

    I’ve got some (very minor) visual picks. I’m aware that this is an “in progress” video, and anything can change. But here they are anyway:

    The clouds at the beginning felt a bit too occluding for my taste – maybe it was the video encoding though.

    In real life, flamethrowers and explosions look much more bright on night vision googles – it’s not uncommon that they completely occlude the view. Maybe that’s something you can use in your advantage (see better, but explosions, flames and/or flash grenades blind the player for a second, or something along those lines)

    The “black fumes” when you “place” a tank or mech on the starting cells are too black. They should probably look more brownish and transparent.

    But, overall, I liked what I saw. Congratulations!

  3. Wow good job Cliff!

    It would be cool if you implemented an early access alpha system like that of minecraft :) The earlier you buy the game, the cheaper it is, but you contibute to testing it and give feedback for its development!

    Anyways, looks awesome, GJ :)

  4. OooOh outstanding job cliff!

    Loved everything that you have shown to us, and yeah, for sure this awesome TD has more detail and explodyness than any other TD before!!
    I think that i’m in love with the mechs =D

  5. Looks really cool, a sure buy for me as a fan of GSB and having clocked in a hundred hours or so of Defense Grid. I love the fact that you’re playing as both sides and the whole customization from GSB. Being able to direct fire is a welcome addition to TD tropes.

  6. I like the video and the fact that you truly are showing the game as it is now.

    However, may I suggest you to give the cannon sounds a bit more aggressive launch booms? Same with the impact sounds. Of course this could be just the way how smaller guns sound like and bigger ones sound a lot more powerful.

    Also I didn’t quite understand why some units had yellow health bars whereas others had green. Also the overlay which popsup when unit is clicked could be more transparent so you can see more clearly what’s under it. Maybe add a render layer to it which has fading out transparent modifier so it is more lighter at the edges and a bit more dimmer at the center and the unit in the middle could be seen in its natural colors and add a more solid edge line going around the uttermost circle.

    Maybe there could be an option to turn off those red striped squares when you are placing your units because when you place your units it kind of keeps breaking the “getting involved to the game” -feeling when there’s so radical change in graphics popping in and out. Or an option to adjust their transparency to totally off to the state they are now or maybe even fade them out more elsewhere where your cursor is and highlight them more closer to the cursor.

    I really like the way how infantry moves now. They looks so cute now when they move a bit, stop and move again. They look like a bit scared fighters.

    Maybe you could implement some sort of placement queue too where you could drop your units ready to be dropped to the battlefield when enough money is available for the so you can at times concentrate to observation of your units in the front and how they are doing and to what they are dying and so on. Nothing huge, maybe like 3 units queue per square and maybe simple 0-1-2-3-4 second delay timer between drops when money is there and available slot where to drop each unit.

    And maybe you could delete placed units when they are still within those green squares in the start of each path so you could change them to correct unit if you accidently misclicked but this might be a bit too much nurturing of players.

    Also yes, the night time needs to be a bit less dark eventhough the light effects are nice there. The explosions could light the area around them a bit less and flamethrowers and lasers could light the surrounding a bit more. During day it might look better if you toned down the black end smoke of flamethrowers a bit.

    Maybe you could also add some sort of visual noise to the nightvision too like in age old Hostile Waters game. (There’s a let’s play on my Youtube channel for it, search for Let’s play MrBrander. Part 19 has it on from the beginning. The quality is quite low but I think you get the idea, it’s the same blizzard noise as you get with old TVs without antenna.)

    But I do like the way how selecting a turret in night mode lights up the surroundings of it.

    Also I just noticed: Where are all the RPG soldiers?

    Also what I saw from the video, I think the AI could concentrate a bit more placing turrets to corners of each road because there they can shoot longer to each target but in the other hand you have to keep the attacker entertained too so it won’t be just a slaughter.

    Overall I’d say it needs a bit more balancing on the graphical opacity side and bass/treble level side but overall it looks very well done so far and is going to be great after it finishes. :)

    I hope you can take these comments as constructive ideas and not as offensive judgement. Also I’m very tired so not much what I said may not make much sense or be a good idea to do at all.

    Keep polishing it and this will be must buy. :)

  7. Woah, looks great. I guess you’ll reach your goal of surpassing your previous game. Seems to be more tactical than GSB, because you actually have control over the battles.
    @Weedy: I agree to your comment about the infantry. Would be great if they’d go prone when fired upon and generally behave a little more realistic. They could also be able to use grenades against trenches.

  8. Looks great, but how about a slight inner-glow effect for the light beams (in nighgt scenes) and a slight bleed close to the light source. Also, how about a “camera shake” effect. To make players use night vision less, how about making larger explosions temporarily “blind” the player with light (as it would happen in reality). Also, how about making the paths slightly more gritty and less defined. The fire from damaged units could also generate more light. I was wondering if the night effects weapons accuracy in any way and if the turret’s ability to target units are limited to where their spotlights shine.

  9. Yeah, more irregularly shaped paths would look more natural. A real battle wouldn’t have straight “roads” leading directly into enemy territory, flanked by turrets (that’s just a stupid tower defense mechanic, I like games like Revenge of the Titans or Harvest Massive Encounter, where some enemies can choose their own paths through your defenses, IE you must build walls of defenses instead buidling them aside defined paths).

  10. I have to admit I wasn’t convinced when I first read about this.
    I suppose I was thinking ‘same as GSB but with tanks instead’.

    Oh me of little faith.

    Looking very good indeed.
    Am now looking forward to the opportunity to pre-order.

  11. Since it is nighttime, do you have any specific nighttime effects to units. Such as turrets ‘missing’ more, or not seeing units without a spotlight. Do you place the searchlights? If so, as a attacker you could incorporate stealth, which would be cool. Maybe even design some units with this purpose.

    Also infantry with a limited supply of grenades would be cool!

    Looks good.

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