Happy Birthday Desktop Tower Defense!

March 11, 2008

DTD is one year old this week! In this post I talk about how the game came to be, how it grew, how many plays it has and how much money it has earned… Read the rest of this entry »



December 9, 2007

That’s right folks… It was 145 days ago we wrote our fist ever line of code and over 2,500 man hours of blood, sweat and temper tantrums later… The Collective is LIVE! The site is now free for all to use and register! So head on over to The Casual Collective and get your game on! (after you have read the rest of this blog post of course)

Casual gaming meats social networking, and gets jiggy with it!
We are not just another flash game portal that just lists games that it finds on the web. Read the rest of this entry »

Week 1 Update

July 8, 2007

We made a good start on the new site this week. I’ve been working on the generic multiplayer lobby and Dave has been creating the account system. Of course, we couldn’t just do any old multiplayer lobby and account system so we threw in a few of our own improvements :o) The lobby widget itself works with the SmartFox comms server which has so far proven to be easy to set up and integrate. As well as handling the lobby the widget will also provide the multiplayer API for any games that are loaded into it. We are aiming to test the multiplayer version of DTD at the end of next week. We have also started to syncronise our vision of how the site is going to function and have worked on filling out the key features. Dave’s experience of building large account driven sites is going to come in very handy!

I have also been working on the ‘Deluxe’ version of DTD which will be in downloadable form only. Flash gains extra performance when run locally so it will allow me take advantage of better graphics and larger maps. It will also contain advanced features such as save/load, tower pre-setup and end of game tower stats.

Dave introduced me to Napster this week and now I am hooked! While I am not a fan of the low quality of MP3 audio, the ability to find pretty much any album you want and play it straight away is very very cool. Oh and I also came up with a new TD concept that will use the DTD engine but will be played in an entirely different way. All you people who wanted to manually target the towers will finally get your wish, kinda ;o)

And so it begins….

July 5, 2007

We started work in earnest on Monday (2nd July) Paul came over to my house and we sat down and started planning out what ‘the site’ will look like and do. We also ordered a new server to run it all on and started the process of creating a completion to design the sites logo on worth1000. We will be sure to post on here and in our forums when the comp is open so those of you who are a bit arty can enter and have a chance of winning the $200 top prize. EDIT: the comp to design a logo will start on the 7th, I will post a link when I have a URL.

I kicked Paul out early as I got a call over the weekend saying my new PC was ready for collection, superb! Bring on Crysis & Alen Wake. On Wednesday Paul came over to mine again, Paul started work on the first of our new games and I laid down the sites database and account creation system. I got all in a twist with Regular Expressions and Paul had a bit of a headache with some game code, but that’s the way it goes some days.

I think it is about time we told you what ‘the site’ will be. You all know it will be a place to host our games but that is only the tip of the iceberg. We want to bring the social side of gaming to the forefront of on-line Flash games with a site that has everything built around groups and friends. When the site is ready we will move Element TD and Desktop TD on to it so they benefit from the new features as well as helping to test it and iron out any kinks. We feel that both our TD’s and flash games in general would be so much better if they were multi player, with this in mind our first new game will be Multi Player Desktop TD! I don’t want to give away any details of MPDTD at this stage other than that it is ‘vs’ not ‘co-op’ play and will be real time multi player using only the Flash plugin, for the rest you can use your imagination :)

I leave you with a screen shot of our servers task manager, we went to town with the specs as we both hate sites that take ages to load and we want to give you the best experience possible. Sweet looking ain’t it ;) That’s 2x Quad Xeons sitting there waiting for you to all come and play!

A busy week for us both.

June 24, 2007

Sorry for the gap between posts, we have both been engrossed in our individual projects as well as talking about things we will be doing together. As all of you who do not live under rocks will know Desktop TD version 1.5 was released by Paul and it is finger lickin good. I have not been slacking either as Vector TD version 1.2 was released on Monday and ba-da-da-da-darrr you’re lovin it!

Work on the next game for Candystand is going well, the graphics are going to be provided by the guy who is responsible for the comic strip in the back of EDGE magazine, so it should look very sexy! When it is looking presentable I will do the usual YouTube teaser.

Over the weekend I went to the Goodwood Festival of Speed (thanks Jason for the ticket), an event which has been going on since 1936 in the South of England. The show celebrates all things speedy and is famed for it’s hill climb event. You can check out my Goodwood video on YouTube or the official festival site for more info.

Anyways, I hope the updates to our TD’s did not make your weeks too unproductive, and I will try and update you all again soon.

DTD Update

June 7, 2007

Work on version 1.5 continues… broke out my marker pen and the scanner to produce some more leet artwork for the new towers:

New Ink Tower Ink / Blob Tower

Boost Tower Boost Tower

Finally plumbed in the Boost tower so it now err boosts. My request for translations on the HDG forum has gotten a good response – someone even posted Chinese. ApparentlyChinese Creep is ‘Creep’… but it looks more like someone bending down to insert a dvd into a dvd player to me! The problem with asking for translations is that I actually have to put the text into the game. Meh. French and Spanish have been completed after a marathon copy & paste session.

This is all a big experiment (and not a small amount of effort) to see whether an independant game can generate significant extra plays when translated into other major languages. I’m hoping yes, or oui, or ja, or hai.

On a side note the site’s eCPM has doubled since the start of the week. Result.