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-   -   Laser Dragon Defense (http://www.wc3c.net/showthread.php?t=109205)

Panto 03-27-2010 02:52 PM

Laser Dragon Defense
6 Attachment(s)
Made by Panto / Beta Testing
It is my pleasure to open the Laser Dragons map for general testing! This map is in what I consider to be the last stage of testing before release. If you will help me test it and provide feedback, I would be happy to include you in the credits in the list of beta testers!

Laser Dragons is a one-player survival game. You control an immensely wise and powerful Laser Dragon from one of the five dragonflights, charged with the duty of protecting all living creatures by preventing pesky curious gnomes from destabilizing the twisting nether.
Practically speaking, this means you need to prevent flying machines from flying through space into a black hole. If too many succeed, the fabric of reality is rent asunder and, well, that's bad. Your goal is to last as long as you can.
On the bright side, you get lasers! This adds a touch of realism to the game.

Hopefully any other questions you have will be answered in the game, maybe even during the Star Wars IV homage opening. Please provide thoughtful feedback and don't hesitate to ask any questions you have, as knowing what you need to learn will help me to make the Help section of the map more robust. Also, please tell me what the highest level you reached is and what dragon/laser combination you used to get that far!

Now get going! That Dragon isn't going to wait forever!

NEW RELEASE March 24, 2010. Added:
Moar powerups, including Multi Laser, Frag, and CRAZY.
Boss fights every 5 levels!
Dodgy buggers!
Whelp health indicators.
Increased rate of awesomeness!
Numerous tweaks and polishes.

EDIT:NEW RELEASE April 5, 2010. Added:
Tanker ships, slower but tougher to kill.
UI improvements, such as a percent floaty whenever a life is lost, timer between rounds, etc.
Updates to intensity; the dragon responds quicker now and the difficulty ramps up faster
Starcraft increase speed each level
General fixes.


Beta test, all features implemented. Now it's time to polish them and release!
This forum also appears to be for maps in testing. So there's a thread there too.

EDIT: Consolidating download links. Find it here!

assassingao 03-29-2010 01:57 AM

Seems like a nice map, I'll try to download this ASAP.

Panto 03-29-2010 05:53 PM

Thanks. I look forward to hearing what you have to say!

assassingao 03-30-2010 11:10 PM

You should really have multiplayer. Anyway, a few bugs:

-Casting any skill would just cancels out my pointer after a split-second period, making it hard to summon the green orbs that automatically fires at stuff.
-Typo: in the intro before the game... (Detroy -> Destroy)

The game pace is too slow and bosses are just meat tanks. With stuns and AoE spells.

I suggest making the dragon faster, lower the boss' health but make him faster or something. Make him more like a boss, not a buffed version of the helicopters.

I also suggest that left click shouldn't be disabled. But allows right clicking on enemies for 'automated attack' wouldn't hurt. The dragon's animation are the one of those things that keeps the gamepace too slow somehow. By the time he attacks, the enemy walked at least about 100 range.

I really like the customization, though.

Again, I think that after faster gameplay mechanics are implemented, along with multiplayer, I swear that it will be popular on Bnet, somehow. It's really easy to get started and jump into the game.

Nice usage of soundsets, though.

I also look forward to hear from other testers of this map.

Panto 03-30-2010 11:38 PM

@assassingao: Thanks for the feedback!

Re: clicking:
Interesting. There's absolutely no reason that your left-click should be disabled. You can only select the dragon as a unit, but you ought to be able to left-click for all abilities. I haven't had any problems. One of my earlier testers had a clicking issue but discovered his mouse was stuck.

One thing that I did do was make it such that the dragon will attack any enemy you left-click on. Early tests with people who weren't very familiar with Warcraft showed that they wanted to left-click everything, and since you can't select other units anyway, it seemed like a good idea to add that functionality.

Re: game speed:
I'm still ironing out the pace of the game; thanks for your comments! You may a good point about the time between the clicking and the dragon's attack. I can reduce the time between click and attack. However, I want his facing angle to be important so he will have to turn to face enemies, but not so much so that players are left clicking wildly.

So too, the dragon can't and shouldn't attack any target instantly; he has an attack-speed that can be increased in various ways.

The dragon levels pretty quickly, and I certainly want the first several levels to help new players get the hang of things so I don't want to drastically speed up the spawn rate or the speed of the gyros themselves. What do you think is the best (read: funnest) way to increase the game's pace?

Re: multiplayer:
I considered making it a two-player game at first, but in the end I have settled on a one-player, and I'm very happy with how it handles. In honor of the arcade-style airplane-shooter games like 1942, I may eventually implement a Player 2, but it won't be for this release.

EDIT: Re: bosses:
I'm not sure what you're hoping for here, exactly. Can you be more specific? The boss should be a real threat to the dragon's survival and unlike the regular gnomes he confronts the hero directly, with attacks and abilities.

Please don't hesitate to post anything else that may occur to you.

assassingao 03-31-2010 03:56 AM

I just saw only the first two bosses, after that the level kinda rapes me outright :D (I'm quite a noob myself so don't take that seriously.)

Anyway, I think the bosses should be more...(sorry for my word) creative. No player like to have their character disabled.

The bosses could be untargetable by himself, but launches homing rockets at you...you have to zap it repeatedly to make the bomb go to his direction instead, I guess :P Just make it more intense or something.

Or maybe he could just unleash 'stampede' that you should dodge, then fire back at him

As for the game's pace, I am completely stumped for it's solution now, sorry! (aside from silly suggestion like increasing the 'copter's speed which I doubt it would work...)

Maybe add in more powerups which activates when the dragon hover above it, such as "knockback powerups" that knocks enemies away from the center of the twisting nether, or "transformation" which increases the dragon's movespeed and make his attack auto-aim itself for a few seconds, etc.

But more variety to the helicopters wouldn't hurt. After all, you could even add in a steam tank and 'pretends' that it's a high class hovership!

More important than that: add more variety (more enemy unit types, maybe it launches a slowing EMP to your direction that burns mana, or just drops a floating transmission, calling help from others). I know how it feels to play an arcade, but somehow it doesn't feel as fast as an arcade game goes. (Compared to minime's cannon defense for the nearest example that I have known.)

Here's some ideas for the boss:
The boss itself is weak in terms of hitpoints. But he is FAST and he keeps opening warp zones wherever he goes.
These warp zones then proceeds to summon even more minions to flank the twisting nether.

You can get really creative with this kind of genre so far, so why not try something out? You can't really go wrong with it.

Panto 04-05-2010 11:15 PM

NEW MAP, April 5, 2010.

Getting closer to done! See the first post for the map and more details.

EDIT: BTW how do you guys feel about points? I can implement a point system without too much work, but I'm not sure it's not just extra fluff. You can already tell how well you're doing by getting to a certain level.

Skrow 04-06-2010 04:49 AM

Finally had some time to test this game out.

I loved the nod to star wars at the beginning, and the interface for choosing dragons is really clever. Why did you decide to let the player choose male or female? Is there any difference other than the voice?

You just suggested the idea of a point system, and I think that could really add to the game especially if you have multipliers for kill streaks. This metric would help the player know how well they did between attempts, and would also open it up to other game mechanics such as items that boost your score.

I think the game needs multiplayer or some adjustments to the abilities. As others mentioned, the game feels slow. But I'm not sure that increasing the speed is the problem, but the gameplay itself feels a little sluggish, and in part this could be due to limitations with the editor. Early in the game you blast each copter as it comes in, no sweat. Later you can get overwhelmed and you see 5 copters slowly moving towards the center and you feel powerless to stop it in time. When fighting bosses, even if you know that the AoE is about to hit you, your dragon can be too slow to move out of the way.

Since the game isn't multilayer, you can take advantage of this fact by having some really interesting dragon abilities and boss fights. Just think of anything that sounds fun and you can do it; single player games are loaded with opportunities to get creative.

I played with each of the dragons and here are some thoughts on each.

Red- Had great success with red, but I think it should be more obvious when the copters explode to deal AoE damage. The healing ability seemed useful sometimes, but the ability itself didn't make the game more fun.

Black- Seemed OK, the damage buff was good especially on bosses, but the AoE move was not as good as green or red's, and I often let guys leak because I tried using the AoE, but would have been able to kill the copters faster with a direct attack.

Blue- Didn't like blue, the blinking got my brain all confused. I would like to see a mechanic where the dragon blinks automatically to my destination. I think this dragon could get a different feel if the gameplay focus was about quickly blinking and doing the AoE attack. It's kind of like this now, but I had too much trouble executing it.

Bronze- The abilities seemed really good, especially with the cooldown reset button so i could repeatedly stop time. The attack speed buff was good, but didn't enhance the fun of the gameplay.

Green- I liked green overall, but the AoE was too similar to black and red.

Since this is a single player game, I think it's pertinent to ask not "what abilities could I make?", but instead consider "how do I want the game play to feel?" I think I would prefer each dragon to feel like a different gaming experience. You could follow some classic gaming archetypes (even though they may sound cliche and unoriginal) such as the AoE'er, crowd controller, summoner, or fast attacker.

Red could be about laying down preventive circles of fire, or even have some extra strategy thrown in like having bigger areas of fire the farther you place it from the center.
Blue could be automatically blinking so you can cast a point-blank AoE, but otherwise slow moving with a short attack range.
Since Bronze is about time manipulation, you could give the dragon a really noticeable speed boost (makes the player feel powerful), and even have some unconventional skills like going backwards in time (use the ability and all units reset to their position and hit points from 3 seconds ago).
I liked Green's ability to buff my whelp friends. I loved making the whelps to help me, so I would enjoy playing a Green dragon that could summon twice as many whelps as normal with some other skills to boost them.
I know you're almost done so most of this is kind of pointless, but at the very least please do something about that blue dragon :)

I liked the diversity of the lasers. Some balance suggestions:
-The Line laser took too long for me to use when I really needed it, and didn't seem to do enough damage.
-The multi-target one was decent near the middle
-The bouncing attack one was very multi-purpose and I liked using it, but the first attack should do as much as or more than my standard attack. Early in the game I would use it against a tiny trash copter and it would sometimes be left alive with just a little bit of health. If I had just attacked normally I would have been better off.
-The stationary orb was the best of the ones I tried, I used it several times and had a lot of success with it.

My thoughts are that the game was very impressive and polished. Overall suggestions for improvement:
-Speed up the gameplay (not necessarily speed up the game)
-Create more opportunities for the player to feel more powerful or in control, I want to be a badass chopper killer.
-Add some more diversity in the gameplay between dragons

Panto 04-06-2010 01:49 PM

Phenomenal! You've given me several excellent things to consider. Good work, sir! I will certainly post a new edition once I have time to implement.

Panto 07-27-2010 01:07 AM

I've finished the map and released it here!

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