About month ago, two peculiarly luminescent comets draught across the sky. While one featured a blue color and immediately vanished again behind the horizont, the red one bolted right into the capital of the united species of this planet. The shock wave tore apart buildings and roads and devastated most of the town. Many lost their lives.
As if this was not enough already, the sky darkened the day after and it became bitterly cold. Only the of a strange material consisting meteorite seemed to spend some even weirder soothing warmth. Though, the sky cleared a bit within time, the cold persisted and drove us to leave this place since a reconstruction appeared impossible before we would freeze to death. We fleed to the adjacent shire of count Dracula who there possesses a big castle which is directly worked into the Crystal Mountains. We also brought the meteorite with us whose still thermal energies emitting nature easily mesmerized us.
Since that time we try to get along with the small rations here and hope that the sun will return to us someday. Yet, the problems pile up: Besides the lack of food and the ongoing frost which we call the "Big Winter", the surrounding forest's inhabitants are becoming very anxious, too. The last three weeks, there were twenty attacks and break-ins by wolves and other confused animals. Most of us refugees do not dare to leave the castle anymore. And how long will the strange stone keep on giving us strength and hope?
The task is to protect the castle or more precisely the meteorite from all attacking invaders. If the meteorite's hitpoints drop to zero, your team loses. Everyone damaging the meteorite is killed. Therefore you may give some lifepoints away to reduce the attackers' strength but this way you will lose their loot too (gold+exp+items maybe). After you have successfully finished the last boss, it's your victory.
The meteorite has another functionality to be kind of like a commander tower the first player or host can control in order to cast some useful skills.
The game is divided into six chapters, displaying the various invading forces Wintercastle encounters. Each chapter consists of six levels featuring different sets of monsters. The first five levels each come consecutively with only a timer window separating them. The chapter's boss follows then, when all previous spawns are gone.
Every player controls a unique hero of the listed ones below. These heroes come with two custom spells + one (of two) ultimate(s) and can buy additional spells from the local store (you must think of the gold loot as general goods the castle can offer and acquires from the corpses (among others)). The additional abilities are addressed by charged items. Nevertheless, there are still other permanent and chargeable items they have to share a limited inventory with. While the custom spells are buffs and other unique skills that fit to the characters, the buyable spells mostly interpret warmth and frost variants of damage spells and are therefore better replaceable among each other. However, all spells are levelable via skill points you receive from hero levelup. So, there is specialization you might only reset with a book of retraining.
I am currently reconsidering whether I include optional quests that I had originally planned. The normal system should be completed first. Even without these quests there are some features that should make defending more complex if my concepts work out. I strive for a defense game of "go and stop" (especially on higher difficulties), you have to kite the enemies away and reorganize the battle positions among your party to not take too much focused damage and maximize your own. So, for example, you have to estimate where and when to use channeling spells and although the heroes have different roles, they will overlap a bit. The tank won't be able to absorb every damage and the ranged damage dealer cannot safely stay in the third line forever. The spells and effects are also laid out that way that some get advantage from a near-standing party/enemies and others from the opposite.
Rough overview, terrain is under development
There are three passages you may enter Wintercastle by. Next to the main entrance, two invulnerable towers shoot AoE rocks at the incoming spawns. This portal also receives more spawns than the other sides. Then, there are the equal side entrances that each possess a healing fountain. These and the towers should stretch the game and hinder from simply concentrating all players in the central place in front of the meteorite. It's also more convenient to show new players how they have to play. Outside of the castle, in front of each doorway, you may kill snowmen (I hope you haven't watched Snow Blood before) to temporarily gain possession of them. They grant sight and if you have all three of them under your control at the same time, you will get an extra bonus. The sight is to foresee looming spawns because there are some extra pushes from random directions and to reveal invisible units.
Among the spawns some champions flavor the gameplay and use items and spells to enforce the group. Items have the advantage that they may be charged and therefore having more spawns and champions won't accumulate too much.
Dracula (The Count)
He is the owner of Wintercastle. Even before the Big Winter he had been living here secludedly from society, although nobody exactly knows why. However, he did not hesitate to share his residence with the refugees. This and his always acurate and self-controlled appearance make him pretty popular.
Sir Smokealot (The Stormpike)
is an old friend of Dracula. Since his parents died early and nobody provided him, he went to the bad and committed some unpleasant crimes wherefore people hated and repelled him. One day, he tried to steal from the count and was caught by him and morally confronted. Finally, Dracula invited him to live at Wintercastle. Later on, against the will of his master, Smokealot left the castle in order to participate in the far-eastern war of humans, dwarves and fairies against the might-driven elves. Only when the cold shock applied, he decided to returne. He never could get rid of his old addiction, to smoke.
Rocketeye (The General)
This fighter of dwarvish origin was present in the war, too. They say he had rivalled with half a dozen of elfish officers on his own. He is a peaceful fellow who yet always needs some action. The tavern is a place he likes to go to sometimes. This ties him to the next person.
Stormy (The Barkeeper)
is the publican of his own little tavern which is situated near to Wintercastle. He is a really drunkard what is signalized by the keg he always carries around. He sees a friend in Rocketeye, who pays a visit occasionally, and is a likewise halcyon, tamed panda. Well, if you decry his beer, you might get to know his bodyslam.
Aruruw (The Huntress)
Lady Aruruw is an excellent huntress and archeress. Effortless, she hits an apple off a tree from a range of 50 meters (approximately 2000 units in the world of warcraft). Her white tiger Mukkuru has 3 hp and needs a lot of run.
Mana (The Fairy)
This mignon creature is a fairy from the East. When her home was completely wiped out, Sir Smokealot rescued here and she followed him out of admiration and homelessness. She is not able to fly anymore since her wings were torn out.
Thrall (The Shaman)
The last in the round is an orc. Hm, how does he fit? He pretends to be a shaman that has left his warlike tribe because he refused to execute one of their enemies. Ever since then, he seeks for protection from the Big Winter as well as from his own tribe he is being chased by. Count Dracula bestows admission upon him. Time will tell whether he does not abuse his faith.
Well, only me actually. I have searched for assistants but these came sparely online and did not participate actively (and lacked knowledge). So, actually nothing was made by them.
The idea to Wintercastle dates back to christmas 2007 I believe. Its creation was started in spring 2009 but was then recently afterwards put on ice because these that originally wanted to help needed a timeout and I wanted to take the opportunity to upgrade my other map. This year, I have started again in april and reworked the whole trigger system (there was not that much before anyway) as I'd gotten some new techniques and made it cleaner.
Up until now, most of the basic system is finished, basic spawn, defeat condition, infoboard, unit behaviors, hero selection, hero revival, all hero spells, a set of the buyable skills, some other. I had an introduction dialog between the defenders but this one was too long. Some items are ready, I have started to program a bit of computer intelligence because the spawns also have abilities and some shall have special behavior.
I hope to release a demo version within the next month, featuring the first two arcs. To do so, I still need more items, to select the right buyable skills, some system work, maybe to improve the existing skills a bit, the spells for the meteorite, to enhance the terrain, the spawn champions, the arcs' bosses, to extend the spawn's ai, to balance and to write tooltips.