Efforts to understand, improve, or do less harm to the world around me.


Saturday, February 08, 2014

Flash game: Zombie Defense Agency

Played a great flash game called "Zombie Defense Agency" and took down some notes while playing...

  • Use flame tower in areas with lots of area to cover.  The zombies move faster as a result of the flame so this can be counterproductive if
  • Going up in levels is great for increasing tower range and density of damage.  So if you come across a level with very little room, the answer isn't more towers, it's better ones.  I used level 4 towers up until _.
  • Zombies already on the map don't react to the "make an opening - close an opening" strategy (destroy a tower and then bring it back to block off access as they approach).  However, zombies NOT on the screen WILL do this.
  • Furthermore, in later levels, the sort of "turtle" looking monsters are able to smash through a new tower.  So definitely don't try this mid-process.
  • When upgrading, don't upgrade a tower past it's useful range.
I can't tell the difference between a level 4 shotgun tower and a lightning tower.  I guess some zombies are resistant to the electricity?  Their stats are the same but the shotgun tower costs 4x more.
The Heat Wave tower is also an area-of-effect tower.

Fairly obvious suggestions
  • Its always best to have a range of towers for a range of different enemies.
  • Setup "slow" towers apart from one another at places along the route as the slowing effect wears off.  I couldn't see any compounding effect from slow towers near each other.
  • The basic $50 towers are mostly just walls.  However, they aren't bad in terms of range so if one ends up in the middle of the map, feel free to upgrade it rather than sell.
  • If you keep hitting "next" the zombies will group up.  This is fine but you'll want the grenade tower for area-of-effect damage and you'll also want to quickly upgrade towers as zombies pass by.

Almost all tower defense games
  • Put short range towers in corners, ideally so that the zombies have to walk ALL the way around them, thus maximizing power-to-area ratio.
  • Always use natural obstacles to your advantage to increase the distance the zombies have to travel.  The only exception to this is healing targets, for which this might be counterproductive.  I think in this game they're the all-black zombies.
  • Setup towers where they can group up nicely.  This helps use all your towers as much as possible while enemies are in proximity.  This is often the center of the screen, but if there isn't a clear center, just pick a good open area to create a choke point.
  • Sniper towers (slow shooting, high range, high damage) should be posted in the middle of a larger maze area to get the maximum number of shots fired against enemies.  Try to set these up towards the exit to let other towers filter down to the big enemies.  In this game, that tower is called the photon beam.

  • More levels!
  • Sometimes I can't seem to click "off " a tower after selecting
  • Ability to turn off music, but keep other sounds
  • Some kind of note that one of the levels has a very different physic than previous games (zombies cross paths.  Same with the following level.  You can't block either path.
  • Ability to change Flash quality level (it's set to high quality by default and there's no way to change for slower machines or if you want to save power for  process running in the background.
  • When hovering mouse over "upgrade" it should list what will happen IF you click it and then go back to the actual value when not hovering.
  • Call it "leveling up" when you get options for new towers, upgraded towers, or better starting cash.  It's confusing.
  • On the score screen, some note next to score describing how many zombies were stopped vs. destroyed

Monday, February 03, 2014

RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman

It's an inadequate obituary, but as good as any.  At least two of his performances affected me in a very personal and direct way.