[SA Game Jam 2019]Mad Stax

Entry type: Hobbyists
Team Size: 4
Jam time: 48hours

What's better than towers? Towers on top of towers! Stack your best combination of towers in a frantic tower defence! Each tower has its own rules, and can be stacked with other towers for better (or worse) effects! Compete with your friends online with an online leaderboard. Highest points gets you to the top!

Controls:
Standard RTS controls: Move the mouse to the edges to move the screen, or use WASD. Left click a tower in your inventory at the bottom to select it, left click to place it on the ground, right click to cancel placing. Esc to pause or exit. READ THE TOWER DESCRIPTIONS! We're not responsible for you misplacing your nuke tower ;)

What we made
We made all the art, shaders, code, and sounds, with the exception of the nuke sounds.

Yes, we have dabbing zombies.

Windows download link:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bv9OdChfq3IcRVADxADkOEFG0HBlDrur/view?usp=sharing

Screenies:
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Thanked by 2dammit eviL_joSh

Comments

  • AhhhH! PANIC SCREENSHOTS AND BUILD!
  • ok so i had a lot of fun playing this game....Great job very enjoyable i played until wave 10 then i died. i will definitly play it again. My only bit of critisism is that i couldnt tell how big my stax were, i placed a nuke on something i thought was a 5 stack but turned out it was 4 stack. Other than that i really had fun , and i guess thats the point of games right!!!


    i did a video review too u can find here:

    thanks for your game guys .
    Thanked by 2Sassages eviL_joSh
  • if i could say more id say i also appreciate the way it eases you in (doesnt bash you with a tutorial) and sorta lets u figure things out.
    Thanked by 1Sassages
  • Messed up the 1st time and didn't know towers had descriptions somehow, but after another try, made more sense and is a pretty neat idea, the wording was a bit confusing to test everything in the chaos, like wasn't sure if next to also could mean on top of another tower sometimes but it's mostly from the lack of testing. Good game :)
    Thanked by 1Sassages
  • Thanks for the video review @jaunathin! Yeah we were debating whether it was too harsh to have that requirement on the nuke tower, and we shoulda given a better indication of how high a stack is, but this kinda feedback helps :)

    Thanks @leonalchemist2 for the nice comments! When we say "next to", we mean "above or below", I agree it can be confusing haha.
  • What an amazing entry! I had a lot of fun playing this one and really loved the artwork. The shaders were especially nice.

    The fire and tactical nuke towers were my favourites. I think the different combos you can create by adding different towers together was really interesting and added something more to the game that made it more than just your classic tower defence game.

    The stackable towers was also a really interesting touch to the game which added yet again something that most tower defence games are missing.

    The only things that I didn't like about the game or that could be improved upon is the ability to delete towers that you have placed. Even if you don't get the tower back, being able to delete them would be of great help because of mis-clicks. And that is the other issue. Sometimes a mis-click happens because of a tower being stacked high and then the lower tower behind it doesn't always get selected. It's a little difficult to explain but it requires great carefulness from the player to get these towers placed correctly.

    One of the best games of the ones my group played. Great time playing it and great time trying to get the top score. (When we finished then we had the top score (Space Trash is our name on the leader board)).
    Thanked by 1Sassages
  • no way man love the requirement on the nuke tower makes it better ...haha im still playing it well done guys
    Thanked by 1Sassages
  • Thanks for the kind words @eviL_joSh ! It's amazing to hear that people are enjoying it and actually competing for high scores! Yeah, I agree on the tower deletion part. We had a few back-and-forths on it, and at one point you could right click to remove a tower, but every now and then we would right click by mistake and delete a tower we needed. What we probably should've done was allow you to delete towers, but with a more deliberate button press required. Also, congrats on still being top of the leaderboard haha!
    Thanked by 1eviL_joSh
  • Sassages said:
    Thanks for the kind words @eviL_joSh ! It's amazing to hear that people are enjoying it and actually competing for high scores! Yeah, I agree on the tower deletion part. We had a few back-and-forths on it, and at one point you could right click to remove a tower, but every now and then we would right click by mistake and delete a tower we needed. What we probably should've done was allow you to delete towers, but with a more deliberate button press required. Also, congrats on still being top of the leaderboard haha!
    I agree I think maybe after right-clicking, a dialogue box could appear and ask if the player is sure they want to delete. Something along those lines anyway.
    Thanked by 1Sassages
  • DUUUUUUUUUUUUUDE

    First off it was amazing. I really enjoyed it.
    The leaderboard was a nice touch.

    I played it twice so far and I can say the game was really fun.

    Some compliments
    Crafting in a tower defense, brilliant idea
    Combo's on towers also really fun, gives me some idea on what I could do then lets me get on with it.
    Dabbing zombies were great

    Some criticisms
    I found it tough to find out how many blocks I had on a tower
    Descriptions need some clarification* (my only real gripe)
    Does next mean, next to or on top or below? Perhaps use adjacent instead
    Could I place a fire, boulder, ice and it would still work? The descriptions were quite in-depth but made it hard to find out what was happening.
    I had huge trouble seeing the towers presumably dropping from dead enemies in the midst of the huge amounts of effect in the tower destruction. Also the drops were essentially invisible when behind large towers making it very difficult to get.
    I assume the tower "loot" is random, it made it frustrating sometimes as I think it is round 7 is incredibly difficult unless you had lucky drops. The one round I even got a second nuke which seems a bit busted, I never got to use it as I didn't have a 5 stack tower.


    Some suggestions
    Add some indicator to say how high a tower is, and what the max is.
    Add someway to see tower drops better, perhaps a button to pick them up? Or some vacuum-like system. Or make them come to the front of the screen, on top of everything else.
    Give a grace period between waves, I felt so rushed the whole game. It would've been nice to have some small grace period to appreciate my creation.
    Camera zoom : especially with the drops being hard to see, having to move around the whole map continuously then missing drops because I am somewhere else was annoying.
    Descriptions need to be shorter and easier to read, or perhaps have them up somewhere else so I can read them while not dying to dabbing zombies
    STATS, I love stats in my games, Min maxing is a huge part of gaming. I want to know how much damage does stacking fire give me, I want the exact numbers for the arrow towers when I stack.
    e.g.
    Is two triple snake towers better or one single 6 snake stack.
    Does towers keep scaling all the way to 6 when stacked or is it only doubles.
    Without playing over and over I wouldn't know.

    All in all, great game. I had alot of fun and I would love to see what else you could do with this. Some interesting enemies with immunities would be interesting perhaps. I realise the comments may seem more negative than positive, however I really enjoyed the game but pointing out everything you did right would take too long and wouldn't be as useful.
    Really well done
    Thanked by 1Sassages
  • edited
    I refused to comment until I made it onto the leaderboard :)
    Finally managed to get 2nd (edit: 1st B] ) place after getting incredibly lucky all game. Had to play quite a few rounds to test different layouts and figure out exactly how towers interact.

    I finally understand how the boulder tower works: The description says it has to be "next to" ice or fire to gain its ability. "Next to", in this game, means "stacked on top or below". In my mind it meant that the boulder had to be on a stack next to, but not on the same stack as, a fire/ice tower. Same for any other instance where the words "next to" are used.

    This game is great. Visually pleasing, sounds wonderful and feels satisfying. Having my entire defence rotate and click like clockwork was lots of fun. They started making a pretty sick beat in one of my attempts (that being said, I'll be selling my mixtape The Sounds of Mad Stax soon). I loved trying to solve the puzzle of where to place my towers in order to be the most effective.

    Usually, tower defence games rely on a compensation and upgrade system as the puzzle, which I'm horrible at. This was a much nicer approach.

    The only things I didn't like (or want):
    - I reaaallllyyy wanted to zoom out. It was hard to keep my eye on the whole board and pick up all the dropped towers, especially when it got crowded.
    - The descriptions "next to" are confusing. "Stacked with" might be a bit more clear.
    - Would love to see even more towers in future <3

    From a competitive angle, I disliked the level of randomness (but this isn't an esport, so ignore this comment).

    Since the game was score based rather than survival-based and higher scores meant having to kill your foes as early in the maze as possible - the optimal strategy was clearly to put ALL my towers at the start, which made the rest of the map feel a bit useless for the first few waves.

    Regardless of these small notes (which really didn't make the game any less fun). I was incredibly impressed and will probably continue playing Mad Stax from time to time :p
    Thanked by 1Sassages
  • Excellent work guys, Its a nice twist to the theme of crafting. I like how each tower segment can effect the abilities of the tower segments next to it as a game mechanic, as it provides a reason to why the towers can be made up of different tower segment types.

    As a suggestion, for the progressing rounds you can progressively add the harder enemies into each round, which will give the rounds a bit of diversity and more smooth increase in difficulty of the rounds. : )
  • Wow! Thanks for the fantastic comments @SighlentNite and @GiGGa! Really glad you're enjoying it! We love the criticism you guys gave, and we'll 100% keep it in mind if we ever expand this idea. Most of the criticism you guys gave are all really easy fixes, which makes me really happy haha. I'd just like to focus on a few points of the criticisms as a response (in a good way, I love discussions!). It'll also allow me to bring up some fun points that happened while we were working on it!

    - The descriptions: 100% agreed the descriptions are a bit long-winded, and confusing ("next to" was a bad choice haha). If we do want to expand on the game, I think it's a better idea to go with more visual-oriented descriptions ("show, don't tell" and all that).
    - Stats: Fantastic idea! I love it! it'll give the player a goal to look forward to and give them an exact idea of how strong things are.
    - Interesting Enemies: Fun idea. We could go far with weird enemy rules.
    - Randomness: Agreed. We all said the same thing, but by then we had 3 hours to finish. A solution would be to have a currency that the bad guys drop, and you use that to buy the towers you want. Eliminates the randomness, and we don't have tower drops anymore that get lost in the maze of bodies.
    - Towers right at the start: Agreed on that point as well haha. The "more points the faster you kill them" rule was hacked in during the last 10 minutes, mainly because if anyone clears the game without ever leaking a monster, they'd have the highest possible score, and then there's no point in playing again. So we just threw that in there to always give a higher possible score for people to aim towards, even if at that point it becomes a contest of who's the luckiest :P

    Anyways, thanks for the kind words guys, y'all making us blush! Also, I thought I was good at the game until I saw your scores, now I'm not even on the leaderboard anymore, so thanks for that xD
  • Introduction
    Our team also made a tower defence type game. Taking that in mind I will probably sound biased when saying that the style does lend itself well to the crafting theme. I must say that it was really enjoyable and after an embarrassing amount of trial and error (and a fair bit of luck), I was finally able to make it to the top of the leaderboard.

    The Good
    Well mostly everything really, not much I can hate on especially considering that it was a 48-hour submission. The Leaderboard makes the game rather replayable. The gameplay is quick and intuitive to learn, and the graphics stack up quite well. My favourite thing is the guy with the knife in his heads animation.

    The Bad
    Not Much. But if I have to nitpick, sometimes the cursor gets lost in the heat of battle, and the camera panning speed is a little quick on the edges of the screen. Luck does seem to be the biggest factor in achieving a record score (referring to double nuke) not that RNG isn't a good thing sometimes.

    Final Thoughts
    Level 6 to 8 is BRUTAL! This game is really fun and well polished. Maybe a little lacking on the crafting side of things but in 48 hours one can't expect much more than they gave us.

    Reviewed by Gerhard Botha from the BioCraft Team
    Thanked by 1Sassages
  • Amazing game!

    I really liked this game and found it to be a blast to play!
    The camera felt really smooth and the addition of the nuke and the google maps screenshot were both brilliant ideas!
    It was also awesome meeting all you guys at vega and i cant thank you enough for being so cool/chill with all of us.

    Well done guys!
    Thanked by 1Sassages
  • Really amazing game for the amount of time given, loved the stackable environment and defenses, the enemies made me laugh. What i did find hard was that around round 9 the game became impossible and the damage dealt wasnt enough against the enemies.
    Thanked by 1Sassages
  • I really enjoyed this game really takes me back to the days of Tower defense customs on Warcraft 3.
    The dabbing zombies were great.
    I really enjoy the way that the towers work differently and are affected by the other towers and that they can be stacked.
    Great work.
    Thanked by 1Sassages
  • The game is super addicting to play and feels extremely polished. I think that the game art was amazing and I really enjoyed meeting you guys at vega and watching the game build up and I thank you for taking the time to come and have a look at the games that we were making as well. I think that the models are amazing and the overall gameplay was great as well.
    Thanked by 1Sassages
  • Please let me know if you're based in CT, JHB or where?
  • Hi @Fengol , we're all from Durban. We lugged our PCs to Vega and took part in the jam there :)
  • Sassages said:
    Thanks for the kind words @eviL_joSh ! It's amazing to hear that people are enjoying it and actually competing for high scores! Yeah, I agree on the tower deletion part. We had a few back-and-forths on it, and at one point you could right click to remove a tower, but every now and then we would right click by mistake and delete a tower we needed. What we probably should've done was allow you to delete towers, but with a more deliberate button press required. Also, congrats on still being top of the leaderboard haha!
    We have been dethroned : C
    Thanked by 1Sassages
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