The last few weeks we were really busy starting with the very first level, adding more features, changing stuff, bug fixing and last but not least balancing the game. Here comes a brief summary about how our in-game tools help us to balance, manage and create each level for MarZ Rising. You might know balancing is very important, especially for a Tower Defense game. That’s why I have implemented several in-game tools which help us balancing and setting up each level. It is a great advantage using these in-game tools, for example if you wish to test different values for your enemies you don’t have to open up the whole project in unity just to change one value. Actually it is a little bit like modding, everything is based on external files which are loaded during the game. Those files, as long as they are not encrypted, can be modified in an external text editor as well. Later on, even Beta testers can change values for testing without the need of having the whole project.
(In-game) DATA TABLES:
All values for units, buildings and super-weapons can be changed inside of a simple excel-like data table inside of the game. Of course the values are not random based. Miriam was very hard at work figuring out how to balance the whole game. She literally dived for days inside of her excel sheet table hell. :) It looks like we are making great progress with balancing all values, but it’s still a lot of work to do.
(In-game) WAVE EDITOR:
Of course every tower defense game needs waves. Our waves are built right inside the game. We have a nice and simple wave editor where you can setup the spawners, time and the enemy types for each wave. This way pretty much everyone can build or change the waves. Also a very cool tool for testing and polishing.
(note the GUI is the standard Unity GUI, ugly but functional ;))
(In-game) RESOURCE FIELDS:
In MarZ Rising you will have to mine your resources by mass extractors. These can only be build on the black/blueish crystal fields. Those fields can be painted inside of the game with a custom editor. We actually use our tool TileWorldCreator – which is available in the UnityAssetStore – for this purpose. I have slightly modified it for MarZ Rising. But in fact, those crystals are just some tiles which are scaled depending on the border distance and randomly rotated. It is a great example of how flexible TileWorldCreator is and how you can use it for a completely different use case. More info about TileWorldCreator here:
(In-game) LEVEL SETTINGS:
In addition we have some more level based settings we can set in-game. Like the whole camera movement, the resources and which buildings can be build for the current level. And of course there’s the good’ol console for executing custom commands or checking some debug logs.
All those tools progressed during the development and it is an ongoing process of developing them further. I think we are pretty good equipped with these now. While I had to develop them at first, the speed improvement we gained thanks to those tools is awesome. Now we have to keep pressing all the buttons, changing values, and test…test…test.