Wave Defense of Font Awesome Creeps
Make a game that:
- Works on the browser, whether it's my PC, my iPad, and my mobile phone. There should be very little to no slowdowns whatsoever on the latter platforms.
- Less than 300KB total download, gzipped, not including analytics and social media sharing buttons.
- Can be played as both a high-APM game, or a slow cerebral planning game, or a button-mashing game. Can also play itself, that is, you can set it to be like a "wallpaper" and watch the computer go back and forth against itself.
- Allows both keyboard and touch input.
Your goal is to destroy your opponent's base by overwhelming them with your creeps. You take turns with your opponent in moving and spawning creeps.
A rock-paper-scissors battle is initiated when a creep moves to the same square as an opposing creep. Both creeps are destroyed on draw. When a creep wins a battle occuring in a shield/base entrance of an opposing player, the shield/base takes 1 point of damage and that creep is destroyed.
You get 3 points for every battle your creeps win, and 1 point for every draw. In addition, for every shield you destroy you get (20 * initial shield health) points and when you win you get (50 * initial base health).
Button mashing works surprisingly well but it will not give you a good score or a fast win.
It's easy to be distracted when you're focusing too much on a single lane. If you can't keep track of all lanes yet, pick a different creep randomly for the other lanes every 2-4 turns.
I've wanted to make a simple browser game for quite some time now, both as a way to practice things outside my comfort zone as a back-end dev (ie. game, front-end, mobile stuff), and to have something I can play (and enjoy) on my phone that I could proudly call my own. My initial attempt turned out to be too ambitious and I went nowhere with it.
Then came 2048. Drama-filled history aside, 2048 reminded us that simple rules and gameplay can make up for lack of high quality assets and game details.
Long story short, I ended up making a parody of DotA-like games, oversimplifying the gameplay down to reverse lane defense (eg. Plants vs Zombies) with rock-paper-scissors battles.
As mentioned above, the game has to be as simple as possible. So instead of HTML5 game libraries, I used stuff that's more at home with web designers than game devs:
- Font Awesome - As the game's name implies, all of the "sprites" in the game are actually Font Awesome icons. So no need for me to make my own hi-res sprites.
- jQuery - I know, I know, the cool kids are using stuff like Angular or plain JS. But this practice isn't about figuring out stuff like animation and modern cross-browser coding - I don't have time for that. So I just went with jQuery for animation and data retrieval.
- Bootstrap - Same thing with jQuery. I'm here to practice basic JS, not worry about responsive design. Glyphicons not used to reduce the downloaded files.
- PersistJS - I could've gone with cookies for local storage, but a bit of searching led me to this small library that allows you to use non-cookie stores like localStorage without even knowing it's there.
- Mousetrap - Keyboard shortcuts are a must especially at higher difficulties.
- Fastclick - Eliminates 300ms mobile click lag.
- Bootstrap CDN, cdnjs, and Github Pages - for fast serving of files
In addition, I used a couple of Ruby libraries to handle asset precompilation and live-reloading. See
Gemfile for more details.
I recorded the process of creating and refactoring this project. The list of videos can be found at my video game streaming site.