Element TD, Vector TD and the day after

Recently we had the opportunity to talkt to David Scott, the maker of the popular Tower Defence Flash Games. He answered a few questions, interesting and less interesting ones.

Hello Dave. First: thanks for your great games and reducing our spare time! But now its time to get really famous, introduce yourself to our lousy readers.

<blockquote>David Scott: Where to start? I guess at the beginning, my name is David Scott and I am a 28 year old game developer living and working in the UK. It has only been the last 2 or so months that I have started calling myself a "Game Programmer" as it is only recently that I started making games for a living. After leaving university I went on to program websites / create 3D animations / edit video and manage servers for a small local company. While I was there I was always messing around in Flash making games and little interactive toys in my spare time (and when I should have been working) A few games I made did quite well but it was never the direction the business wanted to go. I left after 7 years to work for another company in New York doing similar things but now mostly working in Flash. I still was most happy when I was making games, so after a year I quit and launched Flash Element TD which had been way more popular than I could have ever imagined with over 50 million loads in the last 6 months.</blockquote>

How’d you came up with the idea porting a WarCraft-III-Mod/-Map to Adobe Flash?

<blockquote>David Scott: I love playing TDs in WarCraft, and was always on the look out for a decent TD in flash to play, but the ones that were around were either very basic or very buggy. I thought I could do better so went about making a Flash one of my favorite TD’s, Element TD, in Flash. Once I had done the code for the creeps moving along a path and towers hitting them the rest fell into place.</blockquote>

Tower denfence flashgames are very popular at the moment – how do you prevent others from stealing your .swf-files?

<blockquote>David Scott: You can encrypt the swf files to prevent people taking the code, you can get the swf file to check the domain it is loading on is your domain name, but I found the best way to beat the "flash pirates" is to stop fighting them and encourage them to take it. I run ads in the game which show as it loads, these ads earn me money each time they are viewed, so with the ads in the swf it was a good thing when someone took the file and hosted it on their site. They get money from ads on their site, I get money from ads in my site, win win. Also when a score is submitted the user is taken to my site, so having 1000’s of copies of the game spread over the Internet is a good way to drive traffic to your site.</blockquote>

Darwinia, Geometry Wars, … – isn’t there enough computing power or why you used this 80s-Tron-Style?

<blockquote>David Scott: The graphics in Vector TD are the way there are for 2 reasons. The first reason is I was playing Geometry Wars on the Xbox 360 and loved the style, the second reason is that the slowest thing in Flash is the drawing of graphics, a clean vector style is much faster to draw than a complex bitmap one. Flash was built around vectors, so it makes sense to take advantage of that. Also been vector I was able to indulge in my love for particle effects and lasers :)</blockquote>

Sure you earn gazillions of euros a day, will your next game feature Simon Pegg for lead acting?

<blockquote>David Scott: Hehe, maybe a HotFuzzyTD or some sort of Zombie TD. If him and Nick Frost want to do a game give me a call lads!</blockquote>

What do you expect from you cooperation with Paul (the guy who made Desktop Tower Defense)?

<blockquote>David Scott: Great things! Paul started making Desktop TD after he saw my work in progress on Element TD, he has picked up the whole Flash thing very quickly and is doing some pretty neat stuff in it. We are currently (he is sitting behind me) working on a multiplayer version of Desktop TD as well as a site (<a href="http://www.casualcollective.com" target="_blank">www.casualcollective.com</a>) to host it and other games we make on. There are tones of Flash games out there, but only a tiny fraction are multiplayer. We think that the future of Flash gaming is in the multiplayer arena so we are planning to be the place to go to play this next generation of Flash games.</blockquote>

Ok – hot-seat or split-screen would be great – what plans do you have?

<blockquote>David Scott: Well we are working on a Multiplayer Desktop TD game, which is similar to the single player game but with a leader board which shows who is currently ahead and minimaps for the other players mazes. It is very fun to play and we hope to have that out next month (August 2007).</blockquote>

Warning Forever features a "boss evolution" model (different enemies for different strategies), would that fit in your replayability concept?

<blockquote>David Scott: I think one of the key factors to all TDs is that if you do the same thing you get the same result. That is to say that you can play the game then replay it and tweak your strategy. If you had something dynamic like "boss evolution" this may take away from the replayability.

Is homebrew for Nintendo DS or any other mobile platform a topic?

<blockquote>David Scott: I got quite excited when I heard about Nintendos plans to open up the Wii platform and Wii shopping channel for developers. Who knows, I think the NDS would be an excelent platform for a TD, I love Advanced Wars and the NDS version is the best to date simply because of the ease of control.</blockquote>

Last question: If we ship our editor Flint to you as a sex slave, will you feature a HUGE Rebell.at logo in your next game?

<blockquote>David Scott: First send me a photo as I am very fussy … only joking, i’m a slut, send em over!</blockquote>

Thanks for the interview.

Cool? Dann erzähl doch anderen davon! Danke! :)