My New Game “Symbiosis”: Rethinking of the Classic Tower Defense Genre

Symbiosis I started to work on “Symbiosis” on August 2011 (more than 14 months ago). Trying to create the game in the popular tower defense genre, I’ve also wanted to make a significant twist to the classic game mechanics. So I combined two mechanics: tower defense and galcon.

The first prototype was created on August 23, 2011.

First prototype

Alien crystal life form came from space to destroy humanity. Our army and weapons turned up powerless against hostile crystals. And only Earth’s nature was able to resist the ruthless invader.

Player’s main objective is to destroy crystals using powers of plants. As simple as that! And I’ve done my best to make this process as challenging, interesting and addictive as possible. It took 3-4 months and a few complete redesign iterations to polish game mechanics and came up with really fun gameplay.

Player can control the battle switching between different states of plants (growth, attack and defense) and using special ability “symbiosis” that makes some plants more powerful on the expense of others. Crystals can also switch between states and their spawn rate increases with time.

I’ve also added the flexible system of difficulty settings, in order to make game even more addictive and increase its replay potential. Player can set up difficulty before starting any of the 15 stages, and the harder setting he choose – the more experience he get after completing the stage.

Each new level gives a player some skill points which can be used to unlock special abilities and spells.

Symbiosis skills

Achievements in Symbiosis are not only beautiful shiny icons but also additional experience and powerups that motivate players to fight for them again and again.

Feedback and final polish

I finished work on code and graphics in September 2012 and uploaded the game to Flash Game License site. I wanted to receive feedback from colleagues-developers before opening it for regular bidding. I’ve also ordered the music and sounds from the talented composer MrFuby.

The best and the most detailed feedback were received due to Russian game developers’ forum. I’ve got a long list of improvements and tips on how to make the game really great. Here are only some of the updates that where made during last few weeks:

  • interface redesign (I changed the place where states change buttons were located);
  • improved auto-attack (I upgraded computer AI);
  • more polished graphics for GUI (with textures);
  • more intuitive and interactive learning;
  • decreased difficulty on first stages (to make them more comfortable for casual players);
  • additional skills (such as health regeneration and critical hits) for crystals;
  • improved control (more natural way to change attack target);
  • Etc…

Here are a few in-game screens that can give you an idea on how the game looks at the moment:

Symbiosis ingame screen

Symbiosis ingame screen

I’ve also created Symbiosis game trailer to make it simpler for sponsors to evaluate the game:

UPD: Symbiosis have been already released and you can play it here.

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