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Rocket Defense

Rocket Defense is a tower "brawl" game where you take the role of a mad scientist who wants to build the most advanced science facility for his experiments. His nemesis, another mad scientist doesn't want any competition, so he decided to send out his robotic bombs and rockets to destroy your tower. It is your job to use turrets, bombs, missile launchers, lasers or any other weapon to defend your tower form his attacks and complete your tower.

Rocket Defense Features:

  • Varied weapon controls fit for the iPad. The three weapon classes each provide a different style of touch controls and play style, which challenge you to find best strategy against your various foes!
  • Unlock, upgrade and customize. Choose the weapons you want to unlock and attach them to your tower, discover your favorite "tower build" as you try out all the weapons.
  • Survival mode and story mode. Fight for the high score on the leader boards by lasting as long as you can in survival mode or try to build facilities around the globe and take over the world in story mode!

I collaborated with Dark Acre to create the game, however it is currently no longer in development.

Roles

  • Game Designer
  • UI Designer
  • Art & Animation

Platform

  • iPad

The Team

UI Design

Visual Style

I based the style of the UI off old radios and audio consoles to help give the game a retro technology look. The overall clean and cartoony look of the game is meant to help attract a casual audience on the iPad. The clean look also matches the style of the player's tower vs. the steam punk look of the enemies.

Upgrade Screen

I needed to convey a lot of information to the player on the upgrade screen while preventing the player from getting confused or overwhelmed. We wanted to attract a casual audience, so it was very important to make the game look simple and inviting.

I decided to organize the UI in three separate pieces: the Weapon Bar at the top, the Stat Panel at the lower right and the Tower Upgrades at the lower left. This helped distinguish the different type of information and what that information does to the player.

  • The Weapon Bar holds the weapon functions like unlocking new weapons or dragging them onto the tower. It also gives information as you tap on one of the weapon squares, such as the weapon notes, serving as a tip on the weapon play style or the graphs on the speed and damage.
  • The Stat Panel is like a main menu and tracks the player's economy. The atom icon is the currency in the game that unlocks new upgrades. The bricks represent materials, which are a refundable currency that drains as the player drags weapons on the tower. Finally is the menu buttons, I used symbols where possible to make localization easier.
  • The Tower Upgrades is simple because you only use it to unlock more floors for the tower. It only needs to show the cost to upgrade, what requirements the player has to meet and the materials the player will earn.

Main Menu

I designed the main menu to be familiar with iOS players by following a gird format rather than a typical list format. This uses the touch features of the iPad to its most potential by giving large, square, buttons that the player can tap on to select.

The menu introduces the retro cartoony style of the game by using old TVs and cupboard doors as part of the UI. The "Story!" and "Survivor!" text gives a look of a black and white B movie title. The closed cupboard doors create some mystery of what's behind them. If we added a new mode to the game, we could easily replace the doors with a new button for that feature, a fun way to introduce it!

Pop-up

The game uses the pop-up screen for content like pause, options or any Yes/No questions. The design is dynamic to fit those needs, so we can remove the bottom button panel, shrink the overall size vertically or resize and change the buttons with text.

Art & Animation

It was my first time creating sprite animations for a game, so it was quite a learning experience for me. My general goal for the art was to make the enemies contrast the tower's visual style.

Colour and Shape

The enemies share a colour theme of a murky grey and a brownish-red and are all rounded in shape. Their parts connect with displaced bolts and have smoke stacks that aren't straight. This was all to give them a uniform steam punk feel that makes them look created by one person, the nemesis scientist.

I used the same technique with the tower pieces that are instead very square, clean and modern with brighter reds and more colour. This gives the main scientist a feel of being organized and functional, someone with a clever plan (to take over the world). I continued this with the main character's look as he's very square himself and walks stiffly.

Finally, the sharp and elegant look of the weapons contrasts with the smooth and disjointed enemies, which help the player distinguish friend and foe as they are battling it out.