combine two incompatible genres
In Grantchester Meadows you take control of a medieval kingdom. You need to manage the kingdom’s economy as well as defensive power. Stand strong against evil invaders, who are drawn towards your meadows.
The Game is controlled with the mouse (to click the buttons or the towers).
This is a mashup of a Clicker and a Tower Defense, originally created for LD41 within 48 hours.
We used aseprite, Visual Studio, git, C#, SFML.Net (and a custom framework github link).
Music was done by DoctorTurtle.
Okey, here I go with the freshly baked feedback!
Art: The art is very workable but doesnt click together well enough as so to be memorable. Stuff represents properly what is supposed to represent and the amount of assets is very rich, but theres this lack of an "art direction" to give it some character. Do you really need all the colors that are there? If not, maybe cut them. It would probably "look better" as a 2-bit game or with a very limited palette, as there are no complex movements that require high definition and complex colors. On the other side, the effects (red sparks on damage, money particles, coin animation) add a hell of a lot to the experience, end even if simple, they make the whole visual package feel a lot more alive.
Music: I just love the theme. It just feels good and calm. It feels like being in a rich lady's garden looking at the fields, or something like that. Fits a lot more with the idle game elements of the game than the tower defense part, tho. You never really feel threatened, even when maybe you should. I guess this is more of a gameplay cocern, but trying to cram two very different experiences together and making the music not affected makes that duality lose its weight a bit.
Gameplay: In general, the connection between the idle section and the TD section feels a bit too lose and antagonized. When I use money in the idle section, I dont really know how many money will I need for the TD section or if spending money might actually help me more, so the two "games" are sometimes opposing one another instead of working together, like I get the feeling that to win in one i need to not play the other, and that doesnt feel very good.
Thats especially prevalent in the first idle section, because one expects buying knights will help defend the kingdom and you are not really aware of the TD section that will come after and you need to save money to upgrade towers. the two halves feel a bit too disconected, with almost just the gold between them, a resource that both halves want spent.
The idle section is nice, classic cookie clicker fun. Maybe a bit hard to appreciate the impact of purchases, both caus eof the time limit and the fact that one expects different untis to do different things, and the lab stuff not taking effect until later and not having a clear numeric impact on what does crit mean, how much freeze chance do I have… I feel theres also a problem where clicking is punished cause time advances faster and that is so counter-intuitive, but I might be mistaken.
The TD section feels with a very raw DPS check. Theres little decisionmaking involved, apart on guessing in the previous idle section how much money you needed to save. I suppose its very minimal, without neither turret placing or actual decisions on turret upgrading, mainly due to jam time constraints. Its still rewarding to see the ivnaders getting stopped, tho.
Final thoughts: The main thing I'd do to make a game like this, but bigger, is keep everything in one screen. The turrets should always be available to be placed and upgraded, and probably the clicker resource generation could be placeable farms. Then you could do stuff with enemies attacking your farms and more interesting mechanics emerge. Waves should probably be strictly time-based as to avoid confusion.
I do believe that a game like that could be quite interesting, and its interestingness would be proportional to the interlockednesss of the idle and TD systems. I could see people playing something like that in the browser.
A lot nitpicky for a jam game :D Its a very complex and rich game for a jam, and the mechanics and balancing seem super polished. Hope my ramblings are useful! :)
Hello there, fellow designer. Here is my feedback sir:
I liked the idea, tower defence + clicker, and the game was pretty fun to play, until i broke the game. The gameplay was amazing balanced at the start, but due the exponentiable growth of the clicker economics, the tower defence becamed obsolete. The upgrades of the towers are too cheap, they cost 200p at level 30, but the generators are at the same time generating 400p by second. The idea of another currency for the alchemy lab upgrades are great because it avoid the inflation, would be great a similar mechanic to the towers.
Another thing that annoyed me was the change between clicker to TD, the time only pass if i buy upgrades or click on the coin. So if don't do nothing during this time i can gain a lot of coins to spend on the towers. Also there is a lack in the interaction between the TD and clicker, the tower upgrade could have been done in the same time as the clicker upgrades.
There is a lack of what anything does and i took a long time to understand that the upgrades at the right are money generators . A description would help a lot.
The controls are pretty good, played without major problems and the interface is well developed.The pixel art is decent and what the giant coin does is very well demonstrated because of the particles coins.
I would play a bigger version of this game without doubts.
I think this is a cool idea! Remember the theme for LD41 was "Combine 2 Incompatible Genres" - this is ecaxtly that :)
I do agree with the feedback already posted though, and I like Raindrinker's idea of a single screen. It could be interesting to skip the whole management of single towers and instead make that part of the clicker game. E.g. start with arrow towers, and you can buy a single upgrade for all those towers to make them steel arrow towers or whatever.
OR, whenever you purchase an additional tower, you can place it on the map just like traditional tower defense games. (I kinda missed not being able to add towers in the current version)
I think there's a cool game in here, you just need to play with some different ideas. The waves of invaders should probably be triggered automatically, as currently you can wait indefinitely before you click start (while generating gold!).
Also, I love the music, very atmospheric!
This is a great concept… marred by a couple issues and unfinished balancing :D I'll start by simply relating my experience through the game:
I was quite enthusiastic when first launching it, excited by the cool music and that Economy screen that was promising some idle clicker fun. I started trying upgrades a bit, reading the various options… I was busy wondering why my purchase didn't trigger a rate upgrade immediately (I saw a delayed change, which I thought may have been just a coincidence) when I got interrupted by a new screen.
Ok, a tower defense mode, cool! I started the wave, then realized I could upgrade my towers a bit (nb. I didn't understand the third upgrade icon at first, for "shooting speed"), and defeated the wave without issues. When I got back to the economy screen, I started looking around, figuring things out a bit more, and looked for any progress indicator that would let me know how much time I had before the next wave. I couldn't manage to do much before I was interrupted once again. The second wave was more difficult but manageable. Then when going back to Economy I resolved myself to click hastily and buy whatever I could… I think I managed by chance to stay alive until day 4.
When starting the second game I was under the impression that upgrades were not reset due to a bug. I wanted to play fair and tried to quit the fullscreen game - except neither Escape nor Alt-F4 worked (I could still Alt-Tab my way out, so I'm nitpicking a bit there ^^) After relaunching the game, I simply took the time to understand the Economy screen and how the bonuses roughly balanced, then started again.
My new run was even less successful than the previous one so I gave up and decided to continue while keeping the upgrades. From there on, I was having fun and the game turned out to be quite easy, and even increasingly easy as the attacks went. I quickly had a few of every possible upgrades and squashed the attacks as they came. It even seemed like the realm was less frequently attacked, with the red message staying on screen long before tower defense mode was actually enabled.
All in all the game was fun once I got into it, but the barrier to entry was frustrating due to:
*to be honest I also didn't think of looking at the gif in the game description
I've noticed it has been suggested a few times already, but I definitely agree with the idea of merging both modes into a single continuous gameplay, where we could either switch between both modes at any time or (even better, but with more effort) access everything from a single screen. I think that would solve most of the accessibility problems. That and a bit more energy spent into balancing the game could really help make the game shine as much as it deserves. I also suspect there were initially plans to let the player place towers on the map, it would have been cool but I didn't miss that feature that much in the end, trying to optimize according to what was already there was already interesting.
I didn't mention the art yet so I'll say it was quite good, simple but effective. Some aspects like the plain background on the Economy & title screens, and the basic buttons feel a bit bland but the pixel art is cute overall. I recognize the style of Thyl's Tale :)
Well, I tried. But I failed to play. The game seems to force exclusive mode full-screen into a TINY resolution which is extremely bad experience from a player perspective. It it did fullscreen non-exlusive, or just left itself in a window it would be fine.
Note: My resolution is weird as I use nVidea Surround with 3 1080p monitors for a "single" monitor of 5760x1080.