Friday, May 6, 2016

Tower Defense Starter Kit v1.2 Update Dev Log #1: Artillery Towers

The v1.2 update for Tower Defense Starter Kit will include a new Artillery tower that fires explosive shells to deal area damage at the impact locations. Unlike all the other towers, I decided to have upgrades to the Artillery tower increase the number of explosive shells launched per cycle instead of increasing the damage output per shot.

The Artillery tower blueprint will also enable the user to specify the parameters that influence the projectile path for the shells. You can set it to auto-calculate based on either constant launch angle or constant impact time. 

Constant launch angle is the better option if you always want it to fire upwards before falling upon the target location. If you want the projectile paths to always look like the bomb towers in Kingdom Rush or Sentinel 4, this would be the way to go. It also has checks for height requirements in order to make sure that only paths that lie within the user defined range will be used. 

Setting it to constant time on the other hand, would ensure better predictability, but I don't think that's usually a concern in tower defense games as we don't directly control the towers. It might be more useful in scenarios involving manual control like say, throwing the grenades similar to how it's done in Gears of War. Still there might be use cases that I haven't thought of & hence the feature is available as an alternate mode of firing artillery shells.

Apart from that, there are variables to control the velocity offsets to make sure that the impact locations of the projectiles (especially when two or three are launched at the same time) get randomized around the landing zone.

Here's a short preview video of the Artillery Tower in action:

For more information, check out the official Unreal Engine forum support thread at:

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