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Game Design Principles, Tower Defense

Updated: Nov 7, 2020


I'm excited to announce that I'm working on a tower defense game. As part of my exploration of the design space, I noticed that there's a severe lack of resources discussing the design of tower defenses. Thus I've recorded the first in what I hope to be a series of videos to provide some of that discussion.


This video lays a foundation for thinking about the relationship between designer and player by providing 2 frameworks. The first is a set of player motivations that describe what may appeal to a given player about the genre. The second is a description of the core challenges that players engage with as they play. Check out the playlist.


If enough people engage with the videos to make them worth the production time, I have plans to do in-depth discussion of subjects such as:

  • Maze vs. fixed path design

  • Hard vs. soft counters

  • Damage resistance

  • Map layouts

  • Tower combos

  • Cost curves

  • The effect of various tower stats on DPS

  • Metagame progression

  • Common tower and enemy types

  • Targeting

Come join the Discord, or discuss this on Reddit. I'd love to hear your feedback, and what you'd like me to talk about in future episodes.

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