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Fire With Fire: Tower Defense -- and Offense

04-02-2014, 03:11 AM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 19
Fire With Fire: 2 Players, Online Versus, Tower Strategy.

Hey TouchArcade.

We're a small collective known as Skull Skill Studios, and we'd like to share a game which includes the fundamentals of tower defense -- placing weapons to guard against oncoming hordes of foes -- in addition to giving you the chance to play as the hordes themselves.

We invite you to give online multiplayer a try, with servers open every Monday from 3 to 7 PM EST for those with beta invites. The beta is for PC, but the final product is planned across Android, Window, OUYA, and iOS devices.


Exhibition against Stephen, the host of Greenlit Gaming on Twitch. [July 15 2014]

Friendly match from our first Beta Monday. [July 28 2014]

I'll explain the basics here for anyone who'd rather read before playing. The mechanics are also detailed in video form below:

Building Towers
Forging A Maze
Tower Upgrades and Levels
Airborne Threats

Essentially, the gameplay is a player vs. player system, composed of defense and offense.

On defense, you'll do what you'd expect from a TD. Enemy Creeps will move along the dotted path on a square field, and attempt to burn down your trees, ending the game. Your job is to build mazes, make the Creeps' path as long as possible, and stop them before they reduce your trees' HP to zero. Place Towers and obstacles on the field to construct an effective path.

Towers come in families of 5, and can be upgraded into stronger and more varied types. For instance, the image below represents the Blaster family:

Placing a Tower on the field grants a single Tech Point for that particular family. Spend these to unlock 2nd and 3rd level Towers, which cost 3 and 4 Tech points, respectively. There is a limited amount of space on the field, so you'll need to plan wisely and consider which Towers you want to upgrade. We have 4 Tower families complete, and we plan to add more in the future.

On offense, you've got to ensure that your waves of Creeps safely reach the opponent's trees. Each type has its own strengths and weaknesses--from increased defense to regeneration to flight capabilities. Your goal is to choose Creeps that best counter your opponent's Tower choices. For instance, choosing airborne Creeps to bypass Towers that only attack on the ground level. Finding synergy between different species of Creeps is vital when sending out waves.

Similar to Towers, Creeps come in pairs. The more waves you send of a basic Creep, the more it levels up and the stronger it becomes. At a certain level, a basic Creep can be upgraded into an advanced version, which are generally stronger and more difficult to deal with.

There are 5 pairs of Creeps ready so far, and of course we have more concepts in store.

Fire With Fire will ultimately be a cross platform endeavor that will allow you to arrange online matches against players on various devices.

All that said, we're looking forward to discussing the game's progression in this thread. More than anything, it's important for a competitive game like this to have a sense of balance, so we're interested in hearing opinions on which Towers and Creeps seem most efficient and which ones need tweaking. Any and all thoughts are welcome, and I'll answer any questions that are out there!


Skull Skill Studios
Fire With Fire on Facebook.

Theory Georgiou | Lead Developer & Game Designer
Stephen D. Gibson | Music & Sound Design
Anna Sandy | PR & Marketing
Brian Shepard (myself) | Art & Visual Direction

Last edited by NthDegree; 08-11-2014 at 01:23 PM.
05-22-2014, 06:47 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 19
We're still working hard on getting an open beta version ready around the end of June for everyone to try. Until then, I thought it might be a good idea to show some basic tutorial videos on how the game works. These will mostly show how the game is played on defense, going over subjects like placing Towers and creating strong mazes.

For the sake of this demonstration, I'm using a single-player build of the game that sends predetermined waves of Creeps each turn, and I can choose when the next wave starts. Normally, however, the player you're up against would select which combination of Creeps to send on each wave - and waves will come while you're building Towers, so speed and efficiency are key.

Your camp has fruit trees dotted across the field, and your job is to stop the waves from burning down all of your trees. Do this by building Towers.

Towers can be selected from the rightmost sidebar. Once selected, choose a square on the field to see a preview of the selected Tower, then click the Build button to place it there.

Keep in mind that building Towers costs Degrees, which are shown in the upper right corner in yellow numbers. The lowest level Towers cost 100 degrees, so spend wisely.

Once you've set up a few Towers, you're ready to defend. When the wave begins, Towers will automatically attack any Creeps in their range. Different Towers have different ranges, firing speeds, and attack power. You can check a Tower's capabilities by hovering over its icon in the right sidebar.

If you want to follow along with these videos, remember there's a single player demo for PC available (the same build I use to record these) so you can get hands-on experience with the basic game mechanics.

More to come soon. Feel free to leave feedback on the game itself, or if you feel these tutorials can be improved in any way. I'll add them to the first post for the sake of convenience.

05-23-2014, 02:11 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 19
Maze building demonstration.

The dotted lines show the path that waves will travel along. It's wise to build Towers in such a way as to make this path as long as possible. This will make it tougher for Creeps to get to your trees, and give you more time for your Towers to defeat them. Before you click the Build button, you'll be shown a preview of how the maze will be affected, so you have a little time to plan before spending any Degrees.

You can Sell back Towers if you want to rearrange their positions or replace them with a different Tower type. You can also place Rocks or Pillars to reshape the maze; these cost less than Towers, but have no offensive capabilities, so they're useful if you're short on Degrees.
05-24-2014, 08:10 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 19
No questions so far? I hope that's a sign that these videos are clear enough; trying to make these as accessible as possible. I want to make sure that someone who's never touched a tower defense isn't put off by the learning curve.

Upgrading Towers on the field.

The game consists of four Tower sets: Blaster, Mortar, Seeker, and Tesla. Each set is made of 5 individual Towers that can be built on the field. The first is the Basic Tower, which costs 100 Degrees, and is generally the weakest but most balanced of the 5. These can be built any time.

Building one Tower grants the player a single Tech Point, which can be used for upgrades. Basic Towers of a particular set can be upgraded into one of two branching pathways, consisting of 2 advanced Towers in each path.

The 2nd upgrade requires 3 Tech Points to unlock and costs 150 Degrees to build; 3rd upgrade Towers require 4 Tech Points to unlock and 200 Degrees to build. Therefore, unlocking a single pathway would take 7 Tech Points, and unlocking all 5 Towers in a set would require 14 Tech Points. You can either build advanced Towers directly onto the field or upgrade Basic ones that are already in place.

The other purpose of Tech Points is to allow you to level up a single Tower (no more than 3 times, represented by small yellow triangles near Towers on the field). This increases the chosen Tower's damage output. Leveling up is a good alternative to upgrades if you have a few spare Tech Points but are short on Degrees.

Keep in mind that Tech Points aren't transferable between Tower sets. So if I build 3 Blaster Towers and gain 3 Tech Points, I can't use those to unlock an advanced Mortar Tower, for instance. Likewise, Tech Points gained from building Blaster Towers can only be used to level up Towers in the Blaster set. Available Tech Points are always listed next to each Tower set on the right sidebar.

Each of the game's 20 Towers have their own strengths and drawbacks--some fire slowly but are incredibly strong, some do no damage but support other Towers, and some attack several Creeps at once -- the list goes on. In a single match, you're only permitted to choose 3 Tower sets, so figuring out which ones work best together takes a little practice and experimentation.

Last edited by NthDegree; 05-24-2014 at 08:22 PM.
05-25-2014, 06:47 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 19
Defending against airborne waves.

All Creeps have their own attributes, but the major categories they fall into are ground and airborne types. Ground Creeps are most common; these will follow the dotted path on the field towards trees.

Airborne Creeps behave a little differently. They are completely immune to shots from ground Towers, like Blasters and Mortars.

Airborne Creeps also ignore the dotted path, instead taking the most direct route toward Trees. They can still be diverted by placing Pillars on the field, but for the most part they reach Trees much more quickly than their grounded comrades. Since they fly over obstacles, it's best to place air-targeting Towers forming a straight line from the entrances to the targeted Tree.

You can tell if a Tower attacks ground, air, or both by hovering over its icon and checking the details. A foot signifies ground and a wing indicates air. The same goes for Creeps.

While Towers that attack both land and air sound useful, keep in mind that most Towers can only attack one target per shot. If a single Tower is forced to try to attack every Creep that passes, it's likely that several will get by unscathed in a large group. An alternate strategy is to use an arrangement of ground-only and air-only Towers, dividing the workload and allowing each to concentrate on its own specific role.
05-26-2014, 02:15 AM
Joined: May 2012
Location: France, Nord
Posts: 247
I've tried a bit on my PC and I must say it looks very nice. But I want to see how it plays on Android as I don't have time to play that much on PC.

05-26-2014, 06:57 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 19
Thanks for the kind words. Yeah, we've tested it out on Android tablets, and it looks and runs great. The lead developer's working incredibly hard on making sure online multiplayer functions properly, and that the game works across a number of devices including Android, iOS, PC, etc. We're working towards having a more polished beta version around the end of June to show.
05-27-2014, 01:51 AM
Joined: May 2012
Location: France, Nord
Posts: 247
That's nice. If you open the beta to testers I'll definitively want to be a part of it.

06-01-2014, 11:22 PM
Hello Hello, I'm the project lead and programmer. The game does run on Android just fine, but won't be available for our initial beta launch. You can sign up here and reserve your username.

07-01-2014, 11:55 AM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 19
We're happy to (finally) present the new trailer we've been hard at work on. Hope you enjoy!

That's not all, though. A lot of exciting things are happening come July 14th, not the least of which is the beginning of beta play! People will finally be able to get their hands on the game and arrange online matches against other players. Stay tuned for more happenings this month. Our Facebook page is constantly updated with news and announcements.

If you have any questions, let us know!