Defense in a strategy game is always a topic of discussion. There is a always one camp that argues that playing offensively is the most fun and how the game is "meant to be played" while another that enjoys "turtling" or building defensively. Watching your defensive strategy succeed in holding back an army can be satisfying (that's why tower defense games exist) but this game is not about building defensive structures, but surviving whatever comes your way.
With that in mind, I still wanted to add defensive options. I started with walls, but quickly realized that that's not in game's guidelines. Walls encourage an isolationist attitude and I wanted vulnerability to be a major feeling throughout the experience.
Walls may be added back in at a later date (especially if I can update my water system so walls can hold back flood waters).
So I wanted to go with a different defensive approach. I first started with the Watchtower: a simple tower that can hold 1-3 people.
I like the watchtower for a few reasons:
1.) It's simple and easy to understand
2.) It can give the units in it small benefits (increased range)
3.) It could alert the player of intruders approaching with a non-intrusive notification.
4.) It can introduce the Minimap naturally, adding a minimap and revealing the view distance of your watchtowers on the map as well as enemy blips.
They way I've done this is not final, but basically it works like this:
I've created a camera high above the watchtower itself that is pointed downward (red arrow is forward).
When the building is completed, and someone is in the watchtower, the camera's viewpoint is overlayed on to a Render Target, making it a material and then cut into a circle (because I felt a circle was the best way to express the view from the Watchtower).
Then I create a square in the corner of the HUD and add this material.
I also have functionality that allows the camera to pan to where you click on the mini-map. It's great! Here's the result in game:
I plan to run a filter over it so it looks more like a drawn map than literally a camera shot of the surrounding area.
Hopefully, with the Render Target, I should be able to add multiple watchtower view circles, that can all be on the same mini-map, changing as you build more watchtowers. But I haven't yet figured out how to add multiple cameras to the same Render Target. I know it's possible, I'll bring my focus back here later on in development.
I create, design and develop video games I'm interested in playing.
The Fire System
Melee and Ranged Units
Weather and "Seasons"
Ladders and Elevation
Animating 2D units in a 3D world
Setting the Theme
Setting the Focus