FRUSTRATING: Game not friendly to new players

Hey cliff - I finally picked this up during the steam sale and want to give you some honest brutal feedback.

After 10 minutes I really don’t want to play anymore. I don’t consider it worth even half of the $6.79 I paid for it.

That’s brutal and honest. Now, I know you from various forums and I played a lot of GSB, so I’ll probably go hunt down a few vids and read the forums and post a bit to try & figure this game out, but that’s only because I know there’s got to be a better game than what I experienced in my first 10 minutes.

I’m writing this to you so you can hopefully try to take this in stride and think of ways to improve the experience of the first few battles.

Note: I should mention up front that I’m color-blind so things that may be blindingly obvious to some folks (who can actually see red in a mottled brown background), I can’t see. It’s like it’s invisible.

So let me describe to you my first 10 minutes.

So, the helpful tags explaining the interface & whatnot were ok. The mouse scroll to zoom is opposite for what every other game I’ve played EVER. I think this has been covered already.

The first battle comes up and:

  1. I have no idea where the enemy units will start from. I’m looking over the map & am just guessing they’ll come from the top. I guess that at some point they’ll split out to the two exits, but not knowing for sure just lost 10 points of frustration.
    (-10 points of frustration)

  2. So I look over my basic units, hmm, some good against infantry, some against armor, some against shields. Now I look to see what kind of enemies I’m going to be facing. Hmm, can’t find this anywhere. What should I put down? Well, the game puts the machine gun emplacement as my default, so the game must be smart and I’ll need that right? So I place a few of these. Wow, supply is now gone after placing 2 of these.
    (-30 points of frustration)

I click start and two tanks appear. My machine guns do absolutely fucking zero against these tanks. Now at this point, I’m about to click and exit and start again, but then I notice my supply is growing and I haven’t killed a single thing. WTF? I get rewarded over time for doing absolutely nothing?
(-40 points of frustration)

So I throw down some things good against armor and shields, but then they take like 10-15 seconds to be active. WTF???
(-10 points of frustration)

I resign myself that these two tanks are going to get through. OK, back to focusing on the front of the battle. I get some message about dogtags, wait, WTF was that? the message disappeared. What did it say?
(-10 points of frustration)

The infantry is getting mowed down, but more tanks are coming and so I start going crazy, popping down infantry & more turrets, but the tanks continue to crawl through almost unscathed. Oh sure, a few are on fire, but I haven’t killed a single tank. And yet all my emplacements are going up in smoke.
(-20 points of frustration)

So I can’t seem to put replacement turrets on the smoldering ruins of my previous emplacements…WTF?" So I start putting anything anywhere and fill up the screen.
(-20 points of frustration)

Tanks continue to get through. Oh wait, I can now place something on a previous spot where I had smoldering ruins? Why now and now previously? WTF?
(-10 points of frustration)

Can I mouse over a unit & see if I’m even damaging it? How many hit points until the flaming crawling smoking tank dies? Why isn’t zoom working? Oh, that’s right, it’s backwards, I mouse over, I click on tanks, I get nothing. What does it take to kill these blasted things?
(-30 points of frustration)

I rage QQ and re-start. Ok, now I’m putting shield busters up top right at the beginning. and I’ll put more armor down below. I click start. WTF, why isn’t this gun firing? It’s got to warm up? What the hell? Why isn’t it firing? Great, so now that I have supply, I put other armor turrets further down but they aren’t warmed up yet to fire. Great, infantry is tearing apart my shield busters.

Screw this game.

And now I’m here typing in your forums.

Honestly dude, in TD games, the first few levels, you need to spoon feed the user to get them used to the game. Make them successful, Let them learn.

There are so many things that frustrate me with this game, I can’t imagine that I’m alone. I really want you and other indie developers to succeed, but holy moly this game is a real mess. How many people actually playtested GTB before it went public???

Now onto the forums and videos and investing an hour or more so I can complete the very first level of this game…


Yes, I can definitely see where you are coming from.
When I first started playing last night, I was so overwhelmed and had trouble that I gave up after half an hour.

However, if you want to succeed in this game you need to put in a lot of effort for that oh-so-rewarding pay off, the Victory Pop-Up.
Personally, I mostly play this game for the Tower Defense aspect, and it requires you to adapt to how the game works.
Since you now know that it takes a Tower several seconds to start up, you should back it up slightly to allow it time to start up and begin shooting.

It also drastically helps to create your own towers so you know what you’re using to defend yourself. The first level I made some SMG troops, some laser troops, and a Light Beam Turret that got me through the level. Knowing what your Tower/Infantry actually are helps a ton.

Since then, I’ve made tons of towers and don’t use the Pre-made ones anymore. Good luck in your endeavors.

Firstly, the scroll direction is easily reveresed on the options screen.
Secondly, you can pause the game at any time using ‘P’ or the pause key, run it at one quarter speed, or even frame-by-frame, and choose a lower difficulty if you aren’t doing well.
Thirdly, read the manual. We put a lot of effort into explaining everything in the manual, and it’s worth a quick look. This is not another flash tower defense game, it’s much mroe involved and complex, so you will need to read the manual, or the popup tooltips and tutorial windows to learn to play the game.

I Strongly Disagree.

I was a bit harsh in my original post - but I wanted you to see what I felt - at the time I played it. I wasn’t doing this out of malice. I was doing this to illustrate why my friends’ list only has one person who has played more than 1 hour on it.

Even though it doesn’t appear you’re interested in my feedback, I’ll play your little game with the manual.

I read the manual.I could not detect the answers - maybe you could be so kind to point out where in the manual these are discussed. It did not mention or answer the following questions I put forth in my original post -> my guess / answers in parenthesis based on play.

  1. How can I tell on the map where units will start coming from? (will top always be the right answer?)
  2. How can I tell what units I’m going to face? (even in scripted scenario, which I will know the first time I play, I still get to play it the first time, for adaptive, it’s random based on what you put down)
  3. How long do I need to wait to place a new unit over the burning hulk of a destroyed unit (I haven’t figured this out yet)
  4. Why does my supply grow? (I haven’t figured this out, I think it’s time based? I can’t tell if the more damage I do, the more supply I get). The manual does state “See that number at the top of the screen, just to the left of center? That shows you the supplies the attacking force has available right now.” Do defenders get it over time as well?
  5. How can I tell how many hitpoints an enemy has left? (unknown)

Answers from my original post which I found in the manual but I had to piece together from various things in the manual:

  1. Things don’t start firing, even on the first round, until a unit gets into range. The range can only be seen when first placing a unit on the battlefield.

Things which were in the manual from my original post:

  1. It will take time to get things built. How much time is shown on the dial over the unit once placed.
  2. Dog tags are things that you get a bonus for if you click on it before it expires.

BTW - I did manage to actually get through the first level - but I don’t know if my score is good or bad. I tried adding a friend, but it says log-in failure. Not sure how to type in the serial #. It has an “O” in it. Is that a “O” or a “0” that I see on steam CD screen? Do I type in the dashes or just put them altogether?

clicking a unit shows its range.
the entry points are shown in red on the minimap
You do not get to see the hitpoints of the enemies, by design.
No, you cant tell what units the attacker will use before they use them, again by design.
You can immediately replace destroyed units, IF you have supplies and stock, and can place that unit type there.
Supplies are generated over time, until the timer ends as attacker, o until the game ends, as defender.
it should not make any difference if you enter dashes or not, but the 0 and the O look different.

I hope this helps you play my little game.

BTW a few days after the steam summer sale, I’d say 95% of games have been played less than an hour, I don’t find that unusual. A huge chunk of games haven’t been played at all yet.

Umm, at this point you actually don’t need know what the other side is using. So.

Defense side

  1. Use heavy turrets ONLY
  2. Equip with Missile V, or if you don’t got Missile V, Super Cannon and Light Pulse Laser. Put machine gun in front to kill all the infantry.
  3. Equip everything else with the highest level, except shield. Just use 2x shield 1.
  4. For bonus, use + damage all, and another + damage vs internal.

Attack side

  1. Use heavy tanks + repair truck, specifically heavy tank 1
  2. Equip with Missile V, or if you don’t got Missile V, Super Cannon and Light Pulse Laser. Put machine gun in front to kill all the infantry.
  3. Equip everything else with the highest level, except armor. Just use 2x armor 1. And engine 3. Make sure repair truck is roughly the same speed as heavy tank.
  4. For bonus, use + damage all, and range.

I wish it was more complicated than that. This game boils down to everything melting under DPS except heavy tanks, which has no counter.