Should the following Tier 4: up to $60,000 USD, 6 months vesting (1 month cliff) grant in the Gaming category be approved?
Through this grant, I am seeking funding to develop a tower defence creation kit and several deploy-ready tower defence game fields for Decentraland. The creation kit, game fields, and all assets used to generate them will be made available to the community as open-source repositories (free to use, with no strings attached). I’ll be working with several creators from the community to create sets of assets (enemies, towers, and environments) to be included in this module; providing our community with paid jobs, work experience, and providing them with an opportunity to display their talents!
Tower defence games are a staple genre of gaming culture. The genre is so popular that fans have made variants of tower defence in nearly every RTS game that offers modding capabilities; some of these fan projects have even pivoted to become full standalone games (now that is dedication!). Decentraland has seen several different types of games break into the scene over the course of the platform’s development, but the foundations for tower defence games have never been cemented. I see this as a major missed opportunity not only for players, but also for creators and land owners within Decentraland.
The value provided by this project would benefit 3 major audiences: users, creators, and land owners. The created tower defence game fields would provide general users of Decentraland with a fun activity to partake in, while the developed creation kit could be used by creators to generate additional tower defence content. Land owners would be able to leverage the kit by hosting tower defence games on their land, likely monetizing access to premium content or wearables themed around their fields. On top of that, if we can achieve a baseline ecosystem for developing a self-propelling system of user developed content we would be able to apply that blueprint to other game genres.
This project will also provide important jobs and invaluable experience to Decentraland community creators. It is absolutely imperative that our community’s skill-level and proficiency in creating for the Decentraland platform is fostered and continues to grow. If developers cannot source resource creation from our community: they will either go elsewhere or choose to conduct their projects in a more developed metaverse. The deliverable tower and enemy assets outlined in this project will be developed and optimised specifically for the platform, giving an in-depth example of how to make assets for Decentraland.
The tower defence creation kit will provide everything a user needs to create their own tower defence field (from tower placement to enemy wave generation). The interfaces will be as simplified as possible and heavily documented to ensure users with no coding experience can still create their dream TD fields. The kit will also come pre-packed with the required assets to create a tower defence game (enemies, towers, etc), all for unlimited free use.
After development of the kit has completed, four tower defence fields will be made using the creation kit. These game fields will be made available as open-source repositories, as well as being hosted for play by any user in Decentraland. This will allow any user looking to host a tower defence field on their land to do so with minimal effort. It also provides a great starting point for anyone looking to create their own tower defence field, as users will be free to customise/monitise these scenes or any derived scenes in any way they wish.
If we can capture the attention of even a small portion of the gaming audience by providing entertaining experiences and empowering tools then that would be a huge win for our community. By nurturing a thriving community of players and creators, we would see the constant generation of new content to attract more users to Decentraland. As we break into new genres of gaming the community (and amount of accessible content in Decentraland) would only grow. While this will likely take significant time and effort, we can begin to lay the foundations for community-based games now.
The kit will include a set of standard assets for creators to use in the generation of their own tower defence game fields. These will be designed to be as light-weight while still maintaining a quality appearance, ensuring in-scene resources are not misspent and acceptable performance can be maintained. Everything included in the creation kit will also be open source and made completely available to the community for use in other projects or games (including monetized scenes).
These assets will include vital components (models, animations, etc) following a single systemic doctrine that, when followed, would allow additional assets to easily be added to the module by users. Their raw pieces (such as UVs, textures, and .blend) will also be made available along-side the project in an additional compressed file. These resources will be extremely useful to anyone looking to modify existing assets or developing their own assets for the creation kit.
The kit will provide all required functionality for creators to use in the generation of their own tower defence game fields. The interfaces for the kit should be easy to interact with and as hands-off as possible, enabling creators who do not have programming experience.
- Tower Management: de/construction and upgrade towers that interact with enemies via classic tower defence mechanics (ie: direct damage, damage over time, movement slow).
- Enemy Management: enemy wave generation and spawn handling, as well as handling enemy entity specifics such as health, movement, and death.
- Economy Management: earn points by defeating enemies and clearing waves; spend points on building new towers and fortifying existing ones.
- Difficulty Management: modify the game’s ecosystem with variances to provide more/less challenge through different difficulties. (An additional feature I’d like to add, if I everything goes smoothly, is the inclusion of challenge modes where the player must complete game fields under certain constraints; something like 1-life mode).
Throughout development modularity will remain a key requirement of the kit. While most users will likely be satisfied with the provided features, others might want to add their own functions/assets to the project. This process must be made as easy as possible: adding new assets to the project (such as towers and enemies) should require very little effort and only minimal knowledge of programming. Assets will be loaded at run-time through definition files targeting external assets, meaning users will only need to interact with a json file in order to add more turrets or enemies to the mix.
Four playable tower defence fields will also be produced with the tower defence creation kit during the project’s course. These will not only showcase the kit’s functionality, but also provide an example of how to put a tower defence game together. Like the creation kit, these playable fields will be provided through open-source GitHub repositories. Instances of these scenes will also be hosted and maintained so users can play some Decentraland Tower Defence anytime they wish!
As with previous projects, all produced content will be monitored and maintained to keep them relevant and functional within the Decentraland platform. Further features may be targeted and developed by request as the project progresses.
Hi, I’m Alex; I’ll be managing the development process, as well as tackling the module’s programming implementation.
I’ve been programming and developing projects for over a decade, with a primary focus on gaming, and I’m currently employed as a software engineer (working mainly with C and Java). Over the past year I’ve been developing open-source projects through the DCL SDK with the primary goal of creating baseline content and examples for the community. I have already created several projects on the platform and I have a firm understanding of the development pipe-line.
One of the goals of this project is to provide an opportunity for Decentraland’s creators to showcase their talents. With that in mind, I’ve on-boarded some talented community members who will be working on generating the project’s graphical assets!
CG-KING - (Instagram)[https://www.instagram.com/mabanoking/]
I feel this is the best direction to take in regards to the creation and composition of the project’s team. This orientation will not only provide the most utility-to-cost, but also enables Decentraland’s community creators and directly aligns with the results of previous community polling. After the module has been successfully developed and tested (at the close of this proposal’s term), we’ll be able to consider populating the creation kit with additional industry-grade assets.
During development bi-weekly reports (every 2 weeks) on current progress and targeted goals will be published to the community. As this project is very much for the community, feedback and suggestions on current/additional features will also be taken under serious consideration for inclusion in the project.
This phase has already been conducted. Design documents have been prepared, these outline the systems and assets required for the module. Artists have also been screened and on-boarded.
During the initial stage, development of the creation kit’s primary utilities and the production of the required standard assets will be conducted.
After the TD Creation Kit has been developed to a satisfactory point, work will begin on the planned tower defence fields.
The final stage will see the release of the tower defence creation kit and all playable tower defence fields as open-source repositories for everyone in the community. These repositories will be monitored for any missed features/bugs and amended with their addition/removal.