Bloons Tower Defense, or Bloons TD as we now call it has evolved a lot since the first version, for those that don’t remember or never played Bloons Tower Defense this is what it looked like:
Now, bear in mind that that game is now more than 4 years old, and at the time was a pretty sweet game. So sweet in fact that Stephen and I (was just the two of us at the time) cranked out the sequel in 3 months. Bloons Tower Defense 2 was an effective update for fans that were already crying out for more, we added in a new tower, the Boomerang Thrower, and a first for TD games, on track placeable items, glue and roadspikes.
Coming nearly a full year later was Bloons Tower defense 3. And this was the big one. We had hired our first artist and my own art “skills” were retired. Bloons Tower Defense 3 was a huge hit for us and got more plays than both previous versions combined. This was the version that the first iPhone version “Bloons TD” was based off (developed by our Scottish buddies Digital Goldfish).
The step up from BTD2 to BTD3 was huge. More towers, more tracks, and more awesome. How to top that?
Well, we knew we had to deliver and with our team and expertise growing we threw it all into Bloons TD 4. It took another year and all our hopes and dreams plowed into it. Again, the result was a great success with fans and critics alike. Now raising the bar with each successive release is all well and good. Hell, we strive to do that for you all. It’s quite literally our business to do so. But the downside to that is when you look at a game you’ve released like BTD4, and you say. That’s it, that’s perfect. Topping that becomes quite a high stress sort of challenge.
So we let it ride for a while, released an expansion pack to tide people over. The thing is it doesn’t go away (that’s actually super awesome by the way) and you have to confront the challenge head-on at some point. So, back in the beginning of the year we started planning and by March 2011 we were under way.
What you see in Bloons TD 5 is the 5th game in the series but I wanted to talk a little about the journey here and now the end result is available for you all to play. Here’s an image by the way so you can compare with ol’ BTD1 above:
What’s new? Bloons TD 5 is launching with 16 towers each with 8 upgrades. The upgrade path splits at level 3, so there are 128 towers if you look at it. Of the new towers aside from all the seriously awesome new upgrades, there are two completely new towers, the Sniper Monkey and the Ninja Monkey. Sniper is awesome at preventing leaks early on and his later upgrades allow him to dominate bigger bloons solo. The Ninja Monkey brings a clever and fast firing ally to the table in the beginning stages. He can see Camo Bloons off the bat and once he’s mastered “Bloonjitsu” his quintuple shot is a sight to behold.
Activated abilities is also something new we’ve brought in. Each tower on one of it’s level 4 upgrades has an activated ability. Some of these are very powerful against a single opponent (ie a MOAB), while others like the Ice Tower’s “Absolute Zero, affect the entire screen.
The monkeys also brought in some friends this time in the form of “Special Agents”. These guys can be hired with “Monkey Money” which is earned through in-game achievements such as completing a track. Special Agents like the “Angry Squirrel” can be placed in game to give you a big leg up and allow you to save for more pricey towers off the bat.
How much Awesome can you handle?
Lastly, I want to say a special thanks to all the people involved in the development of the game.
For a disclaimer I should add that everyone on this list probably did more than I give credit for.
Josh Catt – Josh is the programming lead for BTD5. Thanks to him for pulling this together through scope creep, deadlines and the sheer enormity of pulling this together.
Scott Walker – Scott is our super awesome executive producer without whos organisational brilliance we’d all be in a crying heap. Scott steered when we needed it, chipped in everywhere and played a pivotal role in hauling this sucker home in time for the holidays.
Chad Edwards – Chad was our extra 0.5 of a developer when we really needed it. Bloons TD 5 was a big job for one developer so Chad suffered through shifting sands and project hopping to help pull things together.
Tamihana Greaves – Artist. Tamihana had the unenviable task of tackling the new tower art and he really nailed it I reckon. Such an iconic IP needs to evolve with a lot of sensitivity to its history and the end result is much more character while being undeniably BTD.
Warwick Urquhart – Artist – Warwick brought a new life to the tracks and pulled together the all important and awesome intro animation.
Derek Wu – Artist, UI and sound design.
Jonathan Hopcroft – Ninja Kiwi login programmer
Lee Grey – Sound design
Tosh Baird – Ninja Kiwi login database design and virtual currency system lead developer
Curtis Keeble – Artist – had the tricky task of doing all the things no one really wanted to do, like 140+ upgrade icons and ability buttons.
Phil Dron – Art and UI support, Phil has a great knack of doing cool UI but also great special effects enhancements, we used these a lot for the towers super abilities.
Tim Haywood – Outsourced composer – use him in your game if you want more awesome – here.
Stephen Harris – My awesome brother and really the genius, often annoyingly inflexible, wizard behind BTD. The first 4 versions and the legacy wouldn’t exist without his game design awesome.
Chris Harris – Just me.
So, if you’re still reading this far, I release you. Go play Bloons TD 5 now and enjoy.
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