Line of Sight
01/05/2010 by Michael Austin
Line of sight started out actually as more of a problem than a feature. We didn't really think about it until an early version of our game where the shooting-through-other-towers looked really awful. You don't really notice it until you try to do realistic graphics, and then your brain goes "That's wrong!"We started out with 15 towers, I think, and the line of sight constraint really helped us tune them down. We tried to pick a subset of the towers such that each one was different and unique, and could be the best tower in a specific situation. I like, for instance, how line of sight affects the cannon-gun tradeoff. Guns need line of sight to be effective, since they are shooting constantly and any down time is bad. Since cannons are on a long cooldown, they can shoot the instant line of sight is available, and it actually doesn't hurt them that much. It leads to a natural "back row"-"front row" thing.
I grew to love it when I realized what a difference it makes for tower placement- when you have to consider your future plans for areas, there's a new depth of strategy. Suddenly in that clump of 4 towers right by two paths, they aren't all equal- there's a reason to pick, and the trade-offs are different for each tower. It was definitely a case where a problem turned into (what I think is) really fun gameplay!