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Maps TD - Google Maps-based Tower Defence. (mapstd.com)
394 points by elliottkember on Apr 1, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 40 comments

I like this game because now I can prove that my house is in a very defensible position for a zombie attack.

Also I really liked the use of Google maps and the power that brings, namely being able to zoom in an out and being able to switch to map or satellite mode, both of which were a lot of fun. And of course it's more fun because I was able to defend my own home!

I think I'll play again and defend my childhood home, which is much less defensible.

Really loving the Moon tiles too. Are the Moon tiles by Google as well or are they 3rd party tiles?

The moon tiles are from Google Moon ( http://www.google.com/moon/ ), although I think it's actually NASA imagery.

Just finished the game. Marvelous TD experience, really kept me on my toes with the "new paths" being added as you progress. The game did get a little slow near the later levels, but that's no problem as it was still very playable. I completed the game with 100 life so there might be room for added difficulty (maybe even more levels with increasing difficulty).

Had me on the edge of my chair the whole time. Super awesome game!

You can keep playing after you finish. It seems to get much harder around level 80, with multiple orange dudes, and you end up losing multiple lives a level unless you've strategically placed your orange and purple turrets.

(I finished the game with 91 life remaining - I screwed up a little when the first new path was added, didn't expect it and didn't have enough money banked to build adequate defenses - but didn't lose a life between around level 10 and level 80. Then I started losing about 5-10 lives each level at 80...probably would've died at about 90, but I saw the writing on the wall and gave up.)

You made me curious so I played it out... http://i.imgur.com/Y2M6j.png

At some point you just become unkillable.

edit It's still going ;_; when will it end?! I wasted 2 hours on this already.

You are especially unkillable if you pick a very defensible location, like "mount evans"

Nice! "Col de Braus, Lucéram, France" is not as defensible, but has lots of switchbacks.

For a different approach, try "Golden Gate Bridge." The invaders follow one-way streets so everything coming from San Francisco has to cross the bridge twice.

I've been doing the same thing: http://i.imgur.com/WR7Xl.png

I found it pretty easy by upgrading the faster towers all the way; only needed 12 medium priced towers and a few expensive towers to win.

How did you do that? I stopped receiving money completely around level 80 (no more cash to buy or upgrade!), and very little money since level 50.

From then on, it became increasingly difficult. I only got to level 141 (Buckingham Palace).

Came to say this.

You're an evil man posting this here on a Sunday night, knowing damn well people have work tomorrow.


- Here's something different: If there was 1 path to my "base" and every few levels my home would move and extend the path for the enemies. Something different to try if you wish.

- Do NOT show the path that the enemies take, just show me where my base is and where the enemies spawn from, and generate 3 or 4 slightly different enemy paths that are invisible so it looks like the enemies look like they're choosing their own paths towards you. The rule should be that you cannot place a turret on any street, only on property or parking lots.


- endless levels to choose from. The google maps themeing.


- Inability to move turrets.

- Short multiple enemy paths, I would have preffered one long and winding enemy path.


- You used the little "street view guy" icon as a enemy boss.

- Less straight lines, more turns for the enemies.

- Longer enemy paths.

- A lot of what roryokane said:


- I caught an interesting little glitch, I bought and fully upgraded a Yellow tower then sold it but it looks like its still doing damage as if it were still there.

It doesn't help to hide the path the enemies take. It's built on the real world road system. A solution would be to prevent you from completely blocking the destination, but that requires knowing street data which Google doesn't easily provide.

If you want a more winding path, try some place in the world with more winding roads, like Col de Braus, Lucéram, France or Pikes Peak, Colorado. Golden Gate bridge was also interesting in a winding-like way.

General comment about TD games: Whenever there are no clear tower/mob advantages, I simply maximize damage-time per dollar. (You can go a step further and do damage-time per dollar-space.)

Simply doing that, I'm on round 200 with 100 lives, on my first try. Eventually it makes sense to only buy orange towers, no upgrades.

Maybe I'm just a sore loser, but I don't like the common trope in TD games of not telling you what kind of opposition you'll face until you're already committed in terms of what defense you'll put up. It doesn't make the game fundamentally harder, because all you have to do is play through it once to see everything. It just makes the first couple playthroughs suck, which is exactly when you should be sucking people in and making them enjoy the game.

The lesson from that is to not overcommit yourself and build only what you need to stay alive. You can always pause the game and build more turrets if it looks like an enemy is escaping.

Eh, it doesn't matter a whole lot anyway. A TD game you can beat the very first time isn't interesting, and if hints on what is to come will let you beat it, it's too easy.

I disagree -- Crystal Defenders tells you what enemies (and their weaknesses/strengths) are coming the next wave, and it's the hardest TD game I've ever played. Sanctum, Bloons TD, PixelJunk Monsters, and Dungeon Defenders all do it too, and none of them are what I'd call "easy" (/maybe/ BTD).

It isn't about being able to beat it on the first time, it's about being able to formulate and test a theory on the first shot, and feeling like the loss is the result of a mistake that you've learned from, rather than the first shot being mostly a blind shot where you are just learning what's coming.

This is a really neat and creative idea, and worked really well. Some thoughts:

-I never like it when TD games have finish lines. It would be better if the game continued progressing indefinitely, with the player making more and more money but the enemies getting stronger and stronger until even the best defenses reach a breaking point. As it stands now, the player can continue after the game ends at round 50, but he/she makes little money. Even without knowing what the different towers did and what angles later enemies would be approaching the building from, I was still able to win on the first try just by placing towers near roads and buying upgrades as soon as I could.

-An implementation of street view would be pretty cool. Players could see their towers added to the landscape and watch the enemies storming down New York Ave. Might be really difficult though.

-More complexity and variety would make it better.

I had some fully-upgraded towers built near each of my map's four spawn points. After I sold them, enemies near the spawn points continued to take damage.

Someone might want to test whether selling towers does anything other than give you money and allow you to build a new tower in its spot. :)

I sold each one of my towers at level 200 and continued to beat each wave, towerless. To compensate, it seems that the amount of money you get from selling a tower is nowhere near the stated amount :).

Really like the use of page visibility API for putting the game on pause. Wasn't sure of a good use case for it but this definitely counts.

Nicely done!

Am I the only one that reads the domain name as "Map STD"?

I am a sucker for Tower Defense games. That I can defend my own house from the creeps is awesome.

One of my favorite strategies is as-many-as-possible long-range, low-power, fire-fast towers. Just made level 100 with all 100 lives in tact with blue towers only.

What was your build out strategy? Did you try and do full upgrades before building more, or did you build a bunch and then upgrade?

I'm trying your strategy right now and so far full upgrades before building more seems to be working.

So, this time it was upgrade all the way then build more, but the build a whole line then upgrade one at a time worked pretty well too.

I wasted about two hours of my day on this. It was fun, but I actually found it a bit too easy. Maybe I was just picking easy maps (Colorado is all pretty much just straight roards). Still, it was a good diversion.

Looks nice. Added complexity would be cool. TD is great with some creativity.

I played tons of tower defense games before and i loved smart ideas of game. Unlimited levels, zooming, simplicity, great concept!

I wished to move turrets when new enemy paths added.

I love it, I just wish you had used some cool 8-bit tower looking markers rather than the default GMaps markers. Great though, I'm hooked.

I wrote a feedback email to the developer with many small suggestions for improving Maps TD. I am copying them here in case others are interested or have the same suggestions.


If fast-forward is enabled when the round ends, skip the animation of the "Next Round!" panel falling and have the panel just appear. When I have a strong turret formation and just want to send a few waves of enemies through it to save up money, I get annoyed from having to wait for the Start (start the next round) button to finish bouncing before I can click it. Though the speed of the disappearance of that panel is fine. Perhaps the disappearance animation but in the other direction would work, too, since it's fast.

When a turret is selected, you make the inner circle white. I suggest you also make the border of the outer circle black, so we can see the range of the selected turret easily.

Turret inspector window suggestions (attached to this email is a mockup image incorporating these suggestions): (attachment mirrored for this comment at http://postimage.org/image/hizbeeotj/)

Make the turret type and X (close) button always stick to the top, even after scrolling, so I can easily close the inspector wherever I am in it.

To the left of the turret type name (e.g. "Yellow Tower"), put an icon of that turret (e.g. a yellow turret icon).

Always show the current attributes of the turret, no matter how you scroll - fix them to the top. Then, for each attribute, instead of listing every new attribute and the cost, list only the attribute that will be changed plus the cost. It might also be nice to show the old value of the attribute, for reference, but I don't see a place to fit that in the interface. I think this will make the effect of each upgrade easier to comprehend, and also require less scrolling. If that big a change sounds bad to you, here is different way of achieving that: in the attributes list of each upgrade, make the attribute that will be upgraded bold, italic, another color, or otherwise emphasized.

I don't know if this is possible with the Google Maps API, but it would be nice to have some indication of how upgraded a turret is just from its icon. I had one fully-upgraded blue turret next to a plain blue turret, and I wanted to upgrade the plain one, but I had to look at the inspector of one of them to find out which one was the plain one. Some possible indicators of upgradedness are the shade of the color (darker or lighter), the color or darkness of the circle representing size taken, or the size of the dot in the middle of the turret. The number to indicate how upgraded a turret is would probably just be the number of upgrades divided by the number of possible upgrades for that turret type.

Bug: on Firefox 11.0 on Windows 7, the six turret icons on the side all look like the goal/house icon instead, which is confusing for new players. The icons on the map look fine, and all icons look fine in Chrome. An image showing this bug is attached. (attachment mirrored for this comment at http://postimage.org/image/h0m7bv53f/)

I am seeing this turretless winning bug, too: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3784435 (and the sale price bug mentioned in its reply).


Really nice, the last round (50 or 51 i think) was a bit too much for my laptop integrated video card, but i succeeded :)

I can't place towers, and I don't know why. Its a shame I really liked the idea. Using chrome 17.0.963.83

Same here. Probably one of my flags but I am too lazy to check. However, I do like the idea of real world maps as a game data source; it was fun to see the 'enemies' advancing on my actual house.

Made it to round 92. A nice little browser game, the stuff you can do with the Maps API is really sweet.

Doesn't work in FF 11.0/WinXP. Over-quota on google maps?

played through the game as well, very well done!

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