This is compiled from questions asked in this forum. I thought it'd be a nice idea to keep them all in one thread for new people. It'd also save me some work, since there have been times I've answered the same question multiple times. It might have spoilers, obviously. If there are any important questions that are unanswered here, let me know and I'll add them.HOW DO I KILL THE FIRST BOSS IN THE DEMO, BROTHER BAVAKH?
Put all the Love Points around Aa's single Limited Point. Use your second cursor charging attack repeatedly on the brother Bavakh to draw the Limited Point's fire to him -- you'll have to time this carefully, because there is a rhythm to how often the directions of the bullets get diverted. If you still can't win, try setting the difficulty lower. You can watch a video by Ortoslon of this here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nebuA637EdoARE YOU SUPPOSED TO LOSE ON THE SECOND BROTHER BAVAKH?
Yes. You *can* win, but you're not supposed to, and winning doesn't change the story or give you any special reward. I myself have never won, and I designed it so it couldn't be won, but apparently a few hardcore players managed to kill him anyhow.WILL THE GAME EVER BE FOR OTHER PLATFORMS (LINUX, MAC, ETC.)?
Probably not Linux, although a Mac version might one day be possible, hypothetically. But I've no immediate plans, since it's quite dependent on the Game Maker engine, which is currently Windows-only, although a Mac version of Game Maker is in production. So within a year or so, there may be a Mac version.WILL THE GAME BE TRANSLATED INTO OTHER LANGUAGES?
A partial Portuguese translation has been done, and probably will be finished eventually. If you'd a native speaker of another language and would like to translate the game into your language (unpaid, but I can offer you a share of the profits for sales of the game in that language if any occur), feel free to volunteer.REPLAYING OLD LEVELS GIVES YOU MORE CACHE IN LATER LEVELS?
That's a feature, not a bug -- it's a good idea to replay old levels and do better than your old scores in order to have more cache for latter levels.WHAT ARE GOOD POINT COMBINATIONS?
That's mainly for you to discover. A couple that I use:
Cut Point + mouse cursor charging: you can draw the Cut Point's shots with you and direct them toward the enemies if you move near them when charging up your special attacks.
Pride Point + Love Point: you'll more bang for the buck back on Love if you use it with a Pride, since Prides keep increasing their attack power when they kill and Love's help them kill and give them a larger range.
Upgraded Ortho Point + lots of weak level 1 Fear Points: grouping the enemies together and then doing damage on them all at once with a strong Ortho. Ortho Points also upgrade very well, especially at level 4 or 5, as the size of their splash damage and their attack power increase drastically at that time.
Cut Point / Courage Point / Danmaku Point / Limited Point + upgraded Strategist Point: at higher levels of upgrades, Strategists redirect fire in wider areas, so they're useful to make sure that Points that often miss don't miss as often.
Also, if you have Fear Points, you should place them near the other Points, so that it can slow them down and decrease their defense, allowing the other Points more opportunity to do damage.IS THERE GOING TO BE A SEQUEL?
Probably, but not soon, most likely two or three years down the road. While you're waiting, check out our other games, they're all free anyway.IS IT POSSIBLE TO BEAT EVERY LEVEL ON 100% DIFFICULTY?
It wasn't in v1.0, but should now be possible in v1.1. The first to do it, please post your ending screenshot so that we can all marvel at your ability! Even I haven't done it yet.HOW DO I KILL THE PANOPTICON (EYES OF THE UNIVERSE)?
Okay -- first, destroy its shield (Points that shoot a lot of bullets quickly are useful, because the number of hits matters, not the strength of those attacks). Also use your charge attacks repeatedly, preferably the first one, to destroy its shield. After it's near the end of the path, a Strategist Point will appear, have that shoot the core (make sure there's a path to the center through the shields), then the other Points will be able to harm it.
It's not necessarily the most upgraded towers that destroy the shields the best -- look at the 'speed' number on a tower, that tells you how fast it fires. I usually figure out at which level a tower fires the fastest, and use it at that level. The Turning Points work very well, and the Courage Points at level 7, since they fire so much faster there. Fear Points at level 7 also fire very fast. The best place for the Points is near the top looping area (they won't fire unless the core of the Panopticon is in their range). Ortho Points fire the fastest at their lowest upgrade level, but they don't have much range at that level either. Limited Points fire fastest at level 7 but have too little range at that level to reach the Panopticon, so it's best to use them at level 3 because they fire relatively fast at that level and have a good range. Turning Points fire the fastest at level 7 too, and if you can afford one you can probably break his shield quite easily, but even at level 4 they're helpful.
There's another way to win -- just stand there, and wait for the time to run out, and stare at it without shooting it -- eventually it'll just die before reaching the end of the path. It won't actually move at a rate fast enough to reach the end of the path before the time runs out until parts of its shield are destroyed, because it speed is related to how much of its shield remains.WHAT ABOUT LEVEL 77, WHERE THE ENEMIES DISABLE YOUR POINTS?
You can use weaker, level 1 points as diversions, and the enemies will cancel those, and use your stronger, long-distance ones to win from far off. Limited, Courage, or (especially) Level 7 Fear (which has infinite range) will win if you place them far enough away from the enemies so that they can't be disabled, but close enough that they are in range to fire. You can also simply use your cursor, charging up to a high charge level, and use your high-powered special attacks to destroy all the enemies. It may be possible to win without any Points at all, just using your cursor.THE GAME LOOKS BAD STRETCHED ON WIDESCREEN MONITORS IN FULL SCREEN MODE
That's probably because you have your video drivers set to "stretch" instead of "scale". This is usually a monitor or video driver setting. In NVIDIA the control panel for NVIDIA cards, it's under GPU Scaling Method, and you can just pick "scaled". Other systems might have other ways to change this. However, I recognize that this is a problem, and I didn't anticipate running the game on widescreen monitors (it was developed on one with a 4:3 ratio, and I had never used a widescreen monitor at the time). In the future the game may hopefully be adjusted to work well on widescreen monitors, depending on available time, but if the stretching effect bothers you and you can't fix it using you video card's settings (which usually just involves a checkbox or adjusting a configuration text file), you can still play the game in windowed mode without stretching.HOW DO I BEAT THE FINAL HELLSPACE LEVEL (LEVEL 100)?
Just pay attention to the numbers on the GUI, and try to keep them as high as possible. Don't over-use your super attacks, in fact it's best if you don't use any at all unless they're about to reach the end. It is super-hard, but it's winnable with practise.
80 [Hope] is getting close; things start to turn around for the better at around 100. It goes down if you touch them, and goes up again if you move away, so just keep in a spot where it's the highest (I usually place the Love Points right at the tip of one of the four points at the end of the + symbol of the path, far enough away that I can stand at the edge of the screen and not be affected by the Hate Points).
There are always a few holes where the Hate Points don't cover, and if your Love Points are fully upgraded they'll give you a bonus no matter where you are on the map. It's tricky, though.
Another tip is the third charge attack is a very good one to use (the one where your attacks start at the edges of the screen and go toward the center) when the enemies are almost near the end, but again don't over use any charge attack because charge attacks reduce your Hope / attack power slightly (and attacking increases it).
Another tip is to always be attacking the enemies, because your attack goes up whenever you're shooting, and doesn't go up when you're not shooting, so it's sometimes preferable to be shooting very weakly than to not be shooting at all from a high Hope point, just to raise your attack power a bit.
After you reach the point where the Hate begins to turn into Love, you should fully upgrade as many of the Love Points as possible to give your attack a lot of bonus. At around this point you should begin using your super attacks, and try to use them at the spots at which your attack power is highest (due to the Love Points).
Using your special attack lowers your normal attack slightly, so avoid using your special attacks unless it's necessary to avoid losing; I don't usually use any special charging attacks until the Hate Points begin to turn to Love Points. I typically use the fifth charge attack (the one you get in the fifth campaign), because the sixth one does very little and the others miss often.
Make sure that throughout the execution of the fifth charge attack that you are not near a Hate point -- keep your attack power (indicated in the menu below somehow) high at all times, because the damage a shot does depends on where you were when you released the shot. But also try to use the fifth charge attack as near to the center of the map as possible, as long as you aren't reduced any by Hate.
This walkthrough of the level was provided by a player, kschang:
I was reading the mission files and the timer was set to 600, so I figured I have to survive for 10 minutes. And I think I did, even though the timer won't display anything.
The trick is finding empty locations to shoot from so your shots aren't deflected, and your "love" rating is maximized. If you're near a hate point your rating goes way down (and so does your firepower) and if you touch a hate point, your love rating is reset to zero. The problem then is you must stay at the edges. You can build only four love points, so what you need to do is build them NEAR the initial path, which is to right, then back to center, so build your first to right, then just go up and down as you find room. That way your cursor is always near the path. And hope the hate cursors don't put too many hate points near you. Then with Indra's help, you can hold off the finger. When you can build love point, do so. Keep it near the right side as a cluster, upgrade them to max level ASAP. Then get back to path. You can "catch up" usually.
When you get to 100 kills, things start getting harder. No more love point building... Some of hate points start to mutate, but only one or two at a time. When you see one, pick one near the finger and not too many hate points around, and upgrade it quickly. Near the path is best, as you can keep shooting at the finger. Move cursor to the "end" of the paths and you can get away from the hate points, shoot incoming. The hate cursors may deflect your shots though. In that case, pick another spot to shoot.
When you hit 150-200 it starts to get really intense. You probably won't have much time to upgrade now, so don't. Concentrate on shooting from the edges of the screen and keep taking out the finger segments. Never stop shooting, and never touch a hate point either. Stay around the edges. While center seems to be a place to be, it actually puts you near too many hate points to be useful. Stay around the screen edge, intercept as many segments as you can. If you damage some segments, move to next "branch" of path to head them off. Remember, tip of the finger is NOT always the best target. You can hit them in the middle and the tip will have to come back.
When you go above 200 things are in hyperdrive. Don't bother upgrading... You won't have time. Instead, just concentrate on avoiding hate points, and keep shooting. You may want to use charged attack (though believe it or not, I didn't have to at all) to kill the wounded segments, esp. if you see them in groups. Kill segments wherever convenient. If you have enough love points they may give you enough of kill bonus, as long as you stay around the edges, so that you can last till end of the level.
When playing a level, hold Ctrl and press 0 on the NumPad to set the time to three seconds left, thereby skipping a level. Ctrl plus 2 and Ctrl plus 3 on the NumPad give you nearly infinite money and access to 9 of every type of tower. This doesn't work on most laptops, because those don't have the numerical keypad, sorry about that.WHAT DO YOU USE THE MONEY ON?
BMT-Micro, the e-commerce provider, takes 9.5%, and the Immortal Defense team gets the other 90.5%. From that, some part of it is taken to pay hosting fees for this website, and other business-related fees such as advertisement, these can be up to $50 a month. The rest is split up among the game's authors, I don't know what the others do with their share, but I (rinkuhero) pay for rent (in small part), food, and the following items which I've purchased with the money I've earned through sales: a Playstation 2, a few books, vitamins, a few games (mostly other independent games like Aquaria), a 19" computer monitor after my old one became too dim to use, a new computer (still not a great one, it has a 8500GT video card, but at least it's dual core), and I'm now saving up for a new desk that my legs would actually fit under (I'm 6'4). I also want to save up enough money to visit a friend of mine who lives a few states away! I also use at least 10% (often more) on Kiva.org, which is a site where you can loan money to individuals in developing nations.ISN'T THIS GAME UNORIGINAL, SINCE IT'S JUST LIKE WARCRAFT 3 OR STARCRAFT OR FLASH TOWER DEFENSE GAMES?
Yeah, but I made it because I wanted to make a game like those, not because I wanted to be particularly original. One bit of originality is that it's the only tower defense game with a story, and the types of towers/Points it has aren't seen in many other games, but I've no problem admitting that the game is derivative, it was intended to be 'my tower defense game' not 'my original game that's not in any genre'. I think it's at least as original within its genre as most games are within their genres.ARE YOU STILL UPDATING THIS GAME?
One of the best things about creating independent games and selling them primarily online is that you can update it whenever you want, for as long as you wish. So yes, I plan to continually add new minor features, new levels and campaigns, bug fixes, improvements, etc., to the game for as long as possible. I also will need to work on my future games of course, but improving parts old ones when the mood hits me is a nice break from creating new ones. I probably will never add *major* features like new Points or new enemies and bosses of course, but periodically improving and polishing the game in minor ways and adding new levels will always happen. There's a suggestion thread in this forum that you can use to recommend improvements.HOW DO YOU GET ACCESS TO HELLSPACE / THE SECRET LEVELS
Finish every level with 100% completion (not letting a single enemy through) on any difficulty level.WHAT'S THE MEANING OF THE MAIN GAME? (this question is answered by the author of the story, Wynand)
I had to find a way to make K demonstrably crazy, but at the same time give the player something in the character to sympathize with. So I started to think about immortality in general, which rinku is big into. (Into which rinku is big?) Some perverse impulse in me said: okay, let's look at what it would actually be like to be immortal. Let's look at what it would be like to be completely isolated from the world, with infinite time and near-infinite power on your hands. You'd start to follow some purpose of your own just to keep your mind together, to keep from growing crazy. In the game, Aa starts becoming obsessed with godhood, while Jamesh devotes himself to these weird pathspace experiments and training courses. K becomes obsessed with--what K is obsessed with, of course. So that solved the problem: K's craziness, all of our craziness, has to do with an obsession with goals.
I actually think that the ending isn't completely negative. All of K's efforts are ultimately useless, of course--but he still undertakes those efforts, he still carries his delusion through to the end. I was inspired a little bit here by the third book in the Ender series by Orson Scott Card--Xenocide, it's called. There's a character in that book called Gloriously Bright who suffers from OCD, which her people interpret as "hearing the voices of the gods." Her specific compulsion is tracing woodgrain lines across a floor. Near the end of the book, her OCD is cured--she doesn't have to follow the "dictates of the gods" anymore. But she chooses to do it anyway--she keeps following the woodgrain lines for the rest of her life, non-stop, even though her mind doesn't compel her to do it anymore. She believes that by doing this, by tracing those lines, she can show the gods that she's still faithful and that at some point she can call them back into her mind. And there's a crazy kind of nobility in that--she chooses to embrace her prison, even when it's not a prison anymore, because it shows her devotion better than anything else. I like that Card gave her that nobility in the book, which redeemed her character. And so I wanted to give that same nobility to K.
I put it into gameplay terms by making the last campaign of the story a direct challenge to the player: the missions are getting harder, K is becoming obviously crazier and crazier, and the player understands that there's no point in world of the game to what he's doing. The player can "win" in a perfectly acceptable way by just ceasing to play in those final moments: he can set the game aside, never pick it up again, and that means that K has come to his senses and abandoned his efforts. But that also means that K ceases to exist in any meaningful way. If the player finishes the game, it's a different kind of "win"--K carries his delusion through to the end for zero reward, but he's still done it. He carried his delusion through to the end, in spite of impossible odds. (I can't take credit for this basic idea--my friend from my ZZTing days, Will Gutierrez, wrote a game called p0p that worked along similar lines. You can only win by stopping the game--if you actually solve all of the puzzles and get to the end, the player gets killed by a brick and dies. Find the game somewhere; it's fantastic. And it's also a good metaphor for video games if you think about it: all victories are meaningless; the real victory is just to quit the game and use what you've learned from it to do something More Productive with your life. To achieve some real goals, not some illusory goals like K's.)
In Immortal Defense you can achieve a certain kind of victory by just quitting before you finish, by rejecting the imaginary goal in favor of the real ones that are out there in the world, waiting. But again, I'm still on the fence about this--which is why you can also achieve a certain kind of victory by finishing.
I don't know--I hate the idea of imposing some Message on the world at large. I like the idea of raising questions, incorporating them into the basic structure of the work, and then using the tight focus that art can give you in order to let people figure something out for themselves.WHAT'S THE MEANING OF HELLSPACE? (this question is answered by Rinku)
The universe (of the game, and the current one if you like) is composed of things and their connections, symbolized in the game by Indra's Net (those green lines which connect objects when you move away from them). Indra's Net also has a mythology (see the link to it in the footer of the game's website) -- basically an infinite number of pearls, each of which reflects every other single pearl, and each reflection also reflects every other single pearl, such that in one single pearl the entire universe is contained. The real-life Gutei's finger story, at least to me, means reality is one; like Indra's net, it means that every single part of the universe implicitly contains the rest of it. So Gutei and Indra are saying the same thing, only they say it in different ways: Indra focuses on the infinite number of things and their interconnectedness, Gutei focuses on one thing, but the idea is the same.
Aa had a problem with and eventually (after he "died" / descended into Hellspace) rejected those connections, wishing to break down the net and make it a simple line instead. Most mental problems I believe begin with rejecting reality -- not usually even in the sense of not believing in it, but just in the sense of not liking it or selectively focusing on illusions and things which don't exist and disliking and being uncomfortable with things that do exist. Aa goes down this path first, then the player's character follows, although both go have different ways of degeneration (Aa focusing on being worshiped, the player's character focusing on protecting a non-existent granddaughter and planet). So both came to reject Indra's Net.
The main character, operating as Indra's Finger in Hellspace, and Aa, leading Gutei's Finger, confront each other in the final section of the game. Aa uses the Hate Point -- which rejects other Points and weakens them, and the player's character uses the Love Point, which embraces other Points and strengthens them by forming connections. The Hate Points are revealed to be Love Points (because even separation and rejection of the external is a form of connection with it). Aa refuses to accept it. It's not clear whether the player's character accepts it or not, but I like to imagine he does, because at the end all the Love Points are connected to him.HOW CAN I HELP YOU SPREAD THE WORD ON THIS GAME?
Because we're an independent group, we don't have much funds for marketing, and because it's our first game we probably aren't going to be reviewed in major publications. So there are a few things you can do to help us out, if you wish. The first is just to let others know about the game, email your friends about it, post a link to it on the forums you visit, your blog or LJ or MySpace or Facebook if you have one, post comments about on blogs when it's relevant to the topic, etc. If you have a website with appreciable traffic, you can also sell the game as an affiliate (right now you can do that through RegNow or Plimus -- Google them to find out more, or email me), which means that you can put the game on your site if someone downloads the game from your site, you'll get 30% of the profit. The third way is to recommend to game review websites to review the game, suggest the game to Valve to be on Steam (they tend to take games that people ask for a lot), and so on. Fourth, just participate in the forums, answer the questions of others, and so on. Thanks for any help you can give!