Winner’s Circle

You begin with a really in-depth backstory describing a bit of the history of Tempor and the state of things. Essentially, the kingdom has grown weak and susceptible to enemy attack. That is where you come in.

You are the last hero of Tempor, and it is your duty to fend off the enemy swarm. You use tower defense strategy to defeat your enemies and advance through the kingdom, re-uniting as you go. The more levels you complete, the more experience you gain. This helps you to unlock new towers as well as gain points that you can use to increase your skill levels.

Hands of War Tower Defense is a great tower defense game. For that reason alone it is deserving, but the story, game design, mechanics, and attention to detail make it an obvious choice for Flash Game Friday. Congratulations Axis Games!

Get To Know Danny of Axis Games

Tell me about yourself- how many people are on your team? Where are you based?

I am 27-years old and work as a high school programming teacher.  I’ve got a beautiful wife, two-year old son, and a new daughter due this July.  Axis Games is based out of Charlotte, NC and we’ve got a group of 6 members who participate in the design of a game in varying degrees.  What makes our development team so great is how close we are. Most of us are either family or have been close friends for 20+ years. We play MMOs together, eat together, and share a passion for great games and stories.  Broken down, I have a team of two fantastic writers who help with the creation of storylines and quests, and a group of three who aid in the design and development of ideas, characters, abilities and everything else that goes along with creating a game.  The actual programming and creating of the game in Flash falls to me. The graphics, voice-acting and music are all done by outside companies.

How long have you been making games? What did you do before?

I made my first game my senior year of high school in 2003.  It was called Capture the Flag, and it was bad! I had no formal programming or game design education and had to teach myself Flash and ActionScript from a book (Jobe Makar’s Flash Game Design Demystified). The book was fantastic and I couldn’t have gotten started without it.  I spent the next few years in college pursuing an education degree and making bad games. I finally got tired of making games that people hated and decided to take it more serious. I scraped together some money, hired an artist, and made Hands of War in 2007.

What was your inspiration for “Hands of War Tower Defense”?

Players really wanted to know what happened after Hands of War 2.  Tempor was in ruins following the second civil war, and I felt like I could tell the story of what happened next through a Tower Defense game better than I could through an RPG.

Any major challenges or hurdles during development?

The major challenge in developing this game was trying to take the game features that players really liked from Hands of War RPG series and implement them into a different genre.  On top of that, because there are so many great tower defense games out there, I knew people would naturally compare this game to all the others.

What types of games do you like to create the most? What types of games do you like to play the most?

RPGs – especially ones based in Medieval/Fantasy worlds!  I love great stories, and RPGs allow them to be told in an interactive environment.

How long is your game creation cycle? What is your process?

It typically takes 6-9 months from inception to final product.  The process involves first brainstorming and creating a design document, then creating, testing and refining the game.

Are there any game developers that you admire or consider “rock stars”?

I love the GemCraft series, and got a lot of inspiration from those guys on Hands of War TD.  I’m also a big fan of John (jmtb02) over at Armor Games. His elephant games are so creative.

What is it about making a new game that you enjoy most?

Taking a blank, white screen and making something that people can lose themselves in for hours.  I love telling stories of heroism and bravery, and think it’s really cool that players can actually take part in them through a game.

Do you have any hot projects you’re working on right now?

We’re currently in the process of designing Hands of War 3.  The Axis Games community put forth a lot of great ideas and we couldn’t resist continuing the story.  Players can follow the development of the game in the Beta Testing section of our forums here – www.axis-games.com/forums.