TT1: Isotower’s History

Welcome to the first Tower Tuesday Blog post. I plan on posting on this blog every Tuesday that I can, mostly to talk about various thoughts on ideas that may or may not make it into the game, or randomly write about tycoon game design. For now, a short history of Isotower.

It’s been a year since I started re-writing the engine for Isotower. In that time, the code has evolved from this, a plain tile renderer:


To this, a proper game in development:


And it continues to grow.

It’s actually been over 6 years since Isotower’s initial development. The code first start life as SimMine, a game with the premise of building a mining town, digging into the earth, and trading those minerals for finished goods. Some day, I’d like to revisit that idea, though there’s been multiple similar games that have comes out since then with many of the same elements. You can see the first few screenshots of Sim Mine below.

Sim Mine Town Ground Floor

Sim Mine Town Below Ground

Eventually, I started work on Isotower instead. The first screenshot I have is shown here, with some definite placeholder artwork. Not much was in place then, outside of building on tiles. There wasn’t much simulation behind it.

Isotower's first screenshot

Most of the original code is gone now, though some of the screen -> world coordinates, and back, code lives on. During those years, I’ve learned a lot about game development, and programming practices, and I’m still learning new things and techniques. Fortunately, the code this time around is fairly easy to work with, so finishing Isotower shouldn’t take as long as it has taken to get to this point.

2 thoughts on “TT1: Isotower’s History”

    1. Hi Scott,

      Thanks for the question. I want Isotower to be a lot more finished before opening up pre-orders, I want to make sure all the initial game systems are in place. Mostly this means getting the basic tower and room construction finished, and getting people moving about the tower successfully, including making sure the elevators work properly. Plus, saving and loading, and bunch of interface things to make it more playable. A lot of this is done on some level, but it all needs more work at the moment. I also want to get more art done, and get some sound in the game.

      It’s probably about 6 months before the game will be ready for pre-orders, though that also depends on how hard it is to fix whatever bugs may show up.

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