Ludum Dare 32 — April 17th-20th, 2015 — Theme: An Unconventional Weapon

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by foolmoron - Compo Entry

keyTD is a keyboard tower defense game

Tap the keys on your keyboard to damage enemies that are passing over the keys.
Upgrade your keys between waves to fight off the increasingly difficult enemies.

Supports QWERTY, AZERTY, Dvorak, and Colemak keyboard layouts!!

Sorry for only having the Web Player version... I tried the WebGL export for a while and it kept crashing : /

Downloads and Links




ruthiepee says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 5:10am

The gameplay is surprisingly addictive! I'm on wave 11 right now and my fingers are kind of tired, haha. But it's more than just button-mashing fun: laying out your towers requires some strategic skills. The sound effects are really nice and I love the minimalistic style. I've never played anything like it! Great work.

Permamiss says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 7:31am

This is quite enjoyable, yet difficult! I'm on Wave 19 and choosing to stop here, as there does not seem to be an official ending to this. So fun! Seems the best option is Single Target Zap upgrades, starting on your space bar. Then applying it to other middle ones, and making your other keys push things to the center. Area Blast doesn't really make as much sense as mashing keys, especially if your keyboard can only handle a certain amount of keys being pressed at once. :B

foolmoron says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:15pm

Thanks for the kind words and feedback you guys! I definitely should've made the Area Blast more powerful I think :P

I just added a bunch of downloadable versions of the game, and a webGL version that is kinda glitchy. I hope this covers everyone though!

huminaboz says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 10:57pm

Very cool game idea. Works great with the theme.

Sim00n says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 11:00pm

Wow, this is actually surprisingly fun! And the keyboard sound is awesome. Especially typing "new wave". Great job!

Darkgoon says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 11:02pm

Really funny! And having a mechanichal keyboard really puts me at an advantage

chaosed0 says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 11:05pm

Nicely done, strangely addictive. Only complaint is that it seems a little to easy. I only stopped playing because I was afraid I would damage my keyboard/hands :)

Apr 20, 2015 @ 11:07pm

Whoa, I really like the Idea. The keyboard sound somehow effectively supports the atmosphere and having to type "new game" or "next wave" feels really cool and powerful :)

nicklink483 says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 11:07pm

This was a lot of fun to play. Mashing buttons never hurt so good!

HayBee05 says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 11:12pm

It seems like a good game to learn the positions of the keys on a keyboard. Very cool idea.

PixelPerfect says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 11:41pm

Quite addictive! I love the typing for starting new waves

SmilingCat says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 11:51pm

Very well done! I thought I was the king for a while, then level 38 happened...

Apr 21, 2015 @ 2:09am

The gameplay is shockingly addictive. I caught myself doing wave after wave of enemies! Great work.

jackrugile says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 6:44am

One of the most innovative concepts I've seen so far. I love it! And I need to work on my typing skills.

gillyadrien says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 8:24am

Very fun game! And pretty addictive. The concept is neat, and the execution is great.

Awesome work!

2R says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 9:17am

Great idea! I like it:)

vandriver says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 12:47am

I'm slightly upset that home-row typing isn't the best way to win, but man is this a smart game. The flow of the keyboard is perfect - sets up space as the catch-all last line of defense. Typing to get through menus is so damn classy. I love this.

I never thought I'd be giving a tower defense game 5/5 for innovation, but here we are.

I actually had to stop playing from getting tired of mashing buttons. If there were a playstyle that encouraged quick reflexes and hitting the right keys at the right time, i'd be physically capable of playing longer. And I want to play longer.

grillaface says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 4:46pm

Dang those keyboard effects are sweet! Crunchy good, nice work.

danidre14 says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 12:24am

Really fun game that keeps people playing for a while. But after a long time, it begins to get boring, since the money for upgrades increase, and the money gains from waves don't seem to differ.

I found your game only from Newgrounds, so you should have a link there leading to this game. Other than that, it was a well thought out game. Although it did take me quite a while to get accustomed to.

SonnyBone says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 9:02pm

FYI i TRIED THE wINDOWS BUILD AND ... DAMN. pLAYING YOUR GAME TURNED ON cAPS lOCK HOLD ON. There we go. Your Windows build doesn't seem to work properly. Web build works perfectly, though.

This is a really innovative twist on a classic, and it's a blast to play once you figure it all out. The interface is smooth, the sounds are crisp, and the visuals are consistent.

I got to Wave 31 and could've played longer but I need to save my hands for work!

I'd like to read a post-mortem about how you handled wave progression and balance issues because I never felt overwhelmed or super over-powered (aside from being able to super tap spacebar when maxed out to kill just about any lone enemy). I wanted to see if it was possible to get super far by avoiding a certain upgrade type, so I skipped over the charge/hold key type and was able to progress smoothly. Speed mashing seemed like a better strategy for me, too.

The PUSH KEYS. OH MAN. THE PUSH KEYS. That's a really awesome idea and it totally makes the game. Without them, it wouldn't be nearly as fun. Good job on that.

The best TD I've played so far and actually one of the most fun games AS A WHOLE thus far.

mildmojo says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 11:17pm

I think I just took 50% off the life of my keys. =P Wishing I had a keyboard with n-key rollover about now.

I quit after wave 35 because of time constraints. And my wrists were hurting. =P That's intense! Cycling through the waves of abstract enemy types was great. It was cool that you had support for a bunch of different key layouts, too.

I love the minimal presentation. Everything's clean and nicely tweened, upgrades are shown with simple color. The layout's attractive, there's great feedback when you hit keys. It seems like you probably spent a lot of time polishing.

The sound is entertaining, with the key clicks and little laser sounds.

I never really used the area-of-effect upgrades. They weren't powerful enough for the cost of occupying a finger and locking out a bunch of other random keys on the keyboard (the '90s shareware local multiplayer problem).

The disabled keys could've used a more obvious indicator that they'd been destroyed. In the heat of battle I usually couldn't spot them, only at the end of a round.

The round should probably end after the last enemy dies, too; killing a boss early meant you just had to wait out the 10-15 seconds left on the clock.

But I really, really like this entry. Excellent work.

aeveis says ...
Apr 27, 2015 @ 5:44am

Ah, I had a hard time with the game. Might have been my crappy chiclet keyboard. I wasn't able to kill things fast enough to upgrade (a lot of my keys would die and I really only repaired, but then the value of that went up).

Visually I think one thing that could help is to highlight keys that can be pressed once the enemy is in range.

Cliff Lee(CL) says ...
Apr 27, 2015 @ 6:58am

What a coincidence!
We share the similar concept with LD32 entry.
Like your idea that use keyboard input as action selector.

Leaghorn says ...
Apr 28, 2015 @ 7:13pm

Very oryginal idea and nice execution.

Yword says ...
May 1, 2015 @ 2:26pm

Really unique and innovative idea! Well done!

May 1, 2015 @ 4:03pm

Pssst - you are featured in todays Ludum Dare to Believe!

Lukbebalduke says ...
May 1, 2015 @ 4:33pm

Awesome idea and cool gameplay.
Congrats =)

ekun says ...
May 2, 2015 @ 3:33am

I initially thought this was just a typing game, so I was pleasantly surprised by your idea of re-purposing the keyboard as a huge controller. I've never actually seen this done before in a game, so props to you!

I think the first few levels felt the best, before the button-mashing reached an exhausting pace. I wish there were some notion of accurate presses to reward precise key actions instead of always spamming. It also felt a little awkward holding an Area Blast button while spamming other keys with my other fingers; I ended up not using Area Blast much at all.

Still, the tower defense game mechanic at its core was really fun. I would've kept on playing if my hands weren't so tired, but I had to stop at Wave 14. Bummer.

Side note: The windows build didn't register key presses correctly for me (I spent way too long wondering what I was doing wrong), although the webGL version worked perfectly.

ChuiGum says ...
May 2, 2015 @ 4:29am

Really original. A very unconventional weapon too, good job!

joe40001 says ...
May 2, 2015 @ 7:49am

Very innovative and fun take on the theme, it might be finger straining but it is a neat idea.

Alex Rose says ...
May 5, 2015 @ 4:46pm

I played 42 waves and then my browser page crashed :( . I could rejoin but I think that's a reasonable place to stop given that 80% of the keyboard had been upgraded to red keys by that point.

I feel like some of the effects are pretty useless. The ones where you hold, for instance. If I can do several hits in the time I can hold a key, I don't see the point holding the key (especially since my keyboard doesn't allow you to press too many keys simultaneously).

Also, the waves didn't get harder, they pretty much got easier as I got more money per round, and I just had all arrows pointing to the centre of the keyboard for the whole game then gradually built up red keys from space up to T/Y. The only time I had to repair in the whole game was when I accidentally clicked on a slow loading application and had to wait for the program to pop up before I could tab back to the browser and keep going. So.. I think some balance is needed to stop it from being too easy. Nonetheless, it was fun to upgrade everything. It'd be nice to get a couple more effects.

The initial UI and explanation could be prettier and better explained too I guess but generally a great effrot and one of the best games I've played this time around.

Nice one.

Atmospherium says ...
May 7, 2015 @ 1:11am

REALLY cool way of using the keyboard for commands. Handling input in such a unique way really sells the "unusual weapon" idea more than the gameplay itself does. With how the keyboard mechanic worked I really wanted for there to be some cheat codes or something to discover.

The audio and visuals do a great job of servicing the game and never getting in the way. The presentation feels really focused on delivering the gameplay.

As far as the gameplay itself, this definitely offers a new perspective on the tower defense genre and I think it works out really well. I understand the decision to move away from the usual auto-firing towers, but it felt very button-mashy on the whole. I think I would have preferred a stronger penalty to using keys over and over again maybe a cooldown or something in addition to the keys breaking.

Very enjoyable game, I definitely think I'll revisit it from time to time.

SteveSalmond says ...
May 8, 2015 @ 8:06am

Great idea! Fun too. I think you could do some cool things with word combos and such if you were looking at continuing this game. Awesome job.

caranha says ...
May 10, 2015 @ 3:08am

Quite cool idea. The upgrades felt a bit too expensive though, and once I locked out of my desktop when I pressed Ctrl-Alt-L :-)

After two or three waves I stopped trying to snipe the enemies and just started to wail at the keyboard aimlessly

Jezzamon says ...
May 11, 2015 @ 3:01pm

I don't know if I did something wrong, but I couldn't kill a single enemy. I'm running the windows standalone build. :C

I won't rate it, but from what I saw the graphics of when you press a key were nice, and typing stuff in the menu was fun too

foolmoron says ...
May 11, 2015 @ 4:41pm

^Sorry, the windows build is glitched and broken, try the webGL instead : /

Managore says ...
May 11, 2015 @ 5:57pm

After some initial hiccups playing with the Windows build, I went back and tried the web build, and it works much more smoothly! I love the depth to this game, which a lot of tower defense games miss. Having to physically press the keys instead of simply watching your towers attack means you have to weigh up a whole lot of pros and cons. Grouping up strong keys makes them easier to press but leaves you with gaps. Putting your strong keys at the top means you can wipe out enemies faster but requires faster reflexes. Relying on the space bar can be very efficient but is also very risky. I really enjoy seeing games with these sort of decisions to make.

I can see a game like this being able to become a bigger game, if that's something you're interested in. Some waves coming only from the left or right would give the player even more decisions, and you could even do bizarre things like disable the bottom or top half of the keyboard for certain levels, encouraging the player to spread their most valuable keys out. Enemies immune to numbers, enemies immune to consonants, there are lots of ways you could add to the game, if you wanted.

Great style, great audio, great idea. Pretty much great all round!

01010111 says ...
May 12, 2015 @ 12:28am

AH! Just realized I hadn't actually rated this one yet :)

The other week I was telling you how I could see the game being cooler with other graphics, like tile-based stuff or something. After playing another few rounds (currently at wave 20 btw) I feel like it's fine the way it is, in fact if anything, I would suggest a simpler, sleeker look. The enemies could definitely be cooler looking, but I found myself looking at the keyboard to "realign" my hands during furious button mashing sessions.

It's always tough to gauge the balance of tower defense games, but I felt like this was extremely well balanced. I never felt like the waves were way too tough, but I also usually felt a lot of anxiety, which I think is the point with TD games :)

The audio is good, the mechanical keyboard sounds are over the top on my tower because I have a mechanical keyboard, but I love the audio on my laptop.

I feel like cool geometry-wars style particle effects would have pushed the graphics from so-so to amazing! You should definitely practice that kind of thing because I feel like if you could do them well and quickly, the payoff on your games would be enormous!

Anyway, great work as usual! You did a great job adapting the theme into a mechanic (which I feel was really tough this jam) instead of just making a game with a character that has a goofy weapon.

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