Tower Defence

A project in Unreal Engine 4.20.1 featuring a tower defense game.
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Tower Defence Project


I created this project in order to learn and develop my skills within Unreal Engine whilst also expanding further in certain areas such as Level Design and 3d Modelling. My aim with this project was to create a somewhat enjoyable game in the Tower Defence genre using what skills I currently possessed at the time aswell as demonstrating what I could achieve with said skills.


The game features design where the player must build defences to destroy incoming waves of enemies who are inexorably advancing towards the Tele-core. If the player fails to protect the core then they will fail the level. To avoid this they must build from a selection of towers that have their own strengths and weaknesses such as fire rate, damage and special effects. The game employs a point based system to build these towers wherein the player gains points by defeating enemies and spend points to build the towers themselves. The game has three levels with each increasing in difficulty as the player progresses from level to level. As with towers, the game features multiple types of enemy where they each are inherently different from one another, such as movement speed, health and special abilities.


Tower Behaviour

In the project, the towers use a collision based system wherein if the enemy walks into the box collision volume it would be immediatly targeted by the tower and fired upon. To make sure the tower waited to fire on the first enemy that entered the collision volume I created an array of actors which added each enemy to it as they entered the collision volume and only removed them when either the enemy had left the towers collision volume or the enemy had been destroyed. To make it so that the tower fires in order I set the target to the first element of the array at all times. The towers themselves can be upgraded to a superior version provided that the player has enough points to buy the upgrade.

Point System

The utilises a point based economy where the player starts with a pool of points at the beginning of each level and acquires further points upon each destroyed enemy. The player then uses said points to buy and upgrade towers. To achieve this each tower was given a point cost value where if the player attempted to buy a tower, the point cost of the selected tower would be compared against the current point total that the player has. If the player has sufficient points then the tower will be placed however if the player has insuffcient points then they will be denied and the tower will not be placed.

Tower Placement

The project features a hub based approach to the placement of towers, where the player will click on one of these hubs and will then be shown a menu with which the player can select which tower they wish to place down. This ties in with the point system that keeps track whether or not the player can afford the selected tower or not. From this menu the player can read information concerning the towers stats and its description. Once placed down the tower will fire upon any enemies that stray into its sights. If the player no longer wants the tower they can scrap it by clicking on the tower and selecting the deconstruct button which will recoup half the point cost back to the player.

Enemy Design

With enemies the behaviour to advance along their path to the end goal of the telecore but to make this more interesting I created four different types of enemies to deal with. To start with I created a base enemy class that would share the standard variables such as health and movement speed and then split them into varying types such as the standard enemy, the fast enemy, the large slow enemy and an enemy that makes other enemies tougher within a given range. With this latter enemy to do this I assigned a collision box volume around the enemy that will check each actor that enters the volume has one of the tags associated with the four different types of Enemies. If an actor is found to have one of these tags and is in the collision volume then a boolean will be flipped and any damage incoming to said enemy will be reduced as a result. To visualise this effect, I created an effect within Niagara, Unreal Engines fx editor.

Level Design

While creating the levels for this project, I followed the standard Tower defence layout of lanes and paths. Level one begins simply with a single lane for which the player must defend however as the player progresses from level to level they become increasingly difficult with the addition of more lanes to defend and more enemies to defeat. To advance to the next level the player must defeat all enemies that spawn. I created these levels using the landscape tool to shape the layout of the paths.


To create the landscape I used the landscape tool within Unreal, Textures featured are sourced from the Unreal Engine Starter content.


The water featured in the project was created using this tutorial


The models and animations shown in the project aside from the towers were sourced from Mixamo


All audio featured in the project was sourced from and free music


Initially I had intended this project to be completed within 2 months however due to unforseen circumstances such as unexpected difficulty and really not knowing how big or how much to include within the project led to about 4 months of development. However at the end I find this to have been a worthwile project as I find that I have learned a great deal more than when I started such as Navigation, inheritance in base classes among other things. I have also learned that one of the most important processes of Game Design is planning in that it sets a clear structure on whats to be done when and why. I immensly enjoyed the time I spend on the project and will as I delve onto the next project to be!


Here is a link to the packaged project so you can play it yourself! Here

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