Unique fusion of a top down shooter and tower defense strategy. You are the invader! Use destructive weapons or lead you enemies into a maze of towers. Strategize in the build mode by carefully selecting various types of alien towers or throw yourself right into the heat of the battle.
Recent Reviews:
Very Positive (20) - 95% of the 20 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (551) - 93% of the 551 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Aug 30, 2017
Developer:
Publisher:

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

 

Recent updates View all (106)

July 11

11 BOSS BATTLES OF X-MORPH: DEFENSE - PART 4, THE JAGUAR TANK


Jaguar Type S intro sequence fragment. Collateral damage is not a problem…

It’s time to present to you another boss design from X-Morph: Defense. In this series we have already covered the Tarantula MK V, the Scorpion and the Bomber. The JAGUAR tank you will read about today seems relatively harmless compared to the previous entries on our list, but there is nothing harmless about it. In fact, the mayhem caused upon the city by this behemoth is one of the biggest you will encounter in the entire game.

DESIGN



If we were to use only two words to describe the tank, the phrase would be ‘collateral damage’. The concept for this boss fight sequence started in the early days, back when X-Morph: Defense was still a shoot’em up. You would chase down the tank over a busy highway at breakneck speed (as far as tank speeds go, at least). The tank crew wouldn’t care about either the cars they’re crushing or the bridges they’re destroying. This deadly race was the only thing that mattered, and the prize was survival.


Early prototype scrolling shooter gameplay, circa 2010-2011.


Jaguar Type S is a huge beast, taller than most buildings.

As for the visuals, we wanted the JAGUAR tank to be the biggest, baddest and the most fearsome war machine you’ve ever seen on land. Designing tanks is quite pleasant, apart from a couple mandatory modules, you’re pretty much free to do whatever you want. Not long after we started iterating on initial design, we had a model which was satisfying enough to deserve a spot in the main game.

IMPLEMENTATION


The Jaguar tank spawns multiple automated drones that prevent the player from mindlessly shooting at it’s hull.

Over the 5-year development of X-Morph: Defense we had one major redesign. the game became a tower defense/shooter hybrid, as opposed to a classic shoot’em up. When the redesign hit our project, we wanted to save as much content as possible. Luckily, the tank’s design was so elastic, that designing a new map around it was enough to make it all work. Since the boss model is huge we had to give it plenty of room to drive around and crush the surroundings. Also, there are enough cars on the tank’s way to make sure there are plenty of explosions and debris decorating the players’ screens. The rest of the urban area was also designed to make the most of the tank’s ability set.


The Boss’ signature attack sequence is introduced through a cinematic cutscene. The first shot always misses its mark on purpose.

At the beginning of the fight the JAGUAR fires off a shell in an arc aimed at the X-Morph core, over the city rooftops. The attack misses, however, due to imprecisions in the targeting mechanism. It serves the purpose of warning the player of unprecedented possibility of a direct attack at the core. The aliens see this as a direct threat and set off to stop the war machine from firing further shells at the core. The player has to disable the main cannon before it fires. This requires a direct attack using the fighter, as the boss appears on a new part of the map that was previously locked, so the player has no stationary defenses available there. This is what can be seen in the game today.


The Jaguar tank is armed with a variety of anti-aircraft guns and a special EMP attack that can disable the player’s weapons for a time.

What changed, however, were the events after that. Originally, the player’s attack on the main cannon would damage the aiming gear so much, that the operators would be unable to raise the barrell high enough to fire in an arc. This would force the crew to fire the main cannon in a straight line. In a densely populated city. Through the buildings. Collateral damage is secondary. On a more serious note - this would make (some, but not a lot) sense if the tank remained stationary. After giving it the ability to move around the map this ‘tactic’ didn’t make much sense and seemed like wasted potential. Therefore, we decided that the alien can only temporarily disable the main cannon.

Translating the other prototype mechanics required a little bit of mental gymnastics. During the highway chase the gargantuan tank would destroy the overpasses, as it was too tall to fit under them. Being the 80s action movie maniacs we did not want to remove this from the game. We included this in the final stages of the boss fight. As the JAGUAR tank reaches 25% health it starts rushing the alien core head-on in the last attempt to stop the alien invasion, destroying everything in its path. Apart from looking cool it also evokes a feeling of urgency, making us feel that the tank can really do damage to our core.



A good boss cannot simply be a pile of hitpoints, it also needs a special set of attacks. In our case, enemies are designed specifically to attack the core or the player. When it comes to bosses, they need to be able to do both. The tank is equipped with EMP emitters at the front. When they are fired, the X-Morph fighter loses all abilities. Then the double AA cannons the tank is equipped with pose a much bigger threat. Moreover, the boss spawns multiple sentries as a distraction. Apart from high fire rate and decent damage, they are characterized by a plasma shield, significantly raising their survivability. The JAGUAR tank can also launch a missile barrage against the alien core and fire the main cannon at it. All of these different forms of attack give the boss a complete set of abilities the players have to learn in order to defeat it.

PROBLEMS



All in all, tanks are relatively easy to design, as far as boss battles go. The ability to move in any direction, turn around while stationary and provide fire in any direction are all helpful features to use in design. The implementation of this boss in the game was also quite straightforward, as it was one of the last we actually programmed. It was also one of the first times we used our designer-programmer combo, making the whole workflow easier. The core idea behind such an approach is that both people support each other, make necessary changes on the fly and work out the problems together.

Unfortunately we did not avoid making a serious mistake in the boss’ design. The JAGUAR tank is equipped with many components the player may destroy in any order. They are packed so densely on the main hull that aiming at individual parts is almost impossible. The result of this is that most players simply equip bombs, shoot at the tank and damage whatever they can using the splash damage. We learned that a boss of this type must be bigger and/or the fight must be divided into phases in order for this kind of design to work.

CONCLUSION


A boss’ death sequence must be accompanied by dozens of explosions.

Even though you can always find something to fix, some bugs are not as painstaking to get rid of as others. The Jaguar Type S tank was one of the easiest bosses to implement in X-Morph: Defense. This kind of work makes for a much-needed break from woes of more complicated boss fights. Our next article is going to cover a huge area of the game that we decided to drop completely, together with its boss fights. Ironically it was also one of the first boss fights that we designed for the game - The Dreadnought battleship.

Thank you for taking the time to read through this article. We hope you learned some fun facts about gamedev and the production process. If you'd like to stay up-to-date with the latest news from our studio make sure to subscribe to our other social media channels. Thank you again and see you next time!

EXOR Studios

facebook.com/exorstudios
twitter.com/exorstudios
discord.gg/exorstudios
twitch.tv/exorstudios
mixer.com/exor_studios

5 comments Read more

July 9

Summer Update is LIVE


Commanders!

The time has come and the long-awaited Survival Mode update is finally here! After careful testing and taking all your suggestions into consideration, we have made several changes to the way we handle Survival Mode in X-Morph: Defense. The timer has been reworked, allowing the players whether they would like to earn extra points for skipping countdown or strategize during the intermission a bit longer. We also updated some of the maps, adjusting early waves and resources available.

The difficulty levels have been renamed and their descriptions updated. This way we can prepare the players better for the challenges ahead, avoiding unnecessary confusion. We hope this will smoothen the new player experience and make the learning curve a bit less steep for our users.

https://youtu.be/amWyrVR15xA

Along with these changes we are releasing a new DLC - Survival of the Fittest! You can put the new features and your skills to the test on 5 new maps, designed with the specifics of the Survival Mode in mind. Revisit reworked South Africa, Great Britain, France, Netherlands and Finland. The last three maps also feature the unique defensive measures used by the humans, known from the European Assault DLC.



Please note that the balance changes are global - all X-Morph: Defense players will be able to enjoy the enhanced Survival Mode experience, regardless of the purchased DLCs - those stay entirely optional.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/800341/XMorph_Defense__Survival_Of_The_Fittest/

The full changelog for this update is:
  • Changed countdown timer in Survival Mode. Enemy waves don’t start automatically on the Easy and Normal difficulty modes allowing infinite setup time. Hard and Brutal difficulty modes are unchanged. This change does not affect leaderboard scoring.
  • Renamed difficulty modes: Very Easy = Easy, Easy = Normal, Normal = Hard, Hard = Brutal.
  • Updated Survival Mode maps. Starting waves are now generally easier to defeat.
  • Fixed a few very rare crash bugs.
  • Balanced base levels in some audio samples.
  • Added Nvidia Highlights Support.
  • Updated Main Menu to accommodate new DLC.
  • mproved mission failed tips.

In our efforts to improve X-Morph: Defense we are constantly monitoring your feedback and considering all the suggestions that you make. We are extremely grateful to our community for being so helpful and patient and we hope we can deliver more great content that fully meets your expectations. Feel free to post on Steam forums and contact us on our social media channels if you have any feedback about the game.

P.S.
This update and DLC is also coming to the PS4 and Xbox One.

P.P.S.
Follow us on our social media channels to stay updated!

facebook.com/exorstudios
twitter.com/exorstudios
discord.gg/exorstudios
twitch.tv/exorstudios
mixer.com/exor_studios
11 comments Read more

Reviews

“X-Morph Defense is a fantastic meeting of 2 popular genres, and Exor Studios have made it work, and it works well”
9/10 – Adult Gaming Underground

84% – PC Guru - Printed Magazine

“X-Morph: Defense is a marvel of physics, visuals, and that incredibly fulfilling arcade feeling.”
8.5/10 – TechRaptor

Enhanced for the PC

  • Uncapped frame rate, works even in 144FPS
  • Support for panoramic resolutions 21:9 included
  • Custom Keyboard + Mouse Controls, created specifically for the PC. No artificial constraints.
  • Customizable controls
  • NVIDIA Game Ready Certified

About This Game


Unique fusion of a top down shooter and tower defense strategy. You are the X-Morph - an alien species that invades Earth to harvest its resources and terraform the surface. Strategize in the build mode by carefully selecting various types of alien towers or throw yourself right into heat of the battle. Build mazes for incoming enemies in an environment that provides exceptional planning freedom. Tear down buildings and collapse bridges to support your defense or to simply indulge in a spectacle of unprecedented destruction. Possess a range of unique alien weapons and use defense strategies like you've never seen before in this genre.


Your goal is to defend the X-Morph harvesters from waves of incoming human forces. Each enemy wave is preceded by a setup phase in which the player can check what types of enemies are going to be attacking him and to observe their paths. There is no time limit for this phase, so the player can carefully plan his defenses or choose to start fighting immediately and place towers when needed during the battle. One of the game's key features is the ability to build towers virtually anywhere on the map and to shape enemy paths by connecting towers with laser fences. The player can choose between building long mazes out of basic towers or placing more advanced towers which are more effective at different types of incoming enemies. Advanced tower types specialize in dealing with specific enemy types e.g. flame towers are great for destroying fast moving ground units, artillery towers are best at countering large groups of slow enemies, anti air laser is ideal for shooting down heavy bombers.


As the X-Morph fighter you can engage enemy units directly with a diverse arsenal of weapons. You can morph into four distinct forms which specialize in dealing with different kinds of threats. Each form has a basic attack and a special charged attack mode. The Plasma Fighter is the most universal form - good at destroying both air and ground units. The Dark Matter Bomber is great at decimating groups of ground units. It can also slow down time and release a dark matter bomb that can cut down buildings. The Shredder fighter is perfect for annihilating large numbers of human air units and clearing the sky. Finally the Laser Destroyer is best for smelting large single units. It can also charge up a gravitational anomaly that sucks in smaller enemy units. A large variety of weapons and enemies along with a dynamic, fully destructible environment provides a rich arcade shooter experience.


The game's environments are constructed with a lot of attention to detail and they are almost completely destructible. From small picket fences to huge skyscrapers. Any bridge or building in the game can be collapsed and it's destruction is dynamically simulated using realistic physics. The destruction is not only a visual effect as it can significantly influence the layout of the battlefield. The combination of dynamic environments, laser fences and real time calculated enemy paths creates unique gameplay scenarios.


Humans are desperate to defend their home world. They have created huge, building size, mechanical war machines to fight against each other, but now they will use them to destroy the X-Morph. Each boss fight is unique and heavily influences the gameplay environment. Entire cities will be destroyed.


X-Morph: Defence includes a split screen co-op mode. All missions have different gameplay scenarios designed specifically for co-op play. Enemies attack in larger numbers and from new directions making good cooperation essential to winning. In this mode the game can be played in many different ways, one player can focus on optimizing tower placement while the other shoots at enemies or they can both focus their firepower on the strongest attackers.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 7 64bit Service Pack 1
    • Processor: Processor: i3 2.6Ghz or AMD equivalent
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce GTX 460 or AMD equivalent
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX compatible sound card
    Recommended:
    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 10
    • Processor: Processor: i5 2.6Ghz or AMD equivalent
    • Memory: 6 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce GTX 960 or AMD equivalent
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX compatible sound card
Customer reviews
High Volume of Reviews Detected:
Exclude  or  View Only
Review Type


Purchase Type


Language


Date Range
To view reviews within a date range, please click and drag a selection on a graph above or click on a specific bar.

Show graph



Display As:
Review Beta NEW!
When enabled, will sort reviews by new Helpfulness score. Read more about it in the blog post.
Show graph
 
Hide graph
 
Filters
Review Helpfulness Beta Enabled
There are no more reviews that match the filters set above
Adjust the filters above to see other reviews
Loading reviews...