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Game Profile
GENRE: Other
February 06, 2009
Not Rated
 Written by Troy Matsumiya  on March 31, 2009


BigPark Inc. is a new development studio based in Vancouver and has recently released its first project called Wizard Defense, a fun and incredibly addicting tower defense game that is free to play at Be sure to check out our recent review, but in the meantime, read on as BigPark's Miles Nurse was kind enough to speak with Gaming Target recently and share his thoughts about the game.

Gaming Target: Hello and thank you for taking the time to speak with Gaming Target. Please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us about your role at BigPark.

Miles Nurse: My name is Miles Nurse and I am the Web Director / Game Director for web IP's at BigPark. My role is to inspire and create vision for products, while creating an environment that enables the team to deliver world class products.

GT: There are many free tower defense games on the Internet. What makes Wizard Defense stand out from the crowd? It must have been a challenge to come up with something unique ? especially the apple-chucking tree!

MN: A couple of things make Wizard Defense stand out. I think the first and most obvious is the production value. When we started on our journey our goal was to push the technical limits of flash based web experiences. We wanted to make computers sweat but not break. The second was our experimentation with concepts that generally did not fall in line with traditional tower defense games. Because the game is fairly compressed we wanted to ensure that players had to experiment with key elements of the game. A player's choice of spells, damage and support towers, and boosts all have significant impacts on the game. We also wanted to make sure we provided levels of difficulty for all players. Medium will challenge the best tower defense players and hard takes it to a whole new level.

GT: The beautiful artwork especially deserves kudos since it looks and feels as if you're playing in a painting. Can you tell us what inspired the look of the game?

MN: Joel Furtado was the brilliant concept artist on WD. The look of the game was definitely inspired from children's books, animated movies and classic illustrated stories. The challenge was to create a playful, heroic, fantasy based tower defense that had a good balance of lighter character development and epic environmental design. We believe we accomplished this and that is why the game has such a broad appeal.

GT: The story is unusually detailed for a tower defense game, a genre which typically has little more than, ?here tower, there bad guys, you kill.? What inspired the story and does it tie into future, perhaps full-sized retail projects?

MN: When we started I really wanted to tell a story. I am a big believer in storytelling and even if the whole story is not captured in the product it certainly guides your creative process. We have left the story open ended so we have options for future episodes and we are currently looking into unlockable content and survival maps. We believe we made a great game and we are interested to see what the public thinks.

GT: The game not only looks impressive, but sounds impressive as well. Can you tell us a little about the process of creating and choosing sound effects? Are they chosen simply because they sound cool or because you want to elicit a specific emotional response? I especially love the ambient environmental sound before you begin fighting, and the comical squish when you shrink enemies.

MN: Our inspiration for the tone of the audio effects and ambient sounds was that we wanted it to match up with our art style and tone. Pacing in video games is very important and I have already spoken about how important story telling is as a tool for good experiences. We wanted to make sure the audio supported the story and game arc so capturing those tense moments and offering relief (at times comic relief) is dictated by good audio design.

GT: Was there anything you or the team wanted to add into the game but couldn't because of time, budget or technical constraints?

MN: There are numerous features that we brainstormed that we would put in Wizard Defense. The good news is we have captured all those ideas and the public will have to wait for updates to see them to come to fruition :)

GT: Okay, so how the heck do you defeat Domidos (the final boss) on medium difficulty???

MN: Ah, a big question and one that comes up a lot. I am going to refer to what I wrote as the ParkRanger on our forum recently. Well, the good news is you are not alone. Defeating Domidos in medium is quite challenging. There are a couple of strategies that I have used that work.

The first is make sure you choose a spell that you think works for the level. I find that the more defensive spells such as shockwave and poison arrow are quite effective here. I try to save all my poison arrows for the final level, because the poison arrow (like the green apple Leafro throws as a critical hit) shrinks bosses and creeps. Bosses and creeps receive double damage when they are shrunk. So you need to use the spells wisely and maybe experiment with more Leafros?

The second are support and damage towers. Remember Rocknaught when boosted can do HUGE damage, but is slow. When you add the speed boost he shoots two shots on every attack, which can be affective as well. Try combinations of this to see what works. Also remember your support towers, Blizz will freeze the and slow them down, while Voltoss damages multiple creeps at once and will stun them on a critical hit.

Finally remember to experiment with boosts and learn about critical hits. Leafro will shrink, Voltoss will stun, and Blizz will deliver an instant kill.

So how do boosts affect this:

Power will greatly increase the amount of "bullet" damage your elementum delivers and slightly increase your chance of a critical hit.

Speed will slightly increase your damage, double your rate of attack, and moderately increase your chance of a critical hit.

Range will slightly increase your damage, double your range of attack, and maximize your chances of a critical hit.

GT: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today. Any last comments for our readers about Wizard Defense, BigPark, or deadly apple-chucking trees?

MN: Creating Wizard Defense was such a fantastic experience for many of us at BigPark and we hope the public enjoys playing the game as much as we did creating it.

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