Is a PTD for Mobile in the works and what's it going to look like?
Will We Live to See the Greatness?
Oh Pokémon, My Pokémon - this alternate version of and simultaneous allusion to Walt Whitman's 1865 poem are both intended to express my love for Pokémon (that is if this wasn't already obvious from the Pokemon Tower Defense 2 site you're currently browsing through). This love for Pokémon has already taken me through the Pokémon adventures of Pokémon Tower Defense and also PTD2, the latter being perhaps the greatest fan-made Pokémon game ever made.
But now, according to the most recent poll on the developers' website, we may live to see a Pokémon Tower Defense game come to mobile. This is a short article of speculation and musing about the possible outcomes, both positive and negative, that could be in store for a PTD game you can hold in your hand. Continue Reading
Release Date: 28/05/2015
What is PTD, Why's It Coming to Mobile, and Why is it a Big Deal?
For the unfamiliar, Pokemon Tower Defense is Sam and Dan's work of genius that combines the catching and battling of the main-series Pokémon games with the much-loved format that games like Kingdom Rush Origins have made popular: tower defense. The original Pokémon Tower Defense was a relatively linear affair that involved battling trainers, catching and training Pokémon, and generally being immersed in a wonderful Pokémon universe that almost exactly replicates the official Gamefreak Pokémon Games for the Gameboy Colour. Pokémon Tower Defense 2 is the sequel to this, and it is a game that has become incredibly popular.
So what's all the fuss (and indeed this article) all about? Well, Sam Otero, one half of the developer duo behind Pokémon Tower Defense, recently uploaded one of the routine polls that frequently make Sam and Dan Games' games so interactive and enjoyable - the result was that people voted in favour of Sam working on PTD2 for Mobile next. To the unfamiliar this is no big deal, but to people that have been with Pokémon Tower Defense from its early days, this is huge.
PTD for Mobile (or PTD2 for mobile), if it manages to make it to the app store, will be the very first truly authentic Pokémon game to exist on any app store. It will be the first truly authentic-feeling Pokémon game that will let you battle others with real Pokémon from the actual Gamefreak series, and it will be the first time that PTD fans can have the experience on the go.
One of the biggest challenges that Sam and Dan will face when attempting to create a mobile version of PTD isn't necessarily trying to squeeze an objectively ambitious Pokémon project into an app, but is instead the legality of it all. As anyone that has played PTD or PTD2 will know, these games are highly authentic. Not authentic as in close to the main-series games in style and execution; I'm talking almost identical to the original Gameboy Games in terms of design, music, content, and many of the ideas involved in the game. You've got the original 8-bit music and pixelated look you would expect of Pokemon on the Gameboy, only twisted around to fit into a tower defense framework.
So the biggest problem facing the potential mobile version of PTD is a legal one - will Gamefreak/Nintendo stand for a mobile game that so closely resembles one of the most successful franchises ever created? One would be inclined to say no, but never saying never is a more optimistic approach.
The problem is that developers of games on the App Store must think about intellectual property as one of their main concerns - Sam and Dan Games doesn't own the rights to any of the Pokemon used, the moves they possess, the enemies encountered, the regions used (these are taken from the official Pokémon games as well), and pretty much anything else Pokémon related. It will be a copyright nightmare in that they won't be able to provide the necessary evidence of copyright for bringing the app to the app store - this handy legal issues when creating an app infographic will enlighten you further as it did me.
It's really just a wait-and-see game concerning the potential legal issues, but there are other matters that will interest PTD fans.
One of the most interesting things to see in a PTD app will be whether it will closely resemble the browser-based games or whether Sam and Dan will take it in a different direction. I'll always go with the sentiment of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it' - it worked remarkably well and continues to do so for Kingdom Rush's cross-platform status between browser and mobile game - which leads me to believe that the average PTD fan will also feel the same way because well, I'm a PTD fan and I'm pretty darn average at pretty much everything (including using profanities to be impactful).
I think that PTD for Mobile or perhaps PTD2 for mobile should be identical to the browser-based versions, at least in essence. It is clearly an idea that works so let's not break it, shall we? What will be needed is a reason for browser-based fans of the game to migrate to mobile. The could be enticing features such as free shiny/special/legendary Pokémon rewarded to you if you have both a browser and mobile-based PTD account. The mystery gift giveaways could still take place but could hinge on whether you battle someone successfully rather than solve a series of browser-based mysteries to uncover the code.
Of course if (or more accurately, when) the mobile development runs into copyright issues, the most likely thing to happen is that changes will need to be made from the browser version anyway. If these are too far-reaching as to mess with the essence of PTD, I would hope that the idea could be shelved or changed enough to please the gatekeepers of the various app stores whilst not compromising the integrity of the sublime way of Pokémon Tower Defense.
Now we're talking - features speculation always gets me excited in the Pokémon-shaped area of my brain. The obvious would be all of the current features but on mobile: breeding, evolving, mystery gift giveaways, regular or semi-regular updates of the app to introduce new features/content of course.
The biggest difference will be navigation of course - will it be joystick or touch-screen? I'm hoping virtual joystick for the walking and touch-screen for the battling just to make everything a bit more interesting. Storyline development will have to be included in the app from the beginning as well, as opposed to the current Sam and Dan way of applying frequent updates. 3D Pokémon battles would also be nice, but this may conflict with the style of PTD in general. It's really all up in the air at the moment, but if they could combine the greatness of PTD with some features of Pokémon Stadium World of Chaos, then things would be just grand.