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Post feature RSS [Dev Diary] Power Ups - Part 1

Power Ups - Implementation, drawbacks and design ideas!

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Welcome to my first article for my game: Cube Overlord.

In my last update, I decided to add some Power Ups to the game to spice things up and add more complexity. But I also wanted to make sure they wouldn't be too powerful, and make the game too easy.
So for each bonus, I made sure they all had drawbacks, to make sure they were balanced between each others.

There will be 4 kinds of Power Ups in Cube Overlord:

  1. Magnet
  2. Lightning
  3. Shield
  4. Slow

While they might seem straightforward, they are not always so :)

Magnet Power

The magnet for example will attract cubes of your color while repeling cubes of the opposite color. This is a very powerfull bonus, it serves two functions:

  • gets you points by helping you collect cubes
  • clears a path through the level

But it's got several drawbacks:

  • It doesn't actually makes you invicible, you can still get hit by the cubes if they are moving sideways and you're not moving at all or in the wrong direction. Or simply if you switch color at the wrong time, right before a cube you are attracting is collected for example.
  • It is (obviously) limited in time, you get warned a little bit before it goes off, but if you are not careful you could be loosing your bonus at the worst time possible :)

You also get the lightning power up, it is quite straightforward, it destroys all blocks on screen !

Lightning PowerUps

But it also got two major drawbacks, it's a one shot effect (again, obviously), and it doesn't take score multiplier into account when collecting blocks! So if you are rolling with a blue x4 score multiplier and are headed for a bunch of blue cubes, it's actually better for you to avoid this Power Ups and manually collect all those blocks! Of course you then take the risk to hit a red cube and loose both a life and your multiplier :)

That's all for part 1, next article will cover the other types of Power Ups and extend on some gameplay ideas around them!

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