Blog 451: Power-ups Y4

Power-ups. Auto-use items that bestow some effect on the player.

What do they add? Excitement? Alternative play-style options? Nothing at all?

Up until very recently, Project Y4 had precisely two power-ups: ammunition and health. Now there are a few more…

Whale Figurines

What I liked about adding power-ups in This Wreckage was that you never quite knew what you were getting. All of them were just sparkly “Whale Figurines” that only revealed their true nature on use. Okay, none of them had a bad effect, but it certainly meant (to me) that it was always worth breaking off hitting things for a few seconds during a fight to pick them up.

As you can see, item scale was not considered much in This Wreckage.

That style doesn’t necessarily work for Project Y4. I’ve gone all out on attachment effects this time around, from weapons and shields on to undercarriage mods, artillery shell mods, and even a tinted windscreen (your reward for being a crim, when I get around to tying it in). All of these have unique item models that match their attachment models — so when you see an item, you know what it is just by looking at it.

Power-Ups

So, there are auto-use power-ups that are sometimes dropped by enemy drones when they die. Let’s gloss over the fact that the drones either have no use for these, or should be using them to demolish you — hell, WC3 creeps all carry a collossal supply of gold and nobody ever stopped to wonder why.

  • Ammunition: does ammo even count as a power-up? Although ammo can be bought from repair pads, you’ll pick most of it up off the ground.
  • Repair drones: as with ammunition, you can buy repair at repair stations. Unlike ammunition, repair drones repair you over time (so you can use them to offset damage from Overdrive).

The repair drone circles and electrocutes you. This equates to repair. Yes. Ye-e-e-es.

So far, so obvious.

  • Credit chit: money money money; a randomised amount. The problem with this one is that a credit chit would be palm-sized, while you’re in a… four-metre tall? … mech. Trying to keep everything in perfect scale as much as possible, the solution I am currently swaying towards is making it an entire ATM unit that’s been pulled out of a wall.
  • Spiderbot: I’m in two minds about this one. The spiderbot comes from the spiderbomb shell mod — it’s small, weak, and despite its tiddly little legs flailing wildly, it doesn’t go anywhere fast. This is fine when it’s being deposited by a shell mod — it’s already in the midst of the enemies it needs to tear into (unless you can’t aim), and its weakness is offset by their being stunned. The power-up, however, could be dropped anywhere, and you have to pick it up to activate it. If you’re up close, your blades are probably much more effective than the spiderbot.

These neat little golden shells fit perfectly into the AP-AM's artillery cannons.

Now we get into the territory of madness.

  • Divine Shield: life is no fun without a bit of completely unrestricted carnage. I have yet to finalise the details, but the Disposable Single-Use Barrier clips onto your back and projects an impenetrable wall of orange from whence you can deal out destruction without fear of repercussion.
  • Disposable Ammo Factory: I haven’t done anything with this yet, but I think it might just work. Basically, you spend your whole life limited by artillery shells — so why not have a power-up that, for a short period of time, gives you completely unlimited shells?

So that’s the line-up I’m currently going for. Unfortunately, like the weapon and shield roster, it seems a little short. I mean, This Wreckage had 7 different Whale Figurine power-ups, and that doesn’t including the big pile of gold variations and all the stackable consumables that could drop… Obviously I don’t want to force Y4 to have lots of options if they just don’t sit right, but I’m fairly certain there is still room for a few more.

I wanted orange, it gave me... orange. Orange everywhere. Orange all over the place. Orange on the interface. Orange on the doodads. Orange on the power-ups.

I feel like I’m missing double damage, but I can’t think of a convincing way to make it fit the lore. I feel like Iam also missing movement speed, but that’s covered by Overdrive. A mad attack speed is another option (i.e. UT3 Berserk), but a small attack speed bonus has already been folded in as a purchasable permanent upgrade (let alone this also being covered by Overdrive).

Invisibility is not an option because you can’t just paint adaptive camouflage all over  a mech and, despite crazy force-field technology and various forms of Unobtanium everywhere, there’s no nanotech in RDZ Industries to Deus Ex Machina this one.

Can you help me out?

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6 thoughts on “Blog 451: Power-ups Y4

  1. Double Damage: EMP charger that turns your shells or blades into conduits of wild, ruinous energy, tearing apart enemy systems even as the shots themselves tear apart their structure.

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    • Nice try, but “EMP” is already becoming Unobtanium across the board so I need to ease back on it. Also, some blades are non-physical (i.e. force-fields) so that’s not quite generic enough to always work. It’s a tough one.

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  2. It’s been long since I’ve done stuff with WC3, so I’m not sure how possible this is:
    System Calibration Unit; cools your heat, refreshes your oil, checks wether your legs are equally long and gives you a nice wax: reset ability cooldowns

    Static charger: a battery that will burn through and send a bolt of electricity to the first enemy that gets close to you.

    About the spiderbot: you can replace it with locust to excuse higher speeds. Or you can make it a spiderbot mine: a mine is placed and keeps lying there till some enemy walks near it.

    You can replace the credit chit with some precious metal, considering that would take up more space.

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    • Hmm, a static landmine power-up is a good idea.

      Reset ability cooldowns would be easy, however only the EMP bolt and (some) undercarriage units have cooldowns so that may be a bit of a wet blanket. Definitely possible to do, though.

      Static charger sounds delightful but I’m not sure how much engine-fighting might be involved in making it. There is also the issue of there not being particularly many melee enemies (at least at the moment).

      The problem with finding precious metal for money is that you’d effectively be selling RDZ Industries’ own kit straight back to them. Then again, you can do that with your equipment anyway (except unique prototypes), so this could be a nice way to introduce gold reward variations (i.e. different kinds of metal).

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  3. attack drones
    bitches love attack drones

    or is this one of those games where you control only one unit because the target audience is micro inept.

    locust swarm
    bitches love locust swarm

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