Powerup!

What:

An artifact I’ve worked on this week is a simple powerup that will act as a “key” in the game. The powerup itself is simple, once you pick it up the type of projectile you launch changes. The color of the projectile is the same as the powerup the player picked up.

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A purple powerup *placeholder

These projectiles then serve the purpose for the player to unlock new areas of the game that were previously blocked by obstacles. These obstacles have some sort of indicators telling the player which type of projectile will work on it. E.g. a purple projectile would be able to remove vines which have purple flowers on it.

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Purple flowered vines *placeholder

How:

Unity has a very convenient “tag” system which I’ve used for this. The powerup itself is a prefab, but depending on what tag it contains it will change to the corresponding color.

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A purple powerup

 

In the player script, it checks whether or not the player collides with the trigger of an object. The script would then check if the collided object has a certain tag and then change a variable letting the script know what projectile is currently active. E.g. if the player collides with an object containing the tag “ppPowerup”, the script would then know that it’s only to launch purple projectiles.

The projectiles themselves would also contain tags. The vines would then have a script using the same method as above, only that it allows one certain type of projectile in order for the condition checking whether to open the path or not to be true.

Why:

For awhile now, my group and I have been contemplating how to make this game more interesting. We’ve played around with a bunch of different ideas, especially regarding what sort of powerup we should implement.

The game is an exploration game and in order for the player to have more of an interesting experience, locked or inaccessible areas are a tempting way to power the player into finding the “key”. In our case, this is the projectile-changing powerup.

Colors were the first idea as it’s simple and relatively easy to convey to the player that something matches. It’s also easier for the player to detect these obstacles as something special as the game itself is very dark and lack many bright colors such as purple.

 

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One thought on “Powerup!

  1. I do appreciate the pictures of the artifacts ingame but I think I would prefer seeing it together with the player.
    The blog altogether seems well taught out and describes the what, how and why to great extent. Especially the why where you describe the reasoning for the key.
    I feel that the technical stuff seems to make some sense although I am not a programmer and that I am not well versed in code or Unity.

    Additional feedback on playing your game, read if you want to:

    The color of the key, or powerup, makes a lot of sense being the same color as the door, but you might however want to guide the player back to the door, or vine.
    Perhaps by highligthing the flowers on the side of the map in the same color trailing back to the door you might lead the player more easily.
    Or maybe some kind of particle effect spraying in the direction of the door. By making the powerup be more than a key you might get some more interesting gameplay, perhaps some enemies in the same color as the projectile only be destructible when you obtain the specific powerup.
    Or maybe just more destructibles scattered throughout the level, close by the powerup, to show that “Oh, I can destroy all the purple stuff”.

    Like

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