New Slightly OP Abilities

October 13, 2020

I’ve been doing a lot more playtesting on Metasweeper, and one of my biggest take-aways is the that beginning isn’t fun enough (a good thing to learn now instead of much later). So I’ve been playing around with adding and rearranging abilities a bit. My first tentative step was to make an ability that tells you whether or not you had to guess and reveals a tile if you do. Well, this turned out to me completely underpowered and no one bothered to use it (though I had to build a minesweeper solver to make it, which is sure to come in handy in the future).

More recently, I’ve been playing another Zelda-like (Blossom Tales) and so far it’s been pretty easy and it gives the player a pretty overpowered (OP) ability right in the first dungeon (suffice to say I’m about two-thirds though the game and haven’t died yet). But being on the easy side doesn’t detract from the experience, because these games are primarily about exploration and discovery. So I’m experimenting with a significantly more overpowered ability for Metasweeper that serves a vaguely similar purpose as my pussyfooted first attempt. For this ability you send out a sonar-like pulse and get to see where all the nearby mines are for a limited time. It’s tied to using mana (meeting another goal of introducing mana earlier) so it still has to be used strategically, but the player doesn’t really have to understand minesweeper while using it, instead creating a sort of mini spatial memory game.

I also recent played through Super Mario Sunshine and it reminded me of the importance of simple movement feeling good. And it’s not just a matter of looking good. The idea is that movement should be a skill: the player can do something active to increase movement speed, even if only by a little. To this end, I’ve started work on a dash ability that’s currently slated to be placed in the middle of the desert, and you can see my efforts to make it visually appealing below (just because I said looks aren’t everything for game feel, doesn’t mean they aren’t still important).

I suppose I did a little work on abilities more than two weeks ago as well, but that’s a bit more subtle to describe and I’ve gone on long enough.

As always, let me know what you think if you feel like it.


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