Monday, June 10, 2013

In Game Upgrades Costs

Here is what I am currently working on. The layout of the costs of all the upgrades for the Space Invaliens game.
  • On the left you can see my first 10 levels and the aliens that inhabit it, also how many gems will drop on that level for the player to collect.
  • On the right you can see the various upgrade options and what my proposed costs are

Now I will mention here that I have types of buyable Items. Fixers which are cheap and throw away, Upgrades which are permanent for you ship, and enhancements which are purely cosmetic and do not influence the gameplay.  I originally wanted a player to earn the in game gems currency and buy the items in the shop. Then when they have bought it, it is theirs for all their games. This means they power up their ships rather than just the ships in game. However the reality is that the items are simply too expensive if I do it that way, and it is simply off putting.. So now I am going to do the same as most games, and simply let you buy powerups for your ship as you go.... Though at this time I am still considering a 4th type of buyable package, the account package.(for another blog post methinks).

So back to the chart above. I know what Items I have for sale, and Yes, I can always add more levels of size, or fire rate or damage etc. The main thing is that I want the player to buy the stuff in whatever order they want. From my personal design point of view it is hard to setup though. The choices I would make are not necessarily the ones another would make. I think this is great but is in fact a hard thing to fathom the balance of all the costs to show it to be a fairly even and open setup. I might be a rapid fire type of guy, but the next player might be a 5 way fire type of person, desiring the more protective multi-way firepower over the focused firepower I would choose to wield. I really want the game to be balanced well enough that whatever route they go, it is as good as the next, so it is more a playstyle choice, rather than the only way to victory is one tech tree etc.

In the game the firepowers are quite comparable, but working on this table of costs for the upgrades is a pain in the proverbial to me. I just do not feel comfortable setting this out yet, but I need to have something to test with. So my current thought is to simply put in some numbers that seem viable and then go play the game and see what happens. If I manage to get the balance right between the upgrades, then I will only be left with how quickly people get the gems and what level they will most likely be maxed out.

Balancing the upgrading too slowly and make it boring, with too quickly and making the game too easy is proving to be difficult.

Da Voodoochief

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