Keeping Up the Pace

The other day, we are talking about the usage of items in our game. As of now, there are only 2 kinds of items planned:

  • Ammo, when picked up will add another 3 bullets.
  • Shield, when picked up, will shield exactly 1 attack.

There are also one alternative weapon, designed by me, which is a rifle crossed with a balisong (butterfly knife), which can only be used at close range.

Some of us is arguing that including the shield item will slow down the pacing of the game.

In my opinion, I can’t see how a shield can slow down pace when combined with other items. Since the programmer is working on the test stage, and no other items, aside from the items that is going to be tested, are going to be featured on there in the final prototype, the concern about a shield slowing down the pace of the game seems to make sense.

However, in the actual game, there are chances your opponent will find the ammo or rifle knife item before you, and the rifle knife item could be used to launch a surprising attack from behind (since we are not planning to implement any additional gameplay mechanics such like footsteps, a such attack provides no feedback to the player). or tries to launch several attacks in a short time – making use of the increased amount of bullets. The shield, in that case, will become a very useful power-up to be against such surprise attacks. In other words, the shield item is a counter for the other 2 items. While the shield item, by itself would slow down the pacing of the game. Its design purpose is to balance the other two items that’s been used for the increasing of the pacing.

Now, the items are never the main focus of the game, since the player would need to find the items instead of tracking down their opponent. However, they create another strategy of reaching the goal, and provides alternatives to the gameplay mechanics, so even though our prototype test stages won’t feature any items, the final game will definitely feature them. There are possibilities that level gimmicks would also be considered, but that’s a topic for later.

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