I was happy with this effect until I realized, this evening, that the pentabomb's asplosion must set off a chain of subsequent enemy asplosions. Without that key visual effect the underlying gameplay mechanic felt cheapened. The overall area of the effect must be enough to encompass nearby enemies along with convey a sense of force and destruction necessary to make nearby ships asplode. This was the motivation for the following test:
This, also, felt like I was underselling the potency of the gameplay mechanic. I asked around in my various IRC channels for ideas and the idea of a shockwave was mentioned a couple times. This, at first, was an unappealing visual concept. Then, once I thought about it, the idea of a shockwave from the first asplosion was a great, simple effect to add to the normal asplosion effects from ships to indicate both destructive power (in the asplosion chain) and to serve as a visual cue that each asplosion is a part of the combo. So, after a few minutes of tweaking the particle engine, I came up with this (which must be viewed in sequence, as it's intended):
It's not perfect by any means, but after seeing it for the first time in action (and tweaking it), I really kind of dug it. More Asplode! news in the futureish time span.
Also, Rez HD is cool as hell.