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Power Ups - Types and ways to use

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Hi, I'm designing a game in which I plan to include power ups. What kind of power ups are there? Do you always ask the player to "grab" the power ups"? I'm thinking about time limiting it- has it been done before? What ways are there to present it in the HUD? Appreciate your feedback. Cheers!

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Time limits have always existed for powerups, both for how long they exist on the map and how long their effects last. Also, powerups are not always "grabbed" in-game, and are often bought or even arbitrarily given to the player at certain key points in the game.

What sort of game do you have in mind? There are a lot of ways it could be done, and it makes a big difference depending on the game what would work and what wouldn't.

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Hey,
10x for the feedback!
I'm planing a dramatic fast paced strategy game. The power up would be an achievement reward for accumulation some parameter in the game(maybe points).
I don't want the player to grab the power up but rather have them placed somewhere on the hud. If the player doesn't use it(activate it), it would disappear.

Could you also maybe point some games as a referral example to the uses of power ups in games?

Cheers

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Are there any games similar to the one you had in mind? Maybe if we have a better idea of how the game works we could give better help.

What do you want to do with the power-ups? Are they supposed to be awesome superweapons, are they just miscellaneous effects to mix things up? Are they like regular items in a typical strategy game? I am interested what the fast-paced strategy concept is like, I think that having items appear temporarily could make a big difference in the way players approach the game.

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Similar genre games are aqua globs, Harbor Master, flight control, air boss etc..so it's more of a RTS type of game that I'm after.
I haven't thought about power ups as super weapons but rather about game control( though that might be an option in the future :-) )
What do you mean by "difference in the way players approach the game"? will it being temporarily available, make the player more "pressured", make the game faster played? what kind of an effect would it make on the game's dynamics?
10x!

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In a strategy game, I think it would be best to work them into the reality of the gameplay. Of course, in a R-Type like shooter game, power-ups simply floating on the gamefield are accepted, but I think they could be worked in better with a strategy game.

For example, what if the player actually had a "Power-up window" open on their UI? They could see a list of possible power-ups they can gain, a short description of what they have to do to gain it, and a bar representing their progress towards gaining it. These could be added and taken away based on the context of what is currently going on in the game. As an example, say you have a pretty standard strategy game and have directed your team to build a new gold mine to augment the 3 mines you already have. When the new mine is built, it triggers a "Deep Gold Vein Discovery" power-up (which awards 2x the gold mined for 90 seconds) to appear on the power-up window. To get the power-up, the player has to add a certain number more grunts to the mines to mine it. If they do send enough grunts, they will gain the power-up, but maybe after 3 minutes, the power-up is lost, and they will have to build a new mine to trigger another chance at the power-up.

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what would be a better player experience for my RTS game: random power ups (as in arkanoid for ex.) or letting the player learn how to achieve them?

I want to create an intense atmosphere where the player is absorbed with the game and not focused on thinking too much, or getting confused with calculations.

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In that case you'll want to use random powerups. If you just want to have flowing thoughtless gameplay, just have them pop up and disappear after a moment, so players don't think too much about whether they should use them now or later. You might want to give players powerups for doing well and scoring combos, so they feel invincible, but that could get too easy.

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2 ideas come to mind.

One is to have power up appears on-screen, but make them "locked" or otherwise inaccessible until the player "unlocks" it. For example, you might have a power up in a cage so that it's visible, but unattainable. In order to get it, player needs to attack it until the cage breaks. The idea here is that the player sees what power ups are nearby, and has to decide if it's worth the resources it will take to get them. Say the player is being attacked and is losing, but sees an invulnerable power up. It might be worth it to attack the power up "cage" instead of defending, for the payoff of being invincible, but they might not have enough units/health to get the power up without being killed in the process.


The second idea is to not use power ups, but something more like a "player power" that they can use at certain intervals. If you've every played the Game Boy/DS Advance Wars games, you'll know what I mean. You player may have a special ability like being invincible for a few seconds, but they can only use it once they fill a meter up. Maybe the meter fills with the number of enemies kill, time progressed, or anything you want.
You can make it more like power ups though, by having multiple meters, each one being filled by a different thing. For example, your invincible meter may fill with every unit you lose, and your attack booster meter may be filled when you units take hits while defending.

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Hi,

I've decided to have random-time limited-power ups in my game.
Since the game is for mobile, I'd rather use most of the screen for game flow and not for static icons.
Would not having an indication on the activated power ups (and their time limit) confuse the player? What/how would you recommend?

Cheers.

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