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martin.3361

What if Bomberman powerups' location were indicated

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Hi, guys, just registered and I'm keen to read a lot of stuff here and discuss with you guys.

There is a thought that bugles my mind recently.

In Bomberman all powerups are hidden in destructible blocks and you don't know if a block has a powerup inside of it, so you go on to destroy all blocks. Consider the following scenarios:

  1. Blocks with powerups inside are indicated, like for instance in different color. One would know there is a powerup inside.
  2. One step further - not just indication there is a powerup inside a block, but also indication exactly what kind of powerup is there.

If you were to design that game, how do you think the given two scenarios would affect the gameplay? Would it be good or bad to take any of those approaches?

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It would make the game a lit easier I guess. The mechanics would change to "rush to powerups". I don't think the single player mode would benefit from this. It might be interesting for a multiplayer game but if player "A" has quicker access to a good power up then player "B" you have balance issues that might be hard to fix.

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There's definitely a balancing issue at play, as the fact that locations are unknown helps you balance out the fact that one player might theoretically have easier access to a good power-up than others.

Knowing where power ups are -- especially if the type is also known -- would result in many players making a beeline for the best power ups, but it may also result in an increased willingness to leave certain (non power up) blocks intact as a barrier to delay other players.

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There's definitely a balancing issue at play, as the fact that locations are unknown helps you balance out the fact that one player might theoretically have easier access to a good power-up than others.

Knowing where power ups are -- especially if the type is also known -- would result in many players making a beeline for the best power ups, but it may also result in an increased willingness to leave certain (non power up) blocks intact as a barrier to delay other players.

Let's consider just the scenario where powerups are marked, but their type is unknown.

I'm not sure about balancing issues, as multiplayer games often have players that end with much more powerups than others even with hidden powerups.

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Balance isn't just about what the players end up with, but perhaps even more importantly about the opportunities they have to get those items/powers/whatever.

Unless the play field is symmetrical, one player will be able to reach a power up faster than another, which is mitigated in the normal game because they don't know which direction to go to get the power up.

It's not necessarily a problem, but it's definitely a noteworthy change in the game's balance. :)

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maybe, but all players will see powerups in any direction, given the high concentration of powerups inside blocks. Also given the fact the powerups are evenly distributed on the stage, not sure how anyone will benefit more than others

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Also given the fact the powerups are evenly distributed on the stage, not sure how anyone will benefit more than others

They are not evenly distributed on the stage.

Some players may have two or three blocks to break before reaching a desirable powerup. Some players may have five or eight or so blocks before reaching a desirable powerup. Sometimes players are surrounded by debuffs, other times they are surrounded by all the best.

Some of the powerups are rare with only one or two on a level, so if their contents are visible will be immediately clear that those are going to specific people based entirely on their starting point.  A player who starts next to accelerators and a remote control can blow up blocks much more rapidly than those who need to wait around, so players may sprint directly to those items, and they'll leave behind the debuffs until they find a way to infect others with them.

 

If I start the game and can immediately see I'm surrounded by junk while my opponent is surrounded by awesome, I'm going to ragequit. If I can't see the contents but I can see I've got two powerups nearby and my opponent has seven, I'm going to ragequit.

 

The current implementation actually helps the game. The game is heavily impacted by the placement being randomly unfair. But because players don't know until they they try, the game becomes random rewards rather than something you can plan. Random rewards FEEL good even if they aren't evenly balanced, so players enjoy them more than they would with visible placement. Visible placement of random distribution often will FEEL unfair (because they aren't evenly balanced) so people wouldn't enjoy the game as much.

Edited by frob

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So it all boils down to this question:

How will evenly distributed (let's presume they are), indicated powerups, with NO hint of their type, will affect the gameplay?

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Several things would happen if their locations were known but the contents were not.

Highly skilled players would make a direct line to their closest powerups. Highly competitive players would determine routes and optimal paths that reach the most powerups in the shortest number of bombs, and they would have paths around them in case one happened to be a debuff.  

Casual players would have reduced feelings of random reward. That results in less conditioning to like the game, less joy and excitement. When they play against the people above who have memorized the best routes they will be at an even worse disadvantage than normal; at least with unknown placement there is a bigger element of luck in finding them quickly, so a novice might have five picked up where an expert has two or three. By knowing their placement (even when the contents are random) the the highly skilled player can clean out the powerups within a large portion of the map long before the novice has fully explored his starting area.

Edited by frob

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Several things would happen if their locations were known but the contents were not.

Highly skilled players would make a direct line to their closest powerups. Highly competitive players would determine routes and optimal paths that reach the most powerups in the shortest number of bombs, and they would have paths around them in case one happened to be a debuff.  

Casual players would have reduced feelings of random reward. That results in less conditioning to like the game, less joy and excitement. When they play against the people above who have memorized the best routes they will be at an even worse disadvantage than normal; at least with unknown placement there is a bigger element of luck in finding them quickly, so a novice might have five picked up where an expert has two or three. By knowing their placement (even when the contents are random) the the highly skilled player can clean out the powerups within a large portion of the map long before the novice has fully explored his starting area.

you are assuming the powerups are always placed in the same spots. This is not the case, their locations change each game. Also let's presume they are evenly distributed on the map and all players have equal count of powerups close to them

Edited by martin.3361

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