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Design Space Game Perk Ideas

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by HighlandCoo, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. HighlandCoo

    HighlandCoo Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    175
    Hi everyone,

    Im currently making my latest game "WAYPOINT"

    itch.io page

    The objective of the game is to guide spacecraft to their destinations, avoiding hazards and also dispatching your shuttles from base to deal with any in-flight situations. Kind of like a 911 operator game, but with a traffic control later on top.

    Currently im working on a perk/upgrade system for players to spend cash and "reputation points" on to unlock "stuff".
    BUT
    Im struggling to think of fun ideas for the perk system. I want to have the traditional stuff like "faster ships" or "tougher crew" but I also want players to have really crazy options with a risk/reward.

    For example one idea for a ship perk is "Event Horizon" - your ships can teleport to their desination instantly, but sometimes never arrive.

    Or another example of a crew perk is "Deus Ex" - your crew are biomechanically enhanced to automatically get X skills, but can never add more/different skills later

    Can anyone else think or any other ideas?

    If I do eventually finish this game, I will add the tag of your choosing into the game credits.

    Thanks for reading!
     
  2. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    3,846
    Skills that just increase numbers are boring, it's good that you've realized that already. (They're slightly less boring if you can only have like 4 skills active at once, because then having more HP means you can't have 4 cool super moves, and so on, but usually people tend to go for the thing with the most utility)

    Do you have active skills you can make the ships do at any time, or only passive skills?

    Here's some ideas:
    • Space Swarm: your ship becomes several small ships that travel together. Since they're a bit spread out, shots might pass right through them, but each small ship has less HP so if they get hit they're easily destroyed.
    • Dragster Engine: ship accelerates twice as fast and has higher top speed, but turns half as well.
    • Mind's Eye: when ship gets damaged the first time, time slows down for a bit so you can issue more orders.
    • Countermeasures: when hit by an enemy bullet, fire two bullets in random directions.
    • Apollo Retroreflectors: if the ship shoots and misses, the bullet will bounce against the edge of the screen (once), targetting the nearest enemy.
    • Soloid Radar: can spot enemies from twice as far away.
    • Black Hole Inverter: pushes away all nearby objects, can help bend bullets out of your way depending on their angle.
    • Time is Money: all loot the ship picks up becomes money, including healing hearts that would normally restore your shield.
    • Danger Hunter: get a boost to rep / money achieved after a mission proportional to how much HP you lost during the mission (e.g. if you're at 25% health you get a +75% boost to rewards), repairing is free.
    • PaciFIST: you can't shoot, but you will hurt enemies if you fly into them (and won't take damage from collisions)
     
    Calvert and SnotWaffle Studios like this.
  3. HighlandCoo

    HighlandCoo Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    175
    Thanks! Thats actually really helpful, the only issue is my game is more skill/management based and not a shooter in any way!

    You are totally correct, I want to avoid "boring" perks. I do want to give very clear "this is an improvement" perks, but only let the player chose them by sacrificing other available choices. But I also want to give totally crazy perks that offer large rewards for large risks, and to make those as exciting as possible.

    Some other Ideas I had:
    Motivational : Your ships travel twice as fast but have limited oxygen.
    IonDrive: Your ships are very slow, but use no fuel
    LiveFastAndDieHard: Your crew gain XP at twice the rate but are more likely to be injured or killed

    Let me know what you think!? All ideas welcome!
     
    SnotWaffle Studios likes this.
  4. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

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    3,846
  5. HighlandCoo

    HighlandCoo Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
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    Sure!

    The primary loop is guiding space ships around the solar system, and managing emergencies.

    The secondary loop is earning cash and rep from the primary to unlock new levels and perks.

    I hope that helps..

    If you want to and/or have time, There is a link in the OP to my itch.io download page.
     
  6. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    3,846
    That's not the primary loop, that's the secondary. Does the player press buttons to control the ship directly or click out waypoints to order it around while it's AI-controlled? How often do events happen that the player needs to respond to? How quickly do they need to respond to events? Are they alerted in advance or is it always a surprise if something happens or not? How many ships does the player need to keep track of at once? That kind of stuff is the primary loop.
     

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