Working with powerups

by 7/17/2012
The last couple weeks, we've been working on implementing new powerups as well as the pause screen. Quite obviously, the pause screen isn't very interesting, so I'm going to talk about powerups. The word powerup is a bit of a misnomer as what we developing the game call "powerups" are really just blocks with specialized abilities. The reason this distinction needs to be made is because some blocks are special because of their behavior rather than being actual "powerups", per se. One such block is the Chameleon block, which many of you may have seen in our first video; which is a block that changes color in a cycle every time the player makes a move, which can cause for either the "Aw, man" moments when the player is unable to use it in a combination or carefully thought-out stratagem by using it as a time bomb of sorts.
With that out of the way, let's actually hit on what these powerups are. We have the Rainbow block, which is a standard wild; the aforementioned Chameleon block; Burst blocks (represented by sparkles), which will destroy blocks in a 3x3 AOE pattern when used in a line; Super blocks (on fire), which destroy blocks in a plus pattern all the way to the borders of the screen vertically and horizontally when used in a line; and Power blocks (which are black holes), which when used in a line suck up all blocks that are the same color as the Power block destroyed from the entire screen. These are the blocks we have been perfecting for Standard mode, but there are a few that we will reveal for other special modes.
Here is a video of some of the powerup tests:


One of the things that we've been trying to do is make sure that all of these new blocks don't throw off the balance we've worked so hard to achieve with our spawning algorithm, though at this point difficulty needs to be tweaked. When we had started out with the project, the gameplay was far more difficult than we had hoped, but now it's far too easy, nothing a little playtesting shouldn't be able to fix. That's all for now. We hope to have more news posted soon.

[NOTE: This post was first featured on our IndieDB page here: