Shield Upgrade Verbosity

As I approached this stage, I wanted to ensure that redundant powerup drops didn’t happen (to avoid feel-bads, etc.), so when a random upgrade was about to be triggered, the game first checked to see if all players currently had it in their inventory, and if so, would roll the dice again. (A points drop was always possible as a result and could never trigger redundancy, so the game wouldn’t get stuck trying to roll a powerup drop for a fully-upgraded player.)

Shields were not on the powerup list and behaved differently: if a powerup drop was triggered, if any player’s shields were down, the drop would always be shields. A bit boring, and players who kept getting bumped would not see the sorts of upgrades that might help them not get bumped in the future. This feature patch added shields back to the pool with a higher chance of dropping for unshielded players, but implemented a slight upgrade in shield capacity if picked up by a fully-shielded player, removing redundancy. It’s now a viable option to let shield drops stay on the screen while fighting, wait for shields to regenerate naturally afterwards, and then grab the powerup to stack upgrades.

2021-12-04 10:29 AM I upgraded the shields powerups: they now display different messages depending on if they repair broken shields, recharge discharged shields, or upgrade fully-charged shields on pickup. I returned shields to the drop pool to make upgrades likely.

I had some thoughts about more fun with shields:

  • Shield popping animation when shields are destroyed
  • A shield-forming animation when the player’s shields are repaired
  • When an unshielded player and a shielded enemy collide, the shielded enemy’s shields should be damaged as a function of player mass and speed. Maybe ditto to the player, rather than a straight shields-down?
  • When a shielded player and enemy collide, they should damage each others’ shields and bounce away
  • Status bars would be really nice—much nicer than the percentage popups.