• Arrjan Tarach

[DBDB#3] Augmentations / Upgrades

Today I worked a bit on coming up with augmentation ideas to inspire my fellow gameplay designers. Augmentations are effect upgrades that enhance the already established player loadout. My taught procces is that I want a system where augmentations synergize very well together and the player can mix and match augmentations to become a devastating killing machine. I always become very happy and energetic when other designers follow the vision and come up with cool effect ideas. For example, on of my gameplay designers (Doro) suggests this augment Bullet Hell which makes projectiles bounce an additional time and that one augment synergizes very well with my already established Burning Fury augment which shoots 2 additional projectiles. So you could shoot 5 projectiles and they all bounce around for a devastating area of effect.

3 things are really important when making upgrades. First is you make the player use what they already have but in a different way. An example of this is an augment in Death Blade which makes the dash deal damage if you dash through enemies. The second is to empower the player in an interesting way. What I mean by that is stat upgrades are good in their own way but can be quite boring if overused. A cool way to empower the player is maybe allowing them to shoot more projectiles so they now instead think how can I instead use the ranged attack to kill multiple enemies. It's fairly easy in terms of code and art because it reuses the same mechanic and the same art and needs 3-5 lines of code to get working. The third really important things are synergies which are huge and even though they might become broken that is fine because of one of the things that makes games like The Binding of Isaac and Risk of Rain 2 so fun is getting that occasional god run where you destroy everything.