New Feature – Bonus Status Effects

Hello again everyone! I’ll just let you know that the subjects of my posts may be all over the place sometimes, so unless I mention it on another post then the next post won’t be on a particular aspect of game design or even Streets of Peril.

Anyway, onto this week. I finished my finals and presentations for my senior project and I have over a week off from school. I spent the past few days working on a new feature that I think will prove beneficial for Streets of Peril.

In short, it’s called a Bonus Status, and it grants the player a positive status effect when the player performs well. The main inspiration for this was one of my all-time favorite Beat ‘Em Up games, Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage for SNES (there is a Genesis version too but I think they’re mostly the same). They have a special bonus move called a Power Hit, which is an extremely powerful attack, and it procs when the player has high hit accuracy and doesn’t get hit too often. Your health bar will blink faster as you get closer to obtaining it.

So, I implemented something similar that will better utilize Status Effects in my game. I always thought that something was lacking in the core gameplay, and I knew it had to do with Status Effects because those are the main unique features in Streets of Peril that influence combat.

How it works is the following: every time you kill an enemy, you get closer to obtaining the Bonus Status, and every time you take damage you get further from obtaining the Bonus Status. When you’re close to reaching it, a small generic Status Effect icon will appear above your Status icon (or where it would be if you have no Status Effect) and start blinking. As you get closer by killing more and more enemies, it blinks faster until it finally stops blinking, in which case you’ll receive a positive Status Effect. If you currently have a Status Effect when you’re supposed to receive it, it’ll be put on hold until your current Status Effect is finished. You don’t know which Status you’ll receive until you get it. I don’t want to go into all of the details regarding which Status Effect you end up receiving, but the Status Effect the enemy you killed currently has and the possible Status Effects that enemy can spawn with heavily influence the choice.

Here’s are pictures of what it looks like:

The Bonus Status icon on the upper left side of the screen. It is represented by a gray arrow. I finally learned how to upload images onto WordPress!

The Bonus Status icon on the upper left side of the screen. It is represented by a gray arrow. It is currently blinking, but you can’t see it because it’s just an image. I finally learned how to upload images onto WordPress!

This is what it looks like when you already have a Status Effect and can't receive the Bonus Status; the gray arrow remains above your current Status Effect icon until the current Status is over.

This is what it looks like when you already have a Status Effect and can’t receive the Bonus Status; the gray arrow remains above your current Status Effect icon until the current Status is over.

Overall, I think it adds a little more flavor to the game and keeps things interesting by properly rewarding the player for performing well. I was always fond of seemingly-simple systems in games that have hidden complexity, so to have one of those in my game was icing on the cake (the cake being the feature itself, of course).

Well, that’s all for now. Until next time!

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