Determining How Long Powerup Effects Should Last

Powerup effects are part of almost every game - but determining how long they should last can sometimes be pretty tricky. It all depends on their effects and the nature of the game's mechanics. Some of them are god-like powers that only last a singular use; some make the player much more robust and should last a limited time; some can act as only a tiny enhancement and can be turned on permanently…

Let’s consider our Powerup - the triple shot, upon the collection of which the player gets the ability to shoot three lasers instead of one. What behavior should this powerup have, though?

As I mentioned earlier, the power-ups' behavior should be based upon the core gameplay and the nature of the powerup.

For now, we have only a couple of relatively easy enemies being spawned, and we also get one of these powerups every dozen or so seconds. Considering this, the powerup should be either time-based or shot-based.

First, I thought I would limit this powerup to 3 shots - but seeing as how I will be adding more enemies, and specifically more challenging enemies, I decided to go with time-based. Therefore I have limited the time for this powerup to be active to 5 seconds.

Figuring the duration of these effects is oftentimes a trial or error and is always subject to change as the game develops and extends. For this prototype phase, I believe this is a good way to go for now.

But that is it for now, thank you for reading and feel free to follow me for more articles - and as always, good luck and see you next time!

Aspiring and eager beginner Unity developer

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