Friday, August 19, 2016

The Mechanics of Stretchy Dash - Part 4: Lane Boosts

If you're interested in how I developed the basic concept of Stretchy Dash, check out my post about it's prototype.

This is the final post about the mechanics of Stretchy Dash, my upcoming mobile runner game.

A bit into development, I realized that I wasn't fully utilizing the stretching mechanics that is so central to the game, especially horizontal stretching. I wanted to add something that would make your position in the lanes matter more. There should be a decision between grabbing ALL the pickups, and increasing the value of just the ones you care about most.

I decided to make the lanes themselves into a mechanic. What if sometimes, a lane would be highlighted a certain color that matched the color of a pickup. When you were on that lane, and pickup up a matching pickup, that pickup would count double. This worked out great! It provided interesting micro-choices while playing to maximize your efficiency, raising the skill ceiling of the game.

The Player Boosted by a Green Lane Highlight

With the Lane Boost mechanic, I was able to design groups of pickups with varied amounts of complexity. Overall, it's this mechanic that made Stretchy Dash feel most complete, and it's the one that I'm most proud of.

I'm currently in the final stages of developing the game. If you're a game developer too, you know that also means I'm in the longest stretch of the development process. Since this is the first game I'm releasing to the world, I've been learning a lot about marketing and polishing. You can look forward to some posts about that in the future.

Thanks for reading!

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