March 28, 2011


I've had a "super punch" or "enrage" mechanic built into Skybrawler since nearly the first week of development. I liked the idea of giving the player the opportunity to go ballistic and just destroy everything around them, if only for a brief moment. But I realized that I haven't been exploiting the enrage mechanic to its fullest, and that I can really squeeze some crazy gameplay out of it if I tweak it enough.

The Previous Enrage Mechanic worked as follows:
  • The player has a "rage bar" that goes up to 7.
  • Killing an enemy has a chance to drop a "rage orb" which you can pick up, thereby increasing your rage by 1.
  • When your rage reaches 7, you can activate "enrage mode" by pressing "e". While enraged, your punches do 50% more damage, and you fly much faster and farther than when normally punching.
This system gives the player some semblance of control over their character's rage, which is good, but it is lacking in a few key respects. Namely, it doesn't change much about how the player plays the game; it essentially just gives them an "I WIN" button that they can activate almost on a whim. So I pondered for a while, and here's the new rage system:
  • The player has a rage bar that goes from 0-100.
  • Rage constantly drains, so staying out of combat for about 15 seconds would drain your rage all the way down to zero.
  • Punching an enemy grants 10 rage. Once your health drops below 50%, punching an enemy grants more rage as your health approaches zero. (The current formula is 10 + 2*floor(50/health)).
  • When your rage reaches 100, your character becomes enraged automatically.
  • While enraged, your punches cost no energy (allowing you to punch constantly), you hit for 1.5x normal damage, and your punches make you fly through the air at 2x speed.
The more constantly and frantically the player fights, the higher chance they have of becoming enraged and laying waste to everything in their path. This new mechanic essentially rewards the player for playing like an insane person (hence the term "Skybrawler"). In particular, the player gets rewarded through increased rage generation if they continue beating the crap out of things even as they are near death.

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