Determining How Long Powerup Effects Should Last

Energy, more damage, extra ammo, etc… How long should it last?

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Objective: Determining the duration or conditions for a powerup to take effect in a game depending on the functionality.

A lot of games have powerups that allow the players to get skills and give a different experience making the game more fun. In this case in the space shooter we have a triple shot, a speed boost and a shield powerup.

So how long should each one last? Ok that depends on the functionality of each powerup. For example the triple shot makes the player shoot 3 lasers instead of one so we can activate this ability for a limit of time let’s say 5 seconds or we could have a triple shot counter that allows the player to shoot only 5 triple lasers.

Same thing with the speed boost we could use a boost bar or a timer. The point is there is not a golden rule to determine the duration or condition of a powerup you have to evaluate the implementation and configure the values according to the other elements in the game and most likely you should have to iterate and try different values until find something that works perfectly for your game.

A Software Engineer passionate about game dev and interactive products with Unity. I consider video games to be the artistic expression of programming.