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Limited fuel or unlimited fuel? Each have their pros and cons, but can I find a compromise?

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Fuel Limit Removed

In the lower-left corner of the screen, there was a fuel meter that showed you how much fuel you had remaining. If you ran out of fuel, you'd still be able to use the flamethrower, but at a slower firing rate.

The old way: when fuel runs out, fire rate and range decrease.

The old way: when fuel runs out, fire rate and range decrease.


Fuel pickups were scattered throughout the levels that resembled gas cans. These were fun to pickup to restore your fuel.

Though, having a limit on fuel revealed a number of problems.

  • Some testers often used up their fuel too fast.
  • Some felt it takes away from the exploring aspect: instead of blowing things up to explore the map, you conserve fuel to fight enemies or other challenges that lay ahead.

Because of this, I've been back-and-forth several times on having a fuel limit and removing it. Unlimited fuel seemed slightly boring to me, for these reasons:

  • No reason for the player to stop firing. Why not just hold the fire button down the whole time?
  • Less pickups on the map (no gas cans), and no refuel stations in the overworld map.

So how do I address both sets of cons? I think I found a solution.

Enter Overheating

Change one: bring back unlimited fuel.

Change two: change the fuel meter to a heat meter. It starts empty, but goes up each time you fire the flamethrower, and goes down (cools off) whenever you aren't firing.

Change three: give consequence for overheating. When the heat meter maxes out, the player explodes and is in shock for a few seconds, unable to move. Then the player cannot fire until the heat meter drains all the way. The player is unable to use the flamethrower for several seconds.

New way: when heat meter maxes out, player is temporarily paralyzed (when black/gray), and cannot fire again until heat meter goes down all the way.

New way: when heat meter maxes out, player is temporarily paralyzed (when black/gray), and cannot fire again until heat meter goes down all the way.

Test

Nothing is complete without trying it out in the game, making sure it feels right. After testing several levels, I felt this could work. Though, time will tell. I found that with most changes, I have to live with them for a while to really feel them out and weed out any problems or annoyances that might come up.

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