[rainblocks development retrospective] 2: Special tiles

After a few pages of ugly scribbles of how the game’s title would look in pixel art, the next thing detailed is a page titled “special tiles” which served as the basis for the seven (eight if you count the rainbow) items that were in the final game.

  • Lock: Cannot move piece. Disappears when matched.
  • Gain Time: Add two seconds to clock. When piece is matched touched. Disappears over time.
  • Lose Time: Takes away two seconds when this piece is moved. Disappears when matched.
  • Shuffle: Rearranges the board when this tile is moved. Disappears when matched.
  • Speed Up: Time decreases at double speed until next match. Disappears when matched.
  • Speed Down Time decrease at half speed until next match. Disappears when matched.

Lock and lose time are the only ones that did not change.

Originally you would have to match to activate the Gain Time, but that would clash with the matching to make bad status effects disappear. Shuffle would have required some animation that would take too much time and lock the player from making moves, and that would not be fun. The idea for muddy eventually happened and the covering of the block’s colors with mud served a similar purpose that shuffle would do, which is to temporarily disorient the player.

Speed Up and Down were pointless as written because matches happen much faster than I originally thought they would. Perhaps they would help or hurt a beginning player who was unsure of themselves, but a veteran would cancel their effects in no time. Sure, Speed Down would allow for a combo to be set up, but the gained points would not be worth the time loss even at half speed. Changing them to also affect how many points you get (50% more for Speed Up and 50% less for Speed Down) made them both more complex items than just clearly bad or good.

Fun Fact: Speed Down became Slow Down so that the text would all fit in the same space without changing the font size.