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Keep Those Bugs Away From the Bomb » Devlog #2 – Levelling up the currency

Hi everyone!

After the last Devlog you know what happened to B.I.O.T.A. Swarm, and how it transformed into Keep Those Bugs Away From The Bomb. Today you will learn more about currency you will come across when defending the bomb.

Certainly one of the most unsatisfactory aspects in the previous version (again considering both the testers’ point of view and mine as a developer) were the mechanics of levelling up and gaining new power-ups.

In B.I.O.T.A. Swarm it went like that:
Initially, to give a more immediate and “arcade” feel, power-ups were earned with a similar logic to Vampire Survivors: the more enemies you killed, the more experience points you earned. Once you got enough experience to level up, you could choose one of three randomly presented items. The selected item was then immediately equipped in the weapons/powerups slot.
This repeated each time the player leveled up.
I soon realized that a system like this did not guarantee the depth and freedom of play that I had hoped for.

So in KTBAFTB I refined that system and landed on this::
The entire experience system and the points/items/skills acquisition has been deeply revised

Currently there are 2 types of currency – Bolts and Tokens

Every enemy drops a Bolt when killed. Bolts are the basic currency within KTBAFTB, and are used to buy new equipment in the shop (which can be accessed at the end of each arena).

The shop will always offer 3 random items to choose from and the price will be proportionate to their power level and/or utility capabilities

Apart from the bolts, each killed enemy yields experience points. It’s very similar to Swarm’s experience system, with one caveat – upon leveling up the player is granted a Token. Another way to earn more Tokens is by rescuing survivors in the arena or killing particular enemies.

Tokens are a special currency, much more precious than Bolts, and are used for special actions: reshuffling the items in the shop, increasing the stats of the character you chose, or better yet increasing the number of available combat equipment slots, so you can equip more weapons and power-ups at the same time.

When I was thinking about how to transition the progression system from Swarm to KTBAFTB, I figured that providing players with the option to purchase upgrades, rather than relying on random distribution or power-ups, serves as an effective means to stimulate strategic thinking.

This approach encourages players to think about how power-ups and weapons work together, providing different advantages and drawbacks depending on their specific types. And as previously discussed in the previous Devlog, I’ve categorized weapons into four distinct groups.

Let’s say a player has a bunch of “nuclear” weapons like the Neuron Gun, Goliath Ray, and Plasma Launcher. To make their attacks even more powerful, it’s important for the player to find power-ups that work well with these weapons. They can do this by spending Tokens to reshuffle power-ups in the shop, to find perks such as Uranium Batteries. These Batteries increase the damage and range of all nuclear weapons by +2 and +1, respectively, although they come with the downside of reducing Life Regeneration. Alternatively, players can go for the Ion Thruster, which increases the rate of fire.

Alternatively, players can utilize Tokens to increase their character’s stats. These tokens can be allocated, via a dedicated screen, to various skill categories, each of which is unique to the hero’s individual attributes:

  • Speed
  • Stamina
  • Jump
  • Resistance

[/b][/list]This personalized skill upgrade system allows players to fine-tune their character’s abilities according to their preferred playstyle and objectives.

In the next Devlogs you’ll find out makes THE BOMB such a bombastic addition to KTBAFT, how some of the systems changed with the transition from Swarm to Keep Those Bugs Away From The Bomb, how some of the features felt redundant and didn’t make it to KTBAFTB, or new stuff that just made sense after the switch, and what made me add it to the game.

See ya,