Designing a fun 2P co-op powerup system was a big challenge in Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime. Pull up a chair and dig into the process with us in a new Gamasutra Deep Dive, complete with gifs (obviously!).
But why was a combo system more engaging than just adding more gem variety? I think it’s because we were engaging a player’s imagination — they would try to predict what certain combos would result in. If a Beam Turret resulted in a railgun weapon, and a Metal Turret resulted in a swinging space flail, what could a Beam-Metal turret be? Players would want to see if they were right, and fill in that space in their mental chart of upgrades.
Full article on Gamasutra.