Now I have the secret system down and I’ve developed the first few levels with lots of secret areas to explore. The only problem: I don’t have any rewards for the secret areas. I could have all secret areas end up going into useful paths but then is there really a point in having secret areas? I could add coins to collect and have most secret areas lead to areas full of coins akin to Donkey Kong Country Returns.
And while I’d love to develop DK’s system further (in order to expand Kong) I have no use for coins. I have no live system (I think gameover is a useless artifact from arcade days), so what would the coins do? Maybe every 100 coins you collect gets you a new power-up. Well, that means that I can’t decide exactly where players get power-ups, which would ruin the whole metroidvania theme. I decided to instead of having coins be like coins from Mario, I made them into collectibles. By that, I mean that you won’t find trails of coins but only one or 2 coins in each area. But I still needed to think of a use, I think it would fit with the metrioidvania theme if it there were doors that required a certain amount of coins to pass through, this would encourage backtracking even more.
I also thought about how in the newer Mario games, lives aren’t really that important because of how easy the games are, however people will still try to collect every single coin. People are motivated by many different things (I am solely motivated by taco bell’s 7 layer burrito) some people are motivated by the feeling of achievement that comes with getting collectibles. So if people see a golden, super mega, space doubloon they are going to try and get it even if there’s no reason because for them the reward is the reason. So I tried to think of a system that would encourage players to collect coins even when they haven’t seen a locked door for a while. Something that would motivate players to collect coins even without a mechanical reward. I literally got inspiration from one of the previous sentences. “Golden, super mega space doubloon” I can just give each coin a really stupid name that displays when you get it, that would encourage players to find them. They would have to be increasingly stupid names so that you would want to collect as many as you can. So I added a mechanic where when you collect a coin it displays “You collected a coin” and every time you collect another coin it would add one adjective to the coin. I think the randomly added attributes to the coin has the potential to be absurd enough to be funny. I think that procedural and random generation has a pretty large untapped potential for humor in games in general.
Hopefully, players will want to do this:
When the reward is this: