Hey hi! I’m Alex, the game designer on Chariot, and I'm here to tell you about the Shield Bubble, one of the new gadgets in the Royal Gadget Pack DLC.
The new gadgets were designed to both help new players and give experienced players access to new techniques. The Shield Bubble, much like the Canary, is a bit of a Swiss Army knife; it’s useful in combat since it automatically damages and repels looters, it lights up in the dark, it protects the player from hazards like lava, and it gives the user a lot more vertical mobility. No matter which level you're playing, the Shield Bubble will probably be useful somewhere.
This is one of the gadgets that were suggested during one of the early DLC brainstorms. Originally, it had just the combat andprotection uses. However, one of the other ideas was a jar of fireflies that could offer a large source of light. That wasn’t enough to make an interesting gadget, though; in Chariot, one of the design philosophies I felt strongly about was that all gadget should give the player multiple gameplay options. So we combined both into one and ended up with a solid, multipurpose tool.
But then, during playtest, some players found the Shield Bubble underwhelming. So I asked them directly: what were you expecting it to do? The answer was pretty simple: since it was a bubble, they expected it to bounce. So we tried it. And it turned out great! The bouncing feature adds that little extra bit of spice to the gadget, without being too exploitable - it only added to player mobility, so it wasn’t a way to get the Chariot anywhere. That was left up to another gadget…
...Which I’ll talk about in another post. Thanks for reading and see you next time!