I think that we can all agree that the worst part about playing curve fever is being dead. (Of course, waiting in queue is worse!) Either way, being dead is boring, and unavoidable. Everyone spends quite a long time in the graveyard, new players especially, and while having turrents is kinda fun, it isn’t as good as actually curving. SInce new players are the ones that a developer wants to get hooked, the problem is especially bad. I think that death penalty is an avoidable thing, and I will try to give an example to demonstrate this. I hope that in this thread, we can improve upon the idea or think of other ways that the death penalty could be avoided.
Let’s consider the simplest way to get rid of the death penalty. When you hit a wall, instead of dying, you can maybe just lose 20 points (and everyone else gains the +10 as normal), but break through the wall and gain short immortality. There are some obvious problems with this, though. First of all, what if you hit the edge? Also, without the board clearing ever, it will get too clutterred. Finally, if one player dies a lot, the game ends very quickly.
To fix hitting the edge, the board might wrap. I don’t like board wraps, so I also propose a solution of reflecting a crashing line. This solution is still not great so I’m pretty interested in what you guys can come up with to fix it.
To fix the board clutter, some occassional clearing is needed. This can be in the way of big death explosions, large explosives placed throughout the screen as pickups, a scrolling board, or just occassional board clears. One difficult problem is making sure that difficulty is reasonable independently of if you are in a match with 6 silvers or 6 GMs. I don’t think explosions are great because too much shrapenel gets left behind. My favorite fix for this is a board that scrolls right to left slowly. The left wall is a laser beam of death, and the right wall leaks out empty territory to explore. The speed of scrolling can be adjusted based on the number of deaths that have happened. One easy formula is to count the number of deaths so far D, the number of screens scrolled so far S, and try to ensure that 5D is close to S (every 5 deaths a new screen, like in normal play). Each second, increase S by C(5D-S), where C is the scrolling constant, something like 1/30.
The final challenge is fixing problems with players who die a lot. If everyone gains +10 on someone’s death, then noobs or afk people will lead to everyone getting lots of points very quickly. One idea is to change the point system completely, and give everyone 1 point per second. On death, you lose up to 60 points, and this is spread out to the other players evenly, ensuring that you always maintain at least 0 points. If the points can’t be spread out to other players evenly, you can keep the remainder (or give the remainder to nobody, if you get 5 seconds of immortality afterwards the game is still guaranteed to end).
Overall, these are pretty drastic changes. What do you guys think about them? How would you improve them? How would you feel if the developers implemented them? What unavoidable problems are caused?