The Balance of Corruption (Better name to come soon)

The story, basic gameplay mechanics and stuff is completely up to you. Basically, you have some kind of “Corruption” bar. All throughout the game it is slowly filling up. Once it is full, you lose the game.There is absolutely no way to reverse the filling of the corruption bar. This is an important part of the design.However, it fills up so slowly that you could easily complete the game without it even reaching halfway (or something like that).The tricky part is, the game will be EXTREMELY HARD. In fact, impossible, as it is so far.

So, how do you do it?

When the corruption bar reaches certain points, it mutates you to make you more powerful. Maybe it gives you wings? A better way of attacking; Better armour; Makes you more agile; Makes you bigger/smaller; Just make sure that none of the mutations have any negative side-effects. You must make the player want to raise the corruption.The game should be possible to win at full mutation from the very start (obviously without the full-corruption lose condition). ie: There shouldn’t be any stages that can only be completed if your corruption is below a certain point. The idea here is that you are encouraging the player to make themself more corrupted. The problem being that they have to balance their level of corruption with the time required to finish the game. 

So, how do they raise their corruption?

Well, there should be two ways. Firstly, simply pressing a button to (temporarily) increase the speed of corruption. Secondly, there should be special abilities that instantly increase corruption. Maybe a heal action, maybe a speed increase, maybe an explosion, lasers, fire, magic etc. Anything that is good for repeated use throughout the game, but not neccessary to complete any stages! These are just for convenience. Player should not be forced to use them if they don’t want to. Of course, because of the difficulty of the game, they will have to.

Final Notes on Balancing and Design.

You can do whatever you like, as long as it keeps to a few principles:

  1. It must be possible to pass any level at any stage of mutation.
  2. Special abilities must not be needed to win. It doesn’t mean that it can’t be humanly impossible to win without them, it just has to be hard.
  3. The above rules can be ignored if the parts accessed are not neccessary to complete the game. You can have bonus zones that can only be accessed by certain abilities/mutations.
  4. An extremely good player shouldn’t be able to win the game without their corruption reaching at least 3/4 (or whatever you want that number to be).

And some recommendations: The game will be more fun if the player has to make a careful decision whether to raise their corruption to pass an area, hoping that they will reach the end of the game before their corruption hits 100%, or whether they should leave it and risk dying as a result of being too weak to get through whatever stage.


The increase of corruption must be greater than just linear (polynomial or exponential). If it is linear, the player can just increase the corruption earlier if they know they’ll need it later anyway, with no negative effects.

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