I've been thinking about the concept, as i find it quite nice, but the actual implementation is not quite close to what i intend it to be.
First things i change are how you actually control the amount of balls. No more negative points when spawning new. This seems counterintuitive and leads to play with fewer balls. The core idea of this was to actually use the multi-ball idea many clones already have, but implement it so that it is not occasional but a necessity, or well encouraged to use more than one. The penalty makes it feel more teasing than helpful in that regard. Instead you will be able to spawn as many as you want for free, but you're limited to a fixed amount on screen. This limit will increase with your total score: Starting out with 3, and then one more for 5000, 20000, 50000 or so. I tried this with an equal amount of points, increasing the limit every 5k, but since you are snowballing your score, you'll end up with too many balls too quickly. So this little change will hopefully emphasize on the core mechanic.
Secondly i already have powerups implemented: balls getting stronger the longer they're in play (i.e. the more often they bounce, destroy bricks etc). What i plan to do is have them increase in certain paths that is randomly chosen when a ball is spawned.
One will be normally powering up, that will be able to go through more than one brick depening on its power level.
Another one will be dealing damage to nearby bricks when it collides with one, sort of like a chain lightning.
The third one i'm thinking about is a split ball, that gives you a free ball (does't increase your actual ball count, but it doesn't level up either, so it's easily sacrificeable).
The powerup mechanic is also crucial to the core mechanics, as you do not want to loose your high level balls.
The third thing that needs fixing is the level build up. It is definately too slow, so i'm thinking to do it in segments, or i need to balance the scroll speed which would be a real pain in the butt. Still need to think about this.
A fourth change will be more paddles to chose from, which actually have an impact on the gameplay. Not spoiling these yet though, but i have three already, where two are pretty unique from what i've seen
There is a fifth feature that will find implemention to get some gameplay variation, but i have still to work on that too.
The game will be high score based (since you cannot lose by outing balls) and i'm thinking about ways to increase the score through multipliers and streaks (amount of bricks you destroyed while not losing one).
The whole compo, and the help thread by 'Utarius' actually made me think of this whole breakout topic and i ended up writing an article about the genre and writing a clone in general. I still need to format and spice it up a bit, but i'll let you know once i release it (i'll probably even make a series out of it, but more on that later) WALL OF TEXT ENDS HERE
That's very cool. Reminds me of an old Amiga coverdisk game that I played for months
Remember which it was? Might be helpful for my research