After playing the game for 1.5 weeks and re-evaluating how the gameplay works with the theme of "Life Influences" in an abstract way, I decided to ditch the whole "How Long Can You Last?" scoring. I came to this conclusion by testing three different scenarios. Below are my ramblings from OpenOffice Writer:
Player has a limited amount of Life Points. You can only have a max of 3 Life Points. Everything collected over that 3 Life Points goes to your score. In order to keep scoring you have to keep your health at max. The goal is to collect as many positive influences as you possibly can before you die.
This scenario follows the theme of influences.
Negative influences can hinder your growth as a influential person and your positive contributions in life are stymied.
Sometimes, learning from your mistakes and rebounding makes you stronger. Do you put yourself in negative situations to develop a deeper understanding of others you care about? Will that gamble ultimately defeat you in the end? Are those other people worth the risk of yourself?
Why 3 and not another number? Nintendo sure likes the number 3, why?
Player does not have any Life Points. One hit and it's game over. The goal is to collect as many positive influences as you can before you die.
This is a Flappy Bird scoring adaptation.
This scenario does follow the theme of influences to an extreme.
This could be more of a hardcore mode of scenario 1, so probably not a scenario that should be used as the main set of rules.
Player can collect an unlimited amount of Life Points. Run out of Life Points and it's game over. Player can collect an unlimited amount of Ability Points to be used for slowing down time and blowing the smithereens out of the incoming influences. Goal is to survive as long as possible in seconds.
This scenario does follow the theme of influences, but does not have any representation of the positive impressions created from your influence in your lifetime.
This does not have strict/tight enough limiting factors.
Slowing down time is a cool idea, but where does that fit in with the influence theme?
Now, Scenario number 3 was the original set of rules in the first iteration of the game and that worked with keyboard and mouse. However, after porting it over to mobile, those rules and player controls/abilities didn't translate well for gameplay on a phone/tablet. After letting a few people play the game on my phone and observing them, I could tell that much of their concentration was on the core gameplay and the abilities given to them were not used at all, nor did they consider them a fun addition to the game.
As for now, I'll be testing out Scenario 1 and having others try it out to get some feedback. I'll work on the cosmetic end of things and delve into the steps for release and monetization.