Looking for advice on mechanics in my game

So basically I’m working on a game for an upcoming college project and I’m pretty happy with the basic mechanics I currently have. The only problem I’ve run into is a decision making one as I’m not great at judging complexity vs time if that makes sense.

Long story short I have a 2D platformer with two characters that you can switch between at any time. My problem is that I’ve gotten most of their mechanics sorted, but for my second character I can’t decide between which mechanic to give her. She is earth/rock themed and I’m struggling between playing it safe and easy by giving her a ground pound/smash ability or taking on the challenge of giving her the ability to place a temporary structure/tower in front of her that could help in puzzles.

I’m looking for advice from any programmers on what they think I should do as I only have a certain amount of time and I can’t decide between picking the safer route (Safer in my opinion) or trying to take on the challenge within the time frame I have. I’m not used to interacting on these forums but any friendly advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Are there enemies in your game? If so, i would try to come up a mechanic that is multi-purposed. Like, maybe a stone pillar that pops up and can damage enemies but also provide a platform to jump on. If there aren't enemies and only obstacles, think of some mechanic that can help that character one way and the 2nd one a different way. That way it causes you to balance the play between both (and they both are fun to play).


There are enemies in the game, so having the pillar damage them would be a useful idea! The other character is Air themed and is more mobility based while the Earth character has a more defensive kit which would make the pillar even more viable.

My original intention was for the Air character to use things like a double jump and boost/dash mid-air while the Earth character would spawn a platform, so both of their abilities could be used in unison to reach further away places.

The only issue I can think of however is how to implement it, I can't decide between having it spawn at a fixed distance in front of her or if I should have her throw an object that will spawn a pillar on the ground or wall it collides with.

Iterate quickly. Try both and see what turns out the best.

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for a college project its not worth the time, do the easier version