The solution I decided on: every time you pick up a consumable powerup, it adds 1 to your max that you can carry of that item. Whenever you use one, a progress bar VERY SLOWLY starts filling, and when it finishes, you gain back 1 of that item. I can easily tweak the amount of time it takes to regenerate your items, to play with making the items more or less precious. Currently, it's set at 5 minutes of real game time, which feels about right to me as a first pass, but we'll see.
|Here I just used my only slow-mo item that I've pick up so far. |
The progress bar below the item (in the upper-right) shows how long I have to wait before I get it back.
This was one of those changes that was surprisingly easy. I had to track a few more pieces of overall game state (max # of an item, and how far along the regeneration counter is), and then slap a new UI on top of it, but it all fit together nicely into the current codebase. It's always nice when things work.