Like many of the modes in GW2, Sequence used to have a gimmick; in this case it was my play on using the Ikaruga colour switch mechanic in Geometry Wars.
The colour switch was represented as a flipping of the grid. You played on either the top, or bottom; pressing the trigger on the joypad would instantaneously “flip” the grid over and place you on the other side. You could see the enemies on both sides of the grid at all times, although the other side would appear greyed out and darker.
Enemies always spawned on the side of the grid you were on, so you could use this flip to spread enemies out between either side; also as you would only collide with enemies on your side, this allowed you to escape particularly difficult situations.
As Sequence had designed levels this meant I could play with creating particularly difficult situations for the player, forcing them to switch sides when I wanted, or even feigning them into switching, only to have a spawn they previously switch away from be thundering right towards them as they emerged on the other side.
It created some interesting play styles too, such as double tapping the flip button to momentarily shift from one side of the grid to the other to avoid an incoming wave of enemies, and allowed the creation of enemies that interacted with the player on both sides of the grid (such as an enemy that can only be destroyed from the opposing side to which it spawned from).
Of course, anyone who has played Sequence probably knows the mode is pretty hectic. I wanted the mode to be constantly throwing new situations at the player, so they’d have something to learn with each additional level they reached; but also feel a little retro in that if you die, you do have to start from scratch. Hopefully each time through the player would learn a little more, get a little further and see something new.
But while the mode that exists in the game today is hard, Sequence with the grid flip was BRAIN MELTINGLY HARD! You basically had to keep track of two games running simultaneously on either side of the grid, so that if you needed to flip, you wouldn’t emerge inside an enemy. Plus, as the mode was designed to force you to flip on occasion, you had no choice but to try and wrap your mind around it.
To hammer additional nails in the coffin, it was also very difficult to explain what was going on to new players and due to the dependency on the side the player was currently on for spawning, didn’t work well with multiple players.
So with regret, I cut the flip and gave the players bombs instead!