So the darkness of the wooden floors makes it super difficult to see the darker parts of the enemy’s clothing, so I’m strongly considering adding two slightly diagonal “lanes” of light coming out from two sets of tavern doors, on which the enemies will travel.
Also, a random game balance thought: I think the player should be able to “get rid of” townies safely (i.e., without penalty) by shooting towards them twice. After the first shot, the front-most townie will “freeze” and put his or her hands up. From here, the player can shoot again to force the townie to roll sideways out of danger (and disappear from the game). If it’s been two seconds or so and the player has not shot a second time in that lane, then the townie will exit the “freeze” mode and merely continue walking down towards the player. However, if an enemy collides with the townie while the townie is standing still, then the enemy will shoot the townie–forcing the player to take a massive score hit–and continue marching down. And if two townies collide in a lane, then the townie behind will begin his or her respective “freeze” mode as well.
This way, the player has more options (and more options with strategic tradeoffs = more depth… and hopefully more fun). Given a status quo, the player can just do nothing and, for instance, let a townie in the left lane march down into the “Eek!” zone, in which the townie will roll sideways and exit the field. During this entire time, a queue of enemies/townies/powerups has now built up behind the townie, and the player has a short window of time to juggle all of them. And of course, the player had all that time to concentrate solely on the right lane.
Alternatively, the player could shoot once in the left lane to freeze the townie. Of course, this should never happen if there is an enemy close behind. That means it would merely make the townie freeze for two seconds at the expense of one bullet. Not really useful.
Therefore we can conclude that the first-shot townie-freezing capability for the most part is useless; there’s no benefit to wasting just one bullet to pause a townie for two seconds. It’d make more sense to double-tap, firing that second bullet to get them out of the way and out of mind.
In conclusion, if I choose to move forward with this new mechanic, then the player will basically have two options when dealing with townies: spend 2 bullets getting them out of the way, or allow a queue to build up behind them.