Say you're making a platformer and your character grabs a special key. Yo might want small sprites to appear in the area. As an example i saw a game where you grab a key and roughly 5-6 small stars jump into the air around the character. I'm thinking this would be done via a particle effect just lower the settings way down?
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Or just some little sprite, spawned 8 times in a row with random angle, a bullet behavior, and a fade out with destruction on end on fade.
This seems more usable for what you need (you could have multiple stars animations, selected randomly on spawn, ...), but I don't know what is best, performances wise.