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Single heath bar vs Detailed Damage indicators


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#21 NoAdmiral   Members   -  Reputation: 626

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:23 AM

Out of curiosity, what happens when a player's legs are broken and their legs get hit? Does he/she have invulnerable legs once they're broken? Do they take torso damage?

Do they die?


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#22 Milcho   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1177

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:32 AM

Yes, as WavyVirus said, the legs would act as a 'buffer' for fall damage. If the player falls too high, and the damage done is greater than the leg health, it will be subtracted from the torso health - which does mean you can die (as it should be) from falling. Leg health at 0 will also reduce speed significantly, disallow jumping, and force player into crawl mode - though the last is largely just an animation issue.

 

I haven't gotten around to implementing enemies/bullets yet, so I'm not sure if I can make it detect if it hit upper or lower body, or whether I'll make it just do the equivalent of a dice roll of which part it hit. I'm ignoring headshots for now - but if I can determine which part of the body is hit I may add a headshot area that's just instant death. (The reason I don't know yet, is because I need to implement bullets as moving projectiles and so far I've only done player-terrain and player-object collision, which acts slightly differently)

 

I need to mess with the silhouette health indication more first though, to make sure I can use it.



#23 thade   Members   -  Reputation: 1652

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:36 AM

One trap that I still find super easy to fall into at times is one you may be falling into yourself: you mention that 'lack of ability to see %s' as a short-coming...but it's not. smile.png The more numbers and statistics you throw at a player, the more restricted your target demographic is (i.e. what players will find your game appealing).

 

This is how I'd do the damage indicator (again, very much like FO3).

  • Body silhouette where base-color indicates healthy and red (varying over brightness) indicates damage.
  • Hover the mouse cursor over a body part to get a status report and perhaps percentage. (E.G. minor fracture, 60% healthy-ness, whatever)
  • Perhaps an at-a-glance health bar for each part (which is a direct rip from Fallout 3).

A very effective style choice FO3's design team made was to have the silhouette have a face which varied between Happy! and Miserable! (in a cheeky way) with the overall amount of pain the body was in.

 

All of this assumes that damage to a specific body part has a very real and intuitive in-game effect. Damaged legs slows your movement, damaged arms hurts melee damage and attack speed, and damaged head blurs your vision and hurts your aim. Things like that. There's no reason for such a fancy indicator scheme if the issues have no in-game effect. (Which you seem to be clear on, but I felt amiss not adding it, haha.)


Edited by thade, 29 January 2013 - 09:37 AM.

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#24 Milcho   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1177

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:48 AM

Right, I did see your links on the previous page.
I completely agree with you that overloading the player with statistics isn't the best idea. As you may have noticed, I avoided displaying the health in any of the mockups as a %. I really want a easy to judge by first glance indicator, and that's one reason I didn't include %s, since those get distracting.

I had this discussion with some friends a year or so back, when I had the "novel" idea to remove most statistics and give rough indicators of health, carrying capacity (no such thing in the game I'm making now but I mean in general here), and basically anything else that was usually given as a number to the player.

The problem is that they didn't seem very enthused about the idea of little information. I'm not saying that it matters that much for a small hobbyist game, but I figured at a healthbar might be a good indicator. The in-universe side of the argument is also that it's a scifi universe, where it's not unrealistic to have your medical condition known within a decent margin of error.

Fallout 3 had a pretty unique theme, of somewhat corny 50s style, mixed with reality. I'm not saying that a more serious game can't do that (obvious example being the original Doom, which also had a great indicator of your health by your portrait).. so, maybe, but more as an addition on top of what I have.. if I have the ability/time. :)

Thanks for the input again guys!

Edit: I'd rather not make a new post.
In terms of only using color for health - I was saying that humans are good at comparing colors, so perhaps something like this:
dVoE5Kt.png
where there's a rough scale of damage, could work. It still provides a decent amount of information at a quick glance, while being vague enough to add some tension.

Perhaps I could actually do this on the 2d character model himself - hold down a key to view the health overlay/damage scale on top of the character.

Edited by Milcho, 29 January 2013 - 10:19 AM.


#25 WavyVirus   Members   -  Reputation: 735

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:19 PM

I can suggest a few tweaks to the silhouette-based indicator mockup you posted which might make it clearer:

* If using a bar-filling-up approach, choose a chunky, exaggerated design which avoids arms extending below the 'belt' line separating the two sections. Maybe position the arms by the sides, so that they merge with the torso rather than extending out

* Thicken the borders, and maybe even separate the top/bottom sections by a few pixels

* It may be clearer to use EITHER bar-filling or colour-based indicators, but not both. I prefer your second mockup using colour only. An alternative would be to use a simpler colour scale (e.g. white -> red) and optionally a number to indicate %

#26 thade   Members   -  Reputation: 1652

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:23 PM

In addition to Wavy, I recommend trying to make it such that brightness increases (not decreases) with severity of injury. Currently the most injured state is represented by a very toned down red which doesn't really scream BIG PROBLEM to me, as I feel it should. There's a reason alarms use bright red flashing lights and irritating klaxons...as opposed to a soft dull blue and slow jazz. :)


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#27 WavyVirus   Members   -  Reputation: 735

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:28 PM

Great point thade. This also conveniently works around any problems with colour-blindness. Black (healthy) -> red (dead) might be worth a try.

#28 thade   Members   -  Reputation: 1652

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:43 PM

This also conveniently works around any problems with colour-blindness. Black (healthy) -> red (dead) might be worth a try.

 

I never would've thought of that; it's a very important (and hip) consideration.

 

ADDENDUM: Just incase it's lost by the cold, emotionless Internet...I meant that sincerely. :)


Edited by thade, 29 January 2013 - 10:47 PM.

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