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Reviving/resurrecting players in semi-realistic RPG?


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#1 Legendre   Members   -  Reputation: 963

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 03:49 AM

I am making a small RPG with limited multiplayer. In science fiction RPGs, I can revive players from death with technology: cloning, reconstruction of body etc. In fantasy RPGs, there is always magic: resurrection spell, healing spells etc.

 

How do we revive players in semi-realistic RPGs that does not have high technology or magic?

 

One way to do it is to say the player didn't die, he or she gets seriously injured and later recovers. But I am really hoping to have death and macabre ways to die in my game, so this is out. An alternative is to have the player control a team instead: a team member can go out, adventure, dies and be replaced. But this is loses a lot of immersion and role-playing since everyone is controlling generic team members.

 

I will be so grateful if someone has any other ideas?



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#2 weymiensn   Members   -  Reputation: 180

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 04:54 AM

I would suggest you take a page from the XCOM series. Perma death can add more immersion than any ressurection method can ever achieve. If you have spent the past several missions to perfect the skills and such of Character 'Y' to perfection and suddenly that character dies, you will suffer an enormous feeling of loss. You made that character, you loved that character, but now it is gone, never to be seen again. Sense of loss is a truly powerful feeling, which should never be ignored.

 

Futhermore, perma death is in fact a feature quite a few gamers truly enjoy, because as mentioned it adds to the immersion, but also adds value to each individual character, which is often not present when characters just ressurect once a mission is over. Because, why worry if he'll be back up on his/her feet when all this is over? Of course, while quite a few players enjoy this aspect, others do not because they cannot cope with that sense of loss in a game. However, this choice of course should be made based on the audience you want to attract for your game.

 

If you want resurrection, sometimes it is better to just not explain. This time I refer to the gamer favourite Skyrim. If you die in Skyrim, it just reloads a previous saved game state, you just restart. No magic, no gods, no science, no explanation whatsoever. It is just a reset so the player can try again.

 

I hope this rambling helped you in some way!

 

weymiensN


Edited by weymiensn, 30 June 2013 - 04:56 AM.


#3 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1841

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 05:36 AM


How do we revive players in semi-realistic RPGs that does not have high technology or magic?

 

you don't.

 

if realism is part of the appeal, then perma-death is a necessary game feature.

 

if you have perma-death, its nice to add autosave too.


Norm Barrows

Rockland Software Productions

"Building PC games since 1988"

 

rocklandsoftware.net

 


#4 Lailokken   Members   -  Reputation: 356

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 07:33 AM

A MUD I used to play had a system in place in which the player would seek 'favors' (complete quests) with their God. So long as the player had favors they could be resurrected by a Cleric. If they had none then the player would experience perma-death, unless a Cleric was willing to sacrifice one of their own favors to save them.

 

I know you said no magic, but you might be able to convert this style of revive to work with your game.


-- A man shows who he is, by what he does, with what he has.


#5 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6301

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 07:56 AM

I'd actually go for permadeath.

That said, if you insist on bringing this up, you can introduce modern-time sci-fi elements such as ways to reanimate the body within a short period of time, or using T-Virus like components.

 

What purpose would reviving the character serve in your game precisely? How would it be approached from a Lore perspective?

The way I see it, people could react differently based on the amount of times you've been revived, sort of like if they were faced with Frankenstein sort of, except its progressive.

You could use a vampire-like approach, where the player is a sort of immortal in a way (after all, Vampires were scary at first because they appeared plausible).


Edited by Orymus3, 30 June 2013 - 07:58 AM.


#6 MrSkullz   Members   -  Reputation: 151

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 08:24 AM

As you mentioned you could provide an EMT style skill to help with non-catastrophic death which would provide a dead player the chance to remain unconscious for a minute or two and then some type of emergency service point like a hospital or ambulance station which gives them a chance to be stabilized.  It would be an interesting mechanic if the team had to interrupt their fight for a short time to drag their dead comrades out, plug any holes, pump them up with adrenaline, restart their heart, then carry them out to be picked up by the meat wagon.  If there was perma death teams would be that much more reluctant to venture into dangerous areas too far from emergency services.  Having a good healer (medic) on the team would be quite important.

 

Catastrophic death would still be catastrophic but that would also lend to more conservative strategies by the team because they would take great pains to ensure the fight was stacked in their favor.  You would probably need to really emphasize the "new" death dynamic in training missions.



#7 Legendre   Members   -  Reputation: 963

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 10:07 AM

Thanks for the input! A few points to clarify:

 

1) The game is designed around death and getting killed: you try to avoid gruesome deaths but this isn't always possible, I expect players to die a lot - even intentionally to collect achievements. But it isn't a "hardcore perma-death" RPG where you spend hours or even days leveling up your character, only to have everything wiped out when you die. The game will be designed in such a way that when you die and start over, you actually don't lose a lot - hypothetical example: the more enemies you kill, the higher your score is, so the goal is to get the highest possible score before dying.

 

2) Reviving the character in my game serves the purpose of letting the player continue playing the game basically. Its multiplayer so no saved games. This thread was meant to sort out how this will function Lore-wise.

 

Right now I think I will go with weymiensn's suggestion: let the player die permanently. Then, restart then over with the same player name and appearance. With zero explanation given! If anyone asks, I will blatantly tell them their character is auto-saved every time you start an adventure and reloaded when you die - just like in a Single player game.



#8 weymiensn   Members   -  Reputation: 180

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 10:22 AM

While I am happy you are going with the simplest approach, which in my opinion for your case would be best, is to ignore any attempt to explain ressurection whatsoever. I do want to post a follow up on your post.

 

When you started this topic you chose as title "reviving/resurrecting players in a semi-realistic rpg". Because, you wanted a more realistic approach you basically eliminated the ability to ressurect/revive from a deceased state, since that is pretty unrealistic. Now in your follow up post, I have to question just how realistic is your game? I cannot imagine any realistic situation where you could explain the need for someone to intentionally die, unless he/she is suicidal.

 

Since your game is from what I can tell a shoot 'em up type of game, I really do not think you will have to bother with explaining why the player can try again and again. These type of games are carried by the impact the action has, never their story and/or lore. Though more experienced people with this genre can probably give examples that refute my point. What you need to focus on is thus the impact of the game, ensuring the killing is fun and you can do it in a numerous fun and creative ways, because if you make that part boring your game will fail.

 

I have been told Killing Floor is a great example of the genre, perhaps check it out, though I think you already have.

 

Conclusion for this is to focus on the killing and less on the lore, because in shoot 'em ups the action/flow is what is important.



#9 Legendre   Members   -  Reputation: 963

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 02:56 PM

I have been told Killing Floor is a great example of the genre, perhaps check it out, though I think you already have.

 

Conclusion for this is to focus on the killing and less on the lore, because in shoot 'em ups the action/flow is what is important.

 

Very good advice. +1!

 

Yeah, I used to play a lot of Killing Floor (KF). And I totally forgot that in KF, you die over and over again but still retain the same name/handle and continue having the same experience/level. Brilliant. Thanks! And yep, you are right. I am making something like KF. And while there is going to be some story and lore, it is not going to be a person one - the player does not physically experience the story first hand.



#10 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6301

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 11:54 PM

There's a game Kongregate (anybody, feel free to jump in with the name) where its essentially a roguelike. You pick a class and race and go down the floors, leveling up.

When you die, you lose everything (gold, weapons, etc) but you unlock an 'epiteth'.

When you start a new character you can use 2 or 3 epiteths (provided you've unlocked them) and they alter your initial skills and stats.

Essentially, you have to die 3 times to get the best epiteths and add them to your final character.

 

Maybe that could help?



#11 Legendre   Members   -  Reputation: 963

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 02:37 AM

There's a game Kongregate (anybody, feel free to jump in with the name) where its essentially a roguelike. You pick a class and race and go down the floors, leveling up.

When you die, you lose everything (gold, weapons, etc) but you unlock an 'epiteth'.

When you start a new character you can use 2 or 3 epiteths (provided you've unlocked them) and they alter your initial skills and stats.

Essentially, you have to die 3 times to get the best epiteths and add them to your final character.

 

Maybe that could help?

 

Thanks! Sounds like an awesome game. Does anyone know the name? Would love to try it!

 

However, I am more concern with how to explain it storywise, rather than the game mechanics of it. Even though it is multiplayer, I am going to follow roguelike RPGs and not explain anything. Just let the player die and respawn fresh with the same name without reason.



#12 Stormynature   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2661

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 11:16 AM


However, I am more concern with how to explain it storywise, rather than the game mechanics of it. Even though it is multiplayer, I am going to follow roguelike RPGs and not explain anything. Just let the player die and respawn fresh with the same name without reason.

 

Perhaps you might tell us more of the story itself so that a piece of lore justifying/validating the use of revival/resurrection can be developed more easily.



#13 Matias Goldberg   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3007

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 12:32 PM

I agree with others that any kind of resurrection will have to translate to either divine intervention, magic, or high tech; so if you are aiming a lot of realism, you can't have resurrection.

 

If you're looking for a plot device that allows you to revive characters in gameplay while still make believable story deaths, you can sort to nature; like a very powerful medicine that sprouts from specific trees, flowers or forests. It can heal many fatal wounds (the ones from normal battles) but it can't heal extremely serious injuries like the ones from the story plot, or at the time of their plot deaths this medicine was taken/robbed from inventory and there's no close tree in vecinity.

 

It's still a form of "magic", but the idea is having something that is believable enough ("this could work in real life", explains why it works, and why it can't be used as a Deus Ex Machina), and restricted enough to explain how is it that it can't resurrect story deaths (why it didn't work)

 

Of course if your game characters die A LOT, it's still going to ring a bell when gameplay mechanics conflicts with story's permadeath.

But don't think it too hard, Final Fantasy VII had both an item "Phoenix Down" and a spell called "Full Life" to revive party members, and still had a major character died permanently in story, and there's a lot of jokes on the internet about that (which is a good thing, that is people talking about your game).


Edited by Matias Goldberg, 01 July 2013 - 12:35 PM.


#14 Milcho   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1171

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 04:36 AM

One way you could explain 'resurrection' in a non-tech, non-magical way is to change the way being 'killed' is treated. Often times people can be knocked unconscious,  badly wounded, or just generally appear to be dead, while still only being in a near-death state. 

 

Once you can explain it like that, you could, lore-wise, say that some random passer by has found you and either helped you heal, or returned you to a hospital or something. This seems like a reasonable explanation for outdoors areas, though not necessarily for the Dungeon Of Ultimate Doom (or other places like that) where random passers by are unlikely. But that could be just another way to make your dungeons unique and make them seem like an actual threat, like some place that truly is dangerous for the player, where they can die permanently.

 

Of course, always being badly wounded or having a near-death experience might also seem unrealistic, so you could give a small chance for perma-death every time you're 'killed'. You could make it dependent on how often the player dies - i.e. if they haven't died in over an hour, there's 1% chance of perma-death, but if they die twice in ten minutes, there's a 50% chance of perma-death on that second 'death'.



#15 Legendre   Members   -  Reputation: 963

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 04:58 PM

To sum up my thoughts regarding this...

 

When I posted this thread, I was returning to an old project and did not have a clear idea. Now, I am pretty sure it will be a rogue-like RPG with perma-death, that is not "hardcore". E.g. the indie game "Rogue Legacy". It will have limited multiplayer elements, like "Dark Souls" (players can occasionally join the same game, or leave messages in the game world).

 

I was deciding between two ways to handle the perma-death:

 

1) The player's character permanently dies and he needs to create a new one.

2) The player control a team or family (e.g. Rogue Legacy) and when one dies, he can pick another.

 

I did not want to use any magic or high technology to resurrect the player because I am really hoping to make the game world a dangerous place where characters get torn to shreds if they are not careful, and also give the rogue-like perma-death feeling of making runs into the dungeon (players retain some of their loot upon death, just like in Rogue Legacy).

 

In the end I decided to simply revive the player's character without explanation. The player respawn in his house, whatever he kept at home is intact, but what he brought along are destroyed.






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