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Landfish

Damage

17 posts in this topic

(another one!) In the Magic Alternatives post there was an interesting topic raised. What to do about the abstract way in which we handle physical status in games? It''s safe to say that certain games will always present a numerical abstraction of a certain unit''s performance. Strategy games, and many other games rely on the ability to use this information to judge your position. But other games, such as RPGs, could potentially improve from some interface revisions. It was written in a GDNet article somewhere (about Genres, I think) that RPGs are part storybook, part strategy, part exploration and part management. Only strategy and management are dependant on physical status. I like to envision that status will in future work more as a function of "role-playing" than as number crunching. A character may visibly limb to display damage, and in addition might complain to the leader of the group. A particularly stioc character might bear great pain not to be a nuscance, and a whiner might bitch and moan over a paper cut. Short of systems so graphically advanced as that, I think the first step is getting rid of the hard numbers. Even replacing the number with adjectives that describe a spread between a range of numbers is far preferable to me. Numbers are the enemy of playerside experience. Due to the digital nature of the medium, I know numbers are here to stay, but the more we convincingly cover them up, the better (IMHO). Theories, anyone?
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Well, this may seem like a bitch kind of post, but what the hell.

RPGs is the worst genre in the industry in a sense that it can be improved GREATLY, but noone wants to invest. Lame ass linear stories, lame ass dialogs, lame ass numbers, lame ass puzzles. Lame ass hit points, and lame ass "wisdom".

There is so much that can be improved in RPGs it ain''t funny. Too bad I don''t have the guts to start a project that huge.
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I do! =)

I know exactly what you mean, sometimes they make me want to cringe. However, I want to point out that Linear plots are never a bad thing as long as they are DONE WELL, which they NEVER ARE.

OK, back to damage...
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I was thinking about implementing a system in an RPG I'm currently working on where you can choose which part of the body to aim for. I know this has been done before (Fallout comes to mind), but one problem I have is that the game I am working on is real-time, so it cannot get too detailed as there's not much time to choose a bunch of different options to attack. I think I can overcome that problem eventually though.

Also, I was thinking it would be interesting if the player got hit in his sword-arm, and then had trouble swinging effectively. Then perhaps the player could have an option to switch his sword into his other hand or something.

Well...Just some thoughts....

Edited by - Nazrix on June 4, 2000 1:55:48 PM
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The realtime thing could be a benefit. I mean, you can create bosses with weak points (like panzer Dragoon Saga) that the player just doesn''t have time to locate... just don''t get chincy with it.
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Ah...very interesting idea...
And I could make it so that if the person is wearing armor on their chest but not their arm, then their arm would be more vulnerable.

Also, as far as representing wounds...I was thinking of representing it by something like
Your arm is slightly wounded or Your leg is bleeding very badly ... there could be a number system underneath it though.

Edited by - Nazrix on June 4, 2000 6:54:45 PM
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quote:
Original post by Nazrix

Also, as far as representing wounds...I was thinking of representing it by something like
Your arm is slightly wounded or Your leg is bleeding very badly ... there could be a number system underneath it though.




I think a textual representation of wounds is a great idea. Not just "you have 55/90 hitpoints" but an actually description of the damage would be great. A visual representation (the character bleeding) would of course just add to the effect.

But as I noted in my post back in the Magic Alternatives thread, I don't necersarily think that "cripling" the character (eg. cannot swing the sword as well as he used to) is a good idea.

It could lead to troubles by creating an "evil circle" where the character, once hurt, could never recover from the wound, but just kept getting worse and worse for every battle.

Maybe the player just got the habit of reloading the game once he had been hurt, because he knew he would not stand a change of getting back to safetly alive so he could heal?

Giving the character "performance" problems would probaly be the most realistic, but how to implement it so that its still possible to keep on playing and recover even if the character gets "crippled" in a fight?

Regards

nicba

Edited by - nicba on June 4, 2000 7:15:43 PM
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The way I''m representing damage in the new game nicba helped me with the plot for is a spinning globe on the interface bar. The faster it spins, the healthier the hero. Though there are numbers beneath the hood, they are very fuzzy and the player could very well die even if his hitpoints were slightly greater than 0.

I like food.
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nicba,
I would agree that a system where the player's abilities are crippled by damage would not work for all games, but this sort of goes back to the infamous Goblin posts. If it's a game where it's less combat-orientated, the player would soon realize he/she can't just go around beating on everything for fear that he/she may be crippled and could die.

Furthermore, the enemies would have the same sorts of "crippling" effects.

Also, there could be a skill for dodging and/or parry to block attacks. Also, there could be a healing skill where the player could use bandages and water (for cleaning the wound) to help the wound heal more quickly.


Edited by - Nazrix on June 5, 2000 1:02:23 AM
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Yeah, realism is always good

I like the crippling idea, and, whatever else you do, NEVER EVER tell the players health in numbers.
Text based is cool.

Selective armor is also good and aiming for weak spots (harder to hit of course) can give a game a lot of umh...stuff.

I find the idea of the evil circle not so bad at all. If you were seriously wounded taking on the poor goblin horde and spent all night plundering their hideout you risk geting your wound infected and all...
Then you might just stumble through the marshes looking for a spot to rest and patch yourself up. THis is what happens to the real heroes (read any fantasy novel).

In case of your sword arm being hit a skill like ambidexterity could come in handy...



sorry about the anonymous - Hase

Edited by - Hase on June 6, 2000 11:33:32 AM
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Yeah, realism is always good

I like the crippling idea, and, whatever else you do, NEVER EVER tell the players health in numbers.
Text based is cool.

Selective armor is also good and aiming for weak spots (harder to hit of course) can give a game a lot of umh...stuff.

I find the idea of the evil circle not so bad at all. If you were seriously wounded taking on the poor goblin horde and spent all night plundering their hideout you risk geting your wound infected and all...
Then you might just stumble through the marshes looking for a spot to rest and patch yourself up. THis is what happens to the real heroes (read any fantasy novel).

In case of your sword arm being hit a skill like ambidexterity could come in handy...



I guess it´s ok to make the player more afraid of the dangers of the hero style life. Much more fun if you can lose.
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If you''re using text, descriptions are nice, providing people know the order they come in. Otherwise you''re just making it more awkward for them. With graphics, I think some sort of gauge is nice, like in Diablo where there''s the globe of blood or whatever it is. It still gives you the quick at-a-glance check on how close to death you are, but doesn''t really yield exact numbers for you to start analysing the system with.

Regarding making players less capable as they get more and more injured, this can work fine, as long as you don''t make it linear. That is, don''t make someone on 50% health function at 50% effectiveness, as that is probably too harsh. Change the line in the formula to a curve by adding a square and that gives characters a little more staying power

This kind of effect can also be used to encourage co-operation on multi-player games, as no-one would want to be left bleeding and alone deep in enemy territory.
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I believe there''s nothing wrong with physical consequences after severe wounds or a harsh battle.But there must be a way back,i mean remedies and healings.
Herbs ,potions,magic or even resting a while(time is the best doctor) may give the hero back his powers(or part of them depending on the effectiveness of the remedy).
Voodoo4
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A skill for ambidexterity is a good idea. I think these consequences would make a player think twice before risking severe injury or death. Also, I agree that resting should be able to help heal wounds. Perhaps, the player would have to rest for as much as 3 or 4 days to completely cure the wounds, but it could just happen over a few seconds in real time. The main drawback to losing 3 or 4 days of game time would be if you have to do time-intensive quests, and having to heal for a few days could really cause the player to choose his/her actions carefully.

Edited by - Nazrix on June 5, 2000 3:47:54 PM
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I think it;s really cool that someone pointed out that realistic location based damage and negative damage modifiers are not very suited to COMBAT-CENTRIC games, but in games of which combat is only a small part you should be OK.

Sure, things get worse the more health you lose. That''s why in real life, you RUN AWAY! Nurse yourself back to health and if you must, go back and try again. But more often; stay the hell away from the guy who throttled you to begin with. But alas, the majority of games don''t (and shouldn''t) play like that.

One of these days i''m gonna take all these wacky-assideas of mine and make a game out of them! =)



This post was brought to you by the letter "Land", and the number "Fish"!
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Yeah I agree with you totally, Landfish. The player would start thinking in terms of whether to start blindly murdering all those helpless goblins for fear that the player may spend days healing himself/herself. Wow, my mind's starting to think like Landfish's. Landfish's whacky ideas are beginning to spread like an epidemic!

Edited by - Nazrix on June 6, 2000 10:08:38 AM
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While designing my RPG, I found the problem of hit points and attributes of the character vs player skills.

Do I test the character or the player ?
The answer is an hybrid system in which the character attributes ''helped'' the player skills.

The player started one or another attack and the character attributes slightly modify the path of the weapon.
[Real time]

Another solution could be to let the player plan and make the character act.


Another problem was with character health.
I do not want anything made before so I choose another way :
-the character skin/texture and geometry/model is modified by the localised damage it takes.

Well I''m thinking of enhancing the system through allowing env to change the skin/texture of the character.
This way you could have sand on your boots, blood on your shirt, green on your knee cause you''ve walk with the knee on grass...


With my CHARACTER vs PLAYER problem, what do you prefer ?
(using character attributes, and which one? using your own skills or only part and which ?)

To my knowledge ambidextry as always been a feature abused by the players. It make them more powerfull so they choose to be, it''s a ''break the rule''/''be the best of the world'' attitude everyone is tempted to follow.

-* Sounds, music and story makes the difference between good and great games *-
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No! You''ve found me out! How am I to infect you all with my nonsensically orginal ideas if you are aware of it?! Curse you Nazrix! You''ve foiled my evil scheme!(thanks for the ego-rub, man!)

Anyway, Ingenu, I have actually written out pretty much the same ideas, but I never got as far a you did. Good job.
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