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Ketchaval

what do 'game lives' mean?

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What does health mean in a computer game? Where do lives come from? What other systems can we use instead... Originally most comp. games were about getting high-scores and completing as many levels without being defeated (ie. defender, pac man), they weren't about story or even about "winning" the game. They usually gave you three "lives", or which were things that allowed you to continue if you were defeated on that section. In recent times this has changed into a system where you only get one in-game life and no continues but can reload past saved games and try to play better (Doom, many RPGs etc). This breaks immersion in a consistent game world, The current system works in many respects, but maybe a new system would be "better"? How about reincarnation, or hyper-space- when almost dead the character uses a warp device to escape back to somewhere he has already been and loses things he has picked up(save point). Indeed one of the best games ever (Zelda) uses this, if you get killed you just have to restart at the beginning of the dungeon, and you don't start with full health points either. But if you have a special item (the fairy in a bottle) it will resurrect you on the spot and fill most of your hit points back up. It can be said that the player isn't supposed to completely fail in a story based game (or a puzzle solving adventure game), no, the idea is to give them a fun challenge that they can beat with a bit of thought / skill. Yawn, isn't this just the same discussion as the RPG saves thread? [edited by - Ketchaval on March 6, 2004 1:30:21 PM]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I see what you mean, you need the quick save/load to complete many games such as Max Payne. Unlike games, you can''t rely on skill to make it through unscathed, but have to use brute force reloading til you get it right. I''m not sure I''d say that we need to change the save system though just make games more doable.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
one of the best non-immersion braking system made by now is in prince of persia sand of time.
For those who havent played it.
you have this magic dagger that allows you to rewind time for few sec to correct a mistake (but that really happen in the story)
And the save points are at the same time a real game world object that show you vision of your possible future.
And when you die, thats the best part...
The prince says something like "nonono, thats not what really happened" -> storry telling!!
You dont play an adventure, you actually tell it!

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I have something unfortunate happen to me when I was playing prince of persia.

I was fighting a bunch of zombies. One of them killed me. So I used the dagger. The funny thing the dagger rewind the time to the moment the zombie gave me the killing blow. WTF!

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There are two major "gotcha"s with the rewinding time in PoP:SoT: firstly, the rewind only ever goes back to a fixed maximum duration and that starts to decay once you''ve died, so if you wait too long, you can no longer rewind far enough; secondly, and far more likely to be the problem in this case, any time you finish off or freeze a sand creature with the dagger, and possibly for using some of the other powers too, the rewind memory clears, and you can''t rewind further back than that use of the dagger.

The whole frame of the Prince telling the story of his adventure to someone works pretty well, though if you start thinking too hard about it you''re liable to end up seeing some new questions raised (like how come he can''t get the story right first time - "and then I jumped off a cliff to my death... no, that''s not what happened, I didn''t die...")

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There was an old came on the BBC (and later ported to various other platforms) called "Exile" which did exactly that ''hyper-space'' technique you mentioned: the player could remember up to five positions which you could teleport back to (always to the most recently remembered position) and whenever you suffered significant damage you would automatically teleport back to the last position. It was an absolutely massive game (given the technology of the time) but you could never die, which was pretty cool. The only trouble was that you''d slowly run out of fuel/ammo and it wasn''t always possible to recharge.

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