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Chokki

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Chokki    610
for a game i am working on, an interesting question came to me... if a player was not sure how much of an item he had left, would he be more hesitant to use it? the item in question is a cd player, which the music the player listens to affects his stats. If the player is afraid, play some heavy metal. and likewise. the battery on the cd player is conditional, meaning the player won't know just how many more times he can use it to affect his stats... which would hopefully convince him to use it only as necessary. that's the hope anyways... i'm not exactly sure how well this would go over with the playing audience. idealy, the player would just take it as part of the game. constructive criticism on this concept would be appreciated. i am also considering using this approach with a few other items in my game.

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liquiddark    350
This problem is common enough in systems where the player has hard numbers to draw their information from that I think it's fair to postulate you'd only be aggravating the symptom, unless you decided to make booster items common, in which case it would become meaningless for them not to know.

One alternative formulation would be thus:

The player gets a certain effect from an item, but only in given circumstances. Therefore, you would encourage them to recognize when it was best to use the item, and when it would serve little or no purpose. So, for example, you might have a half dozen tapes, from metal to classical, which they could use in different situations to gain energy or quietude. Maybe the latter would be important for things like surgery or detailed mechanical work. I think you still run the risk of having packrats, but if the waves of effect are sufficiently obvious, the problem could at least be minimized.

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Numsgil    501
I know in my own gaming experience that I'm a packrat. If an item has limited charges, chances are I'll hold onto it through the whole game and never use it.

I imagine others must be like me. It's especially agravated when I don't know how many charges are left. Use a system like what you're proposing keeping in mind that many players may never use it.

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Chokki    610
i myself fit into this packrat mentality. the player would get quite a few uses, and would know that ahead of time, and when the batteries were about half empty, quarter left, and low..

the packrat aspect might be made more extreme, considering this game fits into the survival/horror genre. the purpose of this item and others is that, yes, they are more for last resort.

certain scenarios might dictate that they should use them anywas, like after everyone in the party just went through a tramatic experience. since they are all too shaken themselves to help the others recouperate, one pops on the headphones and gets a sudden rush... he or she can then help the others.

there will be plenty items like this in the game.. the player might waste valuable space to carry arround items they might never use... which boils down to being their fault. the player will be told advice to prevent stuff like that through npc's and party members.

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Numsgil    501
Quote:
Original post by Chokki
the player might waste valuable space to carry arround items they might never use... which boils down to being their fault. the player will be told advice to prevent stuff like that through npc's and party members.


Yes, I admit total failure at resource utilization. I don't know how many games I played where the best items were never used... (entirely my fault)

One method, done in FF7, is to have a limited use item (they had only x many elixers) be even more useful at the end of the game (you could uber level your materia through one of the enemies, don't remember the name).

So that even packrats like myself will have a time when we know we should use the limited use items. Perhaps there is a time when using the cd player will give you access to an uber item, late in the game.

But this kind of thing rewards packrat-itis, which you may not want to do.

Another method on the flip side is to have items lose charges when they aren't being used. Perhaps the batteries will begin leaking if you don't use them from time to time. This encourages even the packrats to use the CD player from time to time.

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Chokki    610
Quote:
Original post by Numsgil

Another method on the flip side is to have items lose charges when they aren't being used. Perhaps the batteries will begin leaking if you don't use them from time to time. This encourages even the packrats to use the CD player from time to time.


acceptable compromise... i could work around someting like that.

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Inmate2993    222
Most Sony discman players will have a small guage showing how much battery is left, usually measured in thirds. The difference between 1/3rd left and empty could be as much as 20 minutes, so, rather then just running out, what you could do is make a supply of batteries availiable. Make it a limited supply, but remember what each battery's energy reserve is. If you limit the changing of batteries to certain times, then the player will feel less likely to depend on a battery thats running out, since you may need to use a song but don't want to get stuck with no song at all, since you're not really sure how much is left.

Problem solved, we get to keep all of the batteries, and we're forced via paranoia into using the newer ones.

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smr    2468
I'm a packrat too. Give the player a precise battery level meter, and have the batteries lose charge over time. This will encourage them to use the player, even if they only use it once at the end of the battery's life.

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thelurch    156
I'm a packrat too. So I guess understandably I don't see why I should be punished for being one.

I really wouldn't like the idea of an item I couldn't rely on. Either becuase I didn't know how much charge I had left or becuase when I fanally decide to use it the charge would have run out!

Unless of course, you want players to find out how much charge it will hold themselves. In which case I'l just surf the net for the result.

Personally I like inmates idea best. It seems to be the best compromise between the two. I can be sure how many batteries I have left even though I don't know how long each one will last.




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