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Ketchaval

Beyond death

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What if instead of having death (and instantly quitting to the reload, start from last checkpoint menu) in games, we had something more seamless.

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Maybe something like an underworld, where your character has to seek out and find another "soul" which he/she must defeat in order to take over the associated body.

In an rpg or adventure game that could be an interesting element.. even if forced. You coud even have your characters mental or magical abilities remain but force a player to adapt to new physical limitations. Could be annoying, coiuld be intereting.

Souls could be more or less difficult depending on the body you would be winning. Another element would be that you make enemies (or friends) in the underworld, which could make the game really cool. Perhaps players could also commit suicide in order to effectively travel to a new location.. or maybe even to complete parts of the story in both lives.

For most FPS's, I don't think it would really work though.

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Absolutely. Anything to remove save + retry cycles is a plus.

Myself, I just plan to annoy the crap out of my players by forcing them to save at specific locations. But death isn't easy to come by. You can get pretty beat up, crippled and blind, and still survive. The player may be forced to leave things behind or may even get a bad rep. The idea of a perfect play-through by saving and loading is discouraged.

Probably just made a bunch of enemies.

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MMO's really can't allow users to save and load a game.. atleast none that I've tried. While the system in WoW is seamless and well integrated, I think it's far from creative because it's necessary.

Most single-player games don't do anything like that because it's not expected or necessary. Its acceptable to punish players for dying by making them load an older game. It's effectiviely the same thing as in WoW except that you just waste time walking back to face a situation that reset itself while you were gone.

I don't know about you, but knowing I need to reload in RPG's makes me a lot more careful. I am usually quicker to retreat if the possibility of death emerges. The save-load problem is more of an issue for me in FPS's where you don't have much time to react, and a tiny mistake can get your blown up.

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I think this system dates back to an old PC game called Messiah. I think it was somewhere arounf the time of the first GeForce series of video cards. In the game, you play a cute little angel that has a mission to complete. Alone you are powerless and easily beaten...very easily beaten to a pulp. So, you have to possess an NPC and take control of them. But to do so, you have to jump on their back. If they see you, they will instintively attack you as if you were some rodent. When the NPC you control dies, then you unpossess him and better find cover really quick. So, it was kind of a cross between an action game, a stealth type game, and an rpg of sorts.

I remember playing a little of it, but I'm not good at stealth, so died very quickly.

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I was referring more to save + retry games where saving anywhere at any time is allowed. A lot of players beg for this setup. I think it kills the game, and prevents a lot of other interesting gameplay situations. If a player reloads after he lets his in-game girlfriend die, he'll never get to see that he gets special rage abilities later because of it.

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Prince of Persia SOT / WW are pretty good at this, they allow you to rewind time (even after death) but you have to collect the sand of time to do so.

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This is a touchy subject, obviously, and you won't get a lot of support for it right now, since there aren't really any good examples out there. Players will think of all the bad things it will do to their current play style, but they have no precedent for the deeper implications it holds for gameplay, character development and story. I think SOMEbody should just go ahead and produce a system that does this well. Good luck.

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