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No need to kill

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Has anyone ever considered the concept of unnecessary enemy NPC death? Basically, when characters get shot, sliced, and bombed, they just don't die. Or at least not usually. In the real world, most people would usually be willing to give up a fight before death. Something as simple as a gunshot wound to the arm would be enough to drop someone and end a conflict. But it doesn't need to be in the arm. Even bullets or swords to the torso could be made to wound characters more often than kill them. I'm not really asking if it's feasible. I know it is. I'm wondering what incentive there is to cause "the last blow" to kill. It could just cause them to fall, disabled. They could lay there moaning, crawl away, or even get up and run from the fight. As long as the player gets whatever reward they would have gotten from a kill, the gameplay is the same. And the result would probably be more realistic. I'm not suggesting that death should be disabled. Characters would still be able to die. But it just wouldn't be necessary to kill or knock them unconscious to "win" against them. When enemies drop or give up after being outdone, the player would gain the same amount of experience and loot that they would have gotten by killing them. Any thoughts?

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Well, a big problem, is that, even after some super bad terrorist guy (enemy) gives up, he can still attack. It doesn't take much for the enemy crawling on the ground to pick up his rifle after you turn away, and shoot you in the back. And since you're going for realism, you can't take too many rifle blows to the back. Also, you have to assume some enemies will do this, otherwise there's NO difference between disabled and dead, and that's just unreasonable IMHO. Therefore, it's possible, that once a player realizes that disabled enemies tend to shoot them, they walk up to each one, and let of a few rounds in their head, killing, silencing, and thereby creating that nice, happy place we all like to be in. So you've actually probably gone and made the game more violent (Headshots on disabled people seems more violent than just letting off a clip into their chest)

The only remedy I see, currently, is to either make the chance of a disabled person retaliating after the players has turned away very small, allow a way to tie up people once they've been disabled, or a similar way to incapacitate them (allow a character to knock them out, via club, kick, or drug injection).

It could make for an excellent gameplay addition, being able to disable the whole of your enemy, then tie them all up (of course, one person might be able to free them, so this is dangerous as well). You could go through whole games challenging yourself (as a player) to not kill anyone at all. This could also be reserved for bosses, people with power than aren't so keen on giving it up, and the chance of an enemy retaliating could go up if they're part of an assassins guild, that kills its failing members. Just needs a lot of thought/work and possibily balancing. But I think it's totally plausible, and possibly a very enriching idea.

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Original post by Dekasa
Well, a big problem, is that, even after some super bad terrorist guy (enemy) gives up, he can still attack. It doesn't take much for the enemy crawling on the ground to pick up his rifle after you turn away, and shoot you in the back.

As designers, we have the ability to avoid giving the AI the potential to exploit our own systems. When characters are finished, it would be obvious. They would crawl or limp away in an obvious posture, and would no longer pose a threat.

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Also, you have to assume some enemies will do this, otherwise there's NO difference between disabled and dead, and that's just unreasonable IMHO.

Why is it unreasonable? Most people would be willing to accept defeat before they're dead.

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Therefore, it's possible, that once a player realizes that disabled enemies tend to shoot them, they walk up to each one, and let of a few rounds in their head, killing, silencing, and thereby creating that nice, happy place we all like to be in. So you've actually probably gone and made the game more violent (Headshots on disabled people seems more violent than just letting off a clip into their chest)

Just for clarity, the goal isn't to reduce violence. Shooting people is violence. Having them die from it, isn't.

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The only remedy I see, currently, is to either make the chance of a disabled person retaliating after the players has turned away very small, allow a way to tie up people once they've been disabled, or a similar way to incapacitate them (allow a character to knock them out, via club, kick, or drug injection).

The chance for them to retaliate would be zero. They've given up. They want to live more than they want to win.

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Assuming we're talking about an RPG-ish game, this is actually just a small part of a realistic combat and injury system.

Some more points of interest:
- Characters shouldn't fight at full capacity once they have been wounded.
- It shouldn't be possible to heal merely by resting.
- Injuries should be modeled based on area (arm, leg, chest, hand, foot, head), and should disable a character accordingly.

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It doesn't take much for the enemy crawling on the ground to pick up his rifle after you turn away, and shoot you in the back

Only in the movies. Between the pain and blood loss of a significant wound, you're not likely to be doing a lot of moving.

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drakostar > This concept would be seperate from injuries. Injuries can still be part of the system. But I'm talking about what happens when the character "dies" because of depleted health. Depending on how the "death" happens, it doesn't always need to be equal to real death.

For example, an NPC could have 50 HP. Shooting them in the chest 2 times would drop the HP to 0, they would fall straight back onto the ground in pain, and lay there moaning. Possibly to later crawl away from the battle, if the player sticks around long enough. The player could indeed shoot them again and again to really kill them. But apart from being sadistic, there would be no incentive to do that.

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Standard RPG cliches mean that the bad guy you foolishly let live halfway through the game is bound to turn up right at the end but three times as powerful. Only Bond villans make that mistake. [grin]

Slightly more seriously, you're going to have to offer incentives for the player to offer mercy vs. finishing them off. Maybe letting them go earns you more respect at the cost of less loot, maybe finishing them off earns you more XP but decreases your reputation (making shops less likely to sell to you).

You could add all sorts of incentives really once you start thinking about it. And if it's a difficult choice then you'll make the game more interesting and probably increase the replayability factor.

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I could be mistaken, but didn't one of the original Rainbow Six games have bad guys that would surrender? I seem to recall that without handcuffing them, they would start fighting again if you left the room.

Anyone remember for sure?

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Haha I love your idea - though not for the reasons you would expect. I would love to shoot an enemy in the leg, and follow him around the level as he crawls away just so that I can shoot him in the head once I've had my fun.. Or just start shooting each of his limbs one at a time to watch how he reacts.

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What you've described is completely just a "skin" on standard game death scenarios. Instead of becoming a corpse, they remain animated but no longer dangerous. Basically, they become a prop.

My question: is the huge amount of work it would take to make all of these animations and write the complex A.I. worth the tiny bit of "realism" that it adds? And is that realism actually more fun? Is watching them slink away injured more or less satisfying than watching their head explode in a technicolor fountain of blood and grey matter? (eww...)

What you've really described is a torture simulation, Wavarian's post is really the only actual interactivity that would be added by the addition of "injury as death". But giving the player a million different ways to torture and maim their enemies while they cry helplessly sounds like it would be far more disturbing and wrong than fun to most sane people.

I'm not sold on the idea at all.

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Quote:
Original post by OrangyTang
Standard RPG cliches mean that the bad guy you foolishly let live halfway through the game is bound to turn up right at the end but three times as powerful. Only Bond villans make that mistake. [grin]

Doesn't really make much of a difference, does it? If that bad guy doesn't show up, someone else will.

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Slightly more seriously, you're going to have to offer incentives for the player to offer mercy vs. finishing them off.

Why? There's no incentive to kill, so there's no incentive to avoid it. There's no reason you wouldn't be able to attach gameplay effects to it, like the whole dark side vs light side concept. But I'm not really a fan of good vs evil alignment. The bad guys in my own project aren't really bad. They just have conflicting goals.

Unless the player is purposely aiming for head shots, or spraying excessive numbers of bullets, whether the target lives or dies is out of their hands. The gameplay effects are minimal, or maybe even non-existent. The purpose is to add detail and realism to death and combat. To avoid the cliche of death being easy and instant, and the cliche of bad guys needing to be incapacitated to win a battle.

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