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MrAkroMenToS

Do you show damage blocked and "zero" damage?

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Hey guys!

When getting damaged (or healed) there is usually a number that pops up or floats away showing the amount of damage you took (the heal you received).
If you have shield mechanic, there is a number that says how much of your shield you lost and how much damage you took afterward.

How would you go about designing feedback when you just flat out block the damage or some amount from it. Here is an example:
You have 1 "block" and you take 1 damage, what should happen?
Does a "-0" number pop up, because you took 0 damage or there should be no popup at all, because you blocked it or should there also be something to show the 1 damage blocked?
Another example where you take 2 damage:
Now the "-1" popup seems reasonable, but again there is the question of showing the blocked amount.

If the player sees 3 damage coming should they be expected to calculate in their head that they took 2 damage because they had 1 "block", or should the game tell them that.

One approach is (what I believe dota2 does with blocks) to show the amount blocked simultaneously with the damage popup, so there will be 2 numbers appearing at the same time (but there is still the 0 damage question).

PS.: My question is more about dealing with small numbers (0-10)

PS2.: The reason I'm asking this is because I am making an online CCG.

Edited by MrAkroMenToS
Clarification

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What kind of game is that? In a MOBA, a more complete approach could be better (tough I don't play MOBAs, so I don't know), whereas in a hack and slash only the damage dealt (0 for no damage) can be enough, or even not showing the damage at all. So it depends which information you want to give to the player, and if it is relevant for him.

Generally, I would avoid negative numbers, as they can be hard to the player to understand quickly (does "-1" means no damage, or does it mean I healed the enemy?). If showing numbers is required, one approach I would try is similar to old turn based RPGs: non signed numbers for damage (maybe in red, for emphasis) and plus-signed numbers for healing (and maybe in green or blue). Showing 0 for no damage or no healing (anything bellow zero is turned into zero). So:

  • 1 or above means damage
  • 0 means no damage (no negative numbers shown)
  • +1 or above means healing
  • +0 means no healing

If a healing action causes damage (in a vampires, for example), it should be shown as damage, not healing, so it wouldn't use the plus sign.

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It is for a card game, I edited the OP, sorry I should have clarified it in the beginning.

Negative numbers were so natural to me (and to my small group of testers friends it seems) that they were being bad haven't even occurred to me, but thinking about it, it makes so much sense!

Do you have any solution to showing blocks, or are they just not important, the players will know?

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52 minutes ago, MrAkroMenToS said:

Do you have any solution to showing blocks, or are they just not important, the players will know?

Personally, as a player, I prefer as much information as possible, displayed as clearly as possible. I prefer to have to extrapolate as little as possible, and have the information already presented to me.

For types of damage, I find colors work best. Red for damage, green for heals, blue for shields, yellow for blocks, and purple for poisons/damage over time (you'd want different colors for different damage over time if avoiding each type separately was possible, otherwise 1 color for the concept of damage over time).

For displaying how much damage is blocked during an attack, I would maybe show the blocked damage in parenthesis.

So lets say an opponent is going to deal 2 damage, but the player can block 1 damage. The display would be 1(1), with the first 1 being red, and the second 1 being yellow. The player would be explained that any numbers in parenthesis is potential damage received, but avoided by color indicator type This also has the benefit that if the opponent can 'pierce' through shields (since all good ccg's have counters to everything), using the above example, the display would be 2(0), with the 2 red and the 0 yellow. This would let the player know they are capable of blocking (since you wouldn't show the bracketed number when blocking wasn't capable) but that the opponent hit through the block.

Similarly for shields, using the above example, the display again would be 1(1), with the first 1 being red, and the second 1 being blue. If you allowed both blocking and shielding simultaneously, then the display could be 0(1,1). With the 0 being red, one 1 being blue, and the other yellow.

Showing the zero gives the player information at a glance. They immediately know something happened, rather than not knowing.

 

Edited by Jon Bon
Comprehension

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1 hour ago, MrAkroMenToS said:

It is for a card game, I edited the OP, sorry I should have clarified it in the beginning.

Yeah, that changes a few things ;)

Jon Bon gave a good summary of what I would recommend in this case. What I would change in his suggested approach is using icons to show whats happening, such as swords for attack, down arrows for damage, shields for block, and up arrows or crosses for healing. You can combine it with colors, but this approach eliminates the need for parenthesis (the icons works as dividers) and don't rely entirely on colors, which is good for accessibility, as it helps colorblind people to make sense of your game.

So, for a 3 damage attack, where 1 is blocked and 2 damage is taken, you can have something like this:

danna.png.200c8b4e4d1aa830e563e2b39045fb55.png

It's a simple example, tweak for your needs. I think this works well with card games and other turn based games, as it reads well in non action packed scenarios.

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Thanks to both @Jon Bon and @TerraSkilll for the ideas,

I quickly tried it out how it felt to see the zeros when you took no damage, and it is great, I immediately know that something is happening (and I think the blocking solution that Jon mentioned will work great as well).

EDIT:

Using icons is an even better idea, thank you!

Edited by MrAkroMenToS
Posted the same time

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