You often have things happening in the game that should totally derail the whole world. Most common is the the fact that you as player have several lives/continues.
Let's take Final Fantasy 7 for example. How often does one character die in battle and you simply revive him/her? And then in one video sequence a character dies and suddenly you can't reverse it?
Or World of Warcraft. Oh no. The great leader has been killed what should we do?...
We just wait 5 mins for respawn.
This is of course necessary, because people won't spend money on a game you can only play once and when you die its over.
But I wondered why not more game designers tried to incorporate these necessary game elements into their world. By choosing the right explanation you can make a lot work.
See Portal 2 co-op mode. When they die the robots are simply reassembled. You even get blown up on purpose on some maps.
I have hatched ideas for many games and in most I try to explain why players can die over and over while for "normal NPC folk" there is still the fear of death.
My first idea is for a Fantasy Setting like in World of Warcraft (I pondered it while waiting for raids to start way back when I still played ^^).
Every normal person in the game when killed stays dead. Every "Hero" has gone through a procedure that binds his soul to a glowing gem in his chest. So when they die their soul can't leave and a mysterious ethereal race (who also offers the service of soul-binding) can reform their bodies afterward.
But why don't everyone get one? - Because it is very risky and very painful. You need to be tough and strong to survive the implantation. And still a majority don't survive the process (I'd guess maybe 80-90%)
So people think. I have a 40% chance to reach old age if I don't do any risky jobs (work in a city). Working outside a city without protective walls might reduce this to 20-30%.
Going into the cave of the Lich King and face his army of death? 0,001%
So for people that want to do the really, really risky jobs (that pay incredibly well of course) they make the procedure. Sure most people die, but the few that don't, get rich and powerful. Real world People have risked their lives for less.
Then why do the mysterious beings do it? - Remains a mystery at first and is explained later (prepare planet for an invasion of demons to give them a chance? Other more evil plans? I dunno. Could be all kinds of stuff. But it certainly would be a huge impact if the guy that re-spawns you every time you die, suddenly becomes part of the whole storyline. I like that they might be evil, so in the end you may have to fight them as the ultimate boss!)
Also they don't do it for free. People that are transformed have to pay a hefty fee. Most sell all their belongings (explains why you start "naked") and go into debt to afford it. This explains why you earn less money at the first levels. You have to use a percentage of your income to pay back the people that gave you immortality. As you pay them back that percentage drops and you get more and more money even for the same jobs (I thought this up for a game where you also have the option to become a merchant or a smith as main occupation and not go fighting at all).
So in-game all friends/foes that need to respawn have a soulstone. All others do not. And they really stay dead when you kill them.
You could make this even more interesting. When doing PvP (players killing players) you don't see the police suddenly appear and arrest them for murder. And here it would have an explanation. Soulstoned ( ^^ ) people can't be killed so they can't be murdered. I'd think most normal people would simply avoid and ignore them, not caring what they do to each other and simply hope they get left alone.
However if you allow NPC killing (like in Fallout/Skyrim) when you kill non-soulstoned people you get penalties. Guards attack you etc.
By making the respawn process part of the setting you can create interesting conflicts. Normal people, versus the Heros. It would kinda be like in X-Men where the normal people are afraid of the Mutants.
The second is more simple for an ego shooter-like game (it is sort of an MMO ego shooter with RPG elements with some MegaMan thrown in :P. I might tell about my game ideas some other time if people are interested)
Depending on your settings you can only have so many bullet holes (decals) on walls, before they vanish (to save processing time).
This is even more important for an MMO, because if every bullet hole - explosion crater where to be saved permanently and someone enters a zone their computer would crash from all things it has to load after some time gaming.
But simply letting them vanish is a bit cheap :P
So I created the setting of a planet that is controlled by machines (original owners long dead, machines still running and self replicating... the usual). So when you blow a hole in a wall of perforate it with your machine gun, moments later robot spiders appear running over the walls and immediately begin to fix the holes.
And I even would integrate them into the game. I said I wanted to add some MegaMan elements. This means you can learn new abilities (you play a robot too) by watching/studying/absorbing the robots running around here (and the less violently you kill something the more you can learn).
From the spiders you can learn how to walk on walls. So... shoot wall. Wait for spiders to come... study them. Walk on walls yourself.
Hope you enjoyed my rambling. And if you want me to elaborate more on those two game idea in general then just tell me so and I will write something up in another journal.
6 years, 6 months ago
04 Jun 2012 09:48 CEST