Banking and losing money upon death

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by Jaide, Aug 14, 2012.

?

Would you like a banking system, like Earthbound, where your money is stored? If you died, you'd los

  1. Yes, I enjoy games with additional systems like this.

    26 vote(s)
    76.5%
  2. No, that's unnecessary and harsh.

    8 vote(s)
    23.5%
  1. Jaide

    Jaide "This guy are sick." Veteran

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    Okay, I touched on this topic a bit in my status updates, and people seemed to like the idea of a banking system in a modern/sci-fi game, and with Lunarea's recent ATM tiles (for those who purchased her modern tile pack) this seemed like a good way to go.

    I also figured if the player is storing their money, there must be a reason, right? So I figured I'd take the Earthbound/Dragon Quest approach and have the player lose half their money if they die, rather than get a standard game over screen. This is all well and good.. except I'm not sure how to go about dividing the money by half using the maker's default function, unless I want to do a bunch of conditionals based on certain amounts of money, and that seems really tedious when there could easily be a better way I'm not seeing.

    Also, my game was going to allow the player to save anywhere, since I think the majority of people don't like being forced to save at save points. That being the case, if the player were to die in a dungeon and lose half their money and be, for example, teleported to the nearest inn, there's absolutely no incentive for the player to continue; he'd just load his last save. Granted, he might be inclined to do that anyway if he loses half his money. He might think resetting is a better punishment than losing half his money. I suppose it depends on the preferences of Joe Player.

    So, if I'm using a bank system and a lose-money-upon-death penalty, should I therefore utilize save points rather than letting the player save anywhere?

    Thanks for your input!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2012
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  2. Necromus

    Necromus Veteran Veteran

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    Is there any variable option in change gold? If so, store your gold ammount in a variable, divide it by 2 and then subtract that from your actual gold with change gold.

    If not, you a small script for it, nothing special tho.

    Losing half your gold (instead of game over i guess?) is harsh, saving everywhere greatly reduces the impact of that "feature" tho.

    If you actually want that instead of the normal game over, you should definitely make use of it, so saving everywhere might not be the way to go for that.

    Sure you can happen to not having saved for quite a while, even if yould have done so, but most of the time (especially if you died once after a longer session), you will simply reload, so having that "feature" would be in vain, might as well not use it.
     
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  3. Jaide

    Jaide "This guy are sick." Veteran

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    That's kind of how I felt about it, but Earthbound made you lose half of any money carried when you died, so you learned to use the ATM often. It's not bad once you get used to it, but if you haven't seen an ATM for awhile and you die doing something stupid, you're going to be more inclined to reset than take the hit, because you feel like you can do better next time. Which is often a good thing, if the player feels like it's their fault they died, and not the game's, so they're more determined to do well and not just for the sake of continuing on, though that's obviously a good motivator, too. :p

    I don't know. I'm definitely eager to hear more input on this, though. If it seems like most people do NOT want such a feature, then I'd be apt to listen, but most input I've had thus far has been in favor of it.

    Also, you're right about the variables. Clearly I should not do technical stuff after midnight. XD Thanks for making me realize what I needed to do there.
     
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  4. Necromus

    Necromus Veteran Veteran

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    Heh, your welcome, wasn't sure if there is an option for it, but would have been kind weird if not.

    I don't think it's a bad feature, it just needs to be consistent. If you wan't to punish people then save points should be the way to go and cash needs to be a relevant factor throughout the game, so losing half of it (or rather forgeting to store what you don't need) actually matters.

    It's like Borderlands, you also lose a portion of your cash there when you die, but later on cash doesn't matter at all anymore.
     
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  5. Jaide

    Jaide "This guy are sick." Veteran

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    That's true, and actually, I don't think it's such a bad thing to have money not matter so much later on, though I'm not sure if I'll go that route with my game since it's a very different animal than Borderlands. XD

    But yeah, I think if I go with the losing money thing, then I kind of need save points. So I guess it depends on how much players as a whole love or hate save points, and how much they love or hate banking their money. I don't want things to be too easy, but I also don't want to frustrate people out of playing altogether. I feel like Earthbound did it pretty well.
     
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  6. Necromus

    Necromus Veteran Veteran

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    Borderlands was just an example of the (kind of) same system executed in a way so it lost it's meaning pretty fast.

    If that's not what you want, you need to keep enough goldsinks in the game.

    If you ask people here about svaing everywhere vs savepoints, almost no one will vote for savepoints, even if they would make much more sense sometimes.

    It's just convenience and prevents frustration from time to time if you can save everywhere.

    Having decently placed savepoints along with a system/gameplay that doesn't blast you with really high risks of dying all the time is definitely the way to go for something like what you want to do tho imo.
     
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  7. Jaide

    Jaide "This guy are sick." Veteran

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    I honestly think people tend to dislike save points because they're often implemented poorly. So if a developer is mindful about where they're placing save points and why, the player would be less likely to get annoyed. But I agree, the convenience of saving anywhere is attractive enough on its own that a lot of players don't care what your reasons are to the contrary. XD

    Maybe I'll open a poll.
     
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  8. Necromus

    Necromus Veteran Veteran

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    Yea, if you want opnions about that, do yourself a favour and make a poll, we had that discussion once (or maybe it was back on the vx forum) and it went forever back and forth.

    But absolutely, it's mostly about poor implementation, if you do that right, there is nothing wrong with savepoints, on the contrary, i rather tend to forget saving on games where i can save everywhere, simply because there migth be a rather long area thats pretty easy, and then dying to whatever. If the game rather shoves a savepoint in my face every 2nd corner, well you won't really miss those then.
     
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  9. Jaide

    Jaide "This guy are sick." Veteran

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    Alright, I added a poll with two questions on the topic.

    I realize I can just do whatever I feel like, but I don't want to spend a bunch of time and energy implementing a system the majority of people might not like. I do feel like save points can be implemented very well, though. I feel the same way as you on that subject, Necromus. XD I might forget to save if I can do it everywhere and it's not obvious that I might need to save somewhere. Although I might also save too much out of paranoia that something is right around the corner. I like save points indicating whether I might be about to encounter a boss, or something.
     
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  10. Onkei69

    Onkei69 Veteran Veteran

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    Well, losing money on death feels a little old school to me, which many people won't like. But I guess that if you could implement a way to recover the lost money, it would give another reason for the player to try their best ! (This system is pretty much like Dark Soul's, which is pretty hardcore though...)

    About save points, I guess it depends on the length of your game. If it is meant to be a 1 hour gameplay game, then maybe you can just leave it to the "save everywhere" option. Else, I'd rather go to savepoints.

    The best thing you can do, I guess, is to add lore to this system (why you lose money upon death, why you can "save your game" at certain places)
     
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  11. RavenTDA

    RavenTDA just another mask Veteran

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    I'm saving all the time. But I actually prefer games that have actual save points. Why? Well besides here in this case your system doesn't really work without one, it's a nice friendly reminder to say "HEY, player, you might want to save now!" Which is really helpful. I dunno how many times I've not saved thinking nothing was up ahead and having to redo a bunch of things because I got slammed by the boss fight unexpectedly. Save points are really good for that, because every time you see one in a dungeon and you've done all the puzzles you know its time for a big fight. I hate getting surprised and caught off guard with my HP and MP half way gone and not all healed before I go and wondering if I could have beaten him if I just had my bars filled. Then if I couldn't I'd uselessly try again before grinding. It wastes a lot of my time this way more than just not being able to save all over the place, IMO.

    On another note with the money... I've played games like Dragon Quest all the time. I don't even pay attention to half the gold leaving my pocket. Honestly you can make enough money to never worry about it unless it's in the start of the game. Later on when you have banks it's rather aggravating to go to them every time you need to make a purchase. It'd be nice to have one in every town. I don't care for fast warping to a certain town to get to the only bank again so I can warp back and make my purchase. It's less fussy that way. Other than that I usually don't out right die against random encounters in those games and go back to stay at the inn before all my guys die. And if I do die, it's before a boss battle where I have saved right before and just reload. What's a bigger blow to me is the death thing where only a priest can revive a member. It's really costly to do that when your healer doesn't know the skill yet. But I don't find any of the systems so frustrating I won't play unless the random encounters are so hard that it's just getting you into debt playing. ^^;
     
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  12. amerk

    amerk Veteran Member

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    There needs to be a reason for people to use this or as Necromus suggested, people will just reload. In DQ, while you lost half of your gold, you kept all your EXP, so while losing your gold sucked, especially for expensive equipment, you certainly wouldn't want to lose that hard-earned EXP.

    Another idea for banking money, aside from losing it all, would be if an interest rate was applied. The more you bank, and the longer time you play, the higher the stash gets.
     
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  13. Jaide

    Jaide "This guy are sick." Veteran

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    Thanks for the input, guys!

    amerk, I should have mentioned this previously but it didn't really occur to me until you brought it up, but forgoing the standard Game Over screen would basically make it so after you died, you got teleported to your last save or a hospital or something, where you'd be healed, but because it would be an event instead of a game over, you'd be keeping your EXP and any progress you'd made before you died, if you didn't reset. Of course, this also means any items you used in your failed attempt against whatever killed you would be consumed, but that's the price you pay, I suppose.
     
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  14. Espon

    Espon Lazy Creator Veteran

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    I guess it depends how far away save points are from each other and the difficulty of the game. I'm likely to just reload the game if I died and am only losing like 10-20 minutes.

    Dark Souls had you dropping currency on death with bonfires (equivalent of save points minus the ability to reload) usually being quite a distance away from the boss, although you had the ability to pick up what you lost as long as you didn't die a second time. But at the same time, it was also more like an action/adventure game that rarely changed up so you didn't have the fear of suddenly being jumped by a nasty random encounter and you relied purely on your own skill.
     
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  15. Ocedic

    Ocedic Dog Veteran

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    The problem with the idea is that you basically lose nothing by just resetting the game and loading up your previous save, where you have your full amount of gold. Then death becomes no different from a game over, but just a bit more annoying for the player because they have to reload manually. One good way to tackle this problem is to have save points be few and far between, but have checkpoints which you don't save at but will respawn at if you die. So let's say there's 5 rooms to a dungeon with the boss being in the last room. A checkpoint could be early in room 1 or 2, but there's a checkpoint in room 4. So if you die to the boss, you respawn on in room 4 and don't have to go through the whole dungeon again. The player may be more inclined to not reset then because not doing so has an advantage over resetting, but you'd be surprised at the lengths people go in RPG's to not lose any amount of wealth if they don't have to. And of course, having few save points can be frustrating for players for reasons everyone should be familiar with.
     
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  16. amerk

    amerk Veteran Member

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    But as the OP stated, everything else found (items, EXP, etc) would stay with you upon death. Sometimes losing a portion of your gold over losing hard-earned EXP is worth it, especially if the last save was sometime back near the beginning of the dungeon, in which case resetting would save me from losing my gold, but I'd lose all EXP gained since then in the process.
     
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  17. Solistra

    Solistra Veteran Veteran

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    Then the player should make adequate use of the banking system in place. They should learn the consequences of not using it rather early in the game and be well-prepared later on in case of death; if they are not, it's likely due to their own ignorance (or the intention of the designer in that area, which would be somewhat cruel, but could create wonderful tension later in the game).

    The only question that I have about this system is whether or not the money stored in the bank would be usable at any time, if it's frozen, or if there are certain situations in which you could use money from the bank rather than what the player is currently carrying. Mainly what I'm thinking of here is the possibility of having bank assets relatively frozen for most transactions, which would provide some further strategy on the side of the player -- namely, making them ask how much cash they should have on-hand versus in the bank. On the other hand, you could have save points or checkpoints that must be paid for from the bank (rather than on-hand cash) in order to activate them. Depending on how lucrative the in-game economy is, that could prove to be a decent sink for currency.

    Considering this sounds like a modern or post-modern setting, I'm also curious about the nature of these checkpoints. What would they be, exactly?
     
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  18. Ocedic

    Ocedic Dog Veteran

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    It doesn't matter what you think the player should do. It's what the player will do. For example, in Fire Emblem if you lose a character, he/she is gone forever. You could say a player should learn to treat characters with great care and avoid death, but that doesn't matter. Players simply restart the level and try again if a character dies. YOU as the designer failed, not the player. You can say 'players should be doing this and that' but that doesn't matter when the systems you set in place don't promote what you want it to do.
     
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  19. Solistra

    Solistra Veteran Veteran

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    You're right if that's the case, but to put it as simply as possible, it's not the designer's fault if the player ignores what has been designed to assist them -- it's the player's. From what's being discussed in this topic, it sounds to me like "resetting" in this particular system could potentially be far more detrimental than losing half of the money that the player had on-hand (depending, of course, on the game's economy).

    But if it turns out that simply restarting from a recent save is less painful to the player than losing half of their money, they're still having to deal with the consequences of not handling the situation properly, so I'm not sure that I understand what the problem is here if the system is handled adequately.
     
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  20. Jaide

    Jaide "This guy are sick." Veteran

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    That's my main concern is that the player will just reset to avoid losing money and won't utilize the system. Then I would feel I'd failed as a developer because you put systems in place for them to be utilized. However, I feel like even if the majority of players utilize the system, some will always reset instead, and nothing can really be done about that. The question is whether or not the system is worth using at all, I suppose.

    The way it works right now is that you store your money in the ATM. The money can be accessed at any time when you're at an ATM; you just have to have a card, which is a key item given to you at the beginning of the game. Save points will be frequent; I like the idea of the presence of a save point indicating to the player that something is up ahead and you should probably save, since it seems fairly common that when you can save everywhere, players might forget to do so often, or do it so often out of paranoia.

    When you die, you go back to your last save (I was considering teleporting the player to a hospital, but this doesn't work in dungeons, I don't think. I think most people would rather just go to their last save.) and you keep any items, EXP, and whatever else you acquired before dying, though you lose half your carried money. You lose any items you may have used before you died, so that might be another reason players would reset, if they used all their best items against the boss but died anyway.

    I'm also considering adding Yanfly's JP system, which would be another incentive not to reset, because you'd be learning skills through acquiring JP from combat, and most people wouldn't want to have to reset and learn their skills again or lose hard earned JP.

    Originally, I wasn't going to have EXP at all, and the player would increase their stats only through items purchased with money. While this wouldn't add the incentive of not wanting to lose your EXP you'd earned, because there wouldn't be any, the money would carry more weight, though this would be a double edged sword and some players might prefer to reset because of it.

    As you can see, there's a lot of little what if's and other details to sort out in this system. D:
     
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