Health System

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by HitYourGrandma, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. HitYourGrandma

    HitYourGrandma Ruler of all Evil and Procrastination Veteran

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    Today, I thought of a new type of health and healing system.


    You know how healing works in games? Like.. SO many games.. Like, you get an arrow in the face and you just wait for your health to regenerate, or you drink a health potion or something and the wound just magically goes away.


    What I thought of is quite different.


    When the player gets injured in a fight, they can choose to drink a health potion. If they don't, then their health slowly goes down because of a "Bleeding" state. When they drink the health potion, their health goes up and the "Bleeding" state is removed.


    (Alternatively, there could be another item like 'bandages' that would take the "Bleeding" state away, thus removing the problem of constantly needing health potions 24/7.)


    But, there's another bar called "Vitality". When you first emerge from whatever, your vitality is full. But, the more health potions you drink and the more time that passes, the more your vitality goes down.


    When the vitality goes to zero, the player collapses from exhaustion and is forcefully teleported back to camp. Once at the camp, health and vitality automatically go up. But every time you go to a camp, a certain amount of time passes. This time matters to the story or something else important, creating a toll of sorts so the player can't just go back and forth between the camp and the map.


    What do you think?


    (I have this fear that this was already proposed and I'll seem like an idiot..)
     
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  2. Atlas Rose

    Atlas Rose Jack of all trades Veteran

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    I kinda like it, though I think the bandage idea would cause the same problem as the potions as far as constantly needing them is concerned. 


    I think it'd be difficult to do without frustrating players, simply because you've given players a time limit. Once you leave the camp, they only have so long to figure out their task and execute it. But if there's health, there must be enemies or obstacles that take it down, not only distracting the player from their task, but also causing them to need to use the bandage or potion, which shortens their time even more. 


    I'm not saying it'd be bad at all. In fact, it sounds really fun, but you'd need to use it with the right setting. Sounds like it'd be perfect for a survival horror game, but I'm sure you could figure out how to work it into other genres as well.
     
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  3. HitYourGrandma

    HitYourGrandma Ruler of all Evil and Procrastination Veteran

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    Hmm. I was thinking that bandages would be easy to get, and wouldn't do anything to the vitality level.


    Perhaps, instead of just a camp, there could also be the option of things like inns, healers found in places, magical items, or, I don't know, random caves that would refill health and vitality. Perhaps instead of that, I could make my game so that everything revolves around fast-paced..ness, so that the rushing would be crucial. Maybe there could be items that refill vitality itself.


    I could definitely work with a survival horror game, but I'll also think about adapting it into other genres.


    I really enjoy getting feedback. Thanks.
     
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  4. Atlas Rose

    Atlas Rose Jack of all trades Veteran

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    If you're going to make it fast-paced, don't forget to include a learning curve to allow players to get used to things. I like this idea better than more areas to refill health/vitality, because vitality is a good way to make it seem more real. If you do end up going with a survival horror setting, you should try researching the Uncanny Valley. Its a theory about how in things with few human qualities, those qualities become cute and endearing, but as things slowly become more and more like a human, the nonhuman aspects stick out more and seem "uncanny", thus the name. It would help reinforce the vitality mechanic if these uncanny creatures don't seem to have a vitality aspect to them, making them stand out even more and be frightening to the core.


    But I definitely like that idea. I'd play a game like that.
     
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  5. HitYourGrandma

    HitYourGrandma Ruler of all Evil and Procrastination Veteran

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    You're giving me great ideas. Thank you! 


    I'll pick up this conversation (if you like) tomorrow, when I get back from work. I just booted my computer down and am using my iPad to write this.


    Again, thank you for the feedback. I appreciate it. 
     
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  6. Pine Towers

    Pine Towers Knight Hospitaller Veteran

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    You should check Pillars of Eternity. They have a similar mechanic, where you have a Health and a Stamina bar. Stamina if 0 makes your character faint, but it is recovered full after every battle. But hit also damage the Health bar and when Health hit 0 the character dies for real. Health is roughly 3x Stamina, meaning that you can face 3 life-threatening battles before really getting close to death. Health can be recovered by resting, and to rest outside towns you need camp supplies that are limit to 3~4. So you may face roughly 12 to 16 battles "to the death" before needing to retreat to town.
     
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  7. ash55

    ash55 Veteran Veteran

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    To be honest, it seems a little complex. Every game's health system is usually the same for a reason. It's very straightforward and simple to understand for the player. Just looking at your idea on paper I'm kind of confused. Like why does a Health Potion lower a stat called Vitality? That seems counter-intuitive to me. Also, having everything in the game give the player a poison debuff seems like it would be kind of annoying.

    Your general goal actually sounds pretty similar to Shenmue and similar games with a day/night cycle. In Shenmue, you just have one basic health bar to worry about. Then once it gets late in-game, Ryo decides to go to bed and you have to resume play the next morning. There's no second meter for you to decipher and learn what it represents, but rather, a simple clock (and everyone knows what a clock represents). Your vitality doesn't go down as time passes, time just passes. It's simple, it mimics the way we intuitively experience life, and it works pretty well.

    If you wanted to create some sort of time extension mechanic on top of that, then you could maybe take what Shenmue does, and just add consumables like "Coffee" or "Adrenaline" (try to pick something we already associate with staying awake). Adrenaline might for example slow down the passage of time (allowing you to explore for longer), Coffee might allow you to stay awake for longer etc. This way, you have the mechanic you desire, without the complexity of two meters that behave in unexpected ways. Just Health + Time, two things everyone is intimately familiar with.
     
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  8. HeathRiley

    HeathRiley Veteran Veteran

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    Reminds me a lot of Rune Factory. That's the rpg/harvest moon mix. You had health(hp) for the battle mechanics against enemies, but also had another gauge of rune points (rp). Every action drained rp which could be regained by orbs of light in dungeons. 


    As you leveled up various things like magic and smithing, they consumed less rp per action. I think that's was a very big part of letting the game grow as you were able to do more each day and eventually would not have time to do all you wanted.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2016
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