RMMV What do you think of survival elements and permadeath?

Are survival elements and permadeath a good idea or a bad idea?

  • Good idea

    Votes: 6 46.2%
  • Bad idea

    Votes: 7 53.8%

  • Total voters
    13

link12

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I was planning on adding hunger, thirst, a bladder system and permadeath in my Action RPG project and I wanted to know if it would be a good idea or a bad idea.
 

Dev_With_Coffee

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Hello again.
I remember a German game made with Rpg Maker 2000 where a pilot crashes on an island and the game system involves collecting water, fruit, and hunting animals, using a flashlight, sleeping.

The title was "Desert Island", the author's nickname was Manafreak.
He had a very nice look and the system was very well thought out.

But in general I don't know if I would like this kind of system in a conventional J-RPG.
 

Sword_of_Dusk

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As with many things, it depends. If you're building something like a survival game, then these things can be good. If your ARPG is meant to be more focused on gameplay and story, I'd avoid these mechanics. At least as a default thing. You can always make a mode like Fallout: New Vegas' Hardcore Mode that turns these functions on. Let's the player choose to take on the challenge or not.
 

lianderson

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Give me all the permadeath! Praise be
 

The Stranger

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Unless your game is all about this sort of stuff (survival), then don't bother with it. They're annoying systems to deal with outside of survival games. I don't want to have to think about where the nearest loo is before heading off to fight the big bad, nor do I want to concern myself with having a proper breakfast to really kickstart that epic battle against the evil empire. lol.

Permadeath, likewise, should be handled with great care. It's something that requires a lot of planning to pull off correctly, else you'll end up with a frustrating mess of a game.
 
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link12

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Unless your game is all about this sort of stuff (survival), then don't bother with it. They're annoying systems to deal with outside of survival games. I don't want to have to think about where the nearest loo is before heading off to fight the big bad, nor do I want to concern myself with having a proper breakfast to really kickstart that epic battle against the evil empire. lol.

Permadeath, likewise, should be handled with great care. It's something that requires a lot of planning to pull off correctly, else you'll end up with a frustrating mess of a game.
What if realism was a part of the plot, as in the protagonist's goal was to search for a certain item that relieves them of these annoyances?
 

Milennin

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What if realism was a part of the plot, as in the protagonist's goal was to search for a certain item that relieves them of these annoyances?
That would imply your game is annoying by design, and only becomes not annoying once the main character achieves their goal.
 

The Stranger

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What if realism was a part of the plot, as in the protagonist's goal was to search for a certain item that relieves them of these annoyances?
Then you'd still be creating a survival game so these mechanics and systems can actually work, right? Or would there just be shops where you can waste all of your money to buy supplies? If you've gone through the trouble of crafting all of these different systems, surely you'd want to use them in a game in which they're the focus - a survival game.

Would a game such as Dark Souls benefit from needing to eat or use the toilet every few minutes? What about Mass Effect? I don't think so. Wouldn't even matter if the plot was about being stranded or alone or what have you; the style of game just doesn't support such systems.

Imo, these mechanics are just timers. They're timers you're constantly resetting with various items, and should you ever run out of those items then it's game over. Unless the game is built to make use of such things, and there's plenty of time resetting items for you to find, then they're just annoying to deal with.
 

Cythera

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I mean, the answer to 'is mechanic X a good idea?' is almost always 'depends on the game' (alright, come on, RM community, give me some horrible mechanics that should never, ever exist! ^-^ )
And in this case, I'd lean towards no. Survival elements outside survival games are never really any fun; it's just one more things to keep track of, or risk all your progress being lost. In an RPG, you can just assume the party stops for food during their adventures. Adding a food mechanic is time-consuming to a player with no real challenge (unless you need to forage food, then I feel you're crossing into survival game territory anyway)

Permadeath...now that is more interesting to me. If your goal is a challenging game with harsh punishments, bordering on rogue-like, meant for hardcore players, permadeath can be very enjoyable. If your game has a large rooster of characters, permadeath can have a place.
If your goal is a more casual gaming experience, and/or you only have a fixed number of playable characters, like the standard RPG 4-member party, then no. No no no. Players will be punished for not playing optimally, and the punishment could very well spell the end of that save file - ie, softlock and reset, or uninstall completely.
 

The Stranger

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(alright, come on, RM community, give me some horrible mechanics that should never, ever exist! ^-^ )
Insta-fail, mandatory stealth sections in games that aren't about stealth. :p
 

Cythera

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Insta-fail, mandatory stealth sections in games that aren't about stealth. :p
Oh. Oh, I think you got me there.
Um...if you're making a parody game? Or a very story-driven game where the only acceptable means of escape is stealth? I might forgive it then if, IF! It a. reset to start of stealth area instead of game over b. reasonable punishment for getting caught c. wasn't a ridiculous level of difficulty that truly belongs in a stealth game.
 

Finnuval

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No to the survival elements unless you're making a survival game.
Yes to the permadeath if it fits the game, the story and is executed well (pun very much intended :p )
 

HexMozart88

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Survival elements tend to be a pain to balance. I watched my dad play this game called Grounded and you're constantly running around trying to find water. The issue is, you die after about 2 in-game hours. That's more of a survival game, but because water is so scarce and you're also trying to craft things *and* find a place to go to bed *and* avoid a bunch of giant bugs, the thirst mechanic just becomes a nuisance.
If the point of these mechanics is to be annoying, the player's going to put down the game long before they find it.
Permadeath is a slippery slope. Games like Darkest Dungeon do it well, from what I've heard, but constantly starting over with a new character will probably get old fast.

So, in both cases, they can work, but you need to be very diligent in your balancing.
 

AphoticAmaranth

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Hunger and thirst systems I can understand, but bladder? Just pee on the grass lol.

What exactly is your idea of permadeath, anyway?

Many roguelikes have permadeath in the form of "die and your save file is gone". I am personally not a fan of this, though I can see it working if each playthrough is short and randomised.

Some strategy games, like Fire Emblem, have permadeath in the form of "if this character dies, they're gone forever, but the game will continue". It works well enough because you'll eventually recruit too many characters to use anyway, so the loss of one or two isn't really a big deal.

Of course, the best compromise would be to allow the player to turn permadeath on or off.

(alright, come on, RM community, give me some horrible mechanics that should never, ever exist! ^-^ )
Good endings only achievable by clearing the game while saving less than X times.
 

Cythera

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What exactly is your idea of permadeath, anyway?
I think when most say 'permadeath' they mean if a character dies, they die and can't be used for the rest of the game.
I've seen the deleted save file one a few times, but it's mostly just called 'hardcore' mode, or some slight variation of that.
Of course, the best compromise would be to allow the player to turn permadeath on or off.
Neat idea, but implementation on that could be very painful. Plus, I feel the audiences of people who play permadeath and people who don't are very different players. How are you going to create a game with the right difficulty level that appeals to both audiences? It's like the saying 'you can't please everyone.' So why try to grab two audiences that, in all likelihood, want very different things in a game?
Good endings only achievable by clearing the game while saving less than X times.
I...actually think I could do something fun with this... Hmmmmmmm
 

The Stranger

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Neat idea, but implementation on that could be very painful. Plus, I feel the audiences of people who play permadeath and people who don't are very different players. How are you going to create a game with the right difficulty level that appeals to both audiences? It's like the saying 'you can't please everyone.' So why try to grab two audiences that, in all likelihood, want very different things in a game?
Diablo 3 has this. You can play the game with permadeath (think it was even called hardcore mode lol) in which if you die, then it's game over and that character is deleted. However, you can also just play the game normally without that mode enabled. Never played that mode, so I have no idea if it was more difficult than the standard mode.

Oh! You also couldn't switch between permadeath and normal modes. You had to create a permadeath character from scratch.

I...actually think I could do something fun with this... Hmmmmmmm
It could be used for all sorts of fun things, but I agree with Aphotic in that it shouldn't dictate whether you get the "good" ending or not. Maybe a secret ending, but not one of the main endings.
 

ATT_Turan

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I'm against hunger/thirst/bladder (at all times, even survival games, which is probably why I don't care for them generally :stickytongue: )

My reasoning: If you are going to force your players to do something repeatedly, it should be fun/interesting. That's why JRPGs are basically designed around the combat system - yes, there's a story, but it's passive, you don't do anything to it. The thing you do is control your characters in battle, so that needs to be fun or strategic.

Getting a message on your screen that you feel cramped and have to click a button to pee doesn't require any strategy and there's nothing intrinsically fun about it (I'm sure someone could make some kind of minigame about how to pee or doing it on things, but that's not my level of humor).

The same for eating and drinking...the act of doing it, or of being forced to collect items and make food, if it's not the point of the game, will probably end up being tedious. I only think hunger is a good idea in video games when it's voluntary to gain buffs (i.e. World of Warcraft).

Now the act of organizing and constructing a farm can be interesting, so you get into sim games like Banished or Rune Factory etc., but the management is what those games are about.
 

alice_gristle

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Everyone giving good advice, so I don't have a lot to add! Instead, Imma hit y'all with a personal anecdote! :biggrin: :biggrin:

Soo, when I wuz little, I usta play ADOM a lot. It's like, yo basic roguelike game, with ASCII graphics, tons of text, adventuring in dungeons, etc. And permadeath. And a hunger system. I reaaally loved it! I reached the regular ending like, a dozen times? :kaoluv: Also, I hate permadeath and I hate hunger systems. So ???

What I done was, I coded a basic bit of a thing that circumvented the permadeath system, so that my savefile was never deleted if I died. So there goes permadeath. :biggrin: Pretty much the only reason I could reach even the regular ending AT ALL.

(Also the hunger system was fun only because in ADOM, you could pretty much eat the corpse of any monster you killed. So it was like, "Nooo, I'm dying of hungerrrr, NO WAIT I'LL EAT THIS PURPLE-COLOURED SLIME!" And ya never quite knew if it was a good idea or not, 'coz the monster corpses could give really zany effects.)
 

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