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Recently, while working on mechanics in my project, Phantaruk, I wondered what health and damage system would fit this game. I asked myself: “What does it affect the most?” and “Can I force player to do something with this?”

Posted by Kordgorn on Jan 19th, 2014

Recently, while working on mechanics in my project, Phantaruk, I wondered what health and damage system would fit this game. I asked myself: “What does it affect the most?” and “Can I force player
to do something with this?

One of the systems is Health Points with medkits. On the other hand, we have variations on recharging health. Generally, the latter can be spotted in games more frequently. But why? The answer is fairly simple: tension. We can easily notice that recharging health is quite fast and in a short time we can go back into battle.

The picture above shows a simple scheme of rooms. In recharging health system, we run through Enemies to Safe Room, rest for a while to heal our wounds and then go back or go on. However, when we are forced to use medkits, it gives us a choice: explore or raise difficulty. If health bar is at (for example) 30%, it will be hard for us to win next encounter. Nevertheless, spending some time on exploration of additional rooms might give something to heal and therefore raise our winning chances.

Thanks to that, we need medkits to continue the adventure and are forced to explore, looking for them. We hope then to find any, thus we get involved in our character’s survival. It’s much more engaging than just him/her waiting around the corner for couple of seconds.

In Phantaruk we decided to use medkits and Health Points system. Sometimes players will have to stop and think if the room they pass by isn’t full of valuable items or is full of monsters. They will have to
focus and strain senses to choose wisely and approach any situation carefully. On one hand, it can make the game easier for them. On the other – they can run into bigger trouble.

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Post comment Comments
Kyou. Jan 19 2014 says:

Glad its going down the road of Medkits, auto health regeneration tends to cheapen the experience to me.

+5 votes     reply to comment
thonglover Jan 19 2014 says:

put medkits in cause this add more of a challenge.

+3 votes     reply to comment
MJBrune Jan 19 2014 says:

You could also combine the too so the game never gets too hard. Auto regenerate health to say 50% and make the player search for health boosters for the other 50%. That way if they don't find medkits then they don't feel like they completely wasted their time but if they do find medkits they can go okay, I can play this next batch of enemies a little bit less cautiously.

Or you can even add in the unreal way of doing it too where medkits can overcharge you with health and have the overcharge slowly tick down the amount of health you have until you get to the normal amount (usually 100%)

There are tons of way to look at the damage/health system and I would encourage you to take a unique way. Specifically one that makes logical sense to the plot/story.

Take Half-Life you always saw these health and armor recharge stations which were like finding medkits but not really because if you had 99 health and just wanted to top yourself off, you get 100%, turn the corner and deal with enemies who work you down to say 10%. You still have the rest of that recharge station left, so you can go back and charge back up. Most of all it fit within the game. You were introduced to this HEV Mark 4 Protective system about 10 minutes into the game in which of course has a armor and health system. In fact you can actually think of Health as adrenaline and Armor as pain killer and you are just refilling the suits capacity. (which is why after major amounts of damage the suit will administer adrenaline.)

Hope this helps :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
WeeGee9000 Jan 19 2014 says:

**** regenerating health. this thing contributes to bad level design, i might add

0 votes     reply to comment
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