Post news RSS I'm terribly sorry, but you can't heal!

When people play Myriavora for the first time, their first question usually is "How can I heal?" When they hear the answer, they think I'm joking.

Posted by on

When people play Myriavora for the first time, their first question usually is "How can I heal?" When they hear the answer, they think I'm joking. Healing yourself is such a common trope in combat games, that I need to state this clearly: In Myriavora your health bar needs to last for the entire battle. No healing.

So, why is that?

Well, from a game design perspective regenerating health can have a number of purposes, for example to even out RNG spikes or improve pacing. However, from your perspective as a player it's almost exclusively used to reduce tension, whether you're aware of it or not. I see the same pattern with things like

  • quicksaving
  • taking cover
  • hiding
  • pulling individual enemies
  • wielding a shield

All of these are valid game mechanics, but they come with a side effect that makes them attractive for abuse. Have you ever found yourself quicksaving every few seconds? Or taking cover after every hit, patiently waiting for your health to fully replenish? Stuffing your inventory with health potions? Nobody wants to play this way, and yet we do, at least sometimes.

In my and probably most people's opinion it's not enough for a game to present a task. Games should build up tension that the player needs to overcome and resolve. That's why killing a dragon is fun and doing the dishes is a chore. For fun and excitement to kick in, the stakes must be high!

But when the stakes are high, we tend to become cautious sooner or later. "Better safe than sorry" is not just a saying, it's hardwired in our brains. For good reason, of course, since in real life our survival still depends on mechanisms like this. Why do you play racing games when you own a real car? Because real cars are 99.9% of the time about commuting and occasionally about dying, that's why. For most people there's just no fun in that.

Games provide a safe way to do fantastically awesome stuff, but the safety mechanisms are so deeply engrained in our brains, that they can spoil the fun. Given the opportunity, people are going to min-max, quicksave, and heal a game to death. It's not stupidity or ignorance, it's just human nature.

That's why you can't heal in Myriavora. It may feel wrong or even scary at first. But you'll soon realize it's a lot more fun that way!

Post a comment
Sign in or join with:

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.

News
Browse
News
New
Post news
Views
80 (1 today)
Share
Related Games
Myriavora
Myriavora Third Person Shooter
Related Groups
juehoffmann
juehoffmann Developer & Publisher