Author Topic: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death  (Read 82310 times)

Rickton

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Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« on: April 06, 2014, 01:42:49 PM »
The permadeath thread got me thinking about other ways to provide meaningful consequences for death besides simply ending the game.

One of the game ideas I have (who knows if I'll ever end up making it) is a roguelike where your only method of character improvement (aside from equipment upgrades) is mutation. Mutations to make you stronger, let you shoot lasers out your eyes, grow extra arms to hold extra weapons, etc.
When you die, you would come back to life at a nearby cloning facility, but the technology is imperfect, so when you come back you'd end up with a bad mutation. The bad mutations could possibly be cured, or maybe the game could eventually end if your bad mutations just get so out of hand you're nothing but a blob or something, but I think it'd be more interesting than just simple "You die, game over."

I've seen some games where when you die, you go to some kind of underworld and have to get back out, either by fighting your way out, or solving puzzles, or whatever.

What are some other possibilites? And are there any games (roguelike or not) that do things like that?
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Endorya

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2014, 02:14:52 PM »
But you seek ideas around your mutation concept or general ideas for any kind of concept?
« Last Edit: April 06, 2014, 02:18:28 PM by Endorya »
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Rickton

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2014, 02:32:25 PM »
General ideas, that was just an example of one I've thought of.
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rust

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2014, 02:34:47 PM »
If it's meant to replace permadeath completely, then the penalty has to be meaningful.
In Dungeon Siege 2 when you die, your party respawns back in town, but without equipment, which you can retrieve for a price. Perhaps this concept could be expanded to include some serious damage/curse to equipment. Character could also suffer permanent loss of attributes and abilities.

reaver

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2014, 02:48:41 PM »
If you lose and start with *significantly less* than what you had when you lost, it's highly likely that you're gonna lose again.

If you lose and you end up playing some other metagame for a bit, you don't improve on your loss, you just take the focus away from it temporarily.

Endorya

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2014, 05:48:30 PM »
I'm really not sure about permanent consequences being applied to the character to escape permadeath. Really, if my char gets somehow permanently castrated like having his attributes lowered or something, I really don't think I would continue to play with it. I think I would rather start all over than continuing playing with a crippled character which as a consequence would increase the game's difficulty even more.

I can only think of temporarily consequences being applied to the character instead of permanent ones. The idea of respawning in a city with basic equipment and then needing to recover your old body and equipment seems a reasonable way to go. For permanent punishment I would go with loosing the character's gear forever or having the player needing to pay a toll for his rebirth. A toll that could go nastier and nastier as the character keeps dying or having a price tied to the character's level or disabling rebirth completely after having the character reaching a certain level or goal.

« Last Edit: April 07, 2014, 04:59:02 PM by Endorya »
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malignatius

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2014, 06:13:58 PM »
Hmm.. Here's an idea. A "punishment" for dying could be to minimize future rewards. (temporary). So instead of loosing XP, money or equipment, the player would receive less XP, money and stuff from future kills/loot. I call it, the "Curse".

Endorya

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2014, 06:24:29 PM »
Hmm.. Here's an idea. A "punishment" for dying could be to minimize future rewards. (temporary). So instead of loosing XP, money or equipment, the player would receive less XP, money and stuff from future kills/loot. I call it, the "Curse".

That's also a good idea. But wouldn't such "Curse" also discourage the player from tackling with strong opponents or visiting dangerous lands since he would now receive less rewards at the cost of risking his life yet again and possibly get even higher death penalties? Assuming of course we are talking about a free roaming game.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2014, 08:31:26 PM by Endorya »
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Vanguard

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2014, 10:38:25 PM »
Story consequences for death.  Like, your character survives but the town he was supposed to defend gets destroyed.

Your character takes a permanent injury when you run out of health.  For the rest of the game you have to live with a stat penalty or something.

You start the game with a certain number of live saving items.  There is no way to get more.  Every time your health runs out, one is consumed and you are sent to a safe area.  You permanently die if you run out of health with no life saving items.

After you die, a new hero eventually steps up to save the world and you play as that person.  In the meantime, the forces of evil have conquered part of the world.  You lose if they conquer the entire world.

PrincessRL doesn't end when you run out of health, but you lose valuable time and there's no way to get it back.

If you die in You Only Live Once then the game gives you a stronger character to play as next time.  The later characters are extremely powerful, so beating the final boss is easy.  What's hard is winning the game with minimal deaths.

LazyCat

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2014, 11:10:52 PM »
I see proposals how to punish, but I see no any explanation why.

What are we trying to achieve, or avoid? What is the problem with letting player save in the first place? What is this punishment good for, how is it better?

Vanguard

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2014, 11:15:27 PM »
What is this punishment good for, how is it better?

Permadeath and similar punishments increase tension and force you to play better.  You don't need to be cautious if you can't be hurt.  You don't need to plan ahead if you can turn back time.

There's nothing exciting about winning a game when there was no possibility of losing.

Endorya

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2014, 11:20:53 AM »
I see proposals how to punish, but I see no any explanation why.

What are we trying to achieve, or avoid? What is the problem with letting player save in the first place? What is this punishment good for, how is it better?

The best approach for the whole problem in my humble view would be simply having a system with (optional) controlled saved points as I'm not a fan of free saving and definitely not a fan of permadeath tied with everything being procedural generated. A well designed game with controlled saved points and with the right amount of difficulty would still mimic the tension and excitement found in permadeth. It is exactly the same crap whether you loose one hour of gameplay by starting everything from scratch or from a saved point, only the smell might be different. However, loosing 5 hours of game play and needing to start all over due to an unfortunate event that you had no control over whatsoever is simply pointless to me.

Roguelikes only have permadeath or harsh punishments because they suck pretty hard at telling a story. They don't have deep characters with interesting motives nor they possess plots you may feel emotionally attached to. There are no story twists or any sense of responsibility towards any character you may find throughout its playing time; characters are dull, filled with robotic and superficial dialog and all this due to roguelikes relying heavily on dynamic generated content. Roguelike mechanics consists mostly of exploration and survival, meaning that whatever you usually do doesn't really add nothing towards the game's goal but to your own sense of accomplishment. This is why in roguelikes the player's character can be killed just like that, because this type of game doesn't give us enough room to bounds ourselves with the world our controllable characters stride in; worlds are procedural generated anyway, so its really hard to get involved with them even if you want to. Roguelikes are simply about challenge and there is nothing wrong with this.

@Everyone
Having death punishments with restoration points or the good old fashioned permadeath with decreased difficulty may at the end turn out to be exactly the same thing. I would in fact prefer it to have permadeath but with all its unfair and dirtiness content removed as I'm not the masochist type.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2014, 12:04:17 PM by Endorya »
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LazyCat

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2014, 02:24:56 AM »
What is this punishment good for, how is it better?
Permadeath and similar punishments increase tension and force you to play better.  You don't need to be cautious if you can't be hurt.

Tension is maybe better for you, not everyone. And you are likely in minority there, people prefer to relax. But you are forced to play better either way. If a game requires skill and has progressive difficulty you will not advance until you get better. The only difference is you don't rewind as much, it's not easier, just faster.

You don't need to be cautions if you don't mind re-playing the same thing over and over, but if you want to advance you will need to, just the same. Save-scumming doesn't make you invincible, and rewinding back to the beginning of the level is punishing as well, it's punishing enough.


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You don't need to plan ahead if you can turn back time.

If planing ahead is necessary than it is necessary either way. Save-scumming doesn't make you invincible, if you failed to prepare you will get stuck unable to advance. Also, you can not plan ahead if you never completed the game before, it's like trying to do a speed run on your first play-through.


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There's nothing exciting about winning a game when there was no possibility of losing.

Losing what? The only thing there is to lose is time. Save-scumming doesn't make you invincible, you fail and try again just the same. You lose in either case, you loose time, just not as much.

Excitement is not the only thing that makes games enjoyable. Experimenting with different tactics and trying to push a character as far as it can go is fun as well, if not more fun. I also prefer to complete a game first and then decide if I really want to be attempting to beat it with only one life, or is it worth playing at all.

Different people like different things. You go ahead and play with only one life or sit on a cactus if that makes it more tense for you. You don't see anyone complaining other types of games have easy difficulty or save option, if not for you those options are for other people, and then it does not concern you.

Vanguard

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2014, 03:00:30 AM »
You've repeatedly shown yourself to be an irrational thinker in the other thread.  You won't even admit that a perfect round of bowling takes more skill than landing a dozen strikes over as many games.  I'm not interested in any more discussions with you.

LazyCat

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2014, 04:15:11 AM »
You've repeatedly shown yourself to be an irrational thinker in the other thread.  You won't even admit that a perfect round of bowling takes more skill than landing a dozen strikes over as many games.

What part do you not understand? As I said, each strike is equally difficult to pull of, that's what bowling difficulty is. Making consecutive strikes is not a matter of inherent bowling difficulty any more, but complex external factors, like variations in air density and moisture, variation in bowler's physical and mental condition, and such. It's a complex random factor, it does not define bowling difficulty, it defines relative probability. When you are bowling drunk it's not bowling that changes difficulty, it's your condition that makes you more likely to fail. -- You are being vague, and thus unable to differentiate probability from difficulty, just like you are mistaking difficult with tedious.


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I'm not interested in any more discussions with you.

You never put forward any arguments in the first place. You were just asking me questions, some of which you refused to answer yourself. I mean in another thread, here we haven't even started discussing this.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2014, 04:24:04 AM by LazyCat »