Survival asspect within RPG?
Posted 18 June 2012 - 09:02 PM
Anyway, what are people's thoughts regarding survival elements found in an rpg?
If I was to implement this feature, I'd be sure to make it brutal (the game will be difficult regardless)
In case I need to explain further:
The player and all npc found in-game (including creatures/animals) have various variables that, if ever at too low of level, die.
I'd like to add this feature for I feel it adds a bit of immersion. Players are forced to care about the actual well-being of their character. I fear people may just find it tedious however.
Also: Dev Blog found here !!!!!!
Posted 18 June 2012 - 09:25 PM
Most survival actions such as eating to quench hunger, drinking to quench thirst, resting for energy etc. are going to be tedious for a large number of players, because they do not want to have to monitor such intricate details of their character in what is a video game. Some players will become disinterested in the game because of such features. You always have the joke of soon having to manage "going to the toilet" in a video game. Essentially, the question that is often asked is "where does it end?"
But IMO, the way the feature will be received depend on how it's implemented. Far Cry 2 had a terrible implementation of a malaria system. Whereby the player had random malaria induced convulsions which he had to take pills to stop. Problem was, this action was boring and tedious and in the end seemed to serve absolutely no purpose in the game. Also the way in which the player acquired malaria pills was rather boring, because you'd have to drive all the way to a doctor who could be miles away. The problem was made even worse by the constantly re-spawning checkpoints. In other words, POOR IMPLEMENTATION.
I think, a better way to implement the system would be through VARIETY. A variety of foods to end your hunger, a variety of drinks, which can be acquired in many numbers of ways. Basically, try to streamline the process as much as you can to prevent stagnation and boredom gripping the player. I'd say balance the risk v reward aspect of the game. Does the player decide to stay in relative safety and warmth, but risk running out of food or water? or head out into the unknown in search for food/water, but risk being attacked? such a balance makes a game fun to play.
You say this will affect all NPC in the game too? in that case, VERY careful balancing will need to be done to make sure that certain animals or NPCs crucial to the story do not end up dead because they couldn't find food/water or warmth...
Good luck with this
Posted 18 June 2012 - 10:54 PM
- Going hunting for food in the wilderness and selling it at a the nearby market found in town is a fast way to earn an income. Keeping some for yourself shouldn't be too much of a problem.
- Water can be collected from any source. Staying near a river while traveling is safest anyway (Ill add some features that make traveling near rivers a good idea)
- Not sure if Im going to implement rest. The problem lies within the game running at real-time. Because things need to play out as they happen, you as the player would not be able to jump ahead in time. Rather, you'd have to sit and watch your player sleep.. However, their will of course still be stamina/endurance but thats a skill that can be improved on, not a need.
And as for ALL npc: The game lacks a main plot/story at start. As the player interacts with the world, a randomly generated plot/story starts to develop. The quest engine uses the player's back-story, random, global events that have already taken place, and the player's interaction with the world around them to generate the 'bits' and 'pieces' which create the story. To point, Anyone can die and anything can happen. The game can never 'break' if someone dies. Instead, the story continues around the death_event. In other words, the story/plot is fluid and not set in stone.
Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:06 PM
I have never liked the hunger system in ANY video game I've played that has it. It's one of the main reasons why I quit Minecraft and why I stopped playing Zenonia 2. You don't want hunger in any sort of game, and that includes survival. There are other, better elements you can use to make it feel like a survival game.
So how do you make it feel like a survival game without a hunger system? That's easy. Shelter, environment, hostile creatures, etc. Minecraft did well as a survival game without the hunger system in its early stages.
So what's the point of hunting for food without a hunger system? Simple, food can be used for healing yourself. Minecraft did this before the hunger system was added to it, and it worked nicely. You didn't have to worry about hunger, but food was still valuable.
BUT THAT IS UNREALISTIC OMGEE!!! ...Who cares? It's a video game, not reality; take advantage of that.
So in short, you don't need a hunger system in a survival game. That is all.
Edited by 11clock, 18 June 2012 - 11:10 PM.
Posted 19 June 2012 - 12:15 AM
The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series uses a similar system, where your health regenerates if your hunger bar is above 1 and drains 1 HP per second (until you die) otherwise. A different game which seems to be STRONGLY based on this one goes even further and decreases your attack strength if your hunger bar isn't full.
In my opinion, both of the above are annoying to a certain extent. Minecraft's system is especially cruel at the beginning of the game, where you don't yet have any reliable food sources (unless you find an NPC village, but I wouldn't rely on this). Later on, it's just "damn, I forgot the bread, gotta return" after you spent 2 minutes in a cave.
PMD's system is annoying because there are invisible traps on the floor which can turn your food into much worse food. If you eat that, it applies a random status ailment and usually fills much less of the hunger bar than the original item. While you CAN uncover the traps by attacking the tile right in front of you (and therefore avoid stepping on them), this effectively doubles the amount of turns you spend in rooms and sort of turns the game extremely boring as well. Make your choice: Boring or a possible instant game over? (There's a trap which summons enemies all around you, and if you attack them, it drains the PP of the last "special attack" you used... so if all your special attacks are attacking moves, you can only beat four enemies until you run out of special attacks. Normal attacks tend to be VERY weak, and these traps can even appear in dungeons which are already VERY hard on their own...)
Also, you can't escape a dungeon once you entered it unless you either beat it or use an Escape Orb. If you didn't take any of those with you, you have to pray that they can spawn in the dungeon, or you have to beat it. So if you also happened to forget apples, it wouldn't be "damn, I forgot the apples" but rather "ARGH! I FORGOT THE APPLES! NO! I'M DEAD!". That is, if apples don't appear in that dungeon. If they do appear, you have to pray that you find one, because everything in this game is procedurally generated.
The "other" game I mentioned is even worse in this aspect: Traps which lower your hunger meter, enemies which can lower your hunger meter with a special attack, enemies which can cause other enemies to always use their special attacks, the aforementioned "turn food into bad food" trap and enemies which eat your food, no matter if it's the legendary MAX-G waffle which fills the hunger meter completely and extends it by half of its initial capacity or not (even if this isn't completely accurate, the effect is similar enough).
Oh, did I mention that this game includes a dungeon which sets your level back to 1 (actually, all dungeons do this), doesn't let you level up and doesn't allow you to bring any partners (which could level up in the "easy" version of this dungeon) or items with you? I'm glad the makers didn't add the "no items besides money spawn in the dungeon" rule which they added to a different dungeon or this would be next to impossible. The only thing I can think of which could lead to beating that dungeon is spawning right next to the teleporter which lets you advance to the next floor... more than 30 times in a row.
Also, two dungeons in said game focus entirely on making you die through use of the hunger system: One includes enemies which always drain your hunger meter when attacking, while the other one only generates liquid consumables (which each fill 5 of the 100 hunger bars) and no food (which ranges from 25 to full restore). You are not allowed to bring items, of course.
So yeah, I don't really like hunger systems. But since they're not the only "survival" aspect a game can have, there are still a few aspects left worth taking a look at.
Health, for one, is a classic. Instant kills kind of suck, so health is pretty much a must in RPGs.
Minecraft includes crafting tools. Those tools have their own "HP bar"; After it's empty, the tool breaks. This can be a quite nice effect when used right, but to be honest, it will turn any super rare weapon/tool useless: You'll be afraid of using it too much and breaking it, so you'll end up not using it at all unless needed! I only use diamond pickaxes to mine obsidian in Minecraft, for example. Iron all the way otherwise since it's SO much easier to acquire. An idea to prevent the uber weapons from degrading into collectibles: You first need to find one of these rare thingies, whatever they are, and they will break after a certain amount of uses. However, you can repair them. By this, I DON'T mean Minecraft's combine-two-tools-to-repair method, but rather repairing a diamond pickaxe by using up iron. This way, you can use your rare equipment as much as you want and gain all of their benefits while really only using up less valuable resources which are either easy to get or even renewable.
Another thing I find kind of interesting is something like an "aggression level". If you fight, it raises. The higher it is, the higher your attack. If you don't fight for a while, it will sink again, even going into the negatives until a certain degree. Basically, you will need to fight once in a while to have any chance to survive, because you will become too weak otherwise. Make sure that you don't force players to beat 5 monsters within one minute, though, since this will make the system seem tedious again. If executed right, this will also make the game a bit more realistic and possibly more rewarding: If you work up for two minutes by killing weak monsters before fighting a boss, you will have an easier time beating it - definitely better than spending hours grinding for higher levels!
Just throwing out a few of my ideas here.
Edited by TsukaYuriko, 19 June 2012 - 12:23 AM.
Posted 19 June 2012 - 09:57 AM
Remember that the harder you make it, the more time the player and effort the player has to spend on it, which, unless your game has a huge emphasis on survival, will distract the player from his objectives and feel like a frustrating hindrance.
Posted 19 June 2012 - 12:06 PM
For example, you have a few variables. Hunger, Thirst, and Energy, Max Energy, and Fat.
-If you eat, you gain energy, if you eat too much, you gain fat.
-If your fat is low, your max energy will be high. If your fat is high, your Max Energy will be low.
-Using Energy will eventually lose fat
-Thirst will affect the players energy level if by a lot if very thirsty.
-An average person can go a long time without eating, but not as long for drinking.
Posted 20 June 2012 - 04:31 PM
- players can build small shelters that they may rest in(to be used in the wilderness)
- player now has a 'fear' variable. Ambient noises, any creature on their fear list, etc make the 'fear' variable raise in value. Once over a set limit, your player has a penalty of some sort (less damage dealt, more damage taken, runs away, etc.)
- the weather will actually effect the world. At first, I was only going to have fire in forests but, for realism, I've decided that all aspects of weather(for, fire, snow, rain, etc) affect combat and possibly other elements of gameplay as well
- still considering temperature though. Probably only to the point that in some special areas, the player will need the appropriate fitting/equipment to enter, else they will eventually freeze or burn up (going to a volcanoe, going into the mountains)
- Also considering having water heal you a bit (just slightly)
Posted 20 June 2012 - 10:14 PM
Anyway, about the shelters: How about having the game simulate the world while you sleep (set room speed to 999 or something, turn hunger and the like down because sleeping uses up less resources)? Monsters would continue to roam around and attack you if they spot you lying in a bed out in the open. Of course, this may lead to extreme slowdown on low-end computers or the like...
Another idea: Similar to world simulation, make the game check whether the player's shelter offers sufficient protection against danger (e.g. no open doors, no open spaces...). If it doesn't, or if the shelter is obvious to spot (e.g. a skyscraper in the middle of a desert, or just a house... anything that's not underground or otherwise hidden), spawn monsters around the shelter so the player would have to deal with them when he wakes up. If the shelter only is obvious to spot, the monsters would just wait outside, but if there were any open spaces, they would proceed to outright attack the player once he wakes up. This wouldn't cause lag due to massive game speed, but the algorithm to check whether the shelter is good or not probably could, in addition to being complicated to write.
I think the fear idea can be extended even further, maybe even combined with my "aggression level" idea: The aggression level doubles as a bravery level: The higher it is, the less you are affected by fear! So if a bunch of monsters surprise you, your character would first be totally shocked, but if he manages to beat them, another bunch of monsters randomly popping out of nowhere will not surprise him as much because battling the monsters before made his bravery level raise. This bravery level could even be a stat in a RPG.
Having weather affect the world also sounds interesting, but if their effects are too powerful, they might insta-kill players, which would turn them off... for example, a player has built his home in the middle of a forest. Forest fire = insta-death and loss of pretty much everything unless there is a lake nearby.
Temperature sounds more like an annoyance than a feature, at least if fitting equipment is needed. The equipment wouldn't be equipment anymore, but rather just another key item needed to complete the game.
Having water heal you sounds like an interesting idea. I'd even extend it by a bit: Open wounds can be caused by heavy damage. They will make you slowly lose health (blood) until they eventually heal. Going into clear water would stop the gradual damage instantly. However, going into salty water... ouch. Also, drinking salty water would cause an effect similar to Minecraft's rotten flesh - it has a chance of making your hunger (or in this case thirst) level sink much more quickly for a while.
Posted 21 June 2012 - 06:24 AM
Posted 23 June 2012 - 07:54 AM
But as some have already said, it's really easy to screw up with that kind of thing. So the way you implement that system is what will determine in the end if it was good or not. The most important thing (and the one I hate the most in any game) I believe is NOT MAKING THE PLAYER GO TO THE SAME SPOT ALL THE TIME. That means having all the necessary food, drinks, medication etc.. scattered all around the game, and the ability for player to take some of that with him at all times. Someone mentioned Far Cry as a negative example so I'll mention any Elder Scrolls game as a positive example. In those games if you get sick you can get to any nearby city and you're sure to find a store that sells potions to cure your disease, or you can have some in your inventory, even make them by mixing herbs you can gather but that's too far for many games to do. Elder Scrolls doesn't have a hunger system, except with mods, which have proven to work great as you can find food almost anywhere.
Example: you're in a forest, searching for ruins to loot or whatever and you are hungry. Now instead of making you go back to the city even if you don't have any food in the inventory, you can easily find some fruits or a wild animal to kill and eat it's meat. And that's a good implementation.
Also, when it comes to implementing such system, it must not kill the player instantly. Say you run out of ''hunger bar''. So that means your health starts dropping slowly, allowing you to find food before you die, even if it's unavailable right away.
And of course, variety of products is good and it wouldn't make sense to find a hamburger in the middle of a forest so proper placement of different products is just being professional.
Posted 05 July 2012 - 07:16 PM
I am currently programming an RPG game, and I thought about programming a simple survival system. after reading this topic, I think I might actually go forward with it. I'm still kind of a noob when it comes to programming in GML, though.
Great idea to have survival systems, though!
Posted 08 July 2012 - 02:46 PM
Posted 09 July 2012 - 07:01 PM
I've decided that Im going to have a 'hardcore' mode which adds more realistic elements to the game.
The focus of hardcore mode is to give player's the option of playing the same game but in a more in depth manner. I'm really trying to avoid using the word "harder" because that's not exactly what I want hardcore to be.
For instance, I've decided t hat there will be hunger and energy. I've decided against thirst being a necessity and instead replenishes your endurance a bit. So water's a good thing to have around.
Other than survival, the game will focus more on the social aspect of the game. Meaning mostly that conversations will have more influence on what people think of you and what they offer you -though not past an unrealistic point. I've also decided to add realistic damage to hardcore mode. It'll take a lot of balancing but it will eventually be worth it.
Edited by ParaplegicPenguin, 10 July 2012 - 05:33 PM.
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