Java-Gaming.org    
Featured games (81)
games approved by the League of Dukes
Games in Showcase (491)
Games in Android Showcase (112)
games submitted by our members
Games in WIP (556)
games currently in development
News: Read the Java Gaming Resources, or peek at the official Java tutorials
 
    Home     Help   Search   Login   Register   
Pages: [1]
  ignore  |  Print  
  Permadeath  (Read 3306 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Offline Christopher

Senior Member


Medals: 2
Projects: 1



« Posted 2011-05-03 07:31:08 »

I am working on a roguelike(sorta) inspired title. I hope to eventually move it into the realm of multi player once i have a decent single player up an running. In my head I always wanted the character death to be permanent. I used to play a lot of dungeon hack when i was younger and I loved how you could look at the cemetery list of your old characters and reminisce of the baddie that defeated them.

I also remember when I was a kid games used to be HARD. The first one that comes to mind is the simpsons alien one, where you used to have to spray these objects purple for <insert plot reason here that has been lost over the years> and one of the objects was a man crossing the road, who didnt come back if you missed him... no game over... you just couldn't finish the level... maybe just bad programming, who knows...

Anyway my point is, in this day and age we are spoiled with 30 second auto-saves and linear guidelines so obvious that even an ape (trained or untrained) could follow, how would permadeath go down in a randomly generated world? Would you feel robbed and throw the game at the wall? or would you feel like your choices actually mattered and you were actually part of a living breathing(and dieing) world?


Offline Roquen
« Reply #1 - Posted 2011-05-03 08:42:35 »

That's a tough one.  I think most player today would hate no save points permadeath, but I don't really know.  I still kinda like it.  I also like the recent trend of having "unlocks" which are permed per player.  I have to admit that I do get annoyed when I get killed via a mis-click or keypress.
Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #2 - Posted 2011-05-03 09:17:50 »

Anyway my point is, in this day and age we are spoiled with 30 second auto-saves and linear guidelines so obvious that even an ape (trained or untrained) could follow, how would permadeath go down in a randomly generated world? Would you feel robbed and throw the game at the wall? or would you feel like your choices actually mattered and you were actually part of a living breathing(and dieing) world?
I think it's unhelpful to be dismissive of modern games like this. Modern games want you to complete them. It's no good making an epic story and then making it so hard that 90% of players never see the ending. So story-driven games (which is what most roguelike/rpgs have evolved into) have become easier and pushed the difficulty into "new game++" modes.

It also depends hugely on what style of play you're after. Permadeath in Angband? Hell no - a game can take weeks. Permadeath in Desktop Dungeons? Sure, a game only takes half an hour max anyway. I think permadeath needs to be decided early on, because it affects almost every part of the game design.

I think full permadeath is outdated these days, and not worth considering. Semi-permadeath is the way to go. Games like Shirin The Wanderer where individual characters can die, but they can earn unlocks or equipment for the ones that follow. You should probably also take a look at Demon's Souls, as it's got some interesting semi-permadeath approach that makes the game really tense without being completely unfair or making you loose huge amounts of progress.

I also had a complicated semi-permadeath strategy planned for Albion. The basic idea being that 'dead' characters would get banished to hell, and your remaining characters had to go and rescue them. Dying while in hell though would permanently kill someone.

Basically, think why you want permadeath (usually a heightened feeling of tension as you could die at any time), and figure out a way to get that without the annoying side effects.

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline Christopher

Senior Member


Medals: 2
Projects: 1



« Reply #3 - Posted 2011-05-04 08:41:40 »

Anyway my point is, in this day and age we are spoiled with 30 second auto-saves and linear guidelines so obvious that even an ape (trained or untrained) could follow, how would permadeath go down in a randomly generated world? Would you feel robbed and throw the game at the wall? or would you feel like your choices actually mattered and you were actually part of a living breathing(and dieing) world?
I think it's unhelpful to be dismissive of modern games like this. Modern games want you to complete them. It's no good making an epic story and then making it so hard that 90% of players never see the ending. So story-driven games (which is what most roguelike/rpgs have evolved into) have become easier and pushed the difficulty into "new game++" modes.

It also depends hugely on what style of play you're after. Permadeath in Angband? Hell no - a game can take weeks. Permadeath in Desktop Dungeons? Sure, a game only takes half an hour max anyway. I think permadeath needs to be decided early on, because it affects almost every part of the game design.

I think full permadeath is outdated these days, and not worth considering. Semi-permadeath is the way to go. Games like Shirin The Wanderer where individual characters can die, but they can earn unlocks or equipment for the ones that follow. You should probably also take a look at Demon's Souls, as it's got some interesting semi-permadeath approach that makes the game really tense without being completely unfair or making you loose huge amounts of progress.

I also had a complicated semi-permadeath strategy planned for Albion. The basic idea being that 'dead' characters would get banished to hell, and your remaining characters had to go and rescue them. Dying while in hell though would permanently kill someone.

Basically, think why you want permadeath (usually a heightened feeling of tension as you could die at any time), and figure out a way to get that without the annoying side effects.

This is the same slow realization that I have come to myself. I will need to implement some sort of heavy penalty though, for I dont want death to be no biggie sort of event. Perhaps I will factor it into the storyline somehow (like demon souls)...


Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #4 - Posted 2011-05-04 11:13:45 »

Yeah, I think that's a good approach. Particularly if you're making a game where your characters develop over time, you don't want to loose a week's worth of progress due to a single bad mistake.

The idea behind my Albion death mechanic is that to let a character die you have to repeatedly screw up. Just making a couple of mistakes (even big ones) would be recoverable, it'd just cost you time and resources.

Demon's Souls is similar in that one death is annoying but recoverable if you're on the ball, but dying without getting back to your corpse means you actually loose souls. You can even die repeatedly on the same level and not loose any souls if you always manage to find your body again.

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Offline teletubo
« League of Dukes »

JGO Ninja


Medals: 48
Projects: 4
Exp: 8 years



« Reply #5 - Posted 2011-05-04 13:00:36 »

I am also working on a Diablo-Rogue like, and I'm still thinking about what should be done .
I don't want my players to be gone for good, since it's an online game (mmorpg ?  persecutioncomplex ) but still it's a bit too easy when you die and then ... woohoo, respawned at 100% health !
I think I'll go for money+items lost, some of them recoverable (if no one else steals it before you reach the corpse) . However this also brings the matter of scavenger players ... choices, choices .... maybe that's the biggest thrill of writing games Smiley

Offline namrog84

JGO Ninja


Medals: 46
Projects: 4


Keep programming!


« Reply #6 - Posted 2011-05-04 13:12:12 »

You also have the obvious choice of making no permadeath
but adding it as an optional added part,
for those who are REALLY into the game.

i.e. Diablo 1 & 2.   A lot of people play normal vanilla mode.  But I know I personally really enjoyed hardcore(permadeath) mode.  
I also wish more games gave it to you as a choice.


Though I personally love the idea of unlocks or some sort of added bonus.  It does come down to the game type.

If you want to tell a story,  no permadeath.  If you want action, excitement,  then permadeath might be okay.

"Experience is what you get when you did not get what you wanted"
Offline Christopher

Senior Member


Medals: 2
Projects: 1



« Reply #7 - Posted 2011-05-04 13:35:45 »

You also have the obvious choice of making no permadeath

but adding it as an optional added part,  for those who are REALLY into the game.
i.e. Diablo 1 & 2.   A lot of people play normal vanilla mode.  But I know I personally really enjoyed hardcore(permadeath) mode.   
I also wish more games gave it to you as a choice.


Though I personally love the idea of unlocks or some sort of added bonus.  It does come down to the game type.

If you want to tell a story,  no permadeath.  If you want action, excitement,  then permadeath might be okay.


This is one of the better ways to implement it i think, optional. Especially if you move into the realm of multi-player where some high level dick can leave you throwing your PC at the wall.

Hardcore Diablo was also a favorite of mine... it meant less zombie clicking and more paying attention.

Offline namrog84

JGO Ninja


Medals: 46
Projects: 4


Keep programming!


« Reply #8 - Posted 2011-05-04 19:06:22 »

Death is always in my opinion, one of the most difficult decisions about making a game.

Take first person shooter adventure games.
Although they aren't really 1:1 compareable,  Let's assume half life series to bioshock to prey to ""I forget name""

Halflife, has autosaves AND manual quicksave/regular save
There is no "checkpoints"  but I feel the seperation of ingame respawn to "last save load" somehow makes it okay.  I still feel a threat of death, or moreso injury. If I am hurt, I don't auto heal.  So even reloading a last save, doesn't alway mean much if I am going to die the same way.  A lot of games will give you full life, without healing the enemy.

bioshock has checkpoints(aka autosaves?)
-auto cloning device thing?  I do not recall their being manual saves but when I realized I could just suicide run ahead, die, respawn, and do it again, slowly weakening my enemies.  I felt my motivation to keep playing, completely died off.  I felt there was no consequence or danger anymore.

prey has saves and stuff, but death is a minigame? I think
--You die and enter in the spirit world, where depending on how many spirits you kill, will determine how much health you have when you return to where you were JUST at when you died?   I didn't realize it earlier on, but I think you are technically invincible, with no real consequence.




Should death be a mini game?(aka time sink?)   a time sink?  a money sink? 

I personally enjoyed ultima online and other MMO where when you died, you must recover your body, a monster may or may not have looted 1 random item.  Other shady players may or may not have looted your body.   You potentially could lose a little skill, you became a ghost AT your dead body, so you had to go FIND a healer/resurrection location.  No auto respawn.  A player may be nice and resurrect you.

Death wasn't permenant, but it was a true pain in the ass.  It made it far more exciting when you barely escaped.  But gear wasn't overly important, like in games like WoW or other elements.

Although depending on the game, I usually feel like escaping death should be exciting.  Death should be more then just a 30 second inconvenience. But I don't think you should have to repeat the same thing over and over again.  Somehow if you are just going to die and restart,  They should introduce unknown and changing variables.  Open or close doors that werent there before.  Spawn more bad guys?  Change the type of bad guys.  Keep the player on their toes.



Some college kids had made a dynamic difficulty Mario platformer a while back, that depending if you beat the level under a certain time, or under certain death #. The next level would be harder.
However if you died a lot, or took a long time.  It would make the jumpers easier and bad guys easier to kill, or fewer of them.

Though compared to Morrowind or oblivion? I forget which, where everything in the world "scaled" to your level, I personally hated that. I enjoy going back to easy town and slaughtering things that used to hurt me.  Not have everything in the world magically level up with me.

//end rant



Alternatively to death, you could make it comedic.  Look at Super Meat Boy.  No penalty for death, except restart particular level/section.  But awesome replay of all your deaths/failures.   They reward death by having a super neat little replay video.

"Experience is what you get when you did not get what you wanted"
Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #9 - Posted 2011-05-04 23:53:22 »

You also have the obvious choice of making no permadeath

but adding it as an optional added part,  for those who are REALLY into the game.
i.e. Diablo 1 & 2.   A lot of people play normal vanilla mode.  But I know I personally really enjoyed hardcore(permadeath) mode.   
I also wish more games gave it to you as a choice.


Though I personally love the idea of unlocks or some sort of added bonus.  It does come down to the game type.

If you want to tell a story,  no permadeath.  If you want action, excitement,  then permadeath might be okay.


This is one of the better ways to implement it i think, optional. Especially if you move into the realm of multi-player where some high level dick can leave you throwing your PC at the wall.

Hardcore Diablo was also a favorite of mine... it meant less zombie clicking and more paying attention.

Personally I think that whenever any game decides to give the player the option to turn a major gameplay mechanic on/off then it's utterly failed. Particularly when it's done under the pretence of giving the player 'choice', when really it's a complete cop-out.

Designers should make a stand and pick one then run with it. Making it optional means that 1. you've got no vision and 2. can't design other gameplay elements properly as you've got to account for both sets of players.

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline Christopher

Senior Member


Medals: 2
Projects: 1



« Reply #10 - Posted 2011-05-05 01:38:34 »


1. you've got no vision and 2. can't design other gameplay elements properly as you've got to account for both sets of players.
[/quote]

1. Diablo had plenty of vision.
2. I never perceived a problem with the optional elements acting harmoniously. (Neither did the millions of Diablo players...)

Just saying...

Offline Abuse

JGO Knight


Medals: 12


falling into the abyss of reality


« Reply #11 - Posted 2011-05-05 01:47:42 »

You also have the obvious choice of making no permadeath

but adding it as an optional added part,  for those who are REALLY into the game.
i.e. Diablo 1 & 2.   A lot of people play normal vanilla mode.  But I know I personally really enjoyed hardcore(permadeath) mode.  
I also wish more games gave it to you as a choice.


Though I personally love the idea of unlocks or some sort of added bonus.  It does come down to the game type.

If you want to tell a story,  no permadeath.  If you want action, excitement,  then permadeath might be okay.


This is one of the better ways to implement it i think, optional. Especially if you move into the realm of multi-player where some high level dick can leave you throwing your PC at the wall.

Hardcore Diablo was also a favorite of mine... it meant less zombie clicking and more paying attention.

Personally I think that whenever any game decides to give the player the option to turn a major gameplay mechanic on/off then it's utterly failed. Particularly when it's done under the pretence of giving the player 'choice', when really it's a complete cop-out.

Designers should make a stand and pick one then run with it. Making it optional means that 1. you've got no vision and 2. can't design other gameplay elements properly as you've got to account for both sets of players.

I disagree.
Making a game attractive to both casual & hardcore gamers is nigh on impossible.
The current crop of AAA games demonstrate this perfectly; with casualized console titles betraying their more hardcore PC heritage being an all too common theme.

If a game's other mechanics are compatible with permadeath on or off, then what's wrong with allowing both?
In the case of Diablo 2 I think it's a testiment to the strength of it's gameplay mechanics that both modes worked so well, each requiring dramatically different tactics & play styles and offering a very different gameplay experience.

For achievements in a virtual environment to have value there has to be an element of risk, and obviously there is no greater risk than that of losing everything!
The only proviso is that the player should never perceive a death as unfair, or beyond their control - it must be clear they made an error.

Make Elite IV:Dangerous happen! Pledge your backing at KICKSTARTER here! https://dl.dropbox.com/u/54785909/EliteIVsmaller.png
Offline Christopher

Senior Member


Medals: 2
Projects: 1



« Reply #12 - Posted 2011-05-05 02:49:45 »


Though compared to Morrowind or oblivion? I forget which, where everything in the world "scaled" to your level, I personally hated that. I enjoy going back to easy town and slaughtering things that used to hurt me.  Not have everything in the world magically level up with me.


You didnt like this? I thought this was amazing! However it is worth noting that the quest is scaled at your character level whenever you aquired it. So if you dont complete a quest, going back and doing it at higher level will yield your desired result of hacking up low level plebs.

I remember my discovery of the system when i went to attempt a quest i had done with another character in which you are attacked by some hired goon upon entering the location. When I attempted this quest with a higher level character I was like ok this will be easy... I enter the tomb and the hired goon is now a full-plated knight raining blows down with a two handed sword... scared the hell out of me...


Alternatively to death, you could make it comedic.  Look at Super Meat Boy.  No penalty for death, except restart particular level/section.  But awesome replay of all your deaths/failures.   They reward death by having a super neat little replay video.


Ever play Conquers bad fur day? That was my favorite comedic style handling of death.

Offline Christopher

Senior Member


Medals: 2
Projects: 1



« Reply #13 - Posted 2011-05-05 02:55:44 »


I disagree.
Making a game attractive to both casual & hardcore gamers is nigh on impossible.
The current crop of AAA games demonstrate this perfectly; with casualized console titles betraying their more hardcore PC heritage being an all too common theme.


This is the on going trend sadly. I work at a games store and I see numerous returns of AAA titles within the first 24Hrs for this very reason.


The only proviso is that the player should never perceive a death as unfair, or beyond their control - it must be clear they made an error.


This is where I also believe the delicate balance lies. I lost a few hardcore Diablo characters to lagspikes and there is nothing more betraying despite your belief in the system. It can turn you off enough to not play anymore.

Offline Alan_W

JGO Knight


Medals: 8
Projects: 3


Java tames rock!


« Reply #14 - Posted 2011-05-05 04:20:39 »

I'm quite happy with permadeath in games that only take half an hour to complete.  Any longer than that and I want the ability to save the game, so I can play over a number of sessions, or recover if the game locks up, or I manage to lose some vital plot item that makes the game uncompletable (poor design). Unless permadeath deletes savegames this provides a rather tedious way to continue after dying.  If this is possible, it just becomes frustrating navigating through all the loading screens and loses the feeling of immersion in the game.  It is better to have some sort of themed in-game continue. I like some of the suggestions earlier in this thread.

Incidentally, of course you can have permadeath delete all save games, but I think this only works if the saves are automatic and not visible to the user.  Otherwise the player will go to reload the last save after death, pleased that they had the forethought to make the save, and will be livid when they find all the saves have been deleted.

Now if only real life had 'save games'. 

Time flies like a bird. Fruit flies like a banana.
Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #15 - Posted 2011-05-05 08:47:18 »

I disagree.
Making a game attractive to both casual & hardcore gamers is nigh on impossible.
The current crop of AAA games demonstrate this perfectly; with casualized console titles betraying their more hardcore PC heritage being an all too common theme.
That's kind of my point. Trying to make a game that appeals to both audiences is impossible, and adding options like "permadeath y/n?" isn't going to help that. You'll end up with a bland middle-of-the-road game, with both camps equally unhappy. whereas if the *designer* picks a direction and commits to it, and integrates it into the rest of the game then it'll be a much better overall experience.

For example, Demon's Souls is a fantastic game, and crushingly hard (but never unfair). Adding a 'casual' option would dilute the 'hardcore' game and make it much less awesome, and the casual players would still be unhappy because difficulty is only one of a number of fundamental problems they'd have with it.

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Offline xsvenson
« Reply #16 - Posted 2011-05-05 10:15:00 »

One way to have Your mistakes screw You or cost You without permadeath, is active save or save on quit. The idea is that everything You do is saved on spot. You do not die, but making a mistake does not have a save/load recovery.

One of the examples is "Mount  & Blade", which has the "only save on quit" option. The game idea itself is to build a army and then go fight in a battle, an action RPG. Being defeated in a battle does not get You killed, however, Your troops are lost (usually You could heal the wounded ones), some of the gear and resources are also lost and You are a prisoner of Your enemy for a N-amount of time.

The game does not have a permadeath, but the cost of failure or a mistake is high enough to retain the excitement  and fear of screwing up.

“The First Rule of Program Optimization: Don't do it. The Second Rule of Program Optimization (for experts only!): Don't do it yet.” - Michael A. Jackson
Offline namrog84

JGO Ninja


Medals: 46
Projects: 4


Keep programming!


« Reply #17 - Posted 2011-05-05 13:57:53 »

I disagree.
Making a game attractive to both casual & hardcore gamers is nigh on impossible.
The current crop of AAA games demonstrate this perfectly; with casualized console titles betraying their more hardcore PC heritage being an all too common theme.
That's kind of my point. Trying to make a game that appeals to both audiences is impossible, and adding options like "permadeath y/n?" isn't going to help that. You'll end up with a bland middle-of-the-road game, with both camps equally unhappy. whereas if the *designer* picks a direction and commits to it, and integrates it into the rest of the game then it'll be a much better overall experience.

For example, Demon's Souls is a fantastic game, and crushingly hard (but never unfair). Adding a 'casual' option would dilute the 'hardcore' game and make it much less awesome, and the casual players would still be unhappy because difficulty is only one of a number of fundamental problems they'd have with it.


Although I did comment on the permadeath option. I do completely agree with trying to make everyone happy.  Luckily I doubt anyone here is making a game that has a multimillion dollar budget that requires a million sales, just to break even.   The one nice thing about being smaller and more "indie" is that you have the freedom to target niche groups.  You can target a niche group, make 5k or 20k sales and be quite profitable for the year.

Although I don't think you should make a game cater to everyone, I think adding the permadeath option, or perhaps even just an achievement to have 0 deaths(or something similiar),  is able to fill a small gap/void without sacrificing the game's design.



"Experience is what you get when you did not get what you wanted"
Offline OverKill

Junior Member




Java games rock!


« Reply #18 - Posted 2011-05-06 09:48:11 »

IMHO, we need to watch out because I see two problematic points.
Has anyone thought that some games are hard on purpose because you can retry a billion times?
Or because the game does not offer you the flexibility or guides to avoid death? (the famous jump&runs come to mind)

As for permadeath, I am actually not so opposed to it, though I do think you should allow some kind of afterlife with a shot to come back.
An adventure in the adventure!

If you do go for a (near-)permadeath concept, you could also possibly first cause unconsciousness, then death (the -10 hp rule in P&P)
In that case the attackers might lose interest in you (depends on the situation and attacker o/c) and you might survive, though pretty banged up.

Gamers mostly do not like death because of multiple factors
* they do not want to lose what they have accomplished
* they blindly tried to slay that huge red dragon with a paper sword (hence showing their ignorance)
* sometime they are innocent (lag, teleportations and like)
* most gamers are 'fun adventure' kind of gamers that are in it for the thrills and the joys.
  Your decent P&P RPGer could live with permadeath ('dibs on the boots'), but those will probably be a minority of your gamers.
Offline Christopher

Senior Member


Medals: 2
Projects: 1



« Reply #19 - Posted 2011-05-07 13:08:08 »

Thanks to all for replying!

As an update I have decided to go for a modes option (vanilla and hardcore).

Different people are going to want to play your game different ways
permadeath / respawn
inverted Y axis / not inverted
deathmatch / CTF / domination
music on / off
in the bathroom / on their favorite chair
full concentration / surfing porn

Who am I to tell someone how to play my game?

Pages: [1]
  ignore  |  Print  
 
 
You cannot reply to this message, because it is very, very old.

 

Add your game by posting it in the WIP section,
or publish it in Showcase.

The first screenshot will be displayed as a thumbnail.

Nickropheliac (15 views)
2014-08-31 22:59:12

TehJavaDev (23 views)
2014-08-28 18:26:30

CopyableCougar4 (29 views)
2014-08-22 19:31:30

atombrot (41 views)
2014-08-19 09:29:53

Tekkerue (38 views)
2014-08-16 06:45:27

Tekkerue (35 views)
2014-08-16 06:22:17

Tekkerue (25 views)
2014-08-16 06:20:21

Tekkerue (34 views)
2014-08-16 06:12:11

Rayexar (72 views)
2014-08-11 02:49:23

BurntPizza (48 views)
2014-08-09 21:09:32
List of Learning Resources
by Longor1996
2014-08-16 10:40:00

List of Learning Resources
by SilverTiger
2014-08-05 19:33:27

Resources for WIP games
by CogWheelz
2014-08-01 16:20:17

Resources for WIP games
by CogWheelz
2014-08-01 16:19:50

List of Learning Resources
by SilverTiger
2014-07-31 16:29:50

List of Learning Resources
by SilverTiger
2014-07-31 16:26:06

List of Learning Resources
by SilverTiger
2014-07-31 11:54:12

HotSpot Options
by dleskov
2014-07-08 01:59:08
java-gaming.org is not responsible for the content posted by its members, including references to external websites, and other references that may or may not have a relation with our primarily gaming and game production oriented community. inquiries and complaints can be sent via email to the info‑account of the company managing the website of java‑gaming.org
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Managed by Enhanced Four Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!