Have games become too dependent on health-based mechanics? Health is a common resource mechanic in videogames, and is easily understood by any player. Do certain types of games require health mechanics? Would you miss them if they were gone?
- Health originally appeared in game designs as a more forgiving version of arcade-style 'lives', reflecting a change in the underlying interaction models from 'mistake = death' to 'mistake = loss of health'. Also, we are gradually moving from 'death = game over' to 'death = reposition' (e.g. move avatar to a hospital). Can we take this chain further?
- In Shadow of the Colossus, certain actions by the player result in a timed penalty, at times when other games would inflict a health penalty. For instance, if one falls a great distance, it is a second or so before being allowed to move again. Similarly, a collision with a geyser leaves the avatar immobile on the ground for several seconds. Is this system an improvement? Or an annoyance?
- Very few modern games posit an immortal avatar; death is pre-supposed in most games (Animal Crossing not withstanding). Imagine a GTA-type game in which the avatar cannot die. Vehicles can still be destroyed, and missions can still be failed. (Our pre-production game Bandits was based on this premise). How much would this hurt the play of this kind of game? Does avatar death provide a significant source of fiero by intensifying the risk of failure?