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Gamedesign: The last life point lasts longer

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017 | Gadgets

With a harmless question, the developer Jennifer Scheurle (Earthlight) started a longer discussion about Gamedesign on 1 September 2017. Scheurle has asked her colleagues to write about "mechanics that are hidden from the player in order to generate certain emotions." There were a lot of answers from gamers, but also from other developers.

So it can be read several times, that in games such as Doom, Bioshock and Assassin's Creed the last few remains of life points in battles hold particularly long. This is to give the player the feeling that he has made a battle with the last strength just so – which naturally feels particularly heroic. For similar reasons in System Shock the last ball in the magazine is probably always double damage.
Exciting is a design trick from Dark Souls 3: In it some of the stronger opponents move in their attacks to the beat of the background music. The very big boss is so animated that his maneuvers just do not match the rhythm – which makes the fight more difficult for the player, without knowing exactly why.

In another direction, tricks, such as those used in Bioshock are used. If the player suddenly crosses his opponent, his first shot is deliberately missed so that the player does not feel unfair. Also in Bioshock: If the player runs away in front of a Big Daddy and does not look at it, the opponent is much slower – to give the player a chance to escape and not make the scene too hectic.

On the edge of the thread now divided into several parts and in some forums there are now also criticism of players who complain about the unfair tricks of the designers in their opinion. A developer has an answer: "There are 'lies', just like any kind of magic is a lie," the industry insider with the pseudonym Bream Daddy on Twitter. "We make the world a bit nicer at the corners."


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