combat (2)

Yora

A first draft for RPG mechanics

While I barely have any existing skills with coding or 3D modelling yet, I have do have a lot of experience designing game mechanics for pen and paper roleplaying games. I've been working with and studying new rules system for over 15 years. This is the one area of game design where I feel highly competent, and I can create mechanics with intent, to achieve specific gameplay experiences. With lots of CRPGs that are clearly inspired by pen and paper games, I have a strong impression that the designers tried to simply copy pnp mechanics into a videogame format. At first because that's what they were familiar with from playing such games as a hobby or after work, and then later because that's how most of the existing CRPGs they knew did it. All the Dungeons & Dragons CRPGs explicitly attempt to replicate the D&D game mechanics as faithfully as they can while still being playable. Fallout was originally meant to be a GURPS game until the license was withdrawn during development and they created the SPECIAL system as a replacement. The early Elder Scrolls games used dice roll mechanics. And of course, the entire iso-RPG genre of the last…

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Yora

A different Approach to Health and Injury

Yesterday I was thinking how the hit point mechanic in basically all CRPGs and really the vast majority of all videogames with a combat component feels really archaic, and how we should consider it hopelessly outdated. If there were any other ideas that had been introduced in games in the last 40 years. Hit points as a mechanic to track how much a character can endure in a fight before being felled by a mortal injury were fine when Dungeons & Dragons came out in 1977. It's easy to calculate in your head and keep track of with pencil notes while you play. And it made real sense to use the same approach for videogames, back when games were typed by hand and looked like this. But you'd think with nearly half a century of videogame innovation and the unbelievable increase in processing power, this simplistic and crude mechanic would have become obsolete decades ago. Instead, it's still basically the universal default that nobody even seems to question. That isn't to say that it's a bad mechanic and that all the games that use it should have been using something else instead. But its continuing ubiquity is really quite puzzling…

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