« on: March 16, 2013, 01:25:48 pm »
Hm. That wasn't quite my intent to convey that, so much as that 4th wll breakage doesn't actually diminish the quality of a game unless you just hate that as a function. Which I don't. Realism can be good, but often the attempts at realism fail pretty miserably; just aren't all that realistic.
In a roundabout way, my sentiment stems from the notion that, if you remove the HUD, and give visual cues as opposed to more abstract representations of condition and other game statuses (showing, rather than telling.) it's just another mechanic, and can work pretty well under certain circumstances. However, the type of game you're trying to play/make should determine how you approach the issue. A very fast-paced game should have a way to quickly tell you how you're doing - Be it a life bar, a hit-point counter.... Something as sensory/visceral as visible battle damage is nice, and may assist in suspension of disbelief, but it's also a much less direct way of addressing the subject - slower and without some obvious physical feedback, like disabling certain game functions while injured, is no more arbitrary than a lifebar or HP counter. And in cases where the visual detail is limited, can be burdensome on the devs. Ghouls and Ghosts handles it elegantly, but it's part of the protagonist's character that he isn't particularly resilient, unlike say Megaman, which within the restrictions of the system, or even modern, self-imposed restrictions-,damage would be not only difficult to convey without a lifebar, but also a total waste of time for the developer(s), for comparatively little benefit to the overall game experience - if any at all given how patently subjective the reception to such features will be.
But maybe I don't *always* want to suspend disbelief?
I don't play chess and visualize it as being an abstraction of a real battle. Chess is chess. It's a game. It's a great game. I suck at it.
Of course, chess doesn't have life bars. The mechanics are such that it doesn't *need* them since the condition of a given piece is absolute - it's either there or dead.
Immersion is great, immersion is good. i love immersion, atmosphere, etc. but, the 'metagame' can be just as fun as the game-game, and is often so well-ingrained that it doesn't occur to me that the lifebar, and a more literal representation of damage aren't the same thing.
Is it done to death? yes, but doing something new and different just to be new and different, while novel, isn't going to do much to improve the actual experience, IMO. And in most cases, is going to be just as arbitrary as a lifebar.
Banner Saga: Factions handled the subject of health and injury well - A character's current health is not only an indication of how close to death they are, but also how well they perform in a very direct and meaningful fashion - 1 health equates to 1 damage, 17 health equates to 17 damage. The numbers are small enough to where in some cases, having a difference of one health can make or break a strategy and totally alter the way you approach a given set of conditions. Armor is handled similarly, and if a character has health lower than the targets armor, they incur a penalty in the form of a chance to miss. Is it numerical? Yes. Is it sensorily immersive? Not particularly, but it works, and gives you a more direct sense of injury, even without more literal depictions of the damage.