Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fatigue/energy levels in games

So, this is a bit out of the theme of survival horror games I've been doing this month, but since it's been a very long day for me and mine, I got to thinking of energy levels/fatigue in various games.  These range in variety from game to game.  Some games give you an energy bar, which depletes as you perform various actions within the game, thus limiting your abilities.  Others give you a finite amount of uses of various powers, or even recharging meters.  Still others let you build up meters, slowly saving up power to unleash it at a later date upon your foes.

One thing I hear from some people is why these even exist in the games they show up in.  The usual answer is to limit the players power.  Alot of times, a character will have some moves, that if they could use unlimited numbers of times, they would easily defeat every single opponent they run into.  The developers/designers still want players to have these moves, but they want people to think about how to use them.  So you don't use it on the hordes of little things running around, but instead save it for that big monster coming down the path a bit.  Other games use it to give the players a fight or flight mechanism.  They may not want you to be able to defeat every enemy coming down your path, so they limit what you can use so you have to pick and choose your fights.

A third reason is to increase the difficulty of the game.  Some games will make it their mission to frustrate players, and limiting what they can and cannot do is another way to frustrate players.  Of course, this is rarer and rarer these days.

So because of the fact that I am somewhat exhausted right now, this post is going to be a tiny bit shorter then some others.  So as we get closer to Halloween, I'm going to be continuing my reviews of some survival horror games I enjoy, as long as some that I just plain wonder about.  I'm also going to be doing some semi live blogging of Blizzcon this year, so if your interested in that, feel free to hop on by and check it out.

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