Dec 10, 2013

Is death cheap?

Babbling at the Counter #19 – Video Games

Is death cheap?

This is something roguelikes got me thinking about: How important is the character’s death on a game?

You see, in most games, death is an inconvenience. You die, so you play the stage again. Nothing bad really happens. You’ve just lost some time, and maybe now you know where that hidden enemy is.

But, on the other hand, roguelikes and old video games take you back to the beginning when you die, erasing all of your progress. And even though it’s not nice, I rather like it.

Having played my fair share of games, I’m familiar with the first kind of deaths, and I understand when it’s the best choice. In an RPG, for example, having your party killed shouldn’t erase thirty, forty, or even fifty hours of play.

The thing is, we are used to games treating death like this. We are used to playing the same screen until we get it right. And sometimes, I can’t help but feel that’s not the best gameplay choice.

- The Storeman

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