Recently, while working on mechanics in my project, Phantaruk, I wondered what health and damage system would fit this game. I asked myself: “What does it affect the most?” and “Can I force player to do something with this?”
One of the systems is Health Points with medkits. On the other hand, we have variations on recharging health. Generally, the latter can be spotted in games more frequently. But why? The answer is fairly simple: tension. We can easily notice that recharging health is quite fast and in a short time we can go back into battle.
The picture above shows a simple scheme of rooms. In recharging health system, we run through Enemies to Safe Room, rest for a while to heal our wounds and then go back or go on. However, when we are forced to use medkits, it gives us a choice: explore or raise difficulty. If health bar is at (for example) 30%, it will be hard for us to win next encounter. Nevertheless, spending some time on exploration of additional rooms might give something to heal and therefore raise our winning chances.
Thanks to that, we need medkits to continue the adventure and are forced to explore, looking for them. We hope then to find any, thus we get involved in our character’s survival. It’s much more engaging than just him/her waiting around the corner for couple of seconds.
In Phantaruk we decided to use medkits and Health Points system. Sometimes players will have to stop and think if the room they pass by isn’t full of valuable items or is full of monsters. They will have to focus and strain senses to choose wisely and approach any situation carefully. On one hand, it can make the game easier for them. On the other – they can run into bigger trouble