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2009-06-17

Tents and Sleeping Bags: Use Limits and Sizes

Looking over my last post, it occurred to me how stupid it is to have "tents" be expendable items in a traditional RPG. It's a fuggin' tent! It's not like a potion where after you use it once it's useless. Do not make tents expendable. Same goes for "sleeping bags".

Tents and sleeping bags could have a limited number of uses (say, 20) to simulate wear and tear. If wear and tear is implemented, worn down items should sell for less.

Tents could come in sizes. For example, a one-man tent will suit you fine if you're the only one in your party, but you'd need to upgrade to another size tent if you get another party member. (or just use sleeping bags). If this is implemented, remember that most characters in a traditional RPG should come with their own sleeping bag or tent when they join your party.

1 comment:

  1. I find that there are 2 big reasons why game designers do this is for simplicity and balance of gameplay.

    Let's take a look at one use tents: Yes, realistically it makes no sense that tents should only be used once, the reason it is, however, is because it's extremely simple to program and use, without unnecessary stress on the programmer or player. From the programming side, one would have to program a timer for the number of times a tent has been used, which would then have to be used for every tent that a player can be holding. In certain cases where the game stacks items, e.g. where you are told the quantity of each type of item you have, this quickly turns into impossible.

    Of course, the game could simply not tell you, but then that would turn downright sadistic on gamers who need to plan things out, and watch their plans go wrong as the last tent that they needed one more use out of suddenly wore down on them. It would cause unnecessary stress and tension on the gamer if, let's say, they were afraid to use their tents because they couldn't tell if that was the last time they could, even though they could probably get another 4-5 uses out of it. I find myself doing this with other things, saving it for just the right moment which never comes, even though I could be a bit more lenient and use it in other situations to my advantage.

    As for balance, if tents could be used repeatedly, then that would mean that one tent could last multiple times, essentially ensuring that you never ever need to worry about running out of tents at all in the game. This of course could be balanced out by skyrocketing the price of tents, but could appear a bit jarring to gamers, shocking them from the insanely high price tents are in comparison to the other items.

    As for tent size, that just brings up a whole other problem, which is a secondary feat that the player shouldn't have to go through. If tents are sold in sizes, then a player who loves stockpiling items and saves up for a vast number of them would soon be infuriated at a member joining their party, as their large amount of tents are now worthless and cannot be used at all, or are not being used to their full potential such as using 2 tents that hold 2 to heal a party of 3. It would just be downright annoying to any player, no matter what the case.

    These are only some of the reasons why game developers do this, it's easier to keep track of, for both the programmer and the player, so that neither of them don't have unnecessary burdens on them that they shouldn't have to deal with. It may be unrealistic, but just because something is more realistic doesn't mean it's instantly better, especially if it causes players grief and frustration, the thing that games should be trying to avoid.

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