Bringing the Pain

Bringing the Pain

Games pull your brain's pain strings in ways you've probably never noticed.

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Thank you for writing this; I recently started a thread about it (The Point of Hit Points) but it never got off the ground. It's nice to see someone shares my view of more immersive injuries as being core to the next stage of game development.

Thunderous Cacophony:
Thank you for writing this; I recently started a thread about it (The Point of Hit Points) but it never got off the ground. It's nice to see someone shares my view of more immersive injuries as being core to the next stage of game development.

I was wondering if you would see this, I was thinking of your thread while reading this article.

Far Cry 3 is a good example, I do think those healing animations are really cool but after you've seen them once all they do is destroy my immersion. I get attacked by a shark and need to heal, I brutally rip out a shark tooth that's lodged in my hand, I'm thinking holy crap that is messed up. 5 seconds later and I need to heal again, Then the same animation starts playing and I pull ANOTHER shark tooth out from my hand.. Now instead of thinking wow that must hurt, I'm thinking damn this shark needs to see a dentist or something.

You end up with an uncanny valley effect for healing, the more realistic it is the more weird and videogamey it seems.
I do want games to be able to incorporate something like this but I've yet to see it done in a way I personally thought was good and until we can come up with some truly dynamic system where there's an infinite number of animations etc I don't think it can work properly.

Man, did those Far Cry animations make me wince.

I always hate that I have nothing to add when I read these articles, and so just keep coming in going "Yaaaay! Keep it up!" Maybe someday I'll get an article on one of my specialties that I can actually say something about.

Until then...Yaaaay! Keep it up!

Ilikemilkshake:
Far Cry 3 is a good example, I do think those healing animations are really cool but after you've seen them once all they do is destroy my immersion. I get attacked by a shark and need to heal, I brutally rip out a shark tooth that's lodged in my hand, I'm thinking holy crap that is messed up. 5 seconds later and I need to heal again, Then the same animation starts playing and I pull ANOTHER shark tooth out from my hand.. Now instead of thinking wow that must hurt, I'm thinking damn this shark needs to see a dentist or something.

Are you getting bitten, healing, then getting bitten again, or did you win the fight and just have to pick a bunch of teeth of the wound afterwards? I can see the problem if the exact same animation plays out, but I think maybe variations for how hurt you are (going from nearly-dead to limping, you pull out a few teeth and wrap some bandages, going from limping to OK you pull out a single one) could work. Either that or a bunch of variations on basic "clean wound, sterilize, apply bandage/splint" that the game cycles through, with the occasional special one (resetting bone, digging out bullets or teeth, etc.)

Man, just reading this article makes me feel a little phantom pain...

Excellent article, also made me want to finaly check out call of chtulhu.

Could do with a mention of Dwarf Fortress though: Its an ASCII game, with a hugely detailed injury/medical system. Every limb can be severed, every internal organ damaged and characters only die from bleeding out, receiving brain damage or being decapitated or bisected.
The Fun part of this all is that when playing as an adventurer, youll be very careful not to sustain any severe injury as losing an arm means you have to continue as one-armed adventurer. You may still win that fight but you will have a very hard time winning the next ones.

In short, you hear nothing and see only a '@' but it sure can get immersive.

Thunderous Cacophony:

Ilikemilkshake:
Far Cry 3 is a good example, I do think those healing animations are really cool but after you've seen them once all they do is destroy my immersion. I get attacked by a shark and need to heal, I brutally rip out a shark tooth that's lodged in my hand, I'm thinking holy crap that is messed up. 5 seconds later and I need to heal again, Then the same animation starts playing and I pull ANOTHER shark tooth out from my hand.. Now instead of thinking wow that must hurt, I'm thinking damn this shark needs to see a dentist or something.

Are you getting bitten, healing, then getting bitten again, or did you win the fight and just have to pick a bunch of teeth of the wound afterwards? I can see the problem if the exact same animation plays out, but I think maybe variations for how hurt you are (going from nearly-dead to limping, you pull out a few teeth and wrap some bandages, going from limping to OK you pull out a single one) could work. Either that or a bunch of variations on basic "clean wound, sterilize, apply bandage/splint" that the game cycles through, with the occasional special one (resetting bone, digging out bullets or teeth, etc.)

Getting bitten, healing and then being bitten again. With the exact same healing animation playing twice. The same happens during gun fights though where I get shot, heal, get shot and heal again and the same animation plays out. It's a cool idea but I think it needs A)More animations so you're less likely to get repeats during the same fight and B) more persistence. Once the heal animation has played out it's as if nothing ever happened which is slightly odd.

that was very good. i was thinking of the same thing about health points a while back and i thought about the same. you sir you are really good!

The first example that came to mind when I read this article was the final boss fight from the first Dead Space. If you don't kill it quick enough, you get treated to a REALLY brutal death scene (skip to about 2:30):

What makes it so hard to watch isn't the dismembered limbs on their own, but the way he's screaming.
By contrast, you can look up the other death scenes in that game or its sequel... most won't even make you flinch (despite that some are even more graphic than the one I posted) because Isaac doesn't display nearly as much torture in his voice (he just sort of grunts).

I think Goldeneye64 nailed pain perfectly bullets literally push you around making it hard to both keep a steady aim and move consistently.

 

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