Metro's Bullets Make A Better Currency

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Metro's Bullets Make A Better Currency

One particular mechanic helps the Metro series stand apart from other modern shooters.

Read Full Article

In the novel that Metro 2033 is based on Artyom does use the bullets for more than just weapons and more ammo. One scene specifically relates to him buying his dinner.

That idea at the end made me think of a (probably imaginary) Fallout 3 mod: You remove the Vault Dweller and play as a citizen of Megaton. No incredible journey to bring life back to the wastes, no reactor to climb in; just a daily grind of getting supplies, dealing with mutants and raiders, and being friendly and useful to the community so they don't pitch you out. Hell, you might find you like being an average post-apocalypse Joe, rather than Jesus with a Fat Man.

Treating the in-game currency as experience points (and as an exchange for health) was done quite well in FTL: Faster Than Light.

The biggest issue with these paradigms is that it's rare to find a video game economy that doesn't become irrelevant halfway through the game. The standard practice is that you buy everything you can buy and everything else that can be purchased doesn't make a dent in the massive piles of cash you have. As such, tying more and more game elements to a broken system runs the risk of trivializing those elements as well.

In general, the currency systems need to be better designed before innovations that are part of them them are anything more than stapled-on gimmicks.

"Here's another one: the in-game currency doubles as experience points. " ..Dark Souls..?

Remember Dark souls? XP was essentially your currency as well there.

As far as Metro, I have a problem with how static ammo felt. How about having more types of bullets, an option for making your bullets yourself (like in New Vegas), maybe even some bullets randomly being duds (the whole point of dirty bullets is that they're supposed to be inferior- yet they work fine in the actual game?!).

Edit: Ninja'd -.-

I think the easiest way to incorporate a survival for defense trade-off in the Metro series would be to require the player to buy the majority of their gas mask filters. Buying a lot of gas masks and ensuring you have plenty of time to explore on the surface could be seen as a sort of risky investment.

Want to spend an hour sneaking around looking for that lost collection of guns, ammo, and plot points? Buy a lot of filters and only a little ammo. Want to run-n-gun for four minutes to the next metro station? Buy a few filters and a lot of ammo. BAM! You now have more depth in your survival decisions.

The "clean" rounds were also more powerful than the dirty rounds. So you could save them up to purchase items or save them to use in a deadly firefight.

5ilver:
Remember Dark souls? XP was essentially your currency as well there.

As far as Metro, I have a problem with how static ammo felt. How about having more types of bullets, an option for making your bullets yourself (like in New Vegas), maybe even some bullets randomly being duds (the whole point of dirty bullets is that they're supposed to be inferior- yet they work fine in the actual game?!).

Edit: Ninja'd -.-

Hehe, the benefits of short posts;D

At the end thre, I think he took some nyquil or something. Putting the sims in my shooter?

And darksouls has the experience/money going on

Xelzeno:
"Here's another one: the in-game currency doubles as experience points. " ..Dark Souls..?

That's exactly what I was thinnking as I read this article. In Dark Souls your collected Souls count as XP as well as your money, which is used to not only purcahse standard goods like consumables or new weapons, but also as part of what's required to permanently upgrade your gear as well. Because it's a unified "currency," every Soul you find is being pulled in different directions based on where you are in the game and what you're currently doing. The most important aspect, however, is that almost any use of Souls is a viable use so there really aren't any easily rejectable options. Oh, and on top of all of that, you drop all of your currently collected Souls upon death and have only your next "life" to retrieve them or they're lost forever.

I want a Metro Life-simulator now.

Thunderous Cacophony:
That idea at the end made me think of a (probably imaginary) Fallout 3 mod: You remove the Vault Dweller and play as a citizen of Megaton. No incredible journey to bring life back to the wastes, no reactor to climb in; just a daily grind of getting supplies, dealing with mutants and raiders, and being friendly and useful to the community so they don't pitch you out. Hell, you might find you like being an average post-apocalypse Joe, rather than Jesus with a Fat Man.

kinda sucks if you get the fallout guy that blows up megaton. You just sat down for a nice lunch of dirty water and rat meat. and then the screen turns white and says the PC lost some karma.

Like others have said, Dark Souls and Demon Souls both used XP and currency as the same item. IIRC, Yahtzee didn't get too far into one of them because of how difficult it was and it felt too much like Stockholm syndrome to him. I think a more accurate depiction of the games would've been the way you, the player, develops skill in addition to the players character-going through a 2nd time on either of those games, things feel very different and go much smoother because you've learned a lot about how things work, beyond just basic mechanics for damage and such, and are genuinely better at the game in a non superficial or knowledge (the kind you look up on a wiki for an RPG, for example) way.

Also, not terribly relevant, but System Shock (the original) had rocket skates >.>

I know The Ship and The Ship 2 combined sims-like gameplay with shooter, but with the multiplayer most people wind up dieing before they need to fuel their sims needs (probably because of server setups)... I like a lot of Yahtzee's ideas, but there's the question of how well they're executed, too. Hopefully we can see some more unique and good games like he's suggesting.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
snip

it's not a stretch to say that Minecraft uses Experience Points as a currency. in fact, losing all of your xp upon death adds another level of risk/reward that feels like we don't see a lot in games. do you risk going with a lower level enchantment or do you save up and risk losing it all. i think it also complements the gameplay well, as we've all had those tense minecraft moments that don't seem like tbey should be as dramatic as they are. but knowing i'm thousands of blocks into a tunnel far from home running from a cave full of spiders trying not to lose my 24 xp levels and the handful of diamonds i mined for hours to find... not many games get my heart pumping like that these days.

Gygax was equating gold and experience back in the 1970s, which was a little before Dark Souls or FTL.

EDIT: And you kids better get off my lawn!

Rickhunter001:
In the novel that Metro 2033 is based on Artyom does use the bullets for more than just weapons and more ammo. One scene specifically relates to him buying his dinner.

Yeah, I think it is kind of unfair to say that the Metro 2033-game came up with bullets as currency, as it is just directly lifted from the book. That's not to say it isn't an interesting mechanic, but I feel it is severely underdeveloped.

"Every time you fired off a burst of rounds while in the field, you'd be haunted by visions of the many grilled cheese sandwiches that are now denied to you."

There is a bit of an ammo shortage here in states, prices have went up quite a bit, if it can found at all. Empty a clip of 5.56/.223 or 9mm (or others that are most likely even more expensive)and see if this very thing doesn't happen to you now...

I would buy Sims: After The Bombs in a heartbeat.

What life simulator game couldn't be livened up with occasional monsters to shoot?

Xelzeno:
"Here's another one: the in-game currency doubles as experience points. " ..Dark Souls..?

yep.

Currency = EXP would be hard to balance, might be a nice idea but I don't think it would be a worthwhile mechanic seemly so if EXP/Currency had more value for gamplay. It would just become a needlessly complicated task.

I would prefer the more traditional tribal Currency. There is no money only items/services exchanged with the wanted items/services. For example, you might be able to convince the NPC that a knife (quality dependent) is worth 1 weeks worth of rations. This could be enhanced by making items more scarce.

Didn't Fallout 3 dabble in the Animal Crossing house customization thing already? And then that Skyrim add-on Hearthfire that expanded on the idea. I thought they were both pretty stupid, like the game was basically admitting it made it too easy to acquire ludicrous amounts of useless wealth and tried creating something pointless to blow it on.

Flameeater:
"Every time you fired off a burst of rounds while in the field, you'd be haunted by visions of the many grilled cheese sandwiches that are now denied to you."

There is a bit of an ammo shortage here in states, prices have went up quite a bit, if it can found at all. Empty a clip of 5.56/.223 or 9mm (or others that are most likely even more expensive)and see if this very thing doesn't happen to you now...

Theres an ammo shortage here in the states?

I havent played many games with a XP=Currancy system (from the sounds of it, Dark Souls seems to be the only one...) but it does sound like a interesting concept... actually, wait, theres FTL, where scrap is used to upgrade your ship as well as buy stuff and repair.

I geuss the most improtant part is to balance it so there is actual need to choose what to spend that XP on.

What a bunch of nice ideas. Actually these would have made the game actually somewhat enjoyable and not so blatantly boring and uninspiring as it stands right now. Just a pity these ideas won't pick up. We are down to the second installment in the series and they still didn't figure out that more open game-play would really add to the game and turn it interesting. As it stands right now it is a boring rail-shooter that nobody with a sane brain wants to go through a second time as there are much better games around the corner (especially older ones).

Personally, I'd prefer a game without any currency, directly bartering with items. With this type of system you can actually stand to lose or gain profit depending on your actual ability to appraise the in-game items, instead of everything being bought and sold in game at a fixed price. Unfortunately, the only game I've come across that does this is Dwarf Fortress, where just surviving long enough to be able to trade can be difficult.

Odjin:
What a bunch of nice ideas. Actually these would have made the game actually somewhat enjoyable and not so blatantly boring and uninspiring as it stands right now. Just a pity these ideas won't pick up. We are down to the second installment in the series and they still didn't figure out that more open game-play would really add to the game and turn it interesting. As it stands right now it is a boring rail-shooter that nobody with a sane brain wants to go through a second time as there are much better games around the corner (especially older ones).

It doesn't help that several achievements in both 2033 and Last Light require you to repeat missions, sometimes as many as 3 different runs.

The first game had an excuse for its on-rails campaign, as it had (admittedly only vaguely) followed the plot of the book. However, Last Light was not based on any book, at least to my knowledge, and personally I would love an open world Metro game, though I'm not sure how it would turn out, given how labyrinthine Moscow's metro system is.

"The above idea to have survival mechanics in Metro so you'd have to spend bullets on food is just another way of threatening the player's health if they don't move some numbers around "

It amazes me that they don't have survival mechanics.
Because the exact same thing you mention (Bullets must be used either to shoot enemies AND to buy water and food/med packs each day) was the first I thought of when I heard these games use bullets as cash.
The fact that there are shooting "dirty" bullets and different sorts of money bullets make it clear the devs DIDN'T think of this. Because in this situation dirty bullets are ammo and the money bullets are just a strange shaped form of gold coins from ever other game! :(

Such a wasted idea...

WanderingFool:

Flameeater:
"Every time you fired off a burst of rounds while in the field, you'd be haunted by visions of the many grilled cheese sandwiches that are now denied to you."

There is a bit of an ammo shortage here in states, prices have went up quite a bit, if it can found at all. Empty a clip of 5.56/.223 or 9mm (or others that are most likely even more expensive)and see if this very thing doesn't happen to you now...

Theres an ammo shortage here in the states?

Lord yes there is. I havent been able to find ammo for my AR or my AK in several months. The few places you can get it have price gouged. It's been a national problem I am surprised you haven't heard about it. All the talking heads blaming Dept. of Homeland Security for buying it all up... To mow us all down when the NWO takes over or something... All joking aside even when available the cheap .223(Dirty ammo/ Tula russian steel case rounds) are $6 a box of 20. And the good stuff is usually around $12-$15 for a box of 20 and on up. Hell these days you fire off a clip and you could have had a full meal, 2 clips and you could have fed the family, 2 clips of good stuff and there goes your weekend out with the guys or gals.

"Every time you fired off a burst of rounds while in the field, you'd be haunted by visions of the many grilled cheese sandwiches that are now denied to you."

That's exactly what I thought when I first heard of the "bullets as currency" mechanic in Metro 2033. I guess the developers thought it would be too hardcore if literally all your ammunition also doubled as money. It would be nice to see this mechanic be expanded, either in other games or future Metro installments.

Am I the only one who noticed the typo in the tags, or does Yahtzee know about a Metro 20133 sequel that is hidden from us?

..

Will it have laser guns?

Although I haven't played it myself, it seems like Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland is relevant to this discussion. You need money to do anything at all in the game. You have to pay to unlock new areas of the game, bribe people, fight monsters, etc, but your wallet is also your life bar.

In Factorio you have to craft every bullet (well, every magazine) so you do think twice before building a bunch of AP ammo (costs one copper bar per round!) or rockets.

Shakura Jolithion:
I know The Ship and The Ship 2 combined sims-like gameplay with shooter, but with the multiplayer most people wind up dieing before they need to fuel their sims needs (probably because of server setups)... I like a lot of Yahtzee's ideas, but there's the question of how well they're executed, too. Hopefully we can see some more unique and good games like he's suggesting.

Yeah, most servers for The Ship play as Deathmatch, or have the settings such that it's pretty fast-paced. If you turn up the "needs" settings though, it means that everyone has to actually run around fulfilling their needs instead of making bee-lines for their quarries, and the killings are much rarer.

Man, almost every time I read one of these articles, I think to myself, "I want to play a game that does that, now."

Why has nobody hired you for game development?

craddoke:
Gygax was equating gold and experience back in the 1970s, which was a little before Dark Souls or FTL.

EDIT: And you kids better get off my lawn!

Yeah, but Gygax gave you XP for each gold piece you picked up, if you spent your gold, you didn't lose XP. IIRC.

Anyway, the STALKER games have the whole XP as money thing. Especially Clear Sky and Call of Pripyat. You spend rubles to upgrade your weapons and armor, and to repair them. You also spend them to get better gear, either from the merchants or (in CoP) from a special order runner.

If you're not collecting stuff off your fallen enemies, you're effectively losing XP each fight (because of gear degradation), and you need to repair them, or your weapons will start to malfunction and your armor will fall apart. CoP makes this even more insidious by keeping the traders from buying low quality gear, so you need to be careful what you pick up to haul back and sell.

On top of this you do need to eat, and purge radiation, and buy medical gear, all of which costs money. All of which effectively slows down upgrading, if you're not careful.

In a game with a 50kg carry limit, all of this comes together to describe most of what Yahtzee's describing.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here