By mlarrabee 16 Comments
Several months ago, a member of the Giant Bombcast brought up an interesting point. He mentioned how so many game characters can soak up an insane amount of damage in game, but be taken down by a single shot when necessary for a cutscene.
He suggested the idea of a "luck meter" replacing the health bar, and a discussion followed on the possibility of implementing such a system.
It's really a brilliant solution. Currently, A.I. antagonists are programmed to aim directly at the player's character model and any protagonistic NPCs. Each hit lowers the health. The luck system doesn't seem to be much harder to design.
Not being a game programmer, I'll explain the hand-off in compete layman's terms. Say your character's luck is 100. The A.I. are programmed to aim for (luck) number of pixels away from you, plus or minus 10. If they manage to hit 90-99 pixels away, that lowers your luck meter by the amount of the difference (e.g. if 96, subtract 4 from luck), and the cycle restarts. Each "near miss" lowers your luck until down to 10, where the enemy finally has the possibility of killing you with a single shot.
I've always found a sense of disconnect through that ability of characters to survive a hail of gunfire for 8 hours before being cut down by a 9mm shot to the arm.
When, in Halo: Reach, Kat died from a sniper shot in the head I felt irony rather than sadness; I could have sworn I just saw her get hit in the head by a sniper shot about FORTY-FIVE TIMES.
What do you think? Should game developers replace the invisible, regenerating health bar with an invisible, regenerating luck bar? Should characters be able to take 9 hits before going down, or should they be able to nearly get hit 9 times before dying from a single shot?