January 16, 2018, 02:17:58 am

Author Topic: Death and character evolution  (Read 1595 times)


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Death and character evolution
« on: October 16, 2015, 12:05:35 pm »
How will you handle death? Is is permadeath? Will the character will lose all is gear if he die?

And the second part of my question is the evolution of a character; its a fantasy survival game, so with some hard quests and some dark secrets, is it possible to become an undead (Lich) or anything else powerful near the endgame (lord of his own domain for example) or weapon master with the possibility to train other players with some skills?


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Re: Death and character evolution
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2015, 01:21:47 pm »
Death will be one of the possible "Defeat Scenario" that we want to implement. When you are defeated, a consequence will be chosen depending of the area you are, the climate and the enemies that you fell from.

For instance, you are being ambushed by bandits and you fall unconscious. One of the scenario could be that you wake up, without your gear. You could later meet a wandering trader and you find out that he is selling your gear!

When chances of survival are slim, there is still chances that one outcome of defeat would be a mysterious hero saving your ass. Like mentioned is a previous post we made. http://ninedotsforums.com/index.php?topic=21.0

As for the evolution of the character. I'd better let our lead game designer answer that :)


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Re: Death and character evolution
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2015, 02:40:15 pm »
It goes a bit against the spirit of the game to become too powerful in Outward. Our goal is primarily to make you feel tension, and to make you surmount your obstacles by being clever rather than by overpowering them.

It doesn't mean that the characters don't grow in power: they definitely do. You climb up the ranks of the faction you join and eventually you get access to a house, but probably not a whole domain.

One thing we've talked at length within the team was the concept of character transformations, points of no return that would drastically alter your character, such as becoming a fire elemental, a lich or even an angel. These transformations would give you some potent powers but at a very high price, usually in the form of some extreme weaknesses. However, these transformations might be outside of our scope attainable for our team at the moment, so it's in our wishlist rather than a core feature planned for the game. Maybe the development will extend itself a bit and allow us to implement it in the game, or maybe that would be part of an expansion post release.

Once again, it has to be coherent with the feeling we want for the game. This is an adventurer life sim, not a half god life sim ;)
We seriously need more alexandrite in our games.


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Re: Death and character evolution
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2015, 01:34:32 am »
Being taken prisoner by bandits could be fun. You could include a small minigame in which you have to find something to cut your hand ties and then escape their camp.


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Re: Death and character evolution
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2016, 12:49:45 pm »
I've been looking for this place. Totally had the RPG name mixed up with another game though. Very different one as well.

Glad to see that defeat scenarios are finally making their way into gaming. I wrote an article five or six years ago now talking about the same sort of thing rather than defeat taking you to a game over screen, with a view on story based role playing games. https://thedarkfurie.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/we-need-a-cinematic-death-system-in-video-games/

There's a lot to that post, some of which doesn't apply here, but I'll quote the stuff that could work well.

The Good Samaritan
This is pretty basic and shouldn’t be used too often. Basically when the hero loses all health they pass out and wake up in the nearest village a week or two later. A villager or guard will be nearby and explain how they found you and nursed you back to health. This can get more interesting if the character that saved you has a random chance of attacking you if you don’t offer them a reward. It’s a very basic system but, as you’ll soon see, it isn’t designed to be used every single time you die in the game.

Enemies Have Motivations Too
This one is probably the most complicated feature to design, but it can also be one of the most rewarding. Rather than having the hero be magically saved or get back up once they’ve been taken down by an enemy, the game continues along a different path depending on which enemy finished the protagonist off. Each person and creature in the world has their own motivations and these motivations are then built into missions that only start once the hero “dies”.

As an example let’s say the hero is beaten by bandits. The screen fades to black and the hero wakes up to find that they’ve been robbed of some of the items they were carrying. Now the hero has a choice between chalking it up to bad luck and going on with their lives or raiding the bandit camp to get their lost items back (some of which may very well be unique and irreplacable). A wild animal’s motivation for attacking the hero would probably be food and the beaten hero might wake up in a lair and have to fight their way out to safety, or have lost some food they were carrying. Guards will be looking to arrest you so being beaten by them would probably land you in prison, giving you a choice of spending time in jail or escaping. Attacking spirits such as banshees, ghosts and shadows may be looking for a body to possess and being beaten by one of those might mean the screen fades to black and you wake up surrounded by dead bodies (possibly including your family) and with a bounty on your head. Slavers might capture you and lead to you having to break out of their slaver camp. The list can go on and on, but the point is the same each time. By exploring the motivations behind why each enemy in the world is attacking the protagonist, a new mission type can be created and integrated into the world as both a new challenge to overcome and a way to add to the story being told without the character’s “death” interfering with the flow of that story.

Location, Location, Location
You’re fighting an enemy at the top of a cliff overlooking a raging river and they get the upper hand. Rather than having the generic death system take effect or even the enemy specific system this location has been set up with it’s own death system. Your health hits zero and the camera angle changes, showing you a scene of that enemy knocking you off the cliff with it’s final blow. The camera zooms in on you as you fall until you hit the river below and the screen fades to black. You wake up washed up on the bank of the river close to the entrance to the area and must make your way back through the region with some of the enemies respawned. The same idea can be used sparingly in several other dramatic locations. You might get knocked overboard while fighting on the deck of a ship and wake up on a desert island, having to find food while building a signal fire to alert passing ships for a rescue. A fight in a castle may see you knocked into position on a trapdoor that drops you down into the sewers or a dungeon.

A dramatic location specific “death” can be anything and anywhere as long as it makes sense to the location. This sort of defeat can, like the motivated enemies entry, lead to further adventures for the character and that is always a good thing.

There Are Winners And There Are Losers
This part of the system would come into effect when the hero dies while on a mission. Rather than rewinding time so the player can try the mission over again the game would just continue and the logical results of their failure in the mission would play out. For some missions this wouldn’t be needed as the other systems would take logically fill in what happens, but others would need their own epilogue to that particular story. If your mission was to protect a village from a bandit attack you might wake up in the village to find that most people are dead and the village is in ruins. A mission to capture a criminal might see the criminal escaping and you missing out on the reward. If that criminal has information crucial to the story you may well have to track him down again or even run into him by accident in a bandit camp. As long as the end of the mission can’t be handled logically by the other systems, a unique failure option built into some missions can provide even more ways for the player to experience their own unique story filled with triumphs and failures.

These are the sorts of features that take defeat and make it as much a part of the story as a victory is. They're especially useful when all are implemented together in conjunction with a calendar system, so that quests can run out while the character is getting their stolen gear back or possessed by spirits.


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