Episode 89 – The One About Health

Recorded immediately after Paul’s emergency dental surgery, the boys wonder about medkits and health in games. What do they really represent? Can massive injury be modeled in a way that doesn’t slow gameplay to a crawl? Plus: the glug and splash of Resident Evil 7‘s topical-use-only health sauce.

Special thanks again to sponsor Crunchyroll, the number one streaming source for HD anime and Asian media! Sign up using our link for a 30-day free trial!

This entry was posted in Podcasts and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.
  • dragonsdoom

    IMO, massive injury simulation is usually not fun. Slowing character speed to a crawl with camera fuzz and delayed goals is great for medical simulation, but not for games. I personally prefer to gamify massive injury by attacking your resources rather than basic abilities.
    “Oh you broke your leg?” You now can’t carry as much stuff.
    “Got stabbed in the hand?” Say goodbye to your favorite pair of gauntlets.
    “Got shot in the gut?” Whoops, dropped some ammo there.
    “Died on the battlefield?” That’s gonna take away the 500xp you just earned and you wake up in an unflattering backless hospital gown.

  • Toxic Psychotic

    XCOM models injury in a way that doesn’t slow down gameplay, but it only works because you have a big pool of soldiers, so it wouldn’t work for a game where you’re playing as a single person.

  • tshiif

    Hey now, Kris and Paul. Has it been a while since either of you watched Star Trek TNG? A TV channel here is doing daily reruns, it’s pretty fun to rewatch all the strange early episodes. The episode quality is wildly all over the place, yet the show has many wonderfully positive feels.
    Anyway, to the point at hand – I noticed a thing. It’s surprising how many episodes of the show are about or feature passing hints of bonin’. Just doin’ it. So much dang space sex! Space sex all the time! Future boning with whoever is available. Sure, the series itself is hampered by 80s TV standards, so it doesn’t actually show anything risque, but god damn, it has so much implied bonin’ written as a subtext. And the in-world attitudes tend to be quite lax about it, no one really seems to have a problem with whoever someone is doing it with.

  • Thedrun

    Some of the very early online multiplayer games (remember MUDs?) had very elaborate modelling for general health and condition of the body. One in particular, DragonRealms (not the Android game, the text-based one – which I see is still running today!) had such detail that it was possible to lose the ability to type in the chat channels if you cut your tongue badly enough. This was before the advent of voice chat, so this amounted to a total loss of speech capabilities! It’d be pretty awesome if there were a similar system in today’s games where the game would mute your Discord if your character in game was too badly injured haha.

    It is a bummer that most games tend to sweep aside nuance and complexity in maintaining health and instead go for the instant-use health kit, but it is probably quite hard to make such finely detailed systems that are both fun and balanced – or at the least it’s not as easy as the simple approach.

  • Tazsul

    This episode reminded me of an old game.
    Back on the Super Nintendo there was a insanity hard game called Spider-Man and the X-men. The game is divided into a number of levels where you play various heroes and the Cyclops levels actually had a wounded mechanic. When playing as Cyclops, as you lost HP it added a longer and longer cool down on your optic blasts. Sadly his levels were pretty much unplayable once you fell below half HP because you couldn’t fire fast enough anymore. The best way to beat his levels was to not get hit at all.

  • Thedrun

    Thought I’d drop a note/plug here as it might be of interest to listeners –

    if you’ve been looking for an opportunity/excuse to pick up a bunch of the games mentioned/discussed in the past on the podcast such as The Witness, The Stanley Parable, and Thirty Flights of Loving, as well as other well-received titles like Stardew Valley, The Swapper, and Subnautica, check out the currently available Humble Freedom Bundle, where these and many more titles can be had for a $30 price tag.