956 Darker Souls

A standard aspect of the “souls” or “soulsborne” genre is its gameplay loop; adventure out into an unknown area, defeat monsters that drop “souls,” unlock shortcuts and new paths, and find bosses that generally unlock new permanent teleport location.

When the player is defeated, it’s generally true that they drop all of what they collect, and must retrieve it. If they’re defeated on the way to collecting it, it disappears forever.

And finally, whenever the player returns to an area after having left it for any reason, all enemies have been respawned.

Paradoxically, a lot of the design hinges on that simple final point. But, I’m interested in what this gameplay loop could look like if the threats that the player encounters don’t respawn.

In general I find it unnecessary when games use respawning enemies, unless it’s very explicitly explained why.

In this theoretical tweak of a souls game, none of the enemies respawn in the world, but maybe they are significantly more difficult to defeat.

The issue with this change is that it nullifies the entire “unlocking” of areas system, because the only reason that system makes sense is in the context of enemies always being in the player’s way to progress. I’m not sure what the solution would be to deal with that, but it’s a problem that can be designed around.

[ Today I Was Playing: Mass Effect 2 and Pyre ]

August 14, 2017