I'm writing a small game at the moment. Presently, I have one or two design elements that aren't locked down yet, and I wanted to ask for input on one of these.

For dramatic effect, the player's character in my game is immobilised, alone and has a supposedly limited amount of ammo for their weapons. However, I would like to periodically resupply the player with ammo (for the purpose of balancing the level of difficulty and to allow the player to continue if they're doing well).

I'm trying to think of a method of resupply that's different to the more familiar strategies of making ammo magically appear or having the antagonists drop some when they die. I'd like to emphasise the notion of the player's isolation as much as possible, and finding a way of 'sneaking' ammo to the player without removing too much of that emphasis is basically what I'm trying to think of (it's definitely a valid argument that resupplying the player removes it anyway)

I have considered a sort of simple in-game 'store', where kills get you points that you can spend on ammo for your favourite weapon. This might work well, and may also be good for supporting a simple micro-transaction business model within the game. However, you'd have to pause the game often to make purchases, which would interrupt the action, and it works against the notion of isolation.

Any thoughts?

  • \$\begingroup\$ This site isn't really for polling for ideas or discussion based questions. See the FAQ about what kinds of questions to ask here. The gamedev sub-reddit may be a good choice as knight666 suggested. \$\endgroup\$ – MichaelHouse Jun 22 '12 at 14:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fair enough. As I mentioned below, I'll probably post to Reddit too. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Mantle Jun 22 '12 at 15:25

It's an interesting problem, to say the least.

Suppose we consider the game's designer (you) God, with the player (she) being isolated. Because the world was designed, the player is never really alone. There had always been someone watching out for her, in his own sadistic way.

If you really want to emphasize the loneliness of the player, then she will probably have to fashion her own ammunition. But the penalty for creating ammunition is that the enemies creep ever closer.

I would suggest:

  • Kills give the player base materials for ammunition (bullets, gun powder, casings)
  • The player has to stop the action to resupply her ammunition
  • Enemies continue to advance while the player is building

Obviously, some handwaving is still involved: how do the base materials reach the player, how is she able to create ammunition so fast, etcetera.

I would consider cross-posting to /r/gamedev, which is much more suited for an open-ended discussion like this.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks very much. That's definitely food for thought. I think I will post to Reddit to get some additional feedback. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Mantle Jun 22 '12 at 15:24

It you want them to buy it, then have them buy it but make it have a delay. As if it was being supplied by an ammo drop. Also, depending on the platform you could use a directional button that would work as a purchase ammo for a specific weapon. Since the character is incapable of moving those buttons should be free to used.


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