Restrictive/Punishing Mechanics in Games
Moonface Online
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All games generally have a way to restrict players to keep them within the confines of the game world or maintain a sense of structure, and also a way to punish players who might stray from these restrictions or just do anything they're not supposed to do (other than say, dying). Invisible walls, fail states, timers, limited movement, fixed cameras, there are many different ways to restrict and/or punish a player and they can be good or bad. Rockstar are a notable developer of games that feature restrictions and punishments, as you can see if you watch this video:




I bring this subject up since last night I was thinking of games that I find fun to just mess about in even after completing them, and lamented that Dead Rising 2 would be a game I'd love to mess about in but I don't because of how restrictive and punishing it is to the player because of the inclusion of a timer. Timers were nothing new to Dead Rising at this point, but I didn't know before going in just how much of a hindrance they actually are. If I spend my time just screwing around, I will miss out on bosses, NPC encounters, and various other things that are all very time sensitive. You practically have to make haste to the first available thing in the game, complete it as quick as possible, and instantly get going to the next available thing before it times out or something after it times out because you didn't leave enough time to get to that thing. In between all of this, you also have to search for medicine for your daughter and return it to her; failing to do so means she dies and when that happens, missions that are used later in the game to extend the timer further are locked off, essentially halving your game time. Dead Rising 2 also didn't feature any other mode at launch that removes the timers, instead being added in a later version of the game called Dead Rising 2: Off The Record. So for everyone like me who bought the original game at launch, you're forced to play with these timers in place and get punished for having fun and ignoring objectives, or punished for doing objectives but not spending time just messing around. It's probably one of the worst restriction mechanics I've seen in a game, just because no matter what you do it will punish you to some degree and there is no way to have everything at once.

So what games have you played or seen that have mechanics to restrict or punish the player, and were they good or bad? Maybe a game didn't feature such a mechanic and could have benefitted from having it, such as letting a player do something in a horror game that negates the threats around them.
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Moonface Online
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All games generally have a way to restrict players to keep them within the confines of the game world or maintain a sense of structure, and also a way to punish players who might stray from these restrictions or just do anything they're not supposed to do (other than say, dying). Invisible walls, fail states, timers, limited movement, fixed cameras, there are many different ways to restrict and/or punish a player and they can be good or bad. Rockstar are a notable developer of games that feature restrictions and punishments, as you can see if you watch this video:




I bring this subject up since last night I was thinking of games that I find fun to just mess about in even after completing them, and lamented that Dead Rising 2 would be a game I'd love to mess about in but I don't because of how restrictive and punishing it is to the player because of the inclusion of a timer. Timers were nothing new to Dead Rising at this point, but I didn't know before going in just how much of a hindrance they actually are. If I spend my time just screwing around, I will miss out on bosses, NPC encounters, and various other things that are all very time sensitive. You practically have to make haste to the first available thing in the game, complete it as quick as possible, and instantly get going to the next available thing before it times out or something after it times out because you didn't leave enough time to get to that thing. In between all of this, you also have to search for medicine for your daughter and return it to her; failing to do so means she dies and when that happens, missions that are used later in the game to extend the timer further are locked off, essentially halving your game time. Dead Rising 2 also didn't feature any other mode at launch that removes the timers, instead being added in a later version of the game called Dead Rising 2: Off The Record. So for everyone like me who bought the original game at launch, you're forced to play with these timers in place and get punished for having fun and ignoring objectives, or punished for doing objectives but not spending time just messing around. It's probably one of the worst restriction mechanics I've seen in a game, just because no matter what you do it will punish you to some degree and there is no way to have everything at once.

So what games have you played or seen that have mechanics to restrict or punish the player, and were they good or bad? Maybe a game didn't feature such a mechanic and could have benefitted from having it, such as letting a player do something in a horror game that negates the threats around them.
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ShiraNoMai Online
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I think games with shooting aspects, usually third-person shooting, that restrict your movement while shooting tend to feel restrictive and functionally annoying to deal with. Unless you intend on sniping someone from afar and need the precision, I can't see why just freeform shooting has to also be weighed down by stopping. Even games with light shooting functionality like Yoshi's Island, which completely allows you to aim and move at the same time, and then subsequent Yoshi releases insist on halting Yoshi's movement to aim and throw the eggs.
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I think games with shooting aspects, usually third-person shooting, that restrict your movement while shooting tend to feel restrictive and functionally annoying to deal with. Unless you intend on sniping someone from afar and need the precision, I can't see why just freeform shooting has to also be weighed down by stopping. Even games with light shooting functionality like Yoshi's Island, which completely allows you to aim and move at the same time, and then subsequent Yoshi releases insist on halting Yoshi's movement to aim and throw the eggs.
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Moonface Online
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I dunno, I think it depends on the game. Resident Evil 4 doesn't let you move and shoot, and I think it works to help keep the tension present that would be lost entirely against the action heavy approach if movement was free. I forget if Resident Evil 5 kept the same limits.

Then again, Dead Space does let you move and shoot, but the enemies in that game are fast and you need to be very precise, so the movement is needed to not be easily attacked but also makes tension by having it harder to line up very precise shots that are required for all the enemies.
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I dunno, I think it depends on the game. Resident Evil 4 doesn't let you move and shoot, and I think it works to help keep the tension present that would be lost entirely against the action heavy approach if movement was free. I forget if Resident Evil 5 kept the same limits.

Then again, Dead Space does let you move and shoot, but the enemies in that game are fast and you need to be very precise, so the movement is needed to not be easily attacked but also makes tension by having it harder to line up very precise shots that are required for all the enemies.
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Moonface Online
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Since I keep mentioning it in the Horizon thread, I figured I'd mention it here too, which is that the traversal is very restrictive in Zero Dawn because Aloy refuses to climb anything that does not have a designated climbing marker. For example, if you jump towards a ledge that lacks any handholds, she won't grab the edge if she falls short and will instead just plummet, or she won't scale up short ledges so you have to hope the jump is high enough to make it on, otherwise you get to find another way to where you're trying to go. It felt extra bad for me at the time because BotW came out at the same time, which basically has zero restrictions, except...

Climbing + rain in BotW is horrible, because everything becomes soap to Link's hands. What sucks more is there are some areas that you can't get to via other means but climbing, so if you're trying to go somewhere and the rain starts, you're screwed. You can use a campfire to sit and wait for the rain to pass, but those require cover and sometimes you'll be somewhere that also lacks that. I wish there were ways to deal with rain other than waiting or trying to game the climbing system with strategic jump climbing while hoping your stamina bar doesn't run out and make you fall off.
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Since I keep mentioning it in the Horizon thread, I figured I'd mention it here too, which is that the traversal is very restrictive in Zero Dawn because Aloy refuses to climb anything that does not have a designated climbing marker. For example, if you jump towards a ledge that lacks any handholds, she won't grab the edge if she falls short and will instead just plummet, or she won't scale up short ledges so you have to hope the jump is high enough to make it on, otherwise you get to find another way to where you're trying to go. It felt extra bad for me at the time because BotW came out at the same time, which basically has zero restrictions, except...

Climbing + rain in BotW is horrible, because everything becomes soap to Link's hands. What sucks more is there are some areas that you can't get to via other means but climbing, so if you're trying to go somewhere and the rain starts, you're screwed. You can use a campfire to sit and wait for the rain to pass, but those require cover and sometimes you'll be somewhere that also lacks that. I wish there were ways to deal with rain other than waiting or trying to game the climbing system with strategic jump climbing while hoping your stamina bar doesn't run out and make you fall off.
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Kyng Offline
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The Talos Principle has quite an interesting twist on the 'invisible walls' concept. There are still limits to how far you can travel; however, instead of running into a wall, you get a brief philosophical-sounding message from the game's deity (Elohim), and then time zooms backwards for a couple of seconds:



Although, I do wonder whether this game could have benefited from some invisible walls, because there are certain levels that you can beat in a 'cheaty' way, by getting up onto the wall surrounding the edge of the level Tongue ...
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The Talos Principle has quite an interesting twist on the 'invisible walls' concept. There are still limits to how far you can travel; however, instead of running into a wall, you get a brief philosophical-sounding message from the game's deity (Elohim), and then time zooms backwards for a couple of seconds:



Although, I do wonder whether this game could have benefited from some invisible walls, because there are certain levels that you can beat in a 'cheaty' way, by getting up onto the wall surrounding the edge of the level Tongue ...
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ShiraNoMai Online
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I honestly think of puzzle makers didn't think of ways to "de-cheese" their levels, then it had to be intentional. Even games like Baba is You have logic walls that prevent such a cheese from occurring.

Still that's a really cool way of implementing that. It's boring when games put literal barriers up that you can't see. I'd rather it be a physical, logical obstacle that you can't overcome than something you can't see.
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I honestly think of puzzle makers didn't think of ways to "de-cheese" their levels, then it had to be intentional. Even games like Baba is You have logic walls that prevent such a cheese from occurring.

Still that's a really cool way of implementing that. It's boring when games put literal barriers up that you can't see. I'd rather it be a physical, logical obstacle that you can't overcome than something you can't see.
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I love love love love love love RE but the tank controls on the older games was HORRIBLE! OMG! I think RE4 did a good hybrid and evolution of the tank controls but honestly they suck in there too. Half the battle in those games was turning. Zombies weren't even that bad but getting to shoot them and then stopping to run and then turning to shoot them again. So happy it's gone
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I love love love love love love RE but the tank controls on the older games was HORRIBLE! OMG! I think RE4 did a good hybrid and evolution of the tank controls but honestly they suck in there too. Half the battle in those games was turning. Zombies weren't even that bad but getting to shoot them and then stopping to run and then turning to shoot them again. So happy it's gone
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