How Games Do Health | Game Maker’s Toolkit

How Games Do Health | Game Maker’s Toolkit

Hi! This is Game Maker’s Toolkit, I’m Mark
Brown. There’s a lot to like about the new Doom game.
But something I really appreciate is the way it handles health. Not just because it has an actual life bar
and health packs, which are almost retro throwbacks in 2016, but because it forces you to play
the game in a different way when you’re running low on health. You no longer want to shoot enemies to death,
but instead force them into a stagger before racing towards them for a brutal melee finisher
– because these so-called glory kills always reward you with a few, precious orbs of health. Where most games tell you to run and hide
when under fire, Doom tells you to play aggressively and move towards enemies – not away from them. It’s a nice reminder that a game’s systems
will change how the player acts and feels – and that includes the way the game handles
health. And so, with that in mind, it’s worth asking: why do so many games use the exact
same system? You get hurt, the screen goes black and white
or gets covered with strawberry jam, so you hide behind a block of concrete until the
invisible health bar magically restores. This system is everywhere, but is it really the best way for games to do health? Well, first, we need to figure out how we
ended up with this ubiquitous system. Because early action games certainly didn’t work like
this. Classic games were designed for the player
to be able to avoid or counter any attack. Enemies telegraphed their moves with predictable
patterns, and projectiles moved slow enough to be evaded. Ex-Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi has
said that the programmer for any boss monster must be able to defeat that boss without taking
a hit, before it can go into the final game. So the health bar in these games is essentially
representing your ability to make a mistake. To miss the telegraph, or screw up a jump,
or mis-time a move. The games don’t expect you to play perfectly,
and so health bars give you a bit of leeway. The challenge comes from trying to get to
the goal without making too many errors. But throughout the 90s, we started seeing
a lot of first person shooters with enemies who use hitscan weapons. This is when the
enemy does an attack and, if you’re in line with their gun, you’ll immediately take damage.
Unlike the imp’s fireball in Doom, you can’t dodge these bullets. And then in the early 2000s, someone decided
that if the game was automatically taking health away from you – regardless of whether
you’re making a mistake – it’s only fair that the game automatically gives it back.
That’s PS2 shooter The Getaway on screen right now, which has you leaning against walls to
recover from bullet wounds. Halo popularised the system, though it doesn’t
actually have regenerating health. Your shield repairs itself, but Master Chief still needs
to find medikits to restore health. It was Call of Duty that codified the system we have
today where you’ll automatically restore lost health if you stay out of the firing line
for a few seconds, effectively making the game about limiting your exposure to enemy
attacks. And you know what? Regenerating health has
its advantages. It will make the player more reckless and gung-ho, it will give the game
a rip-roaring sense of forward momentum, and the player is guaranteed to have enough health for
every enemy encounter so there are no weird difficulty spikes on their adventure. But, what did we lose in the shift to regenerating
health? Well, getting hurt no longer has any long term consequences so it doesn’t matter
if you’re being sloppy or playing really well – it all evens out before the next encounter. Compare that to a game like Dark Souls where
a bungled fight means you’ll need to chug on your estus flask and risk running out of
precious life juice before the next bonfire. That game heightens the stakes of every enemy
encounter, making you more engaged, and you’re rewarded for truly skilful play. Dark Souls also has a palpable sense of tension
when you’re tip-toeing around with a slither of health left, desperately looking for a
bonfire and praying that some big horrible bastard isn’t hiding around the corner. Having health packs also leads to interesting decisions.
When do you use them? How many should you buy from the shop, and how many can you fit
in your inventory? Should you craft a health kit or a Molotov cocktail? Should you combine
that green herb with a red herb? They also encourage exploration, as you must
hunt down health packs or the crafting ingredients to make one. And they can force you to move
your butt if you’re injured, and don’t have any health kits left on you. Plus, they allow for enemies and traps that
do smaller amounts of damage. With regenerating health, every enemy must be capable of killing
you but with persistent health you can have things like the bear traps in Resident Evil
4 that do a small, but lasting amount of injury to Leon. But games don’t have to just choose one or
the other. A number of games, including Far Cry 2, split the difference with a segmented
life bar where you’ll regenerate health but only to the next notch in the life bar. You’ll
need to use a health pack to get the rest back. This has all the benefits of a classic health
kit system, but with concessions made for the use of hitscan weapons. And it stops you
walking around with just one health point – though there are other ways to fix that. Half Life 2 will dynamically put more health
kits in crates if you’re nearing death. FEAR always regenerates the last 25 percent of
your life bar. The Arkham games have persistent health during fights but you’ll restore your
energy when the encounter is over. And in Mirror’s Edge Catalyst you can rebuild your
shield by running non-stop for a few seconds. Or developers could try something completely different.
Health can be a reward for a certain type of gameplay, as we saw with Doom in the beginning.
Games like Bloodborne and Warhammer Space Marine and Metal Gear Rising do similar things
with the goal of making the player feel like an aggressive hunter. Health points can also be turned into a currency,
to increase the number of choices the player can make. In F-Zero, you can trade health
for boost. In Bloodborne you can turn your health into bullets. And in The Binding of Isaac
you must hurt yourself to pass through certain doors. We’ve also seen games where gaining or losing
health can change the way the game plays. Look at Mario. When Mario is at full health
he can break blocks with his head, but getting hit makes him small – and also capable of
sneaking into tiny holes. Donkey Kong Country does something similar, as getting hurt as
Donkey Kong makes you switch to the much faster Diddy Kong. And then look at Yoshi’s Island
where getting hurt completely changes the game as you must now focus entirely on rescuing
baby Mario. The point is, many, many modern action games
seem to have just settled on regenerating health as being the default system. But while
it might be perfect for some video games, it’s not always the right choice. So maybe come up with a health system that has a twist that forces the player to act in a different way. Maybe go back to health packs, or something in between. Or perhaps try something completely different. I want to know about more games that do something
interesting with health – please leave them in the comments for this video. Thanks for watching! Game Maker’s Toolkit
is funded by its 600 and counting Patreon supporters, including these special, top tier contributors.

Daniel Yohans

100 thoughts on “How Games Do Health | Game Maker’s Toolkit

  1. Dallas Favel says:

    I'm a real fan of the heal bar system, like,
    It can give a great way to add conditions, and therefore change the player's objective. Like, Maybe some armor only applies to the first three HP bars, maybe at or below one bar. It can add a sense of scale, if you see an enemy's HP bars and they're thrice yours and you can nope tf out.

    Classes use their various health bars in different ways. Like, maybe you can't cast spells if you're at 2 or less health bars, or you can't power attack, or something. Make it mean something, Outbound (Steam) is a good example of this. If you're low you can barely drag your ass away, really slowing your movement and attack animations, (or at least that's the concept) and if you don't take it easy for a couple days, you're gonna regret it. (It's a beta.) Birds can hurt you. It's awesome.

  2. Brandon Rich says:

    In apex legends octane can trade health for speed and slowly regen health overtime to compensate. Genius

  3. Kyle Brown says:

    In Hollow Knight the Knight regenerates soul by melee attacking enemies and soul can be spent to use powerful abilities or regenerate health. This rewards masterful melee combat and makes trying to outrange enemies difficult or impossible in the long run

  4. Icicle says:

    I know this video is old now, but I like the way spider man PS4 handles health with the focus system, creating a similar situation to Doom where you have to play more aggresive to get more health.

  5. Trey Hall says:

    I like Force Unleashed’s method of giving you health for defeating enemies. The tougher the enemy, the more health

  6. Samuel Mork Bednarz says:

    What game is that at 4:09?

  7. Dor Ben Dor says:

    During a game jam we actually developed a game with a very unique concept of health. You were playing Norman, a candle who seeks his way home. Your health was the wax and as long as you kept your flame on, your health depleted, and Norman shrank accordingly. Using your flame you had to light certain objects and melt others, all while trying to preserve your health and traverse a puzzle 2d platformer.

  8. Gsuave says:

    In Monster Hunter, you'll regenerate half the damage of the last hit you took unless you take another, but there are also healing items you can use because if you rely on the regen you WILL die

  9. Michal Atlas says:

    There was this game for GBA that starred a protagonist who is possesed by some sort of demon. Taking damage weakens your human part allowing the demon to take over more, granting you more powers, increased attack, etc. And healing of course weakeaned your abilities again. So you had to choose wether or not you actually want to heal yourself or stay in OP super strong kill everything in 2 hits form that itself is killed in 1 hit.

  10. lord of science says:

    A health system i like is dying light, where it regains some health but not all and can be upgraded to regenerate higher as well as upgrade max health.

  11. Supposedly I am a philosopher says:

    You should take a look at what Ghost Recon Breakpoint is planning to do with health ^^

  12. Ten Minute Tokyo 2 says:


  13. Duchi says:

    Meanwhile Sekiro
    "That wasn't even my final form!*

  14. Taylor Gibson says:

    I always liked how City of Heroes did it. Your health would regenerate but very slowly and there were always crowds you had to fight. To really regain your health you had to either pop a health packet OR “rest”. While you were resting you were down on one knee, unable to move or attack, vulnerable. Thus you had to back off from combat in order to recharge. If you tried to rest during combat you’d probably get stomped. So you had a choice: pop a health packet? keep fighting and hope to outlast? Retreat and come back? Or maybe your team mates can handle the crowd while you rest behind them… be careful though.

  15. Khodexus says:

    Personally, I think that the only time "regenerating health" really works (outside of games that feature characters with actual healing factors) is in Uncharted, where Drake is not actually getting injured, but running out of luck.

  16. CaliforniaHP says:

    Yet another reason why I probably like Dark Souls and it's brethren so much.

  17. James Stethem says:

    Postal 2's health system was interesting. Smoking crack to retrieve more health at an extended amount, but needing to continuously smoke crack to prevent withdrawals which does damage over time.

  18. Dr. 2006 says:

    FF15 has a unique health system. It regenerates only after the encounter, but not in dungeons. As you get hurt, you can heal back only what's left of your current max hp in battle, unless you use elixir or something.

  19. Cooperative says:

    I love the instant death mechanic, just like in hotline miami or katana zero

  20. Skyler Oakley says:

    Hollow Knight has a heath system that forces aggressive behavior, similar to Doom. You have a finite amount of a resource called Soul. Soul is gained when striking enemies, so if you have no Soul, you have no healing. Soul is also used to cast powerful spells, putting a risk-reward twist on the healing system. Go balls to the wall with spells, or use your soul to heal and play more defensively?

  21. Kuziwakwashe Chikwete says:

    Limb damage affecting game play. Get shot/cut one arm no dual wield or 2 armed guns, too close to a grenade blast hearing is affected, fall and break a leg etc. Get hurt too many times the limb has some permanent effects eg reduced speed till the end,

    abuse of health or enhancers having psychological effects e.g hallucinations or reduced response time .

  22. QueenJackie39 says:

    Here's an idea I thought of for a First Person shooter that could work out nicely if implemented well. You regenerate your health naturally, but only up to like 45% or 50%, so if your about to die go hide, but then you don't get max HP unless you have Med Kits and use them. And if you're in the middle of a fight and don't have long enough to let yourself regenerate, use a Medkit to heal up a bunch before they find you. Natural Regeneration would work where you have to be in cover for like 5 seconds before you start regening, and take like 8 to go up to that Half health, so it makes you less likely to do it as much as it's tedious unless your capable and willing to do it, or Have no Medkits left. Medkits could take only like 3 to 5 seconds, so if in a rush use it, or risk taking a lot longer for natural heal.

  23. Sheinz says:

    I made a minigame with my friend, where you are a sheep-dolphin (hipoti) who must avoid fishes who will hurt you in different patterns or mechanics depending on their color.
    Your health is your air. You lose air with time and when you get hit.
    The health bar are some bubbles, and there are bubbles around the procedural sea. Bubbles cure you.
    We made a brutal mode where the bubbles only cured the bubbles that weren't consumed yet (Each bubble slowly fades with time, while enemies direcly take out 3 bubbles) so a hit is permanent damage and if you don't get bubbles you will eventually drown.
    Link of the beta:

  24. Packbat says:

    I'm sure it's been mentioned, but health systems based on physical wounds and illnesses – like in Project Zomboid and NEO Scavenger – make for an interesting dynamic: impairment during combat might be present to a greater or lesser extent, but there is a very real risk of a scratch turning out fatal that you'll want to mitigate by cleaning wounds and using sterile bandages (and if you don't have sterile bandages, you use what you've got and hope). It pretty much relies on having long periods between encounters to stop and deal with wounds, but that fits for some games.

  25. Watchman5 says:

    I think the way health was handled in Hollow Knight was very interesting. The only way to heal other than finding a place to sit down is to use your energy bar. In order to refill it you have to fight enemies, which means the game is forcing you to practice fighting enemies from a defensive position to train you for other enemy encounters.

  26. joshua johnston says:

    Borderlands 2 handled it interestingly. You choose how health works in it. There's packs that drop that Regen 25%, guns & grenades can have life steal, Perks and class mods allow health Regen and in some cases you have to play certain ways such as melee for the health Regen.

  27. Ice Dawg says:

    The prototype franchise did an amazing job with health. If you were in combat you wouldn't regenerate health until combat is over. But during combat you could find people or soldiers and consume them to get some health back. This caused the player sometimes to become very aggressive towards the boss they are fighting, or less aggressive to the boss and more aggressive to the civilians or soldiers

  28. 17659817265781465781 says:

    In Dark corners of the Earth you had to find a hiding spot in order to patch yourself

  29. Tinkuwu says:

    I know I'm late, but I really like Metal Gear Solid 3's way of doing it, where if you're reckless and get hurt a lot in the game, you can sustain injuries that block out a portion of your health until you cure the wounds, and you won't always have medical supplies on you, especially if you go running and gunning without a care in the world.

    The reason why I like this so much is because you can heal wounds while exploring or sneaking (or even when you turn the game off and go do something else), but if you never cured your wounds, then you'll be at a disadvantage in a boss fight or an alert phase (if you trigger it)

  30. BucklingSwashes says:

    The way Half-Life 2 does health pickup spawns still impresses me.

  31. Alex Leibowitz says:

    Sometimes I think you’re interested in novelty in games just for novelty’s sake.

  32. __ says:

    Step one: Doom
    Step two: Far Cry 2


  33. Elzero Dragon says:

    How games do health: Contra

  34. fgdj2000 says:

    Metal Gear Solid 3 has a great health system. You have a life gauge and a stamina gauge. Your life gauge constantly regenerates, but the speed depends on how full your stamina gauge is, which you fill by eating food. Also, you can suffer injuries (such as a billet stuck in you, a cut, a broken leg). If you are injured, a part of your life gauge is often „blocked“ and can’t regenerate until you treat your wound(s).
    There is also life medicine, which directly regenerates your health, but even on lower difficulty it’s very rare and often a way to extend your chance at boss encounters.

  35. Andrew Jones says:

    an interesting health system exists in hollow knight, where returning to a bench (the games save points) will fully heal you. Between benches you must use soul, a mana type system, to regain lost health. The interesting bit is that this soul is also your fuel for high damaging spells, and is only recovered by attacking enemies.

  36. Renán .Mascorro says:

    actually, the other doom engine games and build engine games allowed you to carry around medkits that you were able to use at any time

  37. Hunter Terrell says:

    Something I want to see is a solid system of damage affecting your mobility. When you get shot you go limp, and then you can get up but you move slower, etc… A shot to the arms lowers your accuracy, a shot to the legs makes you limp or crawl

  38. Stefano Tomasi says:

    I liked the way the surge dealt with health by actually giving you options which may suit different builds/players. Aside from the souls-like standard "estus" system, you can get implants that either give you extra health packs that provide healing over time or, the one I preferred, where you convert a chunk of your energy meter into health, and energy is a bar that fills when you attack enemies and then decays over time. I really liked the idea behind this energy bar (which could also be used for other abilities if you so choose), but also the fact that the implants system actually allowed you to customise your character to the point of choosing the mechanic(s) you source your healing from.

  39. Strike Eagle says:

    Heat signature has a super interesting system, any shot will instantly knock you unconscious, then the guard will pick you up, throw you into space where you have to pilot your ship in order to pick yourself up. The longer you float in space the less time you will have next time to save your self. Eventually your time hits 0 and you character will die. It’s a super interesting system

  40. Alex Comer says:

    MGS 3

  41. CheesecakeLasagna says:

    Have you done "How Games Do Save"? Like the difference between let's say, Final Fantasy and Earthbound. One lets you save anywhere anytime, the other has you looking for phones to talk to your dad and tell him your progress and save your file.

  42. Ryan Ellis says:

    Could have spent a minute talking about Binding of Isaac's health system: normal hearts, black hearts, grey hearts, white hearts; sacrificing heart containers in devil rooms; how Azazel doesn't get any normal hearts.

  43. AugerHybrid says:

    L4D: health is also your max speed.

  44. Andre Vilardo says:

    Anyone know game on screen 4:15?

  45. Oscar Knap says:

    7:36 You?

  46. LatrineRavine says:

    In mgs3 there is regenerative health but you can sustain injuries that lower your max health. Once you heal these injuries your health cap will increase a very small amount.

  47. Ty Colvin says:

    Titanfall 2 has an interesting health system with its Titans and Batteries. For most of the game modes you spend the majority of your time as a Pilot, who has standard FPS regenerating health. Earn enough points, though, and you get the chance to call in a Titan — a giant mech with a constant health bar and shield. Pilots can only injure Titans with special anti-titan or explosive weapons, unless they shoot weak points that are exposed when a Titan loses its shield. Shields don't regenerate, but you can give a Titan its shield back (along with a bit of health) by giving it a battery. Batteries can come from a few sources, but are typically acquired via "rodeoing" an enemy Titan. This involves jumping on an enemy Titan as a Pilot and surviving for several seconds, which will steal one of their batteries and deal a hearty chunk of damage to them. This battery can then go to your own Titan or to an ally's, but the Pilot of the Titan you just rodeoed might try to hunt you down and take its battery back before you can use it up. To make things more interesting, Titans with low health enter the "doomed" state, where enemy Titans can execute them with melee attacks and their Pilots can eject to detonate the Titan and potentially destroy nearby enemies. This health system allows a skilled player to keep their Titan alive for a very long time, even an entire match, and also lets Pilots without Titans help their allies if they're willing to risk their lives getting up close and personal with enemy Titans. It encourages Pilot vs Titan fights, skillful Pilot movement, and effective Titan ability usage without punishing players too much for letting their Titans get damaged — they can call in a new one later in the match, and nuclear ejections that kill enemy Titans refill your Titan meter anyway.

  48. JediPorg12 says:

    I liked Borderlands' system , you can unlock stuff that gives you regen, but mostly you need health items. Plus, fight for you life makes it even better.

  49. Alfonso V says:

    Mass Effect 3 Vanguard class 😏

  50. Joseph Barrett says:

    Had an idea for a health system a while back. If you take damage, you can refill red in your health bar up to your current yellow by landing successful his on enemies. If the red reaches zero, you don't die, but when the yellow reaches zero you die. Yellow constantly depletes to reach red.

    If this is confusing, think about how dark souls has a yellow damage indicator on your health bar whenever you take damage. This is that but the yellow does something in the gameplay.

  51. Elf Boy says:

    There is this game called overgrowth, where instead of a health bar (visible or invisible) it works purely off bone structure and bleeding out. So you get stabbed enough after a certain amount time you’re going to die. Or if you get hit in the arm or leg you’re going to break it or if you get hit in the neck or land wrong on your head, you break your neck & die. Oh and this is also on all of the enemies so you can use it against them

  52. Zach B says:

    Halo ce did health perfectly, well when compared with future halo games (excluding the spinoffs)

    You were a powerful tank, until you lost a big chunk of your health where every encounter changed.

  53. turtle hub says:

    I like hollow knights health system
    it takes a long time to regenerate and it also makes you need soul juice to heal, so you need to hit more then you get hit

  54. Chrispy Bacon says:

    Why half life is great

  55. Mark Tan says:

    Minecraft? Used to be a fixed health/food system. New system uses a hunger bar which regenerates health when at a certain level. All actions cos a little hunger so as a sandbox game, you're constantly battling how far you can go and fight, what to bring and what to do since from the start, it dictates how much you can fight or do before you die

  56. IseeSandvich says:

    One health related mechanic I like is from borderlands 2. Kreig the psycho has an ability called unleash the beast. Usually your action skill is that you pull out your melee weapon, you run faster, deal bonus melee damage and can throw your melee weapon (you just pull another one out when you do so). With unleash the beast on, you can get a different effect if you use your action skill below 33% health. You lose the extra speed, but you gain extra melee damage (And damage resistance I think. You also don't need to wait for your special ability to recharge after using it with unleash the beast.

  57. Yukimare says:

    My base idea for vitality in a game kinda mixes regenerating health with a sorta additional mechanic that limits max health, which I once saw with the flash game Last Stand Union City, the MMO Mabinogi, and MGS3: Snake Eater, with inspiration also coming from NEO Scavenger, The Long Dark, and Robin's Requiem.

    In essence, when you take a hit, you will lose a large portion of your vitality with the initial hit, but if you are allowed to avoid further damage, you will recover. However, every hit you take also does "injury" damage, which decreases your maximum vitality, how much depends on the severity of the blow. For example, an injury that does a lot of physical health damage may do little injury damage by the grace of slashing a blunt force attack that can be recovered from after a few moments. However, if you take a hit from something more destructive such as a knife, gunshot, or fire, you will sustain an injury and that injury will not only reduce maximum health but also afflict you with an alteration to your capabilities that will hinder your gameplay.

    If the max health damage comes from an attack that does not leave a distinctive injury and is simply say a bruise, it will simply regenerate (slowly) with time. But if it leaves an injury of its own, it will require first aid and items based on the type of damage to restore upward to half of its total max health damage while permitting the rest to regenerate, otherwise the injury will reduce your health by that much permanently and, if applicable, disable certain functions of the player.

    While for the sake of gameplay, some injuries can't be reached for, (Such as loss of limbs entirely, internal bleeding that cannot be fixed, etc.) it is still a great way to make smaller injuries become more serious, especially if you throw infection into the mix or disable regeneration of all kinds in the event that the player refuses to stop acting aggressively and preventing wounds from healing.

  58. Marko Vučilovski says:

    You tart the game with a 24 hour counter that goes down with each passing second. You don't have a health bar, but instead when taking "damage" you are losing time. If you cannot finish the game before the timer runs out, you lose the game.

    It is not HARCORE, since you CAN save/load. But at one point your choices will lead you to either beeing able to win the game, or having to start of new.

  59. GdayToYaMates says:

    I’m programming a game called 400 right now. The main mechanic of the game is that everything you do costs B which you get 400 of at the beginning of a round. This includes taking damage, Jumping, or shooting your gun.

  60. Devon Hart says:

    Minecraft. (yeah I know)
    But think about it, you can recover all of your health, if you have some food with you. But it's not instant recovery either, you still have to wait for your health to regenerate once you have enough hunger points. Not super interesting, but better than just automatically regenerating health, I think.

  61. Isaiquia says:

    Played a board game where the stamina bar and health bar were the same thing. You gained stamina on one end of the bar (left end) and gained damage on the other (right end). You would do actions by placing stamina cubes but if take damage, you also place cubes. And if at any time the two bars touched, the player would be dead. Pretty interesting I’d say.

  62. Plague Knight says:

    My issue with regenerating health is that after like every hit you have wait and it's a complete halt to the exciting fast paced gameplay.

  63. Danny BRITZMAN says:

    Is the video about game design? Yes
    Does it praise Soulsborne? Yes!
    Therefore this video is objectively correct in every way.

    Don't @ me

  64. UlTRA says:

    In Kingdom you are a kingqueen and your gold is your health; enemies are trying to steal all of it. If you have no more coins they'll knock out your crown and try to steal it before you get it back. If they steal the crown you instantly lose as you no longer rule anything and your followers abandon youeventually get overrun by enemies.

    It makes it scarier as you either upgrade your town and go exploring with no money or vice-versa. With neither being clearly the better option as enemies increase in strength over time. So balancing your health is extremely important in the long run.

  65. Awesome Smalls says:


  66. mrcreeperfun gaming says:

    Terraria. When you make a new character, you have a measly 100 Health. But as you find life crystals, your health can go up to 400. Also, when you find life fruits in hard mode, you can get your health to 500. It also has slowly naturally regenerating health, things that increase your regen, and a debuff that blocks natural regen. Terrari a is a great game when it comes to your health.

  67. HAD848 Games says:

    Dwarf fortress. I was once an assassin in adventure mode, my attack missed, and my target cut my leg's nerves with a cooking knife. I stayed paralyzed until I eventually lost to a crab.

  68. LoraX says:

    EFT has interesting health woth the whole broken bones thing

  69. jimmypetelol says:

    MGS3 Cure System. 14/15 years later and I have yet to see a video game with a system at such quality

  70. Eftkud12345 says:

    Am i the only one that thought about the irl player health

  71. Zach B says:

    Halo needs to bring back health packs, I liked the power you felt with 100% health. Then when you made a few mistakes you would start to lose a few bars. The last few bars would completely change your play style

  72. Bennett Fender says:

    I prefer regenerating health as it allows you to stay in the action and keeps later sections from becoming tedious and boring to play.

  73. Charkit says:

    They do health by consuming their needed calories for a day, as well as drink plenty of water and staying away from health-decreasing hazards like smoking and doing dru- oh it's video-game health. Oh okay.

  74. Fruity Troll Roll says:

    Kouri's indie game Ib handles health in a fairly simple way, with a health bar and stationary healing points – but the health bar is represented by the petals of a rose, which is an existing game item that serves a narrative function.

    The characters are trapped in an abstract dungeon, which is formed by the souls of the malicious living paintings inhabiting a museum. The roses are a symbol – like in a painting – for the characters' life energy, but if a living painting seizes upon one of the protagonist's flowers, that PAINTING will achieve a state of living authentic enough to allow the painting to escape the gallery and go on to live in the real world.

  75. Dante's Inferno says:

    In Devil may cry, Nero and Dante regain their health when their devil trigger is active. Furthermore, their devil trigger is automatically activated if their health falls below a certain threshold (2 blocks).

  76. Dustin Contreras says:

    One mechanic I enjoy is survival games where you regenerate health when your food bar is full. Such as Starbound. So you get that powerful feeling when everything is going well, but when you're down to your last ration it gets hard. Not that you ever really run out of food in Starbound, but that's about the game as a whole, not about the individual system.

    I would like to see a game where your food bar drain faster the higher it is, but the higher your food bar, the faster you regenrate health. So the player actively makes the choice of whether they want to remain full and drain food faster, or ration their food and be more scared of combat.

  77. Simon Sofowora says:

    Hollow knight has a pretty excellent health system that ties into the atmosphere of the game and its mechanics.

  78. FinnThomas says:

    i feel like spiderman ps4 is really original (as far as i know)

    rewarded focus whenever you take down an enemy and you have to make a choice. use heal now but get less? or use heal later but get way more health? or, the third, unrelated to health option, should i use a finisher?
    i think its pretty genius

  79. Byrtsi says:

    Arma 3 ACE anyone?

    Get shot in the leg? Limp until a doctor fixes you.
    Get shot in arm? Can't aim for shit until doctor fixes you.
    Bleeding? You must spend bandages for each wound.
    Too much pain? You might pass out. Use morphine to counter pain.
    Morphine not working? Remove that tourniquet.
    Too much morphine? Use epi pen or risk overdose.

    The list goes on.

    It's really complicated, but in right setting it's really fun.

  80. unbornmetal says:

    I actually read "stealth" first but great video still!

  81. MageBurger says:

    There's something you completely missed out about Doom that makes the Glory Kill system work:

    The health bar lies, as you lose health much faster when you have more of it.
    The last 20 something% of your health is equal to/worth more than the first 80% of your health.
    But during combat, the player is only focused on "AH! My health! Gotta get more fast!" which pushes them to use the glory Kill system more, or explore more of the level for health packs.

  82. BioGoji 1989 says:

    I blame Halo 2 for the commonplace regenerating health system.

  83. Mark K. says:

    I think one of the best health systems I’ve seen in a game is Minecraft, where you regenerate health, but only if your saturation (the second variable influenced by food though never shown to the player) is at a certain point. It turns the hunger bar from just something else to kill you to a strategy of what foods will make you heal fastest.

  84. Aaron Meyerink says:

    I know its not health but shield, and you already mentioned it, but the blackeye skulls in Halo regenerate your shield with melees. It is optional, but totally changes the game on say LASO, which is changed already, but totally different than and unstoppable lone wolf.

  85. Mohammad al-ayoubi says:

    Thaaaaank youuuuuuuuu, finally someone said it!!!!

  86. Skintel N.Keychain says:

    You know how humans can lose a limb and still kick ass out of sheer determination? Well instead of regenerating health in games, how about the health stays down if u get shot,but only regenerates if you're determined (which is based on your kill count and dialogue choices) you get to keep on going. So u can have all ur health down but as long as u have determination, u still live, albeit barely.
    I think DT should be based on being nice to ur characters. If u lose all ur friends n ur COD dog, ur determination goes down
    HOWEVER DT is also made out of spite, so if u want quick DT just be mean to everyone. The downfall of that is that ur more fragile health wise or the enemies get smaller hitboxes

  87. Absolute Idiocy says:

    In Hollow Knight, you start the game with five points of health, and you have a little bubble in the corner called a soul meter, when you hit an enemy with your swords, you gain soul, and if you have enough soul, you can either use it for a spell, or you can ‘focus’, which makes you stand still for a second and heal back one point of health, and there is no other way to get back health.

  88. EnsignGeneric says:

    It feels odd to point to this game for good design, but Metal Wolf Chaos has a pretty interesting health system. It's got the same segmented/regenerating hybrid as Far Cry, but with a couple twists. The big one is related to your boosters. If you run out of energy for your rockets they overheat and start draining your health. Trick is if you stop while overheated you can't start again for a few seconds. So you're forced to choose between slowing down and preserving the health you have while becoming more susceptible to enemy fire, or slowly draining the health you have in favor of trying to get to safety. And by "getting to safety" I mean smashing headlong into particularly expensive looking scenery, because that's usually where the game is hiding the health pickups. It nicely plays into the flavor, creating an incentive to run your mech well over the red line while smashing everything in sight. When the game's running on this kind of reckless energy it really shines.

  89. Edvin Ek says:

    I felt that Kingdom Heart 358/2 Days gave the health bar an extra strategic dimension with the limit break system. When you reach a certain amount of health, you enable a temporary use of powerful attacks. This creates an interesting trade off – should you be cautious and heal yourself, or utilise the opportunity to gain the upper hand against a boss or enemy?

    I think this sort of design thinking has a lot of potential. Instead of constructing the health system to encourage one specific type of playstyle, you instead make it dynamic in the sense that the best option can vary, and not necessarily be obvious in the heat of the moment.

  90. _Bookleman says:

    It’s cool to see how the PS4 Spider-Man game handles the hitscan bullet damage system. Just before an enemy fires at Spidey, a spider-sense indicator appears above his head along with a vector line denoting the direction of the bullet. This simultaneously gives the player the ability to dodge out of the way and also makes them feel more like Spider-Man.

    It’s worth noting that that game also allows the player to heal by building up “focus” essentially doing well in combat without getting hit, and then using a button to either use focus to heal or to perform a finisher. This gives even more incentive to dodge bullets (since not getting hit allows you to recover a small amount of health) and it also allows the player to take a risk by sacrifice healing opportunities to take out an enemy.

  91. TaleshicMatera says:

    Dawn of the Dragon gave health as a reward for defeating an enemy with melee attacks and manna as a reward for defeating an enemy with magical attacks. It catalyzed your desired gameplay strategy but also forced you to do both.

  92. Ram says:

    A great example of interesting health is the connivers kunai in tf2. You lose health if you don't keep backstabbing people, but by using it successfully you have an op amount of health.

  93. Mario Maniac says:

    "and that some horrible bastard isn't waiting around the corner…. OH " you earned my like lol 😆

  94. Ben says:

    This guy has such a boner for dark souls…

  95. The flamingsword says:

    Sad he didn't talk about War Thunder's unique health bar-less system

  96. Funkopedia says:

    Killer Instinct, when you lose a fight, has you move on to your round 2 health bar. The winner does not receive a full bar for the second round, but retains the damage from round 1. This gives a slight rubber band effect, and makes matches shorter in general.

  97. the guyman says:

    1 good example is paper mario from mario and Luigi paper jam. Paper mario has basically 2 types of health, the main health and his amount of copies. To regain copies you just need to use the copy block in his moveset but to regain health you need to reach a heal or use an item. The thing is, paper mario is stronger with more copies. A single jump could be a 6 jump combo, or maybe it is easier to reflect attacks with his hammer because his copies attack after him. This makes you think. "Do I want to finish the enemy or do I want to refill my copies"

  98. Jay Damalley says:

    Jade Empire did a similar thing – rewarding you with a health, stamina or chi bonus, when performing a harmonic combo. Definitely works better than regenerating health.

  99. Omri Grinshpan says:

    Raspberry. There's only one man who would dare give me the raspberry: Lone Star!

  100. Raymond13557 says:

    I've made a segmented bar for my present game, food and drink will restore you along with befriending jinn cats (ghost cats that are neutral) if you earn favor with a jinn cat they'll revive you to 3 segments of health if you get KO'd or will passively heal you when near you, there is also beds that provide a fast (ish) healing option, jinn cats can also restore themselves with sleep, same with food, so really they are like the player.

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