To progress in REalM: Walk of Soul, Iris needs to find the effects, that which is a part of herself and that in game are presented as dresses. Crow, which lets you warp to the Nexus (the place where you can choose which area to explore); Dove, which allows you to make higher jumps; Automaton, which allows you to use its blade to activate some switches and finally Thorn, which looks cool. Thing is, there is really no real need in the game for those extra things they do. They look cool, but then what? Being so important storywise, how come they feel useless. There is no problem if they are just McGuffins like the medallions in Ocarina of Time, problem arises when you can change your appearance and affect a little of gameplay. But what is the point of affecting gameplay if, that effect does nothing? Well, this is precisely what we needed to rework in the game.
Right now, if you die in the game, you respawn in the same area you died, but at the entrance. Not at the start of the "level," but at the start of that precise section you are right now. That would give the player the opportunity to tank hits from the enemies, evade one or two and reach the next section. If they died at that one, they would just respawn in there with full health. So, enemies presented no real danger. Now, we could just add more enemies, but REalM is not about that, it is about surviving. Given the connondrum, we either removed the enemies altoghether or added more, none of these work for us, so we opted for a third choice.
The original health system system came as a no brainer for us, but in reality, after a lot of analysis, we came to the conclusion that the health system actually hurts the game. So, our third choice: remove the health system and let Iris die from one hit.
Hope you like what we are working on right now :D. See you next week.