Monday, 5 December 2011

Item Inventory

It erks me in games when I can hold an unlimited amount of junk. It ruins my suspended disbelief and feels like a missed opportunity for an extra area of strategic play. Because of this I'm working on item graphics that would work with a Systemshock/Resident Evil 4 style inventory system. In RE4 95% of the tension comes from having to ration your bullets and finding room for that extra machine gun. Adding the ability to carry unlimited health or ammo would kill that game totally.

Another thing I don't like in games is grind, I don't have time for it and sometimes it can feel very artificial, especially when there are arbitrary level requirements set to use seemingly ordinary items like capes or shoes. In my ideal game success would depend on resource management and selecting the right equipment. Making sure you have enough food and light before you plunge into the mysterious depths and knowing you have the best weapons to vanquish your enemies should be of prime concern. I think having the items depicted at a larger and more detailed scale compared to the gameplay sprites adds a nice level of obsessiveness to the inventory screen, after all its all about the loot.

In addition to damage stats for weapons I would like to see Quality and Condition levels. The better quality the item the slower its condition degrades and longer it takes to break. This would hopefully disrupt the pattern of finding better equipment and dumping your old stuff without ever looking back. A trusty blade of medium damage might be preferable to a razor-sharp goblin scimitar that would quickly loose its edge. conversely, rather than use your fine war mace for smashing down a barricaded door, you would be encouraged to pick up an enemies crude hammer. Finding a broken sword of fantastic workmanship would require you to carry it to the surface for repair (at the expense of that heavy bag of coin), before it can be wielded.

I'm working up a large library of weapon and item graphics, and the following mockups are what they might look like in a mobile game...


  1. A Mutton, Lettuce and Tomato sandwich - According to Miracle Max, the greatest thing in the world. Taken from the film 'The Princess bride'

  2. Just want to say how awesome I think this looks.
    So: I think those graphics look very awesome.

  3. Thank you. It really means a lot that people are interested.