We’ve all grown accustomed to games that allowed us to continue playing without any penalty after we lose a life. Even when we suffer a penalty, it’s probably just the loss of experience points or gear, and sometimes we have to restart the level from the beginning. But when we come back, the game will still be the same, and we get another chance to attempt the task again. Not in Glitchhiker.
Some designers have decided to take this penalty system one step further – and let the loss of lives to determine the difference between Glitchhiker working or not. Here’s a short description of the game:
Glitchhiker flipped the traditional structures one expects of a videogame: when a player failed in their attempts it was the system rather than their onscreen avatar that lost a life. Conversely when a player did well the game could recover lives. Unfortunately when it’s ‘game over’ for the system the game dies, never to be played again. In a perverse twist the more lives the game loses the ‘glitchier’ it becomes, creating a near hopeless cycle where it becomes harder and harder to save the game the sicker it gets.
And unsurprisingly, (obviously there are more bad players than good players) the game now ceases to exist and only lives on in a video and a non-executable download file. Imagine if your favorite games started using this penalty system – I think it would greatly improve your skills in the game, knowing that if you failed too many times you wouldn’t be able to play it anymore.