In Gamasutra's latest feature
, designer Dan Andrei Carp explores different ways that developers have made death less painful for the player across a wide range of games, as a Game Over screen "only serves to add insult to injury."
In Ubisoft's 2008 Prince of Persia
reboot, writes Carp, the way in which it handled player death was elegant and integrated with the main gameplay:
"The game's mix of acrobatics and combat as well as the mystical setting allowed the choice to seem refreshing and natural."
The team's solution? "An A.I. controlled character, Elika, accompanies the hero throughout the game serving as a 'guardian' of sorts. She assists the main character in his acrobatics, but she also returns him to solid ground whenever he falls to his death."
"This allows players to continue from the exact place where they 'fell off' without any sort of break of immersion. The fact that Elika doesn't appear only when the character dies helps integrate this experience into the normal gameplay instead of setting it apart."
The full feature explores more solutions from games as diverse as Diablo II, Borderlands
, and Braid
. It's live now on Gamasutra