AG: AlexGaluzin

Experiments in Level Design + Environment Art & Photography

Simple Gameplay Mechanic I Love from Mirror's Edge and Half-Life: Alyx

Level Design/Game Art
January 30, 2021

In "Mirror's Edge" there is a simple and effective gameplay mechanic I really like.

If you pick up a weapon, you have:

  • Limited ammo
  • No HUD displaying how many bullets you have left
  • The gun limits your movement considerably

After you run out of ammo and you don't know when, the gun is automatically discarded.

Although the weapon mechanics in the game feel cumbersome and not refined the idea behind its implementation is effective.

I love the simplicity of it.

If I were to design a game, I would try to implement this mechanic. I wouldn’t make the weapon discard automatically after you run out of ammo. That should be up to the player.

I would also add a way to take out the magazine to check how many bullets the gun has left. So as you play you would have to check how much ammo you have or count the rounds as you shoot.

"Half-Life: Alyx" has a gun reloading mechanic I’ve wanted to see for a long time.

If you reload, your entire magazine and all the ammo in it, is discarded. Reloading after few shots is discouraged. You end up wanting to conserve every bullet and make each shot count.

There is no HUD in the game as you play, so a way you check bullet count is by looking at the side of the gun. When the gun runs out of ammo it doesn’t reload automatically. You have to manually do it by discarding the magazine, loading a new one and chambering the first round.

I absolutely love how "Half-Life: Alyx" implemented this mechanic and it makes every gun fight an intense battle.

I want to see more games do this mechanic.

Speaking of "Mirror's Edge", I have a tutorial for "How to Use Color to Create Environments Like Mirror's Edge" on WoLD.


Preproduction Blueprint Book

"Preproduction Blueprint"

I wrote a book on how to plan your level designs and game environment art. Buy the book in PDF, Paperback or Kindle version.

Get it here...


Subscribe: AlexG Email Updates




About AlexG


Your Support Makes My Work Possible