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RPS Suggests: Inventory improvements

Room for improvement (get it?)

Featured post Inventory of sensible things

Hello! As a counterpoint to RPS Asks where we offer up a question for your consideration, I think we need an RPS Suggests where we put forward our own ideas. Today I spent lunchtime thinking about inventories and how games rarely seem to be able to approximate the reality of a backpack. Here is my suggestion:

Ignoring how difficult it would be to program or to organise, I’d be so excited to see an inventory in a game where the objects behaved more like they were in a real backpack and could be compressed, crushed, squashed, mulched, ruined, tessellated and so on once the healthy limit of the pack had been exceeded.

Imagine, if you will, your Skyrim inventory. It contains your archmage robes, an apple, the Oghma Infinum, a potion that damages your health and bestows invisibility, vampire dust, nirnroot, a cheese wheel, a lockpick and a glass dagger.

As you pile more and more nonsense into your bag your archmage robes acquire the “crushed” quality and when you wear them people say things like “Would you like to borrow my iron?” or “Are you doing the archmage walk of shame because it looks like you slept in that?”. The apple goes from “crunchy” to “bruised” to “pulped on one side”. The Oghma Infinum’s pages get bent and torn and the book also gradually develops the “covered in bits of apple” quality.

Ramming further knick knacks into your pack will result in the tinkling of glass and your backpack suddenly turning invisible. The bag containing the vampire dust splits and your apple is now “bruised”, “pulped on one side” and “covered in dust” while the dust is now a dusty apple paste. (If you think that’s bad just be thankful Skyrim doesn’t have bananas.)

The nirnroot is emitting a low hum which starts to make your spine crawl so you fish it out of the bag and throw it into a hedge. You then need to retrieve the nirnroot because your one remaining lockpick was tangled up in its leaves.

The cheese wheel has bestowed the “smells really strongly of cheese” quality on EVERYTHING and if you forget to reposition the dagger it pokes you in the back with every step. It also snags your archmage robes and risks cutting a hole in the bottom of your rucksack meaning you have to retrace your steps to find your belongings.

I would be far more entertained by all of that happening when I overpack than just becoming overencumbered and having to throw away part of my fork collection.

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Philippa Warr


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