Hi all, I'm working on a project called Dungeon Code (Devlog: https://forum.unity.com/threads/dungeon-code-castlevania-meets-nethack-video-based-devlog.926225/ ) which revolves around auto generated dungeons that are explored and conquered by the player. My feeling is that death needs to be permanent, despite being a platformer the games main inspiration is NetHack, but I also want to avoid the constant save and retry that is found in NetHack. (Most recent video for a little visual context) Let me dump some of my thoughts: Tough Luck Death is Permanent - This will add weight to conquering a dungeon making it more of an achievement. If it works: Players get huge amount of play time out of each dungeon as they carefully work out optimum paths and get better at execution. If it doesn't: Players get frustrated quickly and stop playing. -=- Save when you Descend - The dungeon is broken in to layers/levels, so a natural save point would be saving when you descend down a level. If it works: Players get a good amount of replay time out of each level, but also know that once they beat some hard section and get down to the next level that they are 'safe'. If it doesn't: It is still too hard and players get frustrated and stop playing or it becomes too easy and conquering a dungeon loses its weight. -=- Save any time - As with save scumming in NetHack, save at any time, save before a difficult section, replay as needed, etc. If it works: Players feel safe and spend more time in the game. No permadeath frustration. If it doesn't: All challenge removed from the game, players save before every obstacle. Becomes very bland. -=- For some context: I imagine each dungeon would take about 10 minutes to solve if you knew exactly what to do. Most games will take longer as players have to explore and work out puzzles. The platforming element will not be that hard. Its definitely not like super meat boy where you would die over and over. All traps will have some kind of cue, either visuals, audio, or both. In summary: it should be possible for a careful player to get a level on the first try. I see this as a PC game (at least get it right on PC before looking at other platforms). Clarification: The term level here is used to mean 'level of dungeon', i.e. like a floor, rather than the typical meaning of stage/level.You can go back and forth between levels as needed. ---- Of course I will try options and run through play testing, but I would really like to hear thoughts of others, both on my options and also other ideas for balancing challenge and frustration in reards to permadeath. Thanks for your time!