It is common to find resource/loot crates in games that be opened/broken by the player to find money, ammo, resources, and similar. For instance, Warframe contains both loot crates that drop resources / ammo / credits:
These can be found in other games such as:
- Metroid: crates with energy (health) and ammo
- Dead Space: crates and lockers with health, ammo, and money
- Nioh: destructible wooden crates / etc with gold and ammo
For gameplay purposes these are meant to supply the player with resources they need, but from a worldbuilding perspective they don't seem particularly realistic. Why would anyone put these items in unmarked crates / lockers? Wouldn't ammo be in ammo crates so it's clear what the container contains rather than necessitating scrounging through a bunch of random containers? And why would these be littered throughout the world instead of in storage? Military outposts and research facilities don't just leave random crates of lithium and whatnot throughout the building, right? And is there a reason it would be common to put physical currency in these crates in sci-fi worlds like Warframe and Dead Space?
The Defense Logistics Agency's "Supply Standards and Procedures" describes a meticulous management of supplies and resources with inventory checks and requisition forms, so I find it difficult to believe that resource crates in these games should be littered throughout the world as opposed to lockup where they could be inventoried & access to the resources could be more easily controlled. There are also numerous OSHA guidelines on material storage like which materials cannot be stored together, flammable material storage restrictions, etc, and this is violated in so many ways by randomly dumping resources in resource crates littered throughout facilities in the game world. Even if there is no regard for human safety in these games, there is still value in proper storage to prevent your hard-earned materials from being ruined or destroyed on accident.
Is there any reason some real world entity might store resources / ammo / physical currency in random , unmarked containers littered throughout facilities like this were they put into one of these games? I am looking to answer this for a particular game I am working on, but would like an answer not specific to a select world for any other games I may work on in the future.
Ideally justifications for this sort of logistics would be realistic & practical, with no magic and minimal hand-waving (e.g. material safety is no longer necessary due to some unobtanium container that locks materials in a stable state). Simple, fundamental answers that transcend medieval, modern, and sci-fi use cases are preferred, but sci-fi specific justifications are acceptable (but should apply to all sorts of environments: space frigates, planetary research facilities, orbital stations, etc). The context is industrial, military, and research facilities rather than schools, shops, residential homes and similar.