I can remember games like King''s Quest V, where it was possible to miss an easily overlooked (yet important) item needed quite a bit later in the game. Free saves or not, you HAD to go back half the game to get it.
Ultimately, imho, some save types are better suited for some types of games. Specifically, individual games may work better with different save schemes even if they are in the same genre.
Some RTS games may work well with a "save anytime" and some may be absolutely horrible with that type of save.
If the game is immersive enough and demands enough concentration (while playing), the player should be thinking less about saving and more about playing.
So, I don''t think there is a "best" way to save, nor do I think that any type should be ruled out as "inferior". I do agree with many points already made, I think it just depends on the game.
crazy166 some people think i'm crazy, some people know it
Don''t you see? My original scheme (described at the top of this topic) solves your problem although it still limits the number of saves.
The idea is that the user should be able to play the game, exit it thereby forcing a save. If the user later loads this game again this there is no penalty. This means that you can play the game for a while and then exit it at any time without any adverse effect.
The scheme allows the user to saves as he/she wants to and this is needed because of potential system crashes.
What we want to avoid is that user *restore* anything else that the game that was saved at the end of the last session - and the user may restore this one only once.
Users that wish to *restore* a game other than the one saved at the end of the last session is doing so to repeat already played parts of the game and that should be punished.
In your case if you play a new part of the game every time you play then there is no problem at all, but if you wish to replay the same part several times and use the best one then you are penalized.
So when you die, do you get penalized for that? If not, then the player could just kill themselfs in order to not be penalized. Also, you can''t force the player to save when they quit. They could just terminate the job and your program would have no knowledge of it.
This whole topic about saving games is a controversial one. I personally don''t like the idea of saving a game every couple of steps just so you don''t lose one or two health points. I also don''t like having to redo hours of game play because I didn''t know i had to give a jester a lamp, or some damn thing. I don''t think anyone can cast in stone a universially acceptable saving scheme. I think there has to be some kind of feature along this route, but it''s implementation must vary from game to game. I''d like to see some more ingenious ideas in the future though, not just pressing a hot key and seeing "Saved" on the screen.
I must say, I think changing the ''scheme'' depending on skill level and various on screen events are both excellent ideas.
The best implementation of saved games depends on the game genre. In FPS games, the tension is often best kept high, players jump at things in the dark, sweat when they are low on health etc... In this case, the best implementation of saved games is the ''limited'' option - based on the difficulty level you give the player a set amount of saves per map. Best implementation so far: Soldier Of Fortune. In stratagy games, the option of unlimited saves is quite good, and I can''t think of another better way right now. The unlimited aspect takes away some skill, but not a great deal. Best implementation so far: any RTS game. Tense adventures, e.g. Resident Evil. These games tend to work best with limited saves at certain points, just like Resident Evil had... Other options: If it''s a side-scroller, password saves are an option, as if it''s a defined stage simple game. Like Breakout or something.
The idea of losing stuff when you save or using money, like Resident Evil 2 when you need the Ink things to save, and you only have a limited amount, or it could cost money to save. Of course this depends on the kind of game, though.