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#41 Wavinator   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1777

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Posted 15 August 2000 - 03:52 PM

quote:
Original post by chronos

I suppose what I'm saying is that market demands should not determine design, but rather the designer should. That a designer considers the player as part of his design does not necessarily mean he's trying to satisfy some kind of perceived demand ("what players want").



Maybe we don't disagree so much. Perhaps it's a matter of degrees. Here's a litmus test: If you make something and show it to a bunch of friends, and get lots of negative feedback, do you change it?

For me, there are only a few cases where I will not. In fact, the only case really is if something is so core to the design that it can't be changed. For instance, there are some aspects to my current RPG that I think the user will appreciate once he gets used to them (the time limit, for instance, which is usually EVIL). But if they turn out to be unappealing, I'll rip them out without remorse.


quote:

For me games are primarily and art form and only secondarily a business. I'm sure many people feel otherwise. Burger king appeals to the masses, a chef's culinary art might not. Hollywood special effects appeal to the masses, Woody Allen might not.



... and Boston Markets or your local burrito joint is somewhere in between. Nothing wrong with this. I WILL NOT make a Deer Hunter, to save my life (in fact, it was one of the reasons I left my last job-- we started making hunting games! )

I think what's important here is to be realistic. I have what I consider to be complicated, artsy ideas, too, but I want to make games for a living, so I have to be honest about the viability of my projects. My E.T.Civilization game that traces an alien culture's rise from the stone era to transcendence is going to have a MUCH smaller audience than the action games I'm dreaming up.

Like Andy Worhol once said, sometimes ya make make art, sometimes ya make soup...

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

Edited by - Wavinator on August 15, 2000 10:54:38 PM

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#42 Kylotan   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3338

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Posted 21 August 2000 - 04:40 AM

Suggestion: take the Diablo 2/Championship Manager 3 (2 -very- different games for you there, showing general appeal) approach.

Yes: you can save whenever you like.
But: it kicks you out of the game when you do so.

Result: if you can only play for 10 minute periods, or whatever, you can still save whenever you like, with just a couple of clicks. No finding savepoints or tokens or whatever. But, due to the hassle involved, it discourages the save/fail/reload/repeat mentality. People will be less inclined to use the game save feature as a way to pass a difficult section if they have to quit and reload the entire game each time.

Thief: The Dark Project had a similar effect for me, cos to load a saved game took 2 or 3 minutes I''d rather try harder to not die, than to keep reloading

#43 pacman   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 21 August 2000 - 08:51 AM

And then to make it impossible for players to load cause they died, auto-save it when they die

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"What's the story with your face, son?!?"

#44 draqza   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 21 August 2000 - 09:38 AM

quote:
Original post by Ironblayde

I don't see how this would be much different from free saves. You say that the suspension data is gone as soon as you resume the game. Does it also disappear if you die? Even if so, there's nothing to stop the player from suspending the game as a safety net... when he gets into a fight he knows he can't win, he just kills the game before the enemy can kill him and erase his save data. Then he resumes the game, 'suspends' it again, and repeats. Call me pessimistic, but I don't think you can find a happy medium between free saves and save points, unless you count games like FF7 where you can free save only in a certain area (the world map).


-Ironblayde
 Aeon Software


Of course the suspension data would disappear when you die--for two reasons:

1) You've already resumed the game, and as he said, the suspension data would disappear when you resume the game.

2) Suspension saves like this are similar to pausing the game in old platform games (like Mario Bros. #). Now, when was the last time you saw a platform game where you paused the game, jumped/fell off a cliff, then resumed where you saved it?

In relation to the argument free saves vs. spot saves, I still think free save is the way to go, especially in RPGs and strategy games where one mistake could throw you off and require hours of work to get back to where you were.


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(edited here)

Oops, I just realized how long the post already was, so some of that may have already been covered...
--



All hail the Technoweenie!

Edited by - draqza on August 21, 2000 4:42:35 PM

#45 theRaskell   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 21 August 2000 - 10:12 AM

Diablo II offers only one option, Save and Exit. However, it also pops you back into town and respawns all the maps (though it does not regenerate all the maps unless it is a multiplayer game) If you die, a Save and Exit won''t change that(though it does have one unrealistic benefit I''ll touch upon. Your corpse reappears in town when you reload the game, instead of where you died. Makes equipment retrieval easy, the downside being you lose all the progress you made cause the monsters are respawned)

I think this is by far the best way of handling saved games. Save spots will never ever truly merge seamlessly with the atmosphere of the game. The whole concept of saving the world state and the concept that the world is a game some person is playing should be completely absent from the reality of that fantasy world, no matter how disguised they are.

People should be free to save the game and leave it whenever they want. They should be free to play in 5 minute chunks of time, or 5 hour chunks of time. The only problem I have with complete free saves, is there allows players to very easily bypass many built in game penalizing functions that can drastically affect the overall intended gameplay. Every developer needs to draw the line somewhere when it comes to giving the player the freedom to do what he wants within the game. If there are actions of such a severe nature that the player can no longer properly play the game, then that''s a problem completely unrelated to being able to save the game.

#46 Bberet   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 23 August 2000 - 08:23 AM

There was this quite crap game for the Gameboy, Frankenstein. You played the so-called Franky trying to collect the body parts of his girlfriend (well...). The game pak had no built-in memory battery, so the only way to ''save'' your game was by noting 40+ numbers where every game variable was included in. And try to re-enter this number without a real keyboard! THIS WAS SO CRAP. I didn''t write down this number one single time, instead kicked the game the first time I died

For my game, I''ll make a compromise between save points and free saves. Basically, there ARE save points, but you don''t see them: Whenever you make progress in the game, your character is saved. There is only one save slot. The player doesn''t see anything from the save/load feature (no file name dialog or stuff), it just is in there. Because your game is automatically saved very often, not much progress is lost when dying. I like that


#47 daBomb   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 23 August 2000 - 09:11 AM

Wavinator I agree with you. In the end, most of us want people to enjoy the games that we create. I don''t know about everyone else, but I hate when game developers do not allow me to free save. It is the only way that I can make it through a game. I am the type of person who enjoys playing games, but is easily frustrated. I love to see the graphics in the game, and how the game was constructed. I love to see all of the interesting effects in the game. I do not want to see the scenery for level 1 for 3 days straight just because I keep forgetting that the monster pops out of the cave when I walk by. I like the idea of rewarding a player for wait for a save spot yet not punishing me for saving whenever I feel like it.

One other important point to consider is the game complexity. When I say this, I mean how hard is it to get through the entire game, and how long will it take to complete. As everyone knows, there has to be a fine balance in the difficulty of a level. You want your player to be on the edge of frustration only to allow them to complete their current task. To allow them to become frustrated will hurt their opinion of your game. A psychological fact is that if they are emotionally low(frustrated) then the emotional high (completing the level for instance) will be much higher. When a person feels really good about themselves, everything looks better to them, including your games.

In the end it is your decision as to the saving system, but try to look at it with an open mind willing to try new ideas. Those people that want to impose their own ideas or beliefs on players will only succeed in taking the fun out of a game. There may be no easy solution, but a good balance works.

So if anyone is wondering, pretty much I just talked in a complete circle!! If anyone is left still reading this post, thanks for sticking with me!!

#48 crazy-vasey   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 23 August 2000 - 09:30 AM

A point that no-one appears to consider is that free saving is excellent for people who have crappy unstable computers like me. Playing most games for me involves saaving every 5 mins in case of crash.

Just play fallout2 or daggerfall without saving regularly to see the true meaning of frustration.

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#49 Dak Lozar   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 23 August 2000 - 10:37 AM

I actually play something besides RPGs... I''ve been playing a game called X: Beyond the Frontier They have meshed the spot saving into the game and it is a very believable fashion. Although I don''t really like this method of saving, I really despise free saving (I have some friends who abuse this, as I''m sure you all do).

They have space stations and in these facilities you can buy a "save." At first I thought it to be stupid... but, the more I play, I have come to the conclusion that it does a couple of things. One it cost you money... so, you need to have money to save and if you do it too often, well, you just waste money. Two, it adds to the futuristic feel of the game.

Anyway just my 1 credit worth,



Dave "Dak Lozar" Loeser




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