rather than how a save system should be implemented, instead what should happen in the case of a "failure".
True. Some people mistakenly thought that the issue with saving is that it breaks the so-called "immersion", which i have nothing against, but this topic isnt about that. Its about breaking the connection between failure and gameover, making failure a viable path to take and keep playing.
I'd say the easiest way to address this is to make a game where no reloading of prior saves is allowed at all, but there is no true "proper" ending, nor is there a "permadeath", and neither is the game very long.In which case, I'd suggest a game which features some type of randomly generated scenarios is best, with the outcome of the next depending on the outcome of the previous, or seeded to some particular gameplay aspect, or possibly even totally random in a way that can't be predicted by the player.
As i have begun to actually work on the project, i guess i will go on and be more specific about an actual game i am making.
If anyone remembers the Battletech books, there was once a Gray Legion trilogy. What i want to make is basically "Gray Legion : The Game". (though obviously not using Battletech license or books storyline). A tactical game involving giant robots and other military forces. The game would work on two levels : there is the player - a leader of interplanetary mercenary unit, free agent who can pick his own battles; and then there is a global war - something not even remotely under player's direct control, and having a timer for conclusion. After a set amount of time has passed - the war (and the game) ends, one way or another, that is not in question. The question is in what position will the player turn out to be when the war ends. So there are "endings", but no "winning" for the game. And i want to stylize it all as a kind of future historical chronicles, so every game will tell the story of both the war and the player. Losing a battle will not mean losing a war.
I've tried hard to "re-factor" that paragraph in my head since I feel that this is a good idea, but I don't quite understand the implementation.
I was just throwing a draft of an idea, it hasnt formed fully just yet, so i probably wont be able to be as clear as i want it to be, but i'll try.
Let's say that in the game, your primary resource is "money" (note the quotes). And you have two "accounts". If you win - you get "money" put into one account, the one which you can use in any way you wish, including the way to achieve your meta-goal. If you lose - you also get "money", maybe only a fraction of winning prize, but they are put into another account, which you can ONLY use to build back your team's strength, buy equipment and recruit men. The more glorious your victory - the more "money" you get, but also you get more "money" for more spectacular failures.
How i came to this idea was, i thought of player losing a battle. What do i do with him ? Make him start basically from scratch, and give him some access to low-tier equipment and let him grind the money to build up all over again ? Not good. What then ? I want to pull them back into regualr gameplay as soon as possible, but not simply "respawn" the player as if nothing happened. So i started inventing ways for player to do that, for example i thought of having to rent out your spaceship as space cargo truck, and make it all automated, so it will make money for each turnaround. I wanted it to be no more than a couple minutes of real time, but in game time it will take months as a trade-off. And you really have to treasure your time. But i wanted an even faster way. So i thought "why not use the same mechanics for losing, as i do for winning ?". No need for grinding, no need for additional mechanics, losing is exactly the same as winning, only with a minus put in front of it. The consequences are different, but the gameplay is the same.
Can anyone think of an example game with vastly branching storylines though? Specifically, rather than each encounter/mission/quest being “able” to be failed by the player, while the player is still able to continue with the “main” storyline, instead I mean that the outcome of each mission truly impacts the conclusion, and not in the sense that “if I did everything bad/good/perfectly then I get the bad/good/perfect ending”.Or perhaps just examples of sub optimum play that yields a non obvious advantage, or examples of "carrying forward" some benefit in the case of failure
In Super Robot Taisen games, the story is often quite branched, and often the choice of a story branch is determined by amount of "skill points" awarded for special merits in previous levels. Amount of "skill points" is also proportionate to difficulty level, so the more of them you get - the harder versions of the level you get.
Panzer Corps has kind of the same deal, if you perform good - you advance your Nazi army on Moscow, if you are underachiever - you spend the second half of the game in Western Europe.
if a game doesn't let me stop playing when I want to stop playing. I just don't want the game to hold me hostage!
I have never advocated that. You are fighting a strawman, my friend.