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Profiles for different players on the same install


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#1 Dark_Oppressor   Members   -  Reputation: 155

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 05:00 AM

This is really an interface design question, so I hope it fits here well enough.

My last game (http://cheeseandbacon.org/huberts-island/) used a profile system to allow multiple different people to use a single install of the game. It saved your game progress automatically, so your profile essentially acted as your save file.

For my next game (on the computer anyway, I'm on an Android digression at the moment), I'm trying to decide if I want to keep this. It has required quite a lot of time to maintain/add to. I can think of only a few games that I have played that used a system like this. Most of them either seem to assume only one person will use the install, or are a type of game where it doesn't matter.

For a game with a singleplayer campaign, where a profile system makes sense, would you use one, as a developer? As a player, would you care about such a system?

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#2 Ashaman73   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6685

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 05:23 AM

Any saved game keeps your personal profile more or less. So, infact many games have some kind of user management incoparated. In a multiplayer game profiles are almost a must have, in a single player game with the ability to save games, you don't really need any additional work.
In a game where you have some kind of statistics (i.e. hi-score) you need profiles (you don't want to get your hi-score or general performance be ruined by your little brother).

#3 Wyrmslayer   Members   -  Reputation: 103

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 06:56 AM

For a game with a singleplayer campaign, where a profile system makes sense, would you use one, as a developer? As a player, would you care about such a system?


I'm going to compare two examples from games I've played; one that uses a profile system (Starcraft 2), and one that does not (Skyrim).

In Skyrim, I create a manly Orc Warrior, slay some dragons, and then save the game - I am prompted to make a name for the save, so I will call it "Wyrmslayer".
Now, my evil twin comes along, clicks "start new game", makes himself a sparkly Destruction Wizard, slays some dragons, and then saves the game - he is prompted to make a name for the save, and picks "Wyrmzapper".
Both saves are maintained, either of us can return to the game by loading our own save and we can continue playing. Both of us are happy UNLESS - we rely on autosaves (which overwrite each others' character), or my evil twin deletes/overwrites my save (he is evil after all).

In Starcraft 2 (In Offline mode, interested only in singleplayer), I create an account "Wyrmslayer", sign into it, kill some aliens and save the game as "Wyrmslayer Mission 3".
My evil twin comes along, makes his account "Wyrmzapper", signs into it, kills some aliens and saves the game as "Wyrmzapper Mission 2" (He´s slow).
Both saves are maintained, either of us can sign in and load our own account, load our save and continue playing. Both of us are happy. AND neither of us can delete/overwrite each other's saves (from inside the game), NOR will our autosaves overwrite the other person's autosaves.

In conclusion. Profiles seem a better system because they do the same thing AND protect you from your little brother (or evil twin) coming along and ruining your saves.
However, personally, I could barely care less whether there is a profile system or not (I've locked my evil twin away safely and am not worried). I guess I can start playing quicker if there isn't one - so I'm voting "no profile" ;).

Hope this was helpful,

Wyrm

#4 eugene2k   Members   -  Reputation: 237

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 02:36 PM

There's no need to create profiles since every modern OS supports multiple users. Just store game information in a home folder and you have the same functionality as you would with profiles. No need for more redundancy. Of course, it's a different thing when you store game information in the cloud.

#5 SimonForsman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5770

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 04:48 PM

For a game with a singleplayer campaign, where a profile system makes sense, would you use one, as a developer? As a player, would you care about such a system?

I'm going to compare two examples from games I've played; one that uses a profile system (Starcraft 2), and one that does not (Skyrim). In Skyrim, I create a manly Orc Warrior, slay some dragons, and then save the game - I am prompted to make a name for the save, so I will call it "Wyrmslayer". Now, my evil twin comes along, clicks "start new game", makes himself a sparkly Destruction Wizard, slays some dragons, and then saves the game - he is prompted to make a name for the save, and picks "Wyrmzapper". Both saves are maintained, either of us can return to the game by loading our own save and we can continue playing. Both of us are happy UNLESS - we rely on autosaves (which overwrite each others' character), or my evil twin deletes/overwrites my save (he is evil after all). In Starcraft 2 (In Offline mode, interested only in singleplayer), I create an account "Wyrmslayer", sign into it, kill some aliens and save the game as "Wyrmslayer Mission 3". My evil twin comes along, makes his account "Wyrmzapper", signs into it, kills some aliens and saves the game as "Wyrmzapper Mission 2" (He´s slow). Both saves are maintained, either of us can sign in and load our own account, load our save and continue playing. Both of us are happy. AND neither of us can delete/overwrite each other's saves (from inside the game), NOR will our autosaves overwrite the other person's autosaves. In conclusion. Profiles seem a better system because they do the same thing AND protect you from your little brother (or evil twin) coming along and ruining your saves. However, personally, I could barely care less whether there is a profile system or not (I've locked my evil twin away safely and am not worried). I guess I can start playing quicker if there isn't one - so I'm voting "no profile" ;). Hope this was helpful, Wyrm


The best solution to the skyrim problem would probably be to simply group the saves, create a new save group when a player creates a new character, when you load a game you first select the character and then the save (unless you're reloading while allready playing in which case the default should be to load saves for the same character, no need for fully featured profiles really, (controls and other settings can be saved in the users home folder)
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#6 Wyrmslayer   Members   -  Reputation: 103

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 04:25 AM

The best solution to the skyrim problem would probably be to simply group the saves, create a new save group when a player creates a new character, when you load a game you first select the character and then the save (unless you're reloading while allready playing in which case the default should be to load saves for the same character, no need for fully featured profiles really, (controls and other settings can be saved in the users home folder)


I guess we're working off the assumption that a "profile" is something you sign into with a username AND password before the main menu is loaded.
If the profile was something you signed into, without a password, when you loaded a character up - we call this a "save group"? Just a profile by another name, no?
I love the idea of that though; no unneeded barrier before the game, no risk of forgetting a password, but your saves are maintained in seperate locations per character/profile.

With regards to profiling via OS users; I don't know an evil twin in this world that'll bother to go to "change user" once the OS is loaded and the game icon is right there in front of him. Maybe other people (families?) do things differently; but I've never used multiple accounts in an OS (Could just be an OCD thing about how I set out "My Documents" ;) ).

Wyrm.

#7 Dark_Oppressor   Members   -  Reputation: 155

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 01:09 AM

Yes, when I refer to profiles, I am talking about a simple name, no password or anything. It keeps options and game saves separate.

Wyrmslayer: My family just uses one account on our computer, and that's what we did when I was growing up, too. It's not really the best practice, I guess, but I've definitely always done it that way.

Thanks for the replies, guys. I'm leaning towards not messing with profiles in the future.




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