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chronos

Saving Games

48 posts in this topic

I once came upon a discussion on free saves versus save spots. Free saves allow players to save the game at any point in time. Save spots allow saving only at certain strategic locations. Free saves are said to encourage a kind of compulsive attitude towards saving for safety, while save spots are criticised for forcing players to look for the latest spot to avoid losing progress whenever they feel like taking a break from the game. What about the compromise? Save spots would, as usual, provide the player with persistent saves. Away from a save spot the player could simply suspend the game to resume at a later time (similar to pausing the game, except you don''t have to keep it running). Given that suspended game data is gone as soon as you resume the game it cannot be used as a safety net. Players can suspend the game at any time while still retaining a certain sense of danger through potential loss of progress. Granted this will not satisfy those who present other arguments against save spots. However, those who decide to make use of them should consider the above enhancement.
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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
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In tabletop RPG when you die it is final, you dont reload your character. It is as if every action was saved. Perhaps implementing RPG like this could sort between players interested in the roleplay wich would assess the risks of what they do and powermaxer trying to fight everything to gain combat skills or xp. This way the game would be continuous and getting out of difficult situations would much more rewarding for the player.

"Between the time when the oceans drank Atlantis and the rise of the sons of Arius there was an age undreamed of..."
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I think it''s worthwhile to point out what Diablo II did for saving. Whenever you go back to town, it saves. Whenever you quit, it saves. Whenever it feels like it, it saves. But you can only have one saved game per character, and it''s automatically loaded when you come back to the game. I thought this was a great technique for saving. It meant that you couldn''t save, try something, and if you died load, because you couldn''t load again without saving first (did that make sense?)!

Anyways, it was a great idea, and I think deserves more consideration.
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I''m developing a 2d horror game very similar to Resident Evil. Any suggestion on how to save? I thought about something like in Resident Evil, but I want to use something else.


-------
Me Hardguy.
and here is my game...
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Hello Ironblayde,

It appears you''ve misunderstood the concept of suspend and resume. When you suspend a game it exits back to the startup screen. When you resume it the data is gone. Aborting the program will do no good as there''s nothing to resume to.

One thing the player might do is to figure out a way to copy suspended game data to a place where the game won''t find it and use it as a way to get free saves. Doing this is so out of the ordinary that players will know they are cheating. If the player wants to cheat then let him.
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Well i''d go for save spots because:

1)I hate free saving.
You just can''t save a game whenever you like.It is really irritating in an RTS/RPG.You can just waste your life and take any risk without any significant cost.I only like free save in games like Doom where you die in a regular base of 1 or two minutes.But not in RTS/RPG games.

2)I hate replaying the whole thing when i lose.
Now to the other side of saving - the lack of save game.
I wouldn''t vote for it as long as you die that easily like in most RPG''s nowadays.When i''m going to lose my "life" in just a few seconds and after two or three days of playing, well i wouldn''t like yo restart the whole thing.

3)Save spots make it equal for everyone.
Save spots give the same chances to everybody.
You can''t blame your misfortune when all of a sudden a huge monster attacks you and sends you to hell,because your last save is a thousand miles away.
You just know that every other player had the same luck with you and if they died they had to start from the same save spot again.
Equality!

Ok i don''t believe save spots are the remedie cause they depend on the designer''s "design" abilities and they may not be good...

But anyway.
Voodoo4

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Heh, you''re right Chronos, I totally misunderstood what you were saying. Chalk it up to the difficulty of trying to communicate with actual people after a day of programming in isolation with only NPCs to keep me company.


-Ironblayde
 Aeon Software
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What about setting the character back everytime they manually save, say they lose something like XP. With this system there could also be save spot where the character doesn''t lose anything. This way the player gets the choice of risking it until they reach the next save spot or go with the conservative choice of saving now and taking the small loss. You''ve got to think about this one.

I love Game Design and it loves me back.

Our Goal is "Fun"!
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Personally I like free saving because in certain games the scenarios take a long time to complete so you would have to put in an hour and a half to 2 hours or whatever before you could save. The game I''m thinking about is Ogre Battle on the SNES, but when the PS version came out it offered free saving and I abused it from time to time like everyone else.

The happy medium that I see is in a game like Final Fantasy, with save spots in dungeons and caves and anywhere that invovles an actual challenge and danger of dying, and free saves on the world map, where it doesn''t really matter and can''t be abused, because if you left a dungeon to go save before you fought the boss you would have to walk all the way out and then save and then go through the dungeon again, so it wouldn''t be worth it.

------------
- outRider -
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Or maybe it is worth it? That''s the kind of loss Paul was talking about: to free save, you lose something small. In this case, it''s x minutes and the annoying enemies on the trip there and back.

-------------------------------------------
"What's the story with your face, son?!?"
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quote:
Original post by Paul Cunningham

What about setting the character back everytime they manually save, say they lose something like XP.




While I don''t mind certain kinds of restrictions on game functions such as saving, I really don''t like the idea of attaching a penalty to these.
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Save spot are good, exept for one thing....they brake the atmosphere!

Look at this!

You are walking in this hanted house full of zombie, and all of a suddens there id this strange yellow spot on the ground.

I woulb be fun to se save spot as a part of the game and not only strange object!

You are planing a house in a game...well here my idea use commons object than you can find a bit evrywere as save spot.

Lets say mirror! You find them at regular basic, chamber, bathroom, salons, ect! if you use them as save spot it will not break the game! Wehn the player load the game he would walk out of the mirror.....

Maybe this suck maybe this rule....

Delisk
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Common objects as save points. Sounds good, as having seen everything from crystals to spinning question marks, I believe most are quite silly. But you are still left with a problem all exhibit, how do you explain them for every circumstance? Somehow I doubt you''ll find a mirror in a cave, unless you meant anything that''s reflective.
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I wish more people would try to be creative when doing save spots. Try to make them a part of the story or at least give some kind of reason why they would actually exsist.
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Ill throw my idea into the ring.
How about saving is a spell/ability, that you can only use so many times before you run out of magic power or strength or whatever. At least until you get somewhere safe to restore yourself, or waste a restoring item, or wait till you recharge (or however your game system works)
Or just the same idea, special items you buy, are portable one-time save points, you can make them expensive to balance it as you see fit.

With this you could free save anywhere, but you have to be smart about it, forced into be conservative.

One person said that the games industry is "a transfer of funds from the rich to the lucky"
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I like the idea of save spots matching the atmosphere of the game, but only for aesthetic reasons. Save spots should be readily identifiable as such. I see no need to explain their existence or pretend they''re a natural part of the environment. In fact, save spots are quite artificial within the context of the game''s internal reality and should therefore be separate from it. Save spots are part of the interface; they serve the player, not the character.
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I got the perfect idea for an idetifiable, yet enviromentally matching save points. A symbol! A symbol can be painted, printed, cast in metal, carved from wood, carved in rock, etc. On top of that, if you want to allow the player to create a save point, they can create it from/using an item in their inventory. For the sake of gameplay, I think that the symbol could have a pulsing glow around it. Hey, if they can make objects light up in Thief an Deus Ex, why not in our game designs?

----Sonic Silicon----
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Erg! Another topic stagnated by my hand. So I''m just posting to bring this back to the top.

BTW, anyone like the symbol idea?
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Symbol idea sounds interesting, but I think that it might interfere with my magic system . How about you just save the actions up to the players current position. They can choose to play on, if they die then they are dead, because they don''t choose to load. That is how my RPG will handle it

-Chris Bennett ("Insanity" of Dwarfsoft)

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!&%#@ ... You just died.. now what?
Why not go back to the days or limited memory, and passwords. We could do something like metroid for the nes. When you die, you recieve a password. And when you return to your game, you start a designated spot.. a lot of games did this.

I personally wouldn''t want to ever see this again since its a major pain in the ass, but its just another option that I think was overlooked.

Please, don''t ever put this in your game.. by doing so, I''ll be forced to claim no responsibility.

Go Go Go!!!!
Prez
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I want the player who dies to BE DEAD. Either that or include my reincarnation system. I think it is rather unique and definitely a good read. Tell me what you think, or else I may be forced to post the whole document in this thread (I wonder if it allows posts of 10,000 letters? )

-Chris Bennett ("Insanity" of Dwarfsoft)

Check our site:
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SonicSilcion,

Sorry for not replying to your post. Didn't feel like I had anything to add to the thread. I really like the idea of using a symbol to represent a save point. I'm curious: what would your symbol look like?

Dwarfsoft,

What does a player do when he dies a permanent death? Does he have to play the game from scratch? I don't like that. Then again, it might make sense in a multiplayer game.

Edited by - chronos on August 13, 2000 1:49:49 AM
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I was just mentioning that my magic system requires symbols to be drawn, so the symbol save might be confusing. But I still like the idea... I will add it to my doc. I think that the symbols are just to be created as keys, so they are all different. Maybe you could also make it a combination of a couple of these symbols.

-Chris Bennett ("Insanity" of Dwarfsoft)

Check our site:
http://www.crosswinds.net/~dwarfsoft/
Check out our NPC AI Mailing List :
http://www.egroups.com/group/NPCAI/
made due to popular demand here at GDNet :)
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