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Kest

Paying to save your game

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This has been discussed before, but I'm looking for fresh insight. I'm also trying to add a few twists to make it work better. The game is a single player RPG. The setting is serious. Dark, lonely, desperate, serious. I'm not wanting to "play God and have absolute control over my players" as I've heard some people describe this type of idea. I want cause and effect to really mean something in the game world. Cause and effect do not work when you can go back in time and change your mind. Shyte happens. No one is perfect, not even hereos. And that is mostly the point. Sometimes the best things that happen to us come from the result of a failure. So anyway, saving your game costs something. I haven't figured out what, but something. It's very difficult to tie a save feature to the game world, since saving the game is really not part of the game world. Yet if the player isn't spending something from the game world to save, it basically isn't costing anything. Other than that, the game will allow the player to save the game after any decent victory situation. Not a free point to save the game later. Just the chance to save it at that moment. Anyway, here are the problem areas and how I want to deal with them: - Death: There is no game over. If I don't end up doing something similar to GTA, I'll probably make the game auto-reload at a certain point. The GTA route shows more promise. If the player actually loses something, it makes the loss an actual loss rather than a waste of time to make it back to where they were. -Failure: Death is the only situation where the game can be "lost". So as long as you don't die, there is no chance of repeating events. It might be possible to repeat a 'mission'. But missions can literally be screwed up. The game will deal with it. The player will only have to (and be able to) re-attempt failed missions if the repeat makes sense. And the situations in these missions will change based on the fact that they have tried and failed before. - Quitting The current game state is stored in a runtime folder. When exiting (or crashing), the files in this folder remain. So the game can be exited and restored 50 times daily if desired. There is no cost. And you can exit from absolutely any point within the game. Any opinions? And any help on the cost of saving would be great. The world is set in a futuristic wasteland. So I can't exactly have the player buy a clone. I haven't been able to come up with anything decent yet.

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I really liked the resident evil take on this.
There are a number of Ink Ribbons arround the levels of the game. To
earn the right to save your game (using a typewriter) you have to actually be
in possesion of an Ink Ribbon. There are plenty of ribbons arround the game for you to save before every major event that you may be undertaking (ie boss fights, doesnt so much make sence in a RPG, but this could be before every Dungeon).
But there were not enough ribbons in the game for you to just save after you do each step in the puzzle. This ensured that you Had to make progress, or you would no longer be able to save your game (posibly leading to having too much to do before getting to save again, like having hours of play + a boss before you save again.)

So, maybe quest completions give you a Renown bonus. With that you can save your game so many times. But there is a lot of mini-work that you have to do just to make your charactor better, but since this only benifits you, not the world, it gains you no more save chances. Thus removing the "grind for 1 hour each day and never advance the story" mentality of the player.

My personal take on how death/quitiing should work. Death means you have to reload from the last point you were able to save at. Quitting is Death. This with a cost for saving
gives a balance of "death sets me back at LOT, i should try to live", but still gives feeling of
"I only have to redo this quest if I die".

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This is a really good idea as long as you keep in that "exit any time you want". I can't tell you how many hours I've had to replay in some games where I couldn't find a save point when I needed to leave the game and go have a real life. Making dying cost something and doing stuff in the game world is a really great idea, but make absolutley sure that the player can just walk away if he needs to actually do something in real life, and not have to replay parts. Although the number of games with "save points" or starting back in town just keeps growing, so maybe most people don't think like I do.

You can tie a cost for saving the game into the game in lots of ways. Having saving abstracted to some other, more realistic, thing in the game (a la Resident Evil) works great. You can also alter the game world just slightly and have saving actually something people are aware of. Maybe there's quitte literally "save shops" on the side of the road where people go in and pay money. Maybe it's placing part of your soul into a magical rune or something. If the characters are aware of saving, it could create a whole different dynamic.

A lot of this depends on the setting and style of the game. In a world far enough into the future, saving a copy of every atom in your body and having your body recreated upon death is definitley a possibility. Having a diety revive you in a fantasy setting is also a possibility, but if that diety has to revive you too often, perhaps he'll find another, more reliable, hero to champion.

Screwing up missions is also a really good idea, but that requires a lot more work on your part. I love games where if you screw up it has some effect on what happen, but remember how much more content you have to create for that.

Hmmm... well, I din't really add anything to your idea, so I'll shut up. But, yeah, all good ideas; I can't wait to check out your game.

Best of wishes,
-xy

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This is an interesting concept; I've always thought that saving and loading needs to be included into the set of possible actions available to the player; similar to having a magic power that can restart time from points in the past [smile].

Unfortunately I haven't got a lot of time to really go into depth with ideas, but have you considered using some sort of gameplay penalty to saving? Although I never played the game myself (unfortunately), I read that in the game Outcast the hero had a "save gem" that he could use to save at any time. However, using the gem took time, and generated a large amount of noise and light, attracting any nearby enemies to the hero's location. It would be fine to save in safe areas, but saving in the middle of an enemy base would have to considered carefully.

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You can do a lot of stuff if you have that option in your game. Like unlockable bonus content for using <= a number of saves and you beat the whole game. Games that had items needed to save like RE2 were cool. I didn't mind fidning ribbons just to save. What I really don't like however is not being able to save whenever you want to. It was bad in RE because I played the game alot and saved just about every chance I got but there are some games where I just like to play for 10-15 minutes than quick save and shut the console off. So I think it's a neat idea I just think that if you use it you should have save throughout the game or at regular intervals. Every 10 mins hit a save point.

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A system that attracts enemy attention is a really clever idea. But I'm afraid my game will have a lot of danger areas that are not related to enemies. Risks or decisions that must be made, which I want to be permanent. Not the direction they've chosen to be permanent, but the fact that they chose that direction at all to be relevant (to exist) to the game.

As an example, raiders are attacking a village. The player becomes envolved and can choose to help them fight, help them hide, or help them set up a trap. Hiding may sound like the best choice, but the raiders will destroy some of the village and take everything of value that they find. The player may not realize this (common sense, but maybe not in a game world). So the decision wasn't wrong. It just came with a negative side effect. In some situations, it may just be a different outcome, not really being better or worse. But the player needs to stick with his decision. Now a new mission may present itself. The player might feel responsible, and attempt to recapture the valuables. Something that wouldn't be possible if they reload to the decision in an attempt to be perfect. Somewhat of a bad example, but I guess it works.

As for content, it's all scripted. It doesn't take much more time to account for failure or refailure than it does to account for things like finishing quests or other game variables that we normally see having a change on the game world. But it is true that the game will be capable of being in many different states. Since some objectives can be completely failed or ignored, I have to watch out for situations where another part of the game is related to them. And so on. More complex, but not really a lot more work.

Also think about the different types of experiences you could have when it's possible to screw up. Game characters giving you a shoulder to lean on. Party members bringing up previous bad situations when facing similar challenges. Obtaining a reputation as someone who never gives up.

Another aspect that I forgot to mention is experience or temporary abilities from 'death' (the player cannot die, but I'll refer to losing all of your health as death). Although death will result in serious negative consequences, it could also provide experience. If the player is pounded down by a giant barbarian, his pain threshold increases and he becomes slightly tougher. If he gets put down with a large dose of venom, his immunity increases a small amount. He could even develop some temporary ability or bonus as a side effect of the venom. I'll need to make sure the consequences of death make it not worth dying on purpose, but I want there to be something that gives the player a slightly better chance at trying the same feat again. After all, if I take away something when they already couldn't succeed, I'm not exactly handing out hope.

I oppologize if my sentences are running together. Awake for a bit too long.
Thanks for all of the feedback :)

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Bad game designer! No twinkie!

Sorry, but being a parent/student/employee puts me squarely in the just let them save whenever they want to camp. If you do want to have some penalty, then go the GTA route, since at least you're never sent back to square one. Other than that, stop wasting time trying to come up with some fancy save system.

It's all about return on investment. No player is going to appreciate all the hard thought or effort you're putting into making the save system needlessly complex.

Yes, I understand, you want it to mean something when you die. Great, set the player back a little bit, especially with a fairly trivial penalty like GTA, and that'll do the job. But you must understand that some players just don't care. You can't make them care about dying. Some people just want to complete the game no matter what; so it's up to you, your ego, or their fun.

It's funny, because that's why games kick ass. Sure, books and movies can open the mind, make us laugh... but making games is about making fun. It's amazing that we can transform hours of typing and thinking away at our computers, into easily distributable, infinitely copyable, fun. I mean, go back 50 years ago, and you had to work for fun... call friends, set something up, you name it. Now, I can just spend 5 minutes and download fun straight to my computer, without even leaving my seat.

Wow, I don't know where that last paragrah came from, but I should probably stop drinking rev while I post.

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I totally agree with nuvem - "Bad game designer, no twinkie!" You are supposed to be creating an enjoyable experience your players will want to repeat by buying your next game, not torturing them. I don't see that it adds anything to make your player worry about whether they're going to be able to save when they need to quit - wouldn't you rather have them worry about the story and the actual gameplay? Do you really want your players to quit playing the game and maybe even throw it across the room if they get frustrated from dying have the game auto-reload to some point they passed hours ago?

Of course players want to complete the game. If they can't complete the game, especially a single-player RPG where you have to complete the game to see the end of the story, they will feel ripped-off. And this applies equally to games that are too damn annoying to finish as it does to games that are too difficult or buggy to finish. You might just as well consider anything that will cause the player undue annoyance to be a bug in your design.

Have you considered that dying is a penalty in and of itself? And that if your game is already hard enough the player is dying, adding a penalty which might make it even more difficult to survive is counter-productive?

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Instead of giving penalties, work the other way around.
We did it that way in sacred; As long as the player stays alive, he gets a "survival" bonus - which increases the chance of finding better items.
So in a way, you 'pay' when you die - instead of paying when you
save the game.

If you die, you lose the bonus. It's nothing essential to win the game,
but it's still rewarding to stay alive.
Anyway, players have the choice how they want to play (carefull
or agressive)

Regards

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In Dungeon Siege 2 when you save it sets a flag. When you die and load it still knows you have died, so you get the same penalty. (1/4 your gold is lost). This effectively prevents people from saving, failing, loading, etc. The reason that most modern games, as opposed to old school games, allow you to save whenever you want is because people have real life stuff to deal with. It is unrealistic to assume that most gamers will sit down and beat a game in one sitting.

If you do implement a sort of "no return" path, then that forces the player to restart the game to continue. If your game is really fun and they feel like there is more to be discovered, this might occur a few times. But if they don't feel that way, you may have just lost them forever.

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I've got a bit more time to discuss saving strategies (this is a really interesting part of game design!)

With regards to gameply, there's two different saving situations; saving and quitting, and saving to store a "backup" of the game. These days there really is no reason not to include a "save and quit" function for games like PC-based RPGs. You'll annoy your players if they have to trudge around for a save point or attract a penalty for that. There's also no net effect on gameplay; it's just a mechanism for the player to effectively pause their game and resume it at a later stage. It's also a very good idea to have "backup" save games in case of computer crashes (or glithces in your game, but you're planning on making your game bug free, right? [grin])

However for "saving a backup" save games, these have to be considered as part of the gameplay mechanics. I've played too many games where the influence of quicksaving and quickloading have affected the gameplay. One example would be those FPS games where the most prudent course of action before entering a new area is to save your game, run in guns blazing, get shot to pieces, reload, then try again using your knowledge of the enemy positions. These days it seems that those games are now designed around that principle, as those single player FPS games with snipers that kill you in one shot only seem to be defeatable with the quicksave/load combo. The same applies to many "traps" in games. Theoretically it should be possible for a game to be completed on the hardest difficulty level by an ultra-skilled player on their first go.

I'm not saying that it's a good or bad idea to implement a "save anywhere, anytime" strategy, but it's a factor that does influence how the game plays as it dramatically lowers the penalty of dying. This may or may not be a good thing depending on the game.

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Quote:
Original post by Kest
- Death:
There is no game over. If I don't end up doing something similar to GTA, I'll probably make the game auto-reload at a certain point. The GTA route shows more promise. If the player actually loses something, it makes the loss an actual loss rather than a waste of time to make it back to where they were.


GTAs approach was great. The loss was quite minor; $100 and all your weapons, both of which were easily recovered, and the failure of the mission. It was annoying enough to be undesirable, particularly in the middle of a mission of if you'd collected a large cache of guns, but in general, death wasn't a big deal.

Quote:

-Failure:
Death is the only situation where the game can be "lost". So as long as you don't die, there is no chance of repeating events. It might be possible to repeat a 'mission'. But missions can literally be screwed up. The game will deal with it. The player will only have to (and be able to) re-attempt failed missions if the repeat makes sense. And the situations in these missions will change based on the fact that they have tried and failed before.


This has potential, so long as you aren't trying to penalize the player too much for failure. If he cocked it up once, how is making it harder going to help him? Are there going to be some incentives to carrying on after a defeat?

Carrots generally work better than sticks IMHO. It's better to reward a player for using few saves with some kind of bonus, than to punish a player for using too many. And make those bonuses scalable to players of all levels of ability, from those who want to play through the whole game without saving ever, to those who only play once a week and aren't terribly competent - they should all feel some incentive to avoid spamming the quicksave button.

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Quote:
Original post by Kitt3n
Instead of giving penalties, work the other way around.
We did it that way in sacred; As long as the player stays alive, he gets a "survival" bonus - which increases the chance of finding better items.
So in a way, you 'pay' when you die - instead of paying when you
save the game.

If you die, you lose the bonus. It's nothing essential to win the game,
but it's still rewarding to stay alive.
Anyway, players have the choice how they want to play (carefull
or agressive)

Regards


This is a good idea.

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Quote:
Original post by nuvem
Sorry, but being a parent/student/employee puts me squarely in the just let them save whenever they want to camp. If you do want to have some penalty, then go the GTA route, since at least you're never sent back to square one. Other than that, stop wasting time trying to come up with some fancy save system.

I don't care about the save system. I'm trying to amplify the game. Have you played a serious game with perma-death? Have you felt the sweat? Have you ever been in a game situation where you were literally afraid of the monsters? If so, you know why I want to limit saving. If not, I urge you to experience it.

Quote:
It's all about return on investment. No player is going to appreciate all the hard thought or effort you're putting into making the save system needlessly complex.

What is complex about having limited saves? Most of what I've been discussing is about gameplay features that can be introduced because of limited saving.

Quote:
Yes, I understand, you want it to mean something when you die. Great, set the player back a little bit, especially with a fairly trivial penalty like GTA, and that'll do the job. But you must understand that some players just don't care. You can't make them care about dying. Some people just want to complete the game no matter what; so it's up to you, your ego, or their fun.

*sigh*
Since when is this about my ego? I really don't follow. Fun is what it's all about. If some players don't care about death, they won't be very successful. Hopefully they will eventually realize that dying is bad, and try very hard to avoid it.

Quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
I totally agree with nuvem - "Bad game designer, no twinkie!" You are supposed to be creating an enjoyable experience your players will want to repeat by buying your next game, not torturing them. I don't see that it adds anything to make your player worry about whether they're going to be able to save when they need to quit

I think I presented in very clear statements that they can quit at any time. Please explain how limited "life backups" are torture? Maybe I'm alone, but I do have more fun when there's something at risk. That's what defines an achievement for me.

Quote:
- wouldn't you rather have them worry about the story and the actual gameplay? Do you really want your players to quit playing the game and maybe even throw it across the room if they get frustrated from dying have the game auto-reload to some point they passed hours ago?

You did read the original post, right? Where I stated that if at all possible, I want death to be non-existent? The game knows the player has 'died', and it changes because of it. So they are not warping back in time. They are suffering, but not repeating events.

Quote:
Of course players want to complete the game. If they can't complete the game, especially a single-player RPG where you have to complete the game to see the end of the story, they will feel ripped-off.

If the game is fun enough, they may not want it to end. What a concept! A game which players don't want to complete. That is something to strive for. If you're playing to see an ending, you're not the type of gamer I'm aiming for. It's more about the personal experience than the story.

Quote:
Have you considered that dying is a penalty in and of itself? And that if your game is already hard enough the player is dying, adding a penalty which might make it even more difficult to survive is counter-productive?

I thought I brought that up as well. Did you read my posts? The part about the venom?

Quote:
Original post by Trapper Zoid
It's also a very good idea to have "backup" save games in case of computer crashes (or glithces in your game, but you're planning on making your game bug free, right? [grin])

This is actually about the only reason saving would be very useful. The type of save you perform to resume the game is performed every time you walk into a new room.

Quote:
However for "saving a backup" save games, these have to be considered as part of the gameplay mechanics. I've played too many games where the influence of quicksaving and quickloading have affected the gameplay. One example would be those FPS games where the most prudent course of action before entering a new area is to save your game, run in guns blazing, get shot to pieces, reload, then try again using your knowledge of the enemy positions.

This is exactly the element that I want to remove. Characters can have limbs replaced by hack-job doctors. They can patch up gunshot wounds. They can even crawl away from some situations without dying. They are basically immortal. Apart from programming or scripting glitches, there just shouldn't be a reason to have to reload.

Quote:
Original post by Sandman
This has potential, so long as you aren't trying to penalize the player too much for failure. If he cocked it up once, how is making it harder going to help him? Are there going to be some incentives to carrying on after a defeat?

I said the missions would change after a failure, but not that they will be more difficult. The enemy may laugh and put down their guard. Maybe the enemy will expect the same strategy, and try to provide a defense tightly around that, making it easier to suprise them and get the upper hand.

Quote:
Carrots generally work better than sticks IMHO. It's better to reward a player for using few saves with some kind of bonus, than to punish a player for using too many. And make those bonuses scalable to players of all levels of ability, from those who want to play through the whole game without saving ever, to those who only play once a week and aren't terribly competent - they should all feel some incentive to avoid spamming the quicksave button.

Give me a few reasons these incompetent players would want to reload a saved game? They can't really 'die'. They can't lose the game. They never have to start over. How much more could I provide? So they have a robotic leg from that giant sword swipe. And one of their eye's have been replaced becuase of that a hard KO slug. Life goes on. Fight through it. Don't wimp out and cheat fate.

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I like some of the ideas being thrown around so I figured I'd add my 2 cents worth.

Suppose you allowed the player to create as many "New Games" as they like, think of these as separate threads or parallel universes withn your game setting.

Each unique "new game" is autosave every 5 minutes (or so) so that if you die, etc, you don't have to trudge "all the way across that bloody desert just to get the bullets" type of thing, or better yet it could be saved every nth action, which would mean you have only a certain amount of things to repeat if you "die" and are brought back. e.g it would autosave after every branching decision you made to preclude reloading.
And, you can never actually go back in time in any particular thread;there is no "load" facility so you can't "cheat" (and I use this with the " " because I don't necesarily think players shouldn't be allowed to do this) by reloading saved games....if you want to see what would have happened if you had said "Get lost" to the king or whatever than you have to start a new game thread *from the start*...and since eveything in the game is interlinked and depends on the choice you make earlier, it is very unlikely that [except at an early stage] the player would play the game in exactly the same way anyway, so by the time they got to the same "scene" something else would be different. So they could just hop back to the first thread and keep going if they wanted.

However it *would* also allow the player to be able to go "back" if they REALLY wanted to, by giving them a "second chance" to start over with a new thread.
Or if you want to be really strict, only allow then a limited number of "threads".

I don't think you should impose any kind of "material" penalty for saves, because it's forcing the player down the road of having to ensure (if they want to ) that they have tons of gold, or Xp, or whatever they might lose, to save...which is automatically leaning them towards one type of gameplay. Rewards too are a similarly dangerous thing...maybe the player only gets half an hour a day to play your game. These days since I got married, I get an average (if I'm lucky) of about 4 hours a week on my PC. So why should they lose out on goodies just because of circumstance?



That's my thoughts for now anyway
~later.

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Save Tokens are a good idea, though, I was always inclined to not use them, assuming that I may need them for something important. You take a game like Wild Arms 3, I'd end it out with like 50 unused save tokens. What may work is to give the player a fixed number of tokens at the start of the game (maybe according to a difficulty setting) and then number the save points where you can use them, so the player knows where it'd be safe to use a token.

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Quote:
Original post by KestGive me a few reasons these incompetent players would want to reload a saved game? They can't really 'die'. They can't lose the game. They never have to start over. How much more could I provide? So they have a robotic leg from that giant sword swipe. And one of their eye's have been replaced becuase of that a hard KO slug. Life goes on. Fight through it. Don't wimp out and cheat fate.


There are loads of reasons why people might reload. Maybe they found a rare, random pickup earlier on that they really like, and they lost it for some reason. Maybe the robotic leg makes an annoying noise when they walk.

Hey, I still reload in GTA sometimes because I can't be arsed to run around collecting all the guns I lost again. And then theres the horseracing exploit in GTA:SA.

ISTR Planescape: Torment had an interesting approach in that sometimes, dying would actually help to advance the story.

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Quote:
Original post by Sandman
Hey, I still reload in GTA sometimes because I can't be arsed to run around collecting all the guns I lost again. And then theres the horseracing exploit in GTA:SA.

GTA is a different type of game. It's basically an advanced toy. A thrill ride. I would have probably made it easier to save the game in that type of environment than what was already present. It doesn't benifit much from the risk factor, because even death isn't much to worry about.

Did you play the first Resident Evil? Operation Flashpoint? These games keep you on your toes. A real fear of death brings a lot of player-made gaming flavors. I remember hiding in the bushes in Flashpoint like some kind of new-recruit paranoid rookie.

I personally even try to avoid saving in games which allow saving at any time. Doom 3 for example. But it's not the same. The games are usually very unfair to such a realistic attempt. I died in the zombie-pit trap right at the near-beginning of the game. It was a very unrealistic element; having armor on a trap door to a pit of zombies which were supposed to have just started showing up, like some kind of mouse trap. An element purposely rigged to be easier once you know what will happen. The game might as well save itself before it tricks the player into dying. I still managed to beat it on nightmare, only saving on load screens. But these games are designed to be reloaded.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Some people have jobs, lives, etc. and don't want to be forced to keep playing just because the game designer said, "I don't want you to be able to take a break from my game."

Just because you think it would be fun doesn't mean some guy whos buddies are waiting will agree.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I should add that people don't always have the time to think through everything. It's a game! Let people make mistakes!

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Make save and continue distinct from save and exit immediately. Players use save and exit when they have to go right now and there's no penalty for doing so. Save and continue, on the other hand, can be woven into the gameplay as much as you like.

To prevent abuse of save and exit, have it cause all cached data to be flushed, such that the gamer would have to reload the entire game if he were trying to use it as a workaround to save constantly. The time penalty would make it an undesirable hack.

Ultimately, I'm firmly in the "save whenever you want" camp, but the above seems like a reasonable compromise for your insistence on inflicting pain and punishment on your gamers.

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Kest, I like your ideas. I was under the impression that your "save and quit right now" thing is the same as just quitting, but many other people seem to think otherwise, so now I'm confused...

But from what I've read, I would like your game very much.

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Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Some people have jobs, lives, etc. and don't want to be forced to keep playing just because the game designer said, "I don't want you to be able to take a break from my game."

Please read my actual post. Scroll to the top, and search for "- Quitting".

Quote:
Just because you think it would be fun doesn't mean some guy whos buddies are waiting will agree.

That's the way it works. I know what is fun for me, and that is what I go by. I can try guesswork and hope that I'm puting fun that works for people that are not like me, or I can be absolutely sure people who are like me will have the time of their lives.

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I should add that people don't always have the time to think through everything. It's a game! Let people make mistakes!

That's the point. They can. They don't have to reload to fix them.

Quote:
Original post by Oluseyi
Make save and continue distinct from save and exit immediately. Players use save and exit when they have to go right now and there's no penalty for doing so. Save and continue, on the other hand, can be woven into the gameplay as much as you like.

I thought I described exactly that in the original post. I'll point you to the same line as the AP. Look for "quitting".

Quote:
To prevent abuse of save and exit, have it cause all cached data to be flushed, such that the gamer would have to reload the entire game if he were trying to use it as a workaround to save constantly. The time penalty would make it an undesirable hack.

They don't actually save the game when they quit. The game runs from the folder, and the files are already stored there. When exiting or crashing, the program just shuts down. When it starts back up, you click on restore, and there is your game. Choosing to "save the game" will take all of the files in this runtime folder, compress them, and store them in a single file. This save will remain until it is overwritten. So as you play, your in-progress saved game data is being changed.

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Ultimately, I'm firmly in the "save whenever you want" camp, but the above seems like a reasonable compromise for your insistence on inflicting pain and punishment on your gamers.

If it were never dark, you'd have no way of appreciating the brightness. I find it very ammusing that so many people think that preventing the magical ability to rewind time is dastardly and cruel.

IMO, the entire idea of saving and loading is pretty laughable. Damn, my club broke. Saved 1.3 minutes ago, no problem, just reload and switch to something else. Ahh, I broke my lockpick on the first try, that's not fair, I'll just reload. WTF, that demon's punches usually only hurt me 23 points, but that time he landed a 25, screw that. Ahh, look, when I tell this guy that the statue is fake, he takes it. But if I tell him it's real, he leaves it with me. A minefield.. damn, how many are there? A critical hit for you? I don't think so buddy.

This is not role playing a real character. It's role playing a demi-god. He has no weaknesses, no chance of failure, and no real challenge. He can see the future and travel to the past. He knows how situations will react before an action is even taken.

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Original post by giveblood
Kest, I like your ideas. I was under the impression that your "save and quit right now" thing is the same as just quitting, but many other people seem to think otherwise, so now I'm confused...

Thanks. I have no idea why everyone is confused. I thought it was pretty clear.

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Original post by Kest
I'm not wanting to "play God and have absolute control over my players" as I've heard some people describe this type of idea. I want cause and effect to really mean something in the game world. Cause and effect do not work when you can go back in time and change your mind. Shyte happens. No one is perfect, not even hereos. And that is mostly the point. Sometimes the best things that happen to us come from the result of a failure.

So you do want to play god and have absolute control over your players. You want to prevent them from doing the stuff they want to do (loading when they screw up).
Why? Just to satisfy your desire to play God and judge players? Or because it will make your game more fun?

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Death is the only situation where the game can be "lost". So as long as you don't die, there is no chance of repeating events. It might be possible to repeat a 'mission'. But missions can literally be screwed up. The game will deal with it. The player will only have to (and be able to) re-attempt failed missions if the repeat makes sense. And the situations in these missions will change based on the fact that they have tried and failed before.

Hmm, why would I make the effort of finishing a mission if I know that I won't lose if I fail? Just asking. I like this idea in theory, assuming you can make it work. But won't it take away a lot of the motivation for doing well?


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The current game state is stored in a runtime folder. When exiting (or crashing), the files in this folder remain. So the game can be exited and restored 50 times daily if desired. There is no cost. And you can exit from absolutely any point within the game.

Why 50? Again, is this out of a desire to control your player, or because it makes the game more fun for the player?

Basically, how will the game become better, more fun for the player, if he can't quit and restart the game more than x times a day, if he can't save/load when he wants to?
That's what you need to think about. Not "what's the most like the real world", or "what is most fun for me, the designer", or even "which savegame scheme fits best into my game's setting?"

What are you trying to do? Force people to play the way *you* think is fair? Get people to experience your setting and storyline? Or let people actually enjoy the game?

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IMO, the entire idea of saving and loading is pretty laughable. Damn, my club broke. Saved 1.3 minutes ago, no problem, just reload and switch to something else. Ahh, I broke my lockpick on the first try, that's not fair, I'll just reload. WTF, that demon's punches usually only hurt me 23 points, but that time he landed a 25, screw that. Ahh, look, when I tell this guy that the statue is fake, he takes it. But if I tell him it's real, he leaves it with me. A mind field.. damn, how many are there? A critical hit for you? I don't think so buddy.

This is not role playing a real character. It's role playing a demi-god. He has no weaknesses, no chance of failure, and no real challenge. He can see the future and travel to the past. He knows how situations will react before an action is even taken.

Possibly, but it is also how the player enjoys the game the most. (If he thought it'd be more fun not to reload, then he wouldn't do it). So laughable or not, why would you prevent a player from using a feature that makes the game more fun to play?
And more importantly, how do you convince your player that it's a good idea to take the feature away? Just saying "Your way of playing my game is laughable" aint gonna cut it. You'll have to compensate with something else, to make the player happy without the quickload ability.

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Original post by Spoonbender
So you do want to play god and have absolute control over your players. You want to prevent them from doing the stuff they want to do (loading when they screw up).
Why? Just to satisfy your desire to play God and judge players? Or because it will make your game more fun?

That just sounds ridiculous. I laughed when I read it. I'm sorry, but that's all I have to say.

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Hmm, why would I make the effort of finishing a mission if I know that I won't lose if I fail? Just asking. I like this idea in theory, assuming you can make it work. But won't it take away a lot of the motivation for doing well?

You can't lose the game. You can definitely lose the missions. And some of them are not possible to try again. If people die, they are dead. They can't be replaced. If something blows up, it's gone. No way of trying to capture it again. But none of these things will end the game.

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Why 50? Again, is this out of a desire to control your player, or because it makes the game more fun for the player?

50 was just a random number I threw in there. There is no limit. By the way, I'm laughing again.

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Basically, how will the game become better, more fun for the player, if he can't quit and restart the game more than x times a day, if he can't save/load when he wants to?
That's what you need to think about. Not "what's the most like the real world", or "what is most fun for me, the designer", or even "which savegame scheme fits best into my game's setting?"

I explained it all above. But even so, the real world is a great template. Life kicks ass. You don't agree? I want to experience life in another world. So that is what I'm trying to give to other people. So yes, it is about what is fun for me, the designer.

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What are you trying to do? Force people to play the way *you* think is fair? Get people to experience your setting and storyline? Or let people actually enjoy the game?

You are remembering that all I'm doing here is limiting saved games, right? How exactly is that trying to control anything other than making the player more human?

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Possibly, but it is also how the player enjoys the game the most. (If he thought it'd be more fun not to reload, then he wouldn't do it). So laughable or not, why would you prevent a player from using a feature that makes the game more fun to play?

Just because players enjoy doing backflips the most doesn't mean my game will have backflips. Games which allow saving at any time are less enjoyable to me. It's not about whether I save frequently or not. It's that achieving goals feels less spectacular, considering anyone could have done it with the save feature.

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And more importantly, how do you convince your player that it's a good idea to take the feature away? Just saying "Your way of playing my game is laughable" aint gonna cut it. You'll have to compensate with something else, to make the player happy without the quickload ability.

Actually, I don't. I just remove the feature and hand it out. It's been done in plenty of very successful games. You must have missed them. I recommend trying them. They're on the top of my favorite list.

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