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ManaStone

Auto Game Saves- good idea or bad idea?

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What would you think of a game that auto saved everything every 5 minutes and didn't allow you to save it manually? This would make the game more challenging because the player will not be able to revert back to a more comfortable spot when things get icky. Although the player might not consciously like this option, it will give him more game time and will probably take longer for him to get bored.

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MMOs use a constant game state system that keeps you from abusing the save/load system, and nobody really complains about that.

Escape Velocity did it, too, because the game would save every time you docked at a station, and there was no other way to save it. People beat that by storing copies of their character file and swapping them out when a mission chain didn't go the way they wanted it to.

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I have used autosaves in some of my games, but not that frequently. It also depends on what kind of game you are talking about. I think it is best to auto-save after a major event has happened (like completing a level). Players will use ways to get around them anyway, such as backing up old save files before launching the game.

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Auto saves are ok, but having the option of a chain of saves is a needed inclusion. That way anybody that played the game and wanted to be chalenged can just load up the last save, but players that didn't want to do that and were interested in other aspects of the game (rather than how hard the designer can make it) are alos accomodated. Why would a designer feel the need to alienate players unnessesarily?

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I don't mind having an autosave, but it can't interfer with playing the game otherwise it is just annoying and if its at a time when things are loading just just have it take to long.

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The way I see it, there are basically 2 ways of saving games:

either the user is able to save wherever and whenever he/she wants,

OR

The game saves at fixed intervals. But here is the caveat:
You must save the game at a stage when there is no frantic action
or the player is not just about to be killed.

There are many ways to do this. Checkpoints, markers, special saving points in the levels, even level codes which must be entered to get back to where you were.

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The way I would like saving to be, is that the game saves automatically when I enter a new area(for example in an RPG entering a room) or when something important happens.

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Have auto saves only when you can't hit a total deadend. If I enter a room where badguy with the "Sword of death +1000" and I have a dagger I picked up, I should be able to run back out of the room. Don't lock the player into things they might not be able to do, always give them the option of pulling back and regrouping.

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It shouldn't be that hard to prevent player's from messing with the saves. You can keep another hidden file somewhere that keeps track of the time everything was saved and if the save file doesn't match that, then just make it so it doesn't run.

Also, I remember some games like Jedi Knight took very little time to save. If it is very small like that then it wouldn't interfere too much with the game play going on.

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Quote:
Original post by ManaStone
It shouldn't be that hard to prevent player's from messing with the saves. You can keep another hidden file somewhere that keeps track of the time everything was saved and if the save file doesn't match that, then just make it so it doesn't run.

If you do this you are just anoying the player. If the player wants to mess with save files, let him.

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