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Kest

Flavors for preventing save & reload

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This is yet another one of my save & reload topics. Here are some flavors that will help prevent reloading. Add more if you can. Feel free to argue with the ones I have. - No rewind effect of time on 'death'. If skills have advanced during a mission, death does not revert them. If NPCs have grown to hate you, they still hate you. If your weapon exploded, it's still gone. - No instant transportation. If you can get away with it, it's nice to let the player regain his life where he lost it. This could be conditional. Such as having members of his team use stim packs on his corpse. You can still punish the poor bastard for dying by applying some negative effects (a temporary limp, or bad trigger finger), but he is able to jump right back up and go at it again. It doesn't need to rely on a party-member. The player could buy a limited number of auto-injecting stim packs. Or he could muster up enough willpower to keep himself from dying on random occasions. - Random chance of negative consequences. The fact that a random chance exists, even if that random chance is very low, where the player may end up facing negative consequences means that death will want to be avoided. Having to face that random possibility of some type of loss is enough, I think, to scare players into fighting to survive. This means you can give them an easy way out a lot of the time, with little loss in the gaming. - Development. If dying or losing results in something interesting happening, the player will feel more obliged to continue. They will feel more like they are supposed to continue. An example would be a flashback story progressing with each death. You can't see the plot advancement of death 2 if you haven't experienced death 1. It's important to add negative consequences here. You would never want your players killing themselves or not caring about death just to progress this plot. It would be crucial to make this time based and/or unpredictable. Such as dying twice in a few minutes doesn't advance it, but dying once now and anywhere from 1 to 15 hours later will. That's all I've got for now.

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Death is not the only reason for reloading. In a game, there are choices. Some choices can be bad. Reloading can be used to revert a bad choice and make a good choice instead. If death is no longer a bad choice, there will probably be other bad choices still available to the player.

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Original post by Kest
This is yet another one of my save & reload topics.

Here are some flavors that will help prevent reloading.


But why? I like saving and reloading. In fact, if I could tap a rewind button and the game went 15 seconds backwards in realtime (well, accelerated a bit), I'd be stoked.

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Original post by spartanx
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Original post by Kest
This is yet another one of my save & reload topics.

Here are some flavors that will help prevent reloading.


But why? I like saving and reloading. In fact, if I could tap a rewind button and the game went 15 seconds backwards in realtime (well, accelerated a bit), I'd be stoked.


go and play prince of persia: sands of time then it has a rewind feature :)

most rougelikes prevent save/reload by only saving when you quit and only one save slot / character, that save slot usually gets removed when the character dies.

could easily be made more effective by autosaving aswell (to prevent players from doing a nasty shutdown when things start to go bad to avoid the save)

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Original post by Timus
Make it so in order to save they have to quit, thats the best way to prevent save/reload/save/reload.

What happens if it crashes?

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Original post by spartanx
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Original post by Kest
This is yet another one of my save & reload topics.

Here are some flavors that will help prevent reloading.


But why? I like saving and reloading.

Because I don't.

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In fact, if I could tap a rewind button and the game went 15 seconds backwards in realtime (well, accelerated a bit), I'd be stoked.

That would be totally cool for me as long as it's part of the game world and not the interface. Save & reload is part of the interface. If "Jack" knows I tried again, that's sweet. That sounds interesting. Jack can even make fun of my halfassed attempts. Maybe he could even help me get through it. If I have a super time-rewind ability, I think bad guys should be capable of knowing about it. At the very least, my avatar should know about it.

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Original post by ToohrVyk
Death is not the only reason for reloading. In a game, there are choices. Some choices can be bad. Reloading can be used to revert a bad choice and make a good choice instead. If death is no longer a bad choice, there will probably be other bad choices still available to the player.

It doesn't really matter what makes a player want to reload. My methods for dealing with it were just focused on death. Feel free to add ideas for solutions dealing with other types of reloads.

Death is a different type of reload. When you reload because a decision you've made didn't end well, that's destroying the purpose of the choices being there in the first place. I would completely prevent this type of reloading if it's possible. Decisions are the major part of any game. If bad decisions can be reverted, you might as well not include them. If you're not going to include negative decisions in your game, then you don't have a game at all. If you do include them, along with save & reload support, then what you have is a bunch of what-if scenarios. Save that stuff for a cheat code. Wimpy players will always look for cheat codes before they play anyway. Problem solved.

When you die, you're not making a choice. You're failing to come through with a choice. If that means game-over, the player has no choice but to rewind. And I think this is exactly why the majority of single player games are so leaned over onto the save & reload angle. Because we evolved from game over screens.

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Here's another one.

What if you add content for players who never reload? You don't have to tell them what the content is. It could be random. They could be small things or huge things. But only players who stick to their real choices and keep shoving on after dramatic loss would experience the events.

I'm sure a lot of people who enjoy reloading will hate this feature. But I think incentive is the biggest key.

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Original post by Kest
Here's another one.

What if you add content for players who never reload? You don't have to tell them what the content is. It could be random. They could be small things or huge things. But only players who stick to their real choices and keep shoving on after dramatic loss would experience the events.

I'm sure a lot of people who enjoy reloading will hate this feature. But I think incentive is the biggest key.
Kest...I love you, man!

Seriously, though, you're one of the few people that hates save/reload as much as I do. Since somebody brought up PoP:Sands of Time, consider the poor sequel, Warrior Within. The story was that the Prince used his time powers so much that a time monster (The Dahaka) chased him around to destroy him, almost as if the fabric of time was trying to protect itself. If you could provide an anti-death ability within the context of the game, but give the negative feedback more shades of gray than "you're okay" and "time itself is trying to kill you", you'd be golden.

Also consider Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. Since Raziel was already a ghost, dying meant he just lost his physical body and reverted to his natural form. It was a bit of an inconvenience, but it fit the story perfectly and meant you never had to reload. If you died again while in the spirit world, the Elder God drew you back to his chambers at the start of the game. Then, you had to backtrack to a warp gate, so even dying while dead wasn't a big deal.

As far as reloading for "bad decisions", don't make any decision necessarily bad. If everything is more ambiguous, people won't be so inclined to reload. For instance, if you make them decide between saving a loved one or a van full of innocent people, and both choices are equally valid, then that's a compelling game.

EDIT:
I don't think you should give extra content to people who don't die; maybe different content. Maybe your anti-death ability changes you in some way, and the ending of the game depends on how many times you had to use it.

[Edited by - templewulf on October 6, 2006 1:15:56 PM]

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Original post by Kest
Here's another one.

What if you add content for players who never reload? You don't have to tell them what the content is. It could be random. They could be small things or huge things. But only players who stick to their real choices and keep shoving on after dramatic loss would experience the events.

I'm sure a lot of people who enjoy reloading will hate this feature. But I think incentive is the biggest key.

Yeah, extra content for people willing to sit around playing a game non stop until they beat it on their first try is just what everybody wants. Because remember: taking a break is the same as reloading. That is, after all, half the purpose behind the ability to save and reload in the first place.

If you don't want people repeatedly reloading just to do things perfectly, then don't allow it in the first place. Only allow the game to be saved at certain points, and [if appropriate] do so automatically. There, problem solved.

None of the suggestions provided thus far would prevent me from taking advantage of a game foolish enough to provide saves anywhere.
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- No rewind effect of time on 'death'. If skills have advanced during a mission, death does not revert them. If NPCs have grown to hate you, they still hate you. If your weapon exploded, it's still gone.

I would reload to get my weapon back, even if just for long enough to make it through the encounter that killed me.
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- No instant transportation.

I would reload to save my limited supply of auto-injecting stim packs.
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- Random chance of negative consequences.

I would reload to avoid the negative concequences. Death should always be avoided, so this is a ridiculous suggestion from the get go.
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- Development.

I would reload after any death that I felt didn't justify advancing the storyline.

CM

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Often, I use save/reload to try things - things that I don't really want to be party of my "actual" game, but that would be cool. Maybe I think the developer put something cool in if you do X, but doing X would be detrimental to my "actual" game. Gotta have a save/reload of some sort.

On the other hand, I overused the save/reload hotkeys in Doom3 and made the game no fun, and I couldn't stop myself.

One bad ways to fix the problem is to force long save and load times, of course.

I think that different systems need to be implemented for different games: in FPS games, I think that several of your examples (Kest) would work well. Maybe not so much for RPGs.

What I really like is your last example. I'm not sure how the hell you would explain it, but I absolutely love the idea. Consider fleshing that one out a bit more.

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Original post by templewulf
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Original post by Kest
Here's another one.

What if you add content for players who never reload? You don't have to tell them what the content is. It could be random. They could be small things or huge things. But only players who stick to their real choices and keep shoving on after dramatic loss would experience the events.

I'm sure a lot of people who enjoy reloading will hate this feature. But I think incentive is the biggest key.
Kest...I love you, man!

Seriously, though, you're one of the few people that hates save/reload as much as I do.

My biggest problem with it is that I can't do a lot of the things I want to do without it getting in the way. I want dramatic loss. I want NPC party member death. Permenant changes to the player. Detailed after-effects and way-after-effects of failing missions. Those features will be a furious workload for me. I don't want to spend that much time developing something that few people will experience. If I really intend to make death, failure, and mistakes a part of the game, I need to remove the abusability of the save feature. If not remove it, then at least make ugly faces at it.

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If you could provide an anti-death ability within the context of the game, but give the negative feedback more shades of gray than "you're okay" and "time itself is trying to kill you", you'd be golden.

I think things like a chance to develop temporary states such as a limp or loss of sight in one eye might do the trick. They should be enough of a hindrance to want to avoid getting injured, even if there were no chance at all of dying.

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As far as reloading for "bad decisions", don't make any decision necessarily bad. If everything is more ambiguous, people won't be so inclined to reload. For instance, if you make them decide between saving a loved one or a van full of innocent people, and both choices are equally valid, then that's a compelling game.

It's difficult to fully control the choices presented to players. My project is more of a sandbox style game. In many cases, choices will be generated by playing the game, and a whole bunch of them can be bad. If you hack into a datajack and lock a security door in the hallway you're in, then plant a timed bomb to explode in 30 seconds, then realize 15 seconds later that the opposite door to the hallway was already locked, you've made a bad decision in your haste to prepare the explosive. Now you have to hack back in to unlock the opposite door in less than 15 seconds or you're going to end up in gooey pieces.

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I don't think you should give extra content to people who don't die; maybe different content. Maybe your anti-death ability changes you in some way, and the ending of the game depends on how many times you had to use it.

I didn't say people who don't die. Dying is okay. Dying is something that can happen anytime a situation is misjudged. Reloading is a completely choicable (I'm making up a lot of words here) action to undo the past. It can be completely avoided regardless of skill.

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Original post by Conner McCloud
Yeah, extra content for people willing to sit around playing a game non stop until they beat it on their first try is just what everybody wants.

There's no need to pull your knives out. I'm not trying to pretend I have all of the answers (in case that's why your panties are on fire). But there are plenty of ways to seperate restoring saves from rewind saves. It's possible and relatively easy to allow players to quit and restore as often as they want and still detect the misuse of rewind loads.

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Because remember: taking a break is the same as reloading. That is, after all, half the purpose behind the ability to save and reload in the first place

I'm not sure if half is correct. Games that have save and reload know that they can get away with stupid situations, and they take full advantage of it. How many times have you encountered a situation where dying or sustaining damage resulted in knowledge to fix or bypass that which hurt you? That is incentive to reload. So why not give incentive for not reloading?

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If you don't want people repeatedly reloading just to do things perfectly, then don't allow it in the first place. Only allow the game to be saved at certain points, and [if appropriate] do so automatically. There, problem solved.

I agree. But I'll almost certainly include it as a cheat code. That way it can be used for those who feel that it's absence breaks the game.

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None of the suggestions provided thus far would prevent me from taking advantage of a game foolish enough to provide saves anywhere.

Then you're obviously someone who requires it to enjoy gaming. I would personally avoid it as long as the game acknowledges it's own awareness of the situation. I normally default to assuming that save & reload is meant to be used to play a game normally. If the game hints that it frowns on reloading being used to rewind time, then that's enough for me to want to avoid it. If the gameworld itself could change because of it's use (which seems completely frellnick considering how unrelated save&reload is to the game-world), then I wouldn't even come close to touching it.

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- Random chance of negative consequences.

I would reload to avoid the negative concequences. Death should always be avoided, so this is a ridiculous suggestion from the get go.

If there is no negative consequences for death, why would it be avoided? If it's easier to just run out and trade bullets instead of using strategy, why would you bother trying to play smart?

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- Development.

I would reload after any death that I felt didn't justify advancing the storyline.

What if those advances can be unique to the situation? What if those advancements can branch off into other developments that are currently unknown to you? What if the advancement of the current death will be unknown to you for a length of time?

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Original post by Avatar God
Often, I use save/reload to try things - things that I don't really want to be party of my "actual" game, but that would be cool. Maybe I think the developer put something cool in if you do X, but doing X would be detrimental to my "actual" game. Gotta have a save/reload of some sort.

I know a lot of people don't agree, but I classify rewind-reloads as cheating. Cheating isn't always about making things easier. Sometimes it's about exploration. But knowing the ins and outs of every choice in a scenario is not playing a simulation of a game world. It's a menu to observe the trees of the inner workings of that simulation. If the game is fun, why not play it again, use the cheat code, and explore every interesting bit? Then you have your cake and eat it after you enjoy playing with it.

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On the other hand, I overused the save/reload hotkeys in Doom3 and made the game no fun, and I couldn't stop myself.

Well, the game was scary as hell for me. The only reason I didn't use quicksave was because I avoided looking to see what keys were used to do it. There were several situations that felt like I was being punished for not using it. Invisible trap doors. Things popping out without any visual clues. A lot of Walk-blindly-into-it-then-reload-to-play-it-normally situations. The zombie trap on the first level got me bad. I spun around like a moron trying to figure out what happened while they chewed me up. I also had a problem dealing with those zombies that seem to enjoy standing in the dark small spaces of strangely-concealed metal closet doors. Those guys are pretty sneaky for animated cannibalistic brain-dead corpses.

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One bad ways to fix the problem is to force long save and load times, of course.

I need fast saves and loads so that I can auto-save to protect players from crashes and power failures.

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I think that different systems need to be implemented for different games: in FPS games, I think that several of your examples (Kest) would work well. Maybe not so much for RPGs.

My project is a realtime 3rd person RPG shooter. So hopefully that puts me near the half-way region.

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What I really like is your last example. I'm not sure how the hell you would explain it, but I absolutely love the idea. Consider fleshing that one out a bit more.

Do you mean the plot advancements that take place because of deaths? Well, it would take some explaining to fully detail how it will function in my project. To cut it short, the avatar can't die. He regenerates. He can recover from absolutely insane deaths (not unlike Yakumo Fujii in 3x3 eyes). The reason he can't die is unknown to the player (and avatar). The quest to understand what the hell is going on with that is the entire plot of my game.

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Original post by Kest
My biggest problem with it is that I can't do a lot of the things I want to do without it getting in the way. I want dramatic loss. I want NPC party member death. Permenant changes to the player. Detailed after-effects and way-after-effects of failing missions. Those features will be a furious workload for me. I don't want to spend that much time developing something that few people will experience. If I really intend to make death, failure, and mistakes a part of the game, I need to remove the abusability of the save feature. If not remove it, then at least make ugly faces at it.

No you don't. The save feature should be completely tangential to the game itself. If I choose to play through without losing any NPC characters, then that's my choice, and I'll experience that branch of the game. Other's won't bother, and they'll experience that branch.
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Original post by Kest
There's no need to pull your knives out. I'm not trying to pretend I have all of the answers (in case that's why your panties are on fire). But there are plenty of ways to seperate restoring saves from rewind saves. It's possible and relatively easy to allow players to quit and restore as often as they want and still detect the misuse of rewind loads.

Not really. The closest you can really do is update the save every time its loaded, so you can keep a tally. And that's trivial to get around. You might as well just ignore it all together and let people enjoy your game how they chose.
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Original post by Kest
I'm not sure if half is correct. Games that have save and reload know that they can get away with stupid situations, and they take full advantage of it. How many times have you encountered a situation where dying or sustaining damage resulted in knowledge to fix or bypass that which hurt you? That is incentive to reload. So why not give incentive for not reloading?

Not having to redo the stuff you've already completed is incentive to not reload. That's the other half of the reason saves exist: to minimize the amount you have to redo when you are forced to start over.
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Original post by Kest
I agree. But I'll almost certainly include it as a cheat code. That way it can be used for those who feel that it's absence breaks the game.

Then why all these other hoops?
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Original post by Kest
Then you're obviously someone who requires it to enjoy gaming.

No. But that doesn't mean I won't take advantage of it when I feel like completing something to 100%. Or when reloading is faster than going through whatever "death" means.
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Original post by Kest
If there is no negative consequences for death, why would it be avoided? If it's easier to just run out and trade bullets instead of using strategy, why would you bother trying to play smart?

Because dying is a time sink. And because succeeding at something is more fun than failing at it.
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Original post by Kest
What if those advances can be unique to the situation? What if those advancements can branch off into other developments that are currently unknown to you? What if the advancement of the current death will be unknown to you for a length of time?

Then I won't experience some of those things. My loss. Your game is fun enough to stand on its own without them, right?

CM

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Original post by Kest
I know a lot of people don't agree, but I classify rewind-reloads as cheating. Cheating isn't always about making things easier. Sometimes it's about exploration. But knowing the ins and outs of every choice in a scenario is not playing a simulation of a game world. It's a menu to observe the trees of the inner workings of that simulation. If the game is fun, why not play it again, use the cheat code, and explore every interesting bit? Then you have your cake and eat it after you enjoy playing with it.

Because many of us, myself included, don't have the time to play through most games more than once. For example, if there was no quicksave in Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, I probably wouldn't enjoy it. Here is a game that takes 500+ hours to explore fully, starting a new character just isn't an option for me. So I sometimes quick save to "try stuff" because I know I'll never see it otherwise.

Some games however, I don't like to play that way. Deus Ex is one of those, or Half-Life, if I make a mistake I should live with the consequences of said mistake. Deus Ex bothers me that not only can you quick save anywhere, you are actually required to because it doesn't do any auto-saves.

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Whatever you do, under no cirmumstances should there be a hefty time penalty for dying. I barely have enough time to distribute between study and gaming as it is. I cheated my way through doom. My computer made loading take an annoyingly long amount of time, so I cheated my health up to avoid the "death penalty" loading imposed.

One way to get around the save/reload problem is to make it so that people don't need to reload. Regenerating health when out of combat will prevent people from reloading because they haven't completed a battle "well enough" (eg, on 90%+ health). Making ammo plentiful or regenerating (eg, mana based) will prevent people from reloading because they have used all their rockets.
Regenerating methods add tactics to the game (eg, people will retreat when injured, then have a white knuckle moment waiting for their shields to regen), cuts down on quickloading, and means that the player knows exactly what the score is before and after each battle.

The other is to keep the player informed when they make a decision. Save your spouse or a van load of people is a good choice to give the player. The consequences are obvious, an informed decision can be made.
Asking the player to pick a door, one of which has a prize behind it and the other doesn't (a trivial example) is a bad choice to give the player, and one that will make them want to quickload if they, through no fault of thier own, get it wrong. Other examples include giving the player the choice to trust someone, and then them betraying the player. If the player had no way of knowing they were going to be betrayed, they will want to load. If the player knew that they were going to be betrayed, or could take measures to prevent the betrayal (eg, by finding blackmail infomation on the npc) then it is a good choice to let them make.

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One way to get around the save/reload problem is to make it so that people don't need to reload. Regenerating health when out of combat will prevent people from reloading because they haven't completed a battle "well enough" (eg, on 90%+ health).

Halo and Max Payne both did this, and I agree that it worked wonders to combat this issue.

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Making ammo plentiful or regenerating (eg, mana based) will prevent people from reloading because they have used all their rockets.

This removes resource management from a game, so it only works in certain instances. Now, if you just made it so that the ammo clips didn't re-appear when you reload... well, that would just piss off alot of players. This is a tough one.

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Asking the player to pick a door, one of which has a prize behind it and the other doesn't (a trivial example) is a bad choice to give the player, and one that will make them want to quickload if they, through no fault of thier own, get it wrong.

Other examples include giving the player the choice to trust someone, and then them betraying the player. If the player had no way of knowing they were going to be betrayed, they will want to load. If the player knew that they were going to be betrayed, or could take measures to prevent the betrayal (eg, by finding blackmail infomation on the npc) then it is a good choice to let them make.

This is the single biggest reason I save/reload: if I know there are multiple outcomes to a scenario in a game that I plan to only play once, I want to see all of these outcomes.

Deus Ex combatted this extremely well: the outcomes don't become apparent until much later in the game. Did you save Paul? Well, first you have to realize that it wasn't a scripted event. And you don't even know what happened to Paul until halfway through the next stage.

Did you defuse the bomb to save Jocks life? Well, if not you'll regret it three levels later.

This sort of thing made me want to play it again from the beginning to see all of the outcomes. And I've played through that game over 10 times.

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Original post by JBourrie
Did you save Paul?

I played through Deus Ex two or three times before I realized Paul could be saved. He was sacrificing himself to save me, I'm sure as hell not going to let that sort of sacrifice go to waste by sticking around long enough to realize it isn't an impossible battle.

And yes, Deus Ex is a game that I abused the save/reload cycle. The first time through, I beat it without killing anybody except bosses and dogs [which die when you beat them with a stick]. If you're spotted, returning to a non-lethal approach is near impossible, so you have to be prepared to reload in that situation. But the second time through, I shot my way through the game. Being seen in that situation isn't so devistating, so if you can survive an encounter you're probably fine. That time, I only saved when it was convenient to do so, and only loaded when I died.

CM

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Original post by Conner McCloud
No you don't. The save feature should be completely tangential to the game itself. If I choose to play through without losing any NPC characters, then that's my choice, and I'll experience that branch of the game. Other's won't bother, and they'll experience that branch.

I thought you were arguing earlier that the existence of the save & reload feature would result in you wanting to use it? You're now claiming that it's okay to include it because players can choose not to use it?

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Original post by Kest
..there are plenty of ways to seperate restoring saves from rewind saves. It's possible and relatively easy to allow players to quit and restore as often as they want and still detect the misuse of rewind loads.

Not really. The closest you can really do is update the save every time its loaded, so you can keep a tally. And that's trivial to get around.

I'll assume you mean the closest you can do. I'm not at all concerned about cheating. That includes hex editing and file copying. I'm not trying to protect my game from players, I'm trying to do the opposite. I want to protect players from the misuse of reloading. If they want to cheat, then I have no reason to stop them. As long as they are fully aware of the fact that with my specific game, it is cheating.

Why would you go through the trouble of playing with files every time you die when you can just punch in a cheat code before you start a new game? Kind of a long way around, isn't it? It doesn't even need to be a cheat code. It could just be shown as an alternate play mode with a degraded name.

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You might as well just ignore it all together and let people enjoy your game how they chose.

I'm the designer. I can't ignore it. My game is designed by every little choice I make. And most of those choices rely on knowing what abilites the player has. Rewinding time is never on my mind in these situations. As mentioned by Avatar God and you yourself earlier, choice is out of the question. Some players can not stop themselves from using it even when it ruins the game. That means it is indeed my responsibility as the designer to do something about it. As the designer, I intend on making sure my game works in a fun way without quicksave. If you don't have faith in me, that's totally cool. That's irrelevant to the subject. But if you're trying to claim that RPG fun without quicksave is impossible, then I think you need to at least cut a peephole into that box you're thinking inside of.

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Not having to redo the stuff you've already completed is incentive to not reload. That's the other half of the reason saves exist: to minimize the amount you have to redo when you are forced to start over.

I can't make sense of this. Is it not the actual act of reloading that would prevent you from having to "redo stuff"? That's an incentive to use save&reload, not to avoid it. To remove that incentive, you use my second 'flavor'. But in order for the second flavor to work well, you might need the third, which you termed ridiculous.

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Original post by Kest
If there is no negative consequences for death, why would it be avoided? If it's easier to just run out and trade bullets instead of using strategy, why would you bother trying to play smart?

Because dying is a time sink. And because succeeding at something is more fun than failing at it.

Playing a situation smart instead of risking your life is also a time sink. If you can save before you risk your life, why bother spending time to use your brain? Why stop and carefully think over a situation if you aren't smart enough to plan it out in the first 20 seconds? Save, run out and see what happens, reload, now plan a strategy. Much faster results.

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Original post by Kest
What if those advances can be unique to the situation? What if those advancements can branch off into other developments that are currently unknown to you? What if the advancement of the current death will be unknown to you for a length of time?

Then I won't experience some of those things. My loss. Your game is fun enough to stand on its own without them, right?

Even if it is, save & reload can still injure what's left.

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Original post by JBourrie
Because many of us, myself included, don't have the time to play through most games more than once. For example, if there was no quicksave in Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, I probably wouldn't enjoy it. Here is a game that takes 500+ hours to explore fully, starting a new character just isn't an option for me. So I sometimes quick save to "try stuff" because I know I'll never see it otherwise.

If you had the time to play it the first time, what changed the second time around? I'll take a guess and say that the game has gotten boring. If this is the case, then what is the loss? That you didn't see every in and out of a boring game?

The positive aspect to that is that if a game isn't fun the way it's designed, then there's not really anything preventing players from restarting it and firing up the cheat code to play it with save&reload. If I don't enjoy a game, I usually have more fun cheating than not. The opposite of when I do enjoy them.

The point of making the save&reload feature cheat-code activated is to make it very clear that using it would be considered breaking the rules, because the game is designed around the fact that it doesn't exist. As long as players are aware of the fact that they are breaking the rules of the game by using it, I don't think it hurts to give them the ability. It's only the players who do care about not cheating that will suffer by the ability to save & reload. Most players over the age of 13.

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Deus Ex bothers me that not only can you quick save anywhere, you are actually required to because it doesn't do any auto-saves.

I thought Deus Ex had a very shooter feel to it. In the sense that dying didn't really matter that much because I had pretty good fun shooting people a second time. If the player never had to replay a situation, that game would have been over very quickly. If Deus Ex had sandbox elements, such as randomly generated missions, that wouldn't have been the same. You no longer enjoy repeating a scenario because there are an infinite number of them to enjoy in your future.

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Original post by Conner McCloud
If you're spotted, returning to a non-lethal approach is near impossible, so you have to be prepared to reload in that situation.

I think this could have been fixed pretty easily during design. It's actually a flaw in the game that most likely exists because play testers themselves use save and reload. If one of those guys actually tried to do what you're suggesting without it, something could have been done to make it more feasible. The idea behind this, that players like to attempt impossible things using quicksave, can still work without it. You just have to settle for the volume being turned down a notch. Without quicksave, impossible happens more easily. And if a game is designed that way, it should still be just as much fun. The difficulty, challenge, and accomplishment recognition are just as good. It just makes you slightly more human.

By the way, was there actually an incentive to avoid killing everyone in Deus Ex? I know the game goes to great lengths to show you that you don't really know who the real bad guys are. But the truth is that all of those punks are trying to gun you down. Self preservation.

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Original post by Kest
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Original post by Conner McCloud
No you don't. The save feature should be completely tangential to the game itself. If I choose to play through without losing any NPC characters, then that's my choice, and I'll experience that branch of the game. Other's won't bother, and they'll experience that branch.

I thought you were arguing earlier that the existence of the save & reload feature would result in you wanting to use it? You're now claiming that it's okay to include it because players can choose not to use it?

No, I said that nothing you had said thus far would discourage me from using the feature if it were available. If that's your only reason to implement them, I don't see why you would bother. People who want to still will, and people who don't want to still won't. You've accomplished nothing except given yourself a warm and fuzzy feeling over pulling one over on those evil cheaters.

That's not to say that all of your ideas have no merit beyond discouraging save/reload cycles. Minimizing the "death penalty" may stand on its own, for instance, as does working death into the overall plot. If you're designing without quick saves in mind, and those make the game more fun, then great. But things like adding functionality for people who don't make use of quicksaves doesn't make the game more fun...it makes the game less fun, for people who use quick saves. That benefits nobody.
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Original post by Kest
I'll assume you mean the closest you can do.

Yes. The closest you can do. Just like I said.
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Original post by Kest
As the designer, I intend on making sure my game works in a fun way without quicksave.

Kudos. Make it fun without quicksave. Don't even make it an option! Max Payne didn't, and it was successful enough to fund Duke Nukem Forever development for a few more years. But if you do, don't add pointless features just to punish people who chose to make use of it. There's countless things the player can do to "ruin" the game for themselves without going out of your way to rub their faces in it.
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Original post by Kest
By the way, was there actually an incentive to avoid killing everyone in Deus Ex?

It was fun. What more incentive do I need?

CM

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Games should be less fatal -- have a wider range of consequences when the
player blunders or is faced with a no win situation. The Hero in the story isnt supposed to die like a fly every other moment. A good game might have a whole selection of amusing/spectacular results and warped situations instead of the usual death result (and reload).

If the game then offered interesting opportunities to get out of the resulting (non-fatal) negative situation then there would be no need for reloads as most consequences would only be temporary (any reloadong would only waste player time).

If the player could creatively use more objects at hand then loss of 'inventory' due to bad choices, wouldnt matter as much.

Of course, the game makers already have enough trouble making a fixed plot line work and trying to not have the player feel like they are being lead by the nose thru the game. More adaptive scripting in future games might be able to achieve
the needed flexibility.

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Original post by Conner McCloud
No, I said that nothing you had said thus far would discourage me from using the feature if it were available.

Then what would discourage you from using it?

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If that's your only reason to implement them, I don't see why you would bother. People who want to still will, and people who don't want to still won't.

Well, by "people", you mean "I". You're looking at it from one perspective. Some of these elements would definitely help me avoid using it. Like I've mentioned, if the game simply acknowledges awareness of quicksave misuse, I'm sold. I don't use reloads to cheat games. I use reloads when games are designed to work with them. If a fun game simply 'tells me' not to use it because it will ruin the experience, I would personally stay away. But if players like you need it to be gone to enjoy it, then I don't see much reason to keep it around.

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You've accomplished nothing except given yourself a warm and fuzzy feeling over pulling one over on those evil cheaters

I could have sworn that I spent several paragraphs making it extremely clear that I don't care about cheaters. If players want to cheat, I want to let them cheat. But I want to make it obvious what cheating is, and what cheating isn't. If someone isn't mature enough to understand how cheating will ruin the experience, then they are not someone who will enjoy my game in the first place.

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That's not to say that all of your ideas have no merit beyond discouraging save/reload cycles. Minimizing the "death penalty" may stand on its own, for instance, as does working death into the overall plot. If you're designing without quick saves in mind, and those make the game more fun, then great.

They're not really my ideas. I may have made them all a little more specific. But all of them other than the last one I accumulated here in this forum in previous topics. I just wanted to share what I've gathered, and sneak in the last one to see how a few people react. Even though death is an important element in my game's plot, it became so out of my original designing needs to avoiding resetting the player.

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But things like adding functionality for people who don't make use of quicksaves doesn't make the game more fun...it makes the game less fun, for people who use quick saves. That benefits nobody.

The idea of giving an incentive for not using reload to rewind I will stick to. Just that it seems impossible to do without having the game world acknowledge the existence of the continue interface, and that definitely can not happen in a serious-mood game like mine.

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But if you do, don't add pointless features just to punish people who chose to make use of it.

I wouldn't. I would add features that continue to expand because of a death. That itself would punish those who want to reload, because they can't use it if they want to see what's going to happen.

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Original post by Kest
I'll assume you mean the closest you can do.

Yes. The closest you can do. Just like I said.

...
There's countless things the player can do to "ruin" the game for themselves without going out of your way to rub their faces in it.

You should relax, man. I'm only in here to discover what works and what doesn't. Not to flaunt my all-knowing ideas. There's no reason to become unhinged. And if you're not unhinged, you might want to work on your people communication skills, because you appear to be. I've disagreed with everyone on this forum at least once. If we all agreed, we would all be making the same game. We surely don't want that.

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Original post by Kest
By the way, was there actually an incentive to avoid killing everyone in Deus Ex?

It was fun. What more incentive do I need?

I only mentioned it because I've heard of many players attempting it. I myself attempted it after I heard about so many others doing it. I can't remember if I pulled it off or not. Geez, now I'm going to end up reinstalling it too.

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Original post by JBourrie
Because many of us, myself included, don't have the time to play through most games more than once. For example, if there was no quicksave in Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, I probably wouldn't enjoy it. Here is a game that takes 500+ hours to explore fully, starting a new character just isn't an option for me. So I sometimes quick save to "try stuff" because I know I'll never see it otherwise.



If you had the time to play it the first time, what changed the second time around? I'll take a guess and say that the game has gotten boring. If this is the case, then what is the loss? That you didn't see every in and out of a boring game?

That's not it. It's an opportunity cost: theres alot of games out there to play. I buy about two games a month, and I also like to replay some of my old classics. I only have so many hours a month that I can game (usually late at night), so that leaves alot of games that are fun but I will not play again for a long, long time. Morrowind, for example, was fun but I will probably never put back in (since Oblivion is Morrowind++). But I may not make another character in Oblivion either (cmon, 500 hours? That's alot of Okami and SotC and Zelda and Katamari games). There are very, very few games that I will replay over and over and over again: Deus Ex, CastleVania: Symphony of the Night, Secret of Mana come to mind right away. But that doesn't mean the others are boring.

And I'm really tempted to start a new game of Deus Ex: Invisible War now. Not nearly as good as the original, but I've only played it once. :)

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Original post by Kest
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Original post by Timus
Make it so in order to save they have to quit, thats the best way to prevent save/reload/save/reload.

What happens if it crashes?



Could you say that about any save and reload system?

You could also have the game save itself along the way, and keep it in a file that is deleted as soon as you exit the game (without it crashing).

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