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Handling game saves

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I have been thinking about game saves and the best way of handling them.

I can think of a few possible ways...

1) Allow the user to save the game to many different states so you can have a long list of states to go back to if you like.

2) Another way that I think is more common on platforms other than PC is that you start a game and always save to the same state. To have many states you have to start the game multiple times.

3) Similar to (2) but hide the save game option from the user and always save when the user ends the game, and possibly make autosaves to avoid loss of progress.

Do the user want to care about saving games? Do they need to? In (1) the user have the most complicated interface to save, in (3) the user doesn't have to care about saving at all.

I understand that this depends much on what kind of game it is, but if we don't need to allow the user to use save/load strategies to play the game is it better to hide the saving details as much as possible, or is that just stupid?

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If it is a game that the player can lose I would allow him to save at any time and have more than one save, but in other kinds of games you don't need to be able to load from multiple savegames.
Another way of saving is working with checkpoints

But like you said, the way of saving the game does indeed completely depends on the game,
So I think you are right: "if we don't need to allow the user to use save/load strategies to play the game it is better to hide the saving details as much as possible."

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I personally really like it when I can set a save name, then the game just save itself.
This is way more impressive (Portal 2, HL2)

NEVER Show the Windows Locate a file box, that can change on diffrent systems and looks unprofessional, as it does not match the theme of the game.

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If the game is level based, I would be happy if,

1, AUTO save permanently after finishing each level.
2, Check points in level so auto save when getting check point, but the save is temporary.
3, Allow play to select "interrupt save" from in-game menu to go way, and after back, the save point is disappeared.

This method prevents Save/Load cheat.

If the game is RPG like, a manual save with certain "save slots" is enough, like a lot of RPG.

Don't let player to choose which file to save, no one cares about that. Only give the play predefined "save slots".

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