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Telcontar

A tiny addition I'd like to see in all games...

8 posts in this topic

I don't know about you guys, but I play a lot of games.

I play games over the course of weeks, months, even years. I have a Civilization 5 game that's been going for the better course of this year, and it is not the only Civ 5 savegame I'm keeping up.

It can be very hard to keep all these games straight. My plans, the state of my diplomacy, etc. Some games do a good job of tracking your history for you, and some do not. While I'd like to see more games keep track of your past actions, no game can keep track of your future actions - which is why I wish most games would just give me a little "notes" interface.

Just a normal, bare-bones, no-frills text editor so I could keep track of my plans from session to session.

I've played games that did better than that. they let me attach notes to various locations or units, and that helped me keep track of things much better. In lieu of a _real_ ingame system, though, I'd love it if a regular Notes system caught on in most games.

I'm tired of resuming a game I haven't played in a month and completely forgetting what the hell I was doing...
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I think most games are designed with the assumption that you're going to complete it in a relatively short time frame, but I've certainly had the experience of putting aside run-throughs of RPGs for months--years, even. I agree that long-running games should pay more attention to maintaining a history for the player -- a game like Civ could, for example, keep a timeline of events that could be reviewed to jog memories, and a note facility for maintaining some kinds of continuity of thought/strategy.
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I'd like to add that both of those functions can serve the player beyond revisitations or game juggling. As the average age of gamers increases you'll find more players with schedules that not only impede their ability to spend those long hours playing but also can prevent them from playing for weeks, if not months, at any given time.
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Yeah, sadly the developers do often view games as a throw-away money-maker. I'd like the ability to see a rough history of my actions. Sometimes in sandbox style games I'll make multiple save paths based on significant decision points, and it's hard to tell at a glance which is which. Of course there's also the more immediate problem of loading a game you haven't played in a few weeks, finding yourself deep in a labyrinthine building, and having no idea what you were trying to do or how to get out.
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The most recent Legend of Zelda game keeps track of the most recent thing that happens in the plot, but it does so with pre-determined statements rather than with the player's own words.
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[quote name='Mratthew' timestamp='1344918326' post='4969310']
Instead of each game adding this, why not make it a consoles and gaming platform addition. Steam, Onlive, Origin, Microsoft, Sony, etc could all have a notification system that allows the player to leave a note either on a calendar day, when the system is next turned on or pre-game. Friends could also leave messages using the same systems.
[/quote]

That'd actually be very handy! I very frequently can only work in an hour or so of gaming a week. Depending on the game I'm playing, there's usually that orientation period where I try to figure out 1) where I am, and 2) what I'm doing. A little pop-up that has this information (as provided by me last time I played) would do wonders.

...Although, there's a strong possibility that I'd be too lazy to do that, so a game-generated message (or a log of my recent activity) might be more helpful. But that's going to add more development time that a developer (/publisher) might not think is worth focusing on.
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[quote name='Mratthew' timestamp='1344918326' post='4969310']
Instead of each game adding this, why not make it a consoles and gaming platform addition. Steam, Onlive, Origin, Microsoft, Sony, etc could all have a notification system that allows the player to leave a note either on a calendar day, when the system is next turned on or pre-game. Friends could also leave messages using the same systems.
[/quote]

That would indeed be a handy feature for the multi-game services, though not all games run in/through them, after all. Still, I'd say a good 25% of my gaming time is spent in steam games these days.
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My vote also goes to the Steam suggestion. I imagine a simple implementation allowing Steam to pop up a small window whenever something is persisted in the Steam Cloud. Then whenever you load something from the steam cloud, the Steam UI could pop up the note again.
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